Regular use can make your washing machine dirty, smelly, and full of mold and mildew. If you don’t clean it regularly, all that dirt and grime will affect your clothes. Not to mention, it can be gross. Fortunately, cleaning a washing machine is pretty easy. You don’t need special cleaners or tools, just some time and elbow grease.

This guide will show you how to clean a washing machine (top-loading and front-loading) step-by-step. We’ll also share some tips on preventing mold and mildew from building up in the first place. Let’s get started!

How To Clean Washing Machine?

To keep your washing machine in tip-top condition, it is important to clean it regularly. A build-up of detergent, dirt, and lint can leave your machine smelly and less effective, so it is important to give it a good clean every few months. Some tips to consider include:

  • Read The Manual: Be sure to read the manual that came with your washing machine to familiarize you with its cleaning requirements. Most washing machines will need to be cleaned with mild detergent and warm water.
  • Clear The Lint Trap: After each load of laundry, be sure to clear the lint trap. A lint build-up can cause your washing machine to work less effectively and be a fire hazard.
  • Avoid Overloading: Overloading your washing machine can cause it to work less effectively and can also lead to damage. Be sure to follow the recommendations in your manual regarding how much laundry you can safely wash at once.
  • Check Hoses: Regularly check the hoses that connect your washing machine to the water supply. If these hoses are damaged, they could lead to leaks or leaks.
  • Clean The Dispenser: The dispenser is where your laundry detergent is stored. Over time, this area can become clogged with built-up detergent. Be sure to clean the fabric softener dispenser regularly to avoid this issue.
  • Clean Washing Machine Filter: Many washing machines have a filter that helps to trap lint and other debris. Be sure to clean this filter regularly to keep your machine working effectively.
  • Run Vinegar Through A Cycle: You can use vinegar to clean your washing machine by running it through a cycle with just vinegar and no laundry. This will help to remove any built-up detergent and grime. You can also use a washing machine cleaner for this purpose.

How To Clean Your Top-Loading Washing Machine?

Top-loading washing machines must be cleaned regularly to prevent mold, mildew, and detergent build-up. All you need is white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, and some bleach.

Step 1: Bleach Soak And First Wash

Add one cup of bleach to your washing machine and run it on its longest and hottest cycle. This will help to kill any mold or mildew that may be lurking in your machine.

Once the cycle has finished, leave the door open to allow the machine to air out. Then, run a normal cycle with hot water and laundry detergent.

Step 2: Vinegar Soak

Fill your washing machine with hot water and add two cups of white vinegar. Allow the machine to agitate for a few minutes before turning it off. Let the vinegar solution soak in your washing machine for an hour.

It is important to use white vinegar for this step as it is more acidic than other types of vinegar and will therefore be more effective at removing build-up from your washing machine.

After an hour, turn on your washing machine and allow it to finish its cycle. During the cycle, the vinegar solution will help break down any build-up in your machine.

Step 3: Baking Soda Scrub

Once the cycle is complete, you can begin scrubbing your washing machine with a baking soda solution. Mix one cup of baking soda with two cups of water to make this solution.

Use a clean cloth or sponge to scrub the inside of your washing machine, paying special attention to areas that seem to have a lot of build-ups. Once you have finished scrubbing, run your washing machine on an empty wash cycle with hot water to rinse away the baking soda solution.

Step 4: Wipe Down

Wipe the inside of your washing machine with a clean, damp microfiber cloth. You may also need a toothbrush to get into all the nooks and crannies. Also, be sure to wipe down the rubber seal around the door. Furthermore, don’t forget about the washing machine door.

Step 5: Second Wash

Run another cycle with hot water and laundry detergent. This will help to remove any vinegar smell from your washing machine. Also, it will further clean and disinfect your machine. If desired, you may add a cup of bleach to this second cycle.

If you have a high-efficiency washing machine, use only half the laundry detergent recommended on the package. This will help to prevent too many suds from being produced, which can lead to poor cleaning results and even damage your machine.

Step 6: Don’t Forget The Dryer

After you have cleaned your washing machine, it is also important to clean your dryer. Your dryer can become just as full of lint and dust over time, so it is important to clean it regularly.

