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How to Clean Washing Machine?

Last Updated on November 26, 2020 by Ashwini G

We know cleaning the washing machine is a hassling task. But don’t worry, in this article, we will discuss some of the easiest ways to keep your washing machine clean without disrupting its swift functioning. The washing machine is a blessing for people, earlier people used to sit for hours scrubbing off their dirty clothes, but now times have changed. The washing machine does this tough job easy for you as it finishes your laundry in half the time you required earlier. Besides, you can carry on your daily chores while the machine does your laundry, so it saves time as well as spares you from the hard work.

However, most washing machines can’t clean themselves without manual assistance. While they do the cleaning for you, you need to keep it clean in return. Therefore, it is essential to know how to clean the washing machine to maintain the device’s smooth functioning.

Ways of Cleaning a Washing Machine

You need to use a few unique solutions to clean the washing machine. There are two solutions which are quite handy and useful for the machine’s cleaning. You will need baking soda, bleach, and vinegar to make the solutions. Let’s have a look at them one by one.

Vinegar and Bleach

The vinegar and bleach solution is excellent for washing machines because it can get rid of the foul smells the machine has. First, you have to run the washing machine with four cups of white vinegar, which will wear off any unpleasant smells. Using vinegar is always a better option than using fabric conditioner as it can be harmful to the machine.

After you run the machine with vinegar, open the door instantly so that the moisture gets air-dried. Then you have to pull back the rubber lining to check if there is any mold growing. If you see molds, you need to scrub it off with vinegar, but for best results, you should scrub it again with bleach. You can finish it off by drying out the rubber lining completely. This is the first option to keep your washing machine clean and healthy.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Baking soda and vinegar is another excellent option to clean your washing machine. This method too, is quite effective, which you can apply if you don’t have bleach at your home. You need to mix one-fourth cup of water with one-fourth cup of baking soda. You need to put the mixture inside the machine’s detergent dispenser then put two cups of vinegar in the washing machine drum.

Now you have to run the machine at normal mode, but the water setting has to be at the highest. You should now close the door, and the machine will clean itself. This solution helps to get rid of the mineral deposit and stubborn mold deposits. The mold deposits will come off with sponges, and you need to take out the residues with clean water. This completes the cleaning procedure of the washing machine using vinegar and baking soda. These two were the basic steps to clean the washing machine. Now we will look into cleaning procedures of individual parts.

Cleaning the Drum

You can follow the following steps to clean the drum –

  • Use a soap solution or washing machine cleaning powder and dissolve it in water.
  • Dip a fabric in the solution and wipe the drum using it
  • Next, dry the drum using another piece of dry cloth.
  • Leave the door open for some time to allow the residue to dissipate.

Cleaning the Dryer

  • Follow the following steps to keep the dryer clean.
  • Use a soap solution to clean the exterior and top of the dryer.
  • Next clean the door seal and interior of the dryer
  • Check the exterior to ensure that nothing is blocking the air from escaping.
  • After cleaning is done, run the dryer with old rags to get rid of any leftover residues

Cleaning the Drainpipe

  • The drainpipe is another essential part of the washing machine which you need to keep clean because if it gets clogged, water will not drain entirely. So, let’s learn how to keep the drainpipe clean without harming its efficient cleaning.
  • First, drain some hot water from the pipe. It will free the pipe from any soap or scum blockage.
  • If hot water does not work, then detach the pipe from the machine and pour commercial drain cleaner with hot water.
  • Then you have to rinse the pipe with regular water to avoid any damage to the pipe.
  • If these two options don’t work, then you can try using a plumbing snake to clean the drainpipe.

Powder or Liquid Which Detergent Works Best with the Washer?

In the above section, we’ve talked about cleaning various parts of the washing machine. Now, we will look into another factor which will make cleaning even easier for the machine.

Liquid Detergent

Liquid detergent is composed of Alkalis, Surfactants, Enzymes, Fragrances, and Dyes. In recent times liquid detergents have become very popular because they work best with washing machines, and also they come ready to use. Liquid detergents leave little residues inside the machine, and they don’t clog septic systems either. A bottle will last you up to six months, so even if it comes a bit expensive, it is worth investing in.


  • Washing machines work better with liquid detergents.
  • Works as a pre-treater and spot cleaner
  • Comes ready to use
  • Dissolves properly in water
  • Most liquid detergents contain fewer chemicals than powder detergents, so they are quite eco-friendly as well.
  • The best solution for oily and greasy stains


  • Using excess liquid detergents can leave detergent residues in clothes, which may cause skin irritation.
  • Comparatively expensive
  • Last only around six months
  • Limits the effectiveness of other solutions like bleach

Powder Detergents

Powder detergents like the liquid ones contain almost the same composition, which is- Enzymes, Brighteners, Fragrances, and Whiteners. They are relatively cheap but very effective in cleaning muddy or clay stains. However, with all its effectiveness, powder detergents can be harmful to the machine’s swift working as well. Powder detergents do not dissolve properly at all times, so it may create clumps and end up blocking the washer or the septic tank.

