How to Clean Your Washing Machine


Table of Contents

Picture of Erin Lawrence

Erin Lawrence

what is the most effective way to clean washing machineThere are great reasons to clean your washing machine. Washing machines have the potential to develop odors, mold, or mildew, so keeping your appliance clean will help keep your home cleaner and safer. From a cost perspective, washing machines are expensive and difficult to move within your home; keeping yours running efficiently for as long as possible just makes sense. Soaps, fabric softeners, and residue and threads from clothing can build up in your washing machine over time.  We tend to think that a machine used for cleaning things would keep itself clean, but that’s generally untrue. So, how to clean your washing machine effectively? washing machine maintenance is relatively simple and will take only a little time. Let’s have a quick look at the best way to clean your washing machine.

How to Clean Your Washing Machine

What to Use

Whether you’re trying to clean your front-loading washing machine or just a standard top loader,  the process will be reasonably similar. The first choice you need to make is whether you want to use vinegar or bleach. Safety note: You absolutely cannot use both at the same time. 

Your choice on  how to clean your washer machine will depend on whether you have issues with mold and mildew or just bad smells. If you live in a more humid environment and have problems with mold or mildew, bleach will likely do a better job. If your washing machine is prone to unpleasant odours, you’ll want to go with vinegar. Either of these will take care of either problem, so it comes down to what you’re more comfortable with. If you’re concerned about residual bleach affecting your clothing, it’s perfectly fine to use vinegar. There are also a variety of cleaning tablets you can simply toss into the machine and run a cycle without any clothes, so it couldn’t be easier. Now, let’s get to how to clean the inside of your washing machine

Cleaning the Trays

what is the most effective way to clean washing machine

If you have removable trays for fabric softener or detergent, you can take those out, place them in the sink, add some hot water and vinegar or even your favorite dish soap, and give them a thorough cleaning; make sure to rinse and let them dry.  If your trays are not removable, you’ll want to grab a microfiber cloth, dampen it, and get in there and remove any dirt or build-up on those trays.

Have a look at the drum and other interior surfaces. If they feel or look like there’s buildup, use a microfibre cloth with vinegar and give everything a scrub. You’ll be running the machine next, so there’s no need to rinse or remove the vinegar.

Cleaning the Drum

Your next step  on how to clean inside of your washing machine will be to fill your washing machine drum with hot water. If you have a front loader, add one or two cups of white vinegar and let the washing machine complete its cycle. If you have a top loader, use three to four cups of white vinegar, and when the drum is finished filling, stop the washer and let that solution sit for about an hour. When the machine reaches the rinse cycle, you can add a cup of baking soda and then set your machine to finish its cycle at the hottest settings.  After the cycle, leave the top open and let everything dry off naturally.

Now you know how to clean your front loading washing machine. Keeping your washing machine clean is great for its efficiency, reducing smells in the home, and keeping your clothes cleaner longer.  It’s a simple job that won’t take long and can be done at the same time as other tasks like cleaning your clothes dryer. A small bit of maintenance every once in a while will pay off in the long run keeping your machine running for years to come.

Shop portable washing machines on Amazon

Shop washing machine cleaning tablets on Amazon

Shop cleaning spray on Amazon

Shop microfibre cloths on Amazon

**A note about Affiliate Links: TechGadgetsCanada & TechGadgetsInternational is supported by our readers. Occasionally I will include affiliate links in my reviews. I do this partly for convenience of the reader (since I’ll almost always include a link to the company website or similar anyway) in case you want to read more or purchase, but I also may get a small commission from the click, which helps me keep the blog running. If you choose to use this link I thank you greatly for supporting the blog. There’s no obligation or cost to you for using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a Comment

Author's Recommendation

Ring Alarm Pro
Smart Home
Erin Lawrence

Ring Alarm PRO in-home review

We’ve reviewed a lot of Ring products in the past, and this time, we tried to full 8-piece Ring Alarm Pro system and plan. See our review here.

Read More »
A Trusted Source for Technology Reviews

What We Do

We share honest, 100% hands-on reviews, and we’ve been around since 2013. 

No jargon, no specs or speed tests. Our reviews are written for REAL people just like you.

Our only goal is to help you make savvy buying decisions.

How We Review

  • Test in real homes
  • Hands-on testing 6-12 hours over 1-2 weeks
  • We are fair & balanced; sharing pros AND cons
  • We answer the questions you have
  • Giving you the info you need to make your own choice

Expert Reviews of

  • 1,000+ total devices
  • 69+ vacuums & robot vacuums
  • 50+ speakers
  • 30+ health & beauty devices
  • 15+ sound bars
  • 60+ TVs & streaming gadgets
  • 25+ smartphones
  • 55+ headphones/earbuds

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve published content on over 1,200 topics including over a thousand product reviews. We do only hands on testing with 100% of the gadgets. We give you the truth about tech, and any time we are paid to publish content we are 100% transparent and let you know it. Plus we only accept sponsorship for gadgets we’ve tried or believe in—and believe YOU’D find useful too.

With over 80,000 YouTube Subscribers to our video reviews, we are a trusted resource you can often find in YouTube’s Recommended Videos.

Join my newsletter for gadget news and Giveaways!