To clean your dryer, start by unplugging it and removing the lint trap. Vacuum out the lint trap housing using a crevice attachment. Then, wipe down the inside of the dryer with a damp cloth. Be sure also to clean the vent hose. You can do this by disconnecting it from the back of the dryer and vacuuming it out with a crevice attachment. Once everything is clean, reassemble your dryer, and you are ready.

How To Clean Your Front-Loading Washing Machine?

Cleaning your front-loading washing machine is easy and only takes 15-20 minutes. Here are the steps you need to take:

Step 1: Vinegar Wash

The first step to cleaning your washing machine is a vinegar wash. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that will help remove mold or mildew growing in your machine. To do this, add one cup of white vinegar to the water dispenser on your machine and run it through a cycle.

Step 2: Bleach Wash

The second step is to do a bleach wash. This will help kill any remaining bacteria and viruses that might be present in your machine. To do this, simply add one cup of bleach to the water dispenser on your machine and run it through a cycle. Be sure to open your machine’s door after the cycle is complete and allow it to air out for a few minutes before putting any laundry in it.

Step 3: Rinse Cycle

Once you’ve done the vinegar and bleach washes, it’s time to do a final rinse cycle. This will remove any residue that might be left behind. Simply run the washing machine on a hot cycle with no detergent or fabric softener to deal with smelly washing machine.

Step 4: Detergent Tray

The next step is to clean the detergent tray. This is where most of the dirt and grime build up over time. To do this, simply remove the tray and wash it with soap and water. Be sure to rinse it thoroughly before putting it back in your machine. Also, be sure to wipe down the area around the detergent tray to remove any build-up that might have occurred.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

The final step is to do a few finishing touches. First, check the gasket around your machine’s door and ensure it’s clean. This is where a lot of dirt and grime can accumulate over time. If necessary, use a toothbrush or other scrub brush to clean it. Next, wipe down the outside of your machine with a damp cloth. And finally, vacuum around the base of your machine to remove any dust or dirt that might have accumulated there.

Following these simple steps, you can keep your washing machine clean and free of bacteria and viruses. Doing this will help extend your machine’s life and ensure that your laundry comes out clean and fresh every time.


How Often Should You Clean Your Washing Machine?

You should clean your washing machine monthly to keep it in good condition. If you have a front-loading washer, you may need to clean it more often because they tend to collect more dirt and grime. Also, if you have a high-efficiency load washer, you should clean it more often because they don’t have as much water to rinse away dirt, debris, and soap scum.

Is Bleach Or Vinegar Better For Clean Washing Machine?

Bleach is better than vinegar for cleaning a washing machine because it kills bacteria and removes stains. Vinegar is only effective at removing dirt and grime if used in very small amounts. Look for non-chlorinated bleach when cleaning your washing machine.

Can Vinegar Harm Your Washing Machine?

No, vinegar will not harm your washing machine. It can help prolong the life of your machine by preventing the build-up of gunk and grime. However, you should never use more than a cup of vinegar when cleaning your machine.

Do You Need To Clean The Inside Of A Washing Machine?

Yes, you should clean the inside of your washing machine regularly to prevent the build-up of dirt and grime. You can use a sponge or cloth to wipe down the inside of the machine, or you can use a specialized cleaning product designed for washing machines. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning your machine.

Why Does My Top-Load Washing Machine Smell Bad?

Washing machines can develop a bad smell for many reasons. One of the most common causes is the build-up of detergent, fabric softener, and dirt. Another common cause is mold and mildew. If your washing machine smells bad, clean it regularly to prevent the problem from worsening.


To sum up, it is important to keep your washing machine clean. Not only will it prolong the life of your machine, but it will also help to keep your clothes looking and smelling their best. Regularity is key when cleaning, so aim to clean your washing machine once a month at a minimum. Following the tips and advice outlined in this guide will keep your machine in tip-top condition for years to come.

We hope our guide has shown you how easy it is to keep your machine clean.

Last Updated: August 1, 2022 / Categories: Electronics, Misc, System & Appliances / 8.6 min read / Tags: /

About the Author: Shaun Wright

Shaun Wright

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