Undissolved powder detergents can clog the washer drain pump or the hose of the pump as well. Due to which the washer may fail to drain the water, and it will be a hassling work to clean the detergents stuck inside the pipe afterward.


  • Requires less storage and space
  • Powder detergents have more stability than liquid detergents.
  • Mixes well with hard water
  • Uses a lesser amount of dyes


  • Frequent use can damage the washing machine.
  • Powder detergents sometimes do not dissolve properly, so it leaves more residues on clothes.
  • Most powder detergents contain sodium sulfate, which is not good for waterways.
  • You need to pre-dissolve it in water for pre-treating spots.
  • It tends to go airborne, which might be a problem for people with respiratory problems.

From the above comparisons, it is evident that powder detergents are harmful both for the body as well as for the machine. Therefore, it would be better to use a liquid detergent with washing machines regardless of front-loading or top-loading washing machines.

Little Things you Should Keep in Mind While Cleaning a Washing Machine

Other than the above factors, you need to be careful of a few other things while cleaning a washing machine. We’re now going to discuss them one by one.

Keep the Filters Clean

Washing machines use a different type of filter to clean clothes effectively. You need to keep the filters clean every two-three months. All you need to do is take out the filter and wipe it with a paper towel. It will remove any excess detergents and lint residues.

In the next step, you need to get the screen out of the filter and soak it in hot water. Hot water gets rid of lint and detergent remnants, and your filter should be completely cleaned at this point. Make sure to check the compartments well before putting it back. A clean filter provides better performance and ensures the longevity of the device.

Clean the Washer Exterior

You may notice surface blemishes on the washer exterior. These spots and blemishes come from detergent residues or water splashes. A detergent damp soft cloth is enough to remove the spots and residues, or you can use a cooktop cleaner for stubborn stains.

Clean the Detergent Drawer

Consistent use of the detergent drawer may clog up the compartment. As a result, the detergent will not reach your laundry properly, and the odors will increase too. The best way to keep it clean is by wiping the drawer after every use; it wouldn’t be a hassle to clean it entirely.

To clean the drawer, you first need to pull it out until it stops. Then lift the dispensers and rinse them with warm water; you can also use a soft toothbrush to clean the dispensers. These steps will remove any traces of detergent, preventing the drawer from getting clogged.

Detergent Brands

Detergents also play a vital role in keeping the washing machine safe and efficient. If a detergent contains too many toxic chemicals, it may harm both the machine and your clothes. Moreover, such detergents leave a very foul odor inside the washer; therefore, you need to go for a reliable detergent brand.

Below we have mentioned a few popular, reliable detergent brands which are safe to use.


Ariel offers a variety of washing items like dishwashers, both detergent powder, and liquid, which are quite common in every Indian household. Ariel’s liquid detergents are very effective and convenient to use. They come in multiple fragrances; you can pick one of your choices.

Surf Excel

Surf Excel, too comes in both liquid and powder forms. Both the types are very effective and work effectively with the machine as well. But in the liquid detergent, the cap comes a little small with a measurement of 60L, but the pouch is petite and easy to store and carry.


We know IFB as one of the best brands for washing machines with advanced specializations. But IFB as a brand is not just limited to manufacturing washing machines; they come with some excellent quality detergents as well. IFB detergents are specially designed for washing machines, which are more concentrated than others. They clean your clothes incredibly, leaving mild leftovers, and they have a mild refreshing fragrance.


Genteel is another reliable detergent brand. It is comparatively cheap but provides the best results. Genteel is a sub-brand of Godrej, which is India’s top-notch brand for home products.

Washing Machine Cleaning FAQs

Why Do Molds Grow Inside the Washing Machine?

When the washing machine runs frequently, it can collect moisture. Moisture can work itself in gaskets, seals, and other parts of the device. The washer does not dry out entirely always, which leads the molds to grow inside the washer. It grows even more if the laundry room is relatively humid.

How to Deal with Foul Odor in Washing Machines?

Washing machines can stink due to molds, leftover residues of dirty clothes, and expired detergents. To deal with this, give the washer a proper clean and use a good quality detergent.

What I Need to Clean the Detergent Drawer?

Detergent clumps can block the drawer, and it may disrupt the proper functioning. If you don’t clean it regularly, then you are wasting your detergents, and at the same time, it may lead to foul odors as well.

What are the Signs of a Dirty Washing Machine?

The unpleasant smell, clogged drainpipe, inappropriate functioning, clothes full of lint are the signs of a dirty washing machine and requires cleaning.

Do Top-Loading and Front-Loading Washing Machines Require Different Cleaning Methods?

For most parts cleaning procedures of both types are the same. However, there are minor differences, like how the components are arranged or need disassembling.


We have come to the end of this article. This write up has detailed ways to keep your washing machine clean. If you follow the instructions and clean your device now and then, your machine will work efficiently without any disruption.

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