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How to Clean Your Washing Machine and Dryer? (2020)

Edited By Garima Singh, Reviewed By Anupama

Generally, most of us don’t even think that our home appliances need to be thoroughly cleaned.

Especially something like a washing machine which is always using water and detergent and has the ability to clean the clothes perfectly.

But it is important to clean washing machines, especially the dryers, on a regular basis.

Not cleaning the washing machine thoroughly leads to a build-up of dirt and body oils that can then lead to the growth of bacteria and fungus, which in turn leads to infection and unpleasant odour.

Un-cleaned dryers are a fire hazard, as the lint build-up, when in touch with the heating element, may cause the dryer to go up in flames.

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Additionally, the washing machine has a number of tiny crevices that can trap dirt and dust, which is why it is important to frequently clean your washing machine from top to bottom. So, how to clean washing machine tub and dryer? What is the procedure?

What are the tools you need to thoroughly clean the washing machine and the dryer? This is what we are about to discuss in this post.

As a word of warning, cleaning the dryer is an intense procedure, and you might have to know how to take apart and re-attach a few outer components for the thorough cleaning that it requires.

Though the process might seem a bit of a hassle, cleaning both the washing machine and the dryer at least once every 6-8 months not only improves the performance but also increases the lifespan of the appliance and makes it safer to use.

How to Clean the Washing Machine Drum

The washing machine is responsible for washing our clothes. It uses the detergent, removes dust, dirt, bio-matter like dead skin cells, hair, oil, etc. and the chances of residue build-up inside are high, if not properly cleaned at regular intervals.

This build-up or residue detergent and other matter is unhygienic and can cause the washing machine to smell which is then transferred to the clothes that are being washed inside. Hence, it is essential that the washing machine, whether it is a front load, is washed properly.

How to clean front load washing machine cleaning

Step-by-Step: How to Clean a Washing Machine

1: Cleaning the Inside with Baking Soda

If not cleaned regularly the interiors of the washing machine can be crusted with detergent and the fabric softener residues. The best way to remove this is to fill up the washing machine with water (warm if available) add 2 big cups of baking soda (the detergent spoons can be used) and start the longest washing cycle available.

This is going to act on the tough stains and remove them. Once the cycle is done, check for any residual stains, apply some baking soda water paste on the stains and gently to completely clean the insides. Once the cleaning is done, start another washing cycle (with warm water, if available).

If the washing machine has a self-cleaning feature, you can activate that instead.

2: Use Vinegar to Clean the Machine

Once the cleaning is done, the next step is disinfecting the inside of the washing machine.

This is essential as it removes any microbes growing inside and also the odour problems if any. The best way to disinfect the inside of the washing machine is to use some white vinegar as it has disinfectant properties and can also remove bad odours at the same time.

The procedure is to fill up the washing machine with water and add 2 cups of white vinegar and start the longest washing cycle. Once the cycle is through, drain the water, rinse the inside and clean with a soft and dry, microfiber cloth.

3: Clean the Exteriors and the Crevices and Corners

The inside and the outside of the door, the various dispensers that might come with it, the various cracks and crevices and the complete exteriors of the machine need to be cleaned too. You can use some soapy water and a microfiber cloth to clean all the various parts.

For tough stains, use some baking soda wet with a few drops of water and scrub gently. Using a disinfectant on the outside is also essential. Hence, once the scrubbing with soapy water is done, wipe down all the various exteriors with normal water mixed with a bit of vinegar.

Then completely wipe down with a clean, dry microfiber cloth and leave the door open so that the interiors and exteriors are left to air dry.

4: Make Sure that you Follow the Daily Maintenance Tips

As most people use the washing machine almost on a daily basis, a bit of maintenance helps avoid the requirement of frequent, thorough cleaning and also extends the life of your appliance.

A few tips that are easy to do and not at all time taking when it comes to the daily maintenance of the washing machine include, wiping it down with a microfiber cloth once the washing cycle is done and leaving the doors open ensures that the washing machine is dry.

A wet washing machine has more chances of microbial build-up and hence leaving the doors open, at least until the interiors are nice and dry is ideal. Covering the washing machine with a cloth or a cover when not in use ensures against the accumulation of outside dust and dirt.

So, taking care of the little things helps keep your machine in better condition.

How to Clean a Dryer

As important as it is to clean the washing machine, it is more important to clean the dryer. We don’t directly put in any detergent or fabric softener inside the dryer, and we only use it with clean clothes. So, it is normal to think that the dryer doesn’t need much cleaning as the washing machine.

But in reality, the dryer is also exposed to the residual detergent, fabric softener and the residue dirt, dust, body matter, etc. that the washing machine has to deal with (not in the same magnitude but still). Additionally, there is also the problem of lint. Lint is the tiny, micro-fibre bits that clothes shed, especially in the dryer.

The dryer has a lint collector or a screen to collect these fibre bits. Lint accumulation can affect the circulation of the hot air, which means the effectiveness of the dryer goes down. Hence, it is important to clean the dryer frequently and empty the lint accumulated inside the dryer. For this, you will need a vacuum cleaner.


Step-by-Step: How to Clean a Dryer

1: Clean the detachables

The first step is to clean the outside and the inside and the various parts that can be cleaned without taking the machine apart. This includes the exterior, the inside of the drum, the lid and any other detachable or non-attached parts that are used for drying.

If there is a detachable lint filter available with the machine, it also can be removed and kept under running water to clean any residue lint or any other material. Additionally, the drain pipe, if it is detachable, can be removed, shaken clean or cleaned using running water.

Once the cleaning is done, wipe down the parts and let the detachable parts air dry.

2: Remove the back cover for thorough cleaning

The next step is a bit technical but not impossible. For this, you need to remove the outer covering on the backside. Most covers are screwed on, so this might require a proper screwdriver to remove it. 

Since it is being removed anyways, this is a good time to clean the back-cover too under running water or with some soapy water.

3: Use a vacuum cleaner to clean the accumulated dust

Once the cover is removed, you will actually be able to see a bit of dust and accumulated lint. Use your vacuum cleaner to remove all the dust, dirt, lint and other accumulated stuff from inside the dryer. Use ideal vacuum cleaner attachment to get to the corners and crevices inside.

Clean inside the lint trap, the drain outlet and in between the various components. Once that is done you can wipe down with a dry, micro-fibre cloth and then you can refit the back cover properly and reattach all the relevant detachable parts.

4: Daily maintenance

Similar to the washing machine, daily maintenance of the dryer also helps in the long run. Wiping down with a dry cloth every day on completion of the drying cycle and leaving the door open at least until the inside air dries can help keep things clean and fresh inside.

A little maintenance every day after using the machine and you won’t have to worry about its safety and yours’.

Thus, cleaning your washing machine and dryer frequently is important. When using it on a daily basis, it is important to clean it at least once a year. The ideal frequency of cleaning the washing machine and dryer is 6-8 months.

Cleaning your machine is important on many levels, but the best thing about thoroughly cleaning it is that you will be able to notice betterment in how it works almost instantly.


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About the Author

Garima is a proficient editor/proof-reader/writer with 5 years of experience in the publishing industries. She has worked with publishers like Wiley, Thieme, and Oxford and offers quality and reasonable services to authors, publishers, businesses, websites, and students She loves cooking whenever she is free from work, loves to cook new dishes. When she is free from work she likes to cook. She loves to try out new recipes of different cuisines. She has also a very keen interest in modern kitchen trends. Know more About Garima

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