Is Your Washing Machine Clean?

February 6, 2014

You know what turns out to be rawther a bummer? The fact that those things whose sole purpose is to clean other stuff in the end require cleaning, themselves.

Can’t they just take care of that themselves? Would that be asking too much?

I mean, definitely. A dentist still needs to have his teeth cleaned and all. But still.

And so as time passed, and I went about my daily bending down and craning into my washing machine I began to detect an odor, as one will. What smell precisely I would be hesitant to describe, but in this case I believe the presence of any smell period is cause for concern because a steel drum should be odorless, am I right?

Of course my faint olfactory detection quickly morphed into all out obsession–that hunt for the dreaded thing one perversely wants to find. Following wash cycles I would mash mounds of wet clothing into my face and others all “Does that smell clean to you?? hmm, hmm does it? I don’t think it does!”

So the washing machine was deemed dirty. And the clothing exiting it, at least in my imagination, far from OCD standard clean.

“How can a thing that’s dirty make other stuff clean? Right?”

I’m insatiable about these things. It’s terribly obnoxious, probably.

Thence did I fall into the well of washing machine maintenance. Quite frankly I’m shocked it took this long. My darling washing machine was in need of a good cleaning, and yours, most likely, is too.

Clean It

One of the main areas where mold and mildew can accumulate in a front loader is inside the rubber door seal. It’s disgusting, so prepare yourself. If you want to go the natural route you can use a mixture of water and baking soda, and either a sponge or toothbrush (if the situation is really dire you should just use bleach). You’re going to want to really get in there, pull the seal back and clean between all the folds and crevices.

Next, remove the detergent and fabric softener dispenser. Soak it in warm water for a couple of minutes before cleaning it with an all purpose cleanser.

Finally, run a normal cycle on the highest water temperature possible (sans laundry) adding around 2 cups of distilled white vinegar into the drum.

Keep it so fresh and so clean clean

Always keep the door open when the washing machine is not in use. I was absolutely not doing this, which I’m weird because I’m usually quite good at common sense. A perpetually closed washing machine is one that always stays moist. Atmospheres that lack proper ventilation become ones with mucho mold and bacteria and the like.

Run a “cleaning cycle” once monthly. You can use vinegar as mentioned above, or a product like Tide Washing Machine Cleaner. I used both and the mother earth in me wants to tell you the vinegar worked better but like, it didn’t.

Actually come to think of it I’m going to the grocery store now and you butter believe I’m going to add a box of that to my cart…

Image credits: House to Home, Savvy Sugar 

 

 

1 Comment

  1. Sue on September 14, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    Annie, I’ve been trying for months to rid the washer of that awful smell. Tried the vinegar solution- did not work. Bought the Tide Washer Cleaner, used it, and Voila! It worked and that laundry room smells sweet as a summer garden.
    Big Thanks – was unawares until I read your advice!
    Sue
    Canada

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1 Comment

  1. Sue on September 14, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    Annie, I’ve been trying for months to rid the washer of that awful smell. Tried the vinegar solution- did not work. Bought the Tide Washer Cleaner, used it, and Voila! It worked and that laundry room smells sweet as a summer garden.
    Big Thanks – was unawares until I read your advice!
    Sue
    Canada

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