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How to deep clean a washing machine

Just like cobblers’ children going barefoot, all too often we neglect to clean the very appliances we rely on to clean! The trusty washing machine is often the workhorse of the appliances, particularly when servicing a family – and sometimes it needs a little TLC of its own.

And as we discussed recently, your washing machine can be one of the dirtiest things in your home.

It’s good practice to leave the door open for a few minutes after removing a clean load to let the interior fully dry. This will help to keep mildew at bay. It’s also worthwhile giving the door and inside a quick wipe down with a cloth from time to time, particularly if you notice condensation or the first signs of mould.

Washing machine mechanics also recommend leaving the soap tray pulled out to let it air-dry in-between washes. This can also prevent mold from accumulating.

However, even with the best of intentions, over time, bacteria, mildew and soap scum will build up and clog pipes and parts. This prevents your machine from running as efficiently as it could, and can cause more serious problems further down the line.

Deep-clean a washing machine

A good deep clean every once in a while will keep your washing machine running smoothly and happily for a long time to come. We reckon it’s definitely worth preventing problems with your washing machine, because an out-of-action appliance means you’ll be spending a lot of time – and money – at your local launderette.

The good news is, giving your washing machine a deep clean is a doddle – and can be done using everyday products.

You will need:

  • 2 cups of vinegar
  • 1/4 cup bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 cup water
  • A sponge scourer

Mix the bicarb with the water in a bowl, and pop the solution in the detergent tray. Pour the vinegar directly into the drum and set the machine on its highest water temperature setting.

When the cycle is finished, use the scourer to wipe around the opening of the machine to remove any stubborn stains or residue. If the detergent tray is particularly caked, you can remove it and soak it in hot soapy water before scrubbing with an old toothbrush. For a final sparkle, wipe the drum, outside the machine and around the seal of the door with a microfiber cloth soaked in a little vinegar. For best results, it’s worthwhile cleaning your washing machine every 2-3 months.