Cleaning Washing Machine - Learn How To Disinfect And Eliminate Mildew Smells

Cleaning washing machine can be essential when you have had to wash something yucky in it, or when you have to use a public washing machine.

cleaning washing machine
Photo courtesy of theogeo
It is also a good pratice to clean inside a washing machine at least once a month, or so, just to keep things from getting nasty in there.

After all, you are using your washing machine to clean your clothes, towels and bedding, and it cannot do that properly without itself being clean.

Fortunately, with proper care your washing machine will not get that dirty to begin with, since it mostly cleans itself out as a byproduct of washing your clothes.

Below are instructions for cleaning washing machines on the outside and inside, and also what to do if you have a build up of mold or mildew inside your machine.

Disinfecting And Cleaning Washing Machine Tub

Step 1: Wipe out any dirt and lint from inside the tub with a damp cloth.

Step 2: Let your washing machine tub fill with hot water, setting the machine for the shortest wash cycle, and add 3/4 of a cup of chlorine bleach for each gallon of water.

Step 3: Let this solution agitate for 15-20 seconds to get thoroughly mixed, and then stop the machine and let it sit while the bleach solution santizes and disinfects your washing machine tub for approximately 10-15 minutes.

Step 4: Add a normal amount of laundry detergent for the amount of water in your washing machine and restart the machine. Let it run through the rest of the wash cycle. The rinse cycle will rinse all the bleach and detergent away, leaving a clean, sanitized washing machine.

This periodic cleaning will also act as a preventative maintenance to keep mold and mildew at bay from your washing machine.

You also should check your washing machine's instructional booklet, because some machines have filters that need to be cleaned periodically too.

Cleaning Your Washing Machine When It Has A Mildew Smell

Step 1: Follow the instructions above for cleaning inside a washing machine.

Step 2: If Step 1 does not resolve the problem you may also need to wipe down the seals on the washing machine with a disinfecting solution of bleach (click here for instructions on how to make a homemade disinfectant cleaner).

Hint: This is more likely to be a problem with front loading washing machines.

Once you get rid of the mildew smell make sure you do not close your front loading washing machine door all the way after you remove wet clothes, because the seal is so tight it becomes a breeding ground for mold and mildew.

Do not close the door until the inside of the washing machine is completely and thoroughly dry.

Cleaning Washing Machine Exterior

The exterior of your washing machine should also be cleaned periodically, especially when you have laundry supplies spilled on it.

Fortunately, cleaning the outside of washing machines is as simple as wiping it down with a gentle all purpose cleaner, such as a solution of water and dishwashing liquid.

Commercial Washing Machine Cleaners

There are several commercial washing machine cleaners on the market, including Affresh High Efficiency Washer Cleaner, Summit Washer Magic Laundry Tub Saver, Tide Washing Machine Cleaner, and even a product called Smelly Washer Cleaner, that are advertised for cleaning washing machines, including getting out mildew odors.

I am aware that mildew odors in washing machines, especially front loaders, is a big issue for many people, and that fixing the problem can be more frustrating and difficult than it appears it should be.

I have not tried any of these products myself, and I would suggest checking out the testimonials and product reviews on Amazon (see links above) before purchasing any of them to clean inside your washing machine.

If you have had good or bad success with any of these products, or otherwise want to share your story about your smelly washing machine, or how you solved the problem, please share your story about your washing machine smell here.

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Related Links At Household Management 101

Mildew Removal - How To Get Mildew Out Of Clothes

Laundry Tips For Families

How To Clean Things Around The House

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