Even though your washing machine is used to clean everything, it needs to be cleaned too. It's easier than you may think to give your washer a refresh and it will go a long way with you clothes and linens. We recommend cleaning your washing machine once a month to remove the buildup of soap, dirt and bacteria and to keep mold and mildew away. All you need is bleach to make your washing machine pristine.
Photo from Boston Design Guide
For a top loading washing machine, fill your machine with hot water and add a cup of bleach. Run a cycle for one minute to mix the bleach with the water and then open the top and let that sit for an hour. Once the hour is up run a full cycle to completely remove the bleach. For a front loading machine add half a cup of bleach to the dispenser or fill to the max line and run a normal cycle with hot water. Run an extra rinse and spin cycle to ensure all the bleach has been washed away from the machine. For both of these machines you can also use a washing machine cleaner which will have slightly stronger ingredients to remove grease if your washer needs a bit stronger clean.
For both machines, after you run the bleach cycle, wipe down the rubber seal with a cloth to clean the inside and dry any excess water. Wipe down the door to remove water droplets and leave the door open to air dry the machine. Then remove the dispenser drawer and rinse it in the sink with hot water to remove excess detergent. You may need to use a toothbrush to dislodge any buildup or gunk stuck in the drawer. Wipe it down so it is completely dry and reassemble the drawer into the machine.
The last step of your washing machine refresh is to wipe down the outside of the machine. It often is covered in dust or excess water droplets that collect dirt. Detergent may spill causing the outside or your machine to be sticky and collect even more dust. Take a damp cloth with warm water and wipe down the knobs and the front and top of the machine. Not only does this make it look brand new, but it will help keep dust off your clothes and keep the overall cleanliness of the machine pristine.
Pro tip: If you struggle with a musty smelling machine keep the washing machine doors open after completing a cycle to allow the machine to air dry completely to reduce the growth of mold and mildew.