Why should I clean my washing machine? Doesn’t it get clean when it’s washing the laundry? After all, I do use soap.
The answer to this, you should definitely clean your washing machine! There are all kinds of yucky things that can grow in there. Mold, mildew, dust, dirt and soap buildup.
If you are using a front loader, use a cotton cloth to clean the rubber gasket and the inside of the door after each load. Be sure to leave the door open to allow for air circulation.
Run an empty load, once every three months, with hot water and a cup of bleach.
Another way you can sanitize your washer is to use the cleaning mode and a special cleaning tablet. It also comes in powder form. A benefit of using this way is that you can also run a load all while cleaning your machine. This should be done monthly.
The more natural approach is to use baking soda and vinegar. Set you machine to cleaning mode, if your machine has it, and if your machine also has it, use the soak feature. Add a quart of white vinegar and a cup of baking soda to the tray and run it empty. You should repeat the process but without any vinegar/baking soda mixture so that it gets rinsed entirely. This will not clean as well as bleach but it is less caustic.
The rubber gasket around the door gets really grungy. Pull it away as far as you can without tearing it and scrub it with vinegar and water. If there are moldy spots left, clean it with bleach.
Don’t forget to clean the detergent and fabric softener tray and be sure to check the hoses. You want to make sure everything is functioning precisely and might even consider replacing any rubber hoses with mesh hoses. They are stronger and less likely to burst.
Should a hose burst, don’t forget to shut off the valves and call in a professional. If you leave for a long period, you should also turn off the valves. There is nothing worse than going away on a wonderful vacation and coming home to a flood!