Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How to Clean Your Washing Machine

Guess what I did today?! I cleaned my washing machine! I've been seeing various methods floating around pinterest for months, and our washing machine is pretty old. It was my in-law's before it was ours, and we have been using it for 2+ years. There was definitely some build up in it, and it was starting to smell a little stale between loads.

There were a few different "recipes" out there, but they all seemed to involve the same basic steps, so I decided there was no perfect way to do this.

Here are the before shots:

That's some serious gunk and grime. I'm most embarrassed by the dirt build up in the bleach dispenser (bottom right of the top picture). What you can't see in any of these is the dirt that was piled under the hinge of the lid. Hubs gets REALLY dirty in his line of work, so our washing machine definitely gets a work out, and dirt gets deposited all over the place.

So here's what I did:

Step 1 - Start a hot, normal wash cycle and add bleach. I dumped in whatever bleach I had left (roughly 1.5-2 cups). Let the machine agitate for a few minutes, then stop and let the machine soak for a while. I left it for 45 minutes. Then start it up again and let it finish the cycle while it washes itself. I should have taken a mid-point picture as it was already starting to look pretty good.

Step 2 - Another hot cycle, but this time with vinegar. I use vinegar for a lot of cleaning projects (including as fabric softener), so it was no surprise to see it used here. Add about 2 cups of vinegar and follow the same process as in step 1. This time though, take a cloth and wipe around the edges, wipe down the agitator, the top of the wash basket, the sides, the bleach dispenser, everything. I even went a step further and used an old toothbrush to really get in there and make sure it was super clean. Hey, if i only clean it every few years, I might as well do it right. It was at this point my husband took notice of what I was doing and I had to say, "No, I'm not a crazy person cleaning my washing machine with a toothbrush." But it was totally worth it! After all the wiping down, let it soak for another half hour or so, let the machine finish it's cycle and TA DA!!

Check it out:

It could seriously be a brand new washing machine. For realz. Look how shiny it is!

And one load later, it already has some more sand on it, but now I see that and wipe it down as I go! No more gunky grimey washing machine.

Try it out, and let me know how it works for you!!

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