How To Clean a Washing Machine?

Lenard Nagy
Sep 16, 2023

Do you dread the sight of your once-sparkling washing machine now teeming with grime and foul odours? We know how frustrating that can be because we've been there with a washing machine that has become less efficient due to detergent residue, mineral deposits, and mould buildup.

Our comprehensive guide will take you through easy-to-follow steps on maintaining cleanliness in your washing machine, from tackling the detergent drawer and filter to dealing with a smelly drum using simple household products like vinegar or baking powder.

Interested? So, keep reading to find out more on how to achieve clean laundry every time!

Key Takeaways

  • Cleaning a washing machine is important to maintain its efficiency and prevent foul odours.
  • Steps to clean a washing machine include cleaning the detergent drawer, clearing out the filter, rinsing the drum with hot water and vinegar, wiping down the door seal, and leaving the door open between washes.
  • Vinegar is an effective natural cleaning solution for removing odours and mineral deposits from a washing machine. Bleach can also be used, but it should be diluted properly and used according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Regular maintenance washes, cleaning the outer shell, regularly cleaning the detergent drawer, cleaning the filter, and using natural cleaning solutions are important for keeping a washing machine clean and fresh.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Clean a Washing Machine

To clean a washing machine, start by cleaning the detergent drawer to remove any residue or buildup. Then, clear out the filter to unclog it and prevent water from backing up. Next, rinse the drum using hot water and vinegar to eliminate any odours or bacteria.

Wipe down the door seal with a damp cloth to remove mould or mildew. Lastly, leave the door open between washes to allow air circulation and prevent musty smells from developing.

Clean the detergent drawer

Let's start with the detergent drawer. First, pull it out of the machine. You may find a lot of soap scum and dirt there. Don't worry! Take a small brush to scrub these parts off. Rinse it well with warm water afterwards.

Dry it before you put it back in its spot. Using vinegar can also help with tough stains or bad smells.

Clear out the filter

To keep your washing machine running smoothly, it's important to clean out the filter regularly. The filter helps catch debris and lint from your clothes, preventing them from clogging up the machine or ending up on your clean laundry.

Cleaning the filter is simple; just locate it (usually at the bottom of the machine) and remove any trapped dirt or debris. Rinse it under running water and give it a scrub if necessary.

By keeping the filter clean, you'll ensure optimal performance and avoid potential problems with your washing machine in the long run.

Rinse the drum

To rinse the drum of your washing machine, simply run a cycle with hot water and no clothes or detergent. This helps to remove any remaining residue and bacteria that may be lingering inside.

Hot water is effective in breaking down dirt and grime while sanitising the drum. By rinsing the drum regularly, you can ensure that your washing machine stays clean and fresh, providing you with clean laundry every time.

Don't forget to leave the door open between washes to promote air circulation and prevent mould growth.

Wipe down the door seal

To keep your washing machine clean and fresh, it's important to wipe down the door seal regularly. The door seal can trap moisture and detergent residue, leading to mould and unpleasant odours.

Simply use a damp cloth or sponge with vinegar or a mild cleaning solution to gently wipe around the seal. Pay attention to any crevices or hard-to-reach areas. Cleaning the door seal will help prevent mould growth and ensure that your washing machine stays in good condition for longer periods of time.

Leave the door open between washes

To keep your washing machine fresh and prevent mould growth, it's a good idea to leave the door open between washes. This allows air to circulate and helps dry out any moisture inside the machine.

By taking this simple step, you can maintain a clean and odor-free washing machine for your laundry needs.

Tips for Deep Cleaning a Smelly Washing Machine

To deep clean a smelly washing machine, there are a few tips you can follow. First, make sure to clean the detergent drawer. Remove it and scrub away any residue or mould using a mixture of warm water and mild detergent.

Next, don't forget about the filter. This is where dirt and debris can get trapped, leading to unpleasant odours. Take out the filter and rinse it under running water to remove any buildup.

Another important step is to rinse the drum thoroughly. Run an empty cycle with hot water and vinegar or baking soda to help break down any lingering smells or stains.

Be sure to wipe down the door seal as well, as this area can easily accumulate mould and mildew. Use a cloth dampened with vinegar or bleach solution to clean it thoroughly.

Lastly, leaving the washing machine door open between washes can help prevent mould growth and keep your machine smelling fresh.

By following these tips on how to deep clean a smelly washing machine, you can eliminate odours and keep your laundry smelling clean and fresh every time.

Recommended Cleaning Solutions and Products

When it comes to cleaning your washing machine, there are a few recommended cleaning solutions and products that can help you achieve the best results. Vinegar is an effective natural cleaner that can help eliminate odours and remove mineral deposits from your machine.

Bleach is another option, but be sure to dilute it properly and follow the manufacturer's instructions for use. Both of these products can help keep your washing machine clean and fresh, ensuring that your laundry comes out smelling great every time.


Vinegar is a great natural cleaning solution for your washing machine. It can help dissolve hard water deposits and remove odours. To use vinegar, simply add four cups of white vinegar to a fully filled washing machine and pause the cycle.

Let it sit for about an hour before resuming the cycle. Vinegar is not as effective as bleach in killing germs, so if you want to sanitise your washing machine thoroughly, bleach may be a better choice.

However, vinegar can still effectively clean and refresh your machine while being environmentally friendly. So give vinegar a try when cleaning your washing machine!


We know that bleach is a good germ-killer, but when it comes to cleaning your washing machine, there are other options you might consider. Bleach can be effective in killing germs, but white vinegar is also a great choice.

It's particularly useful for dissolving hard water deposits and removing odours. If you do choose to use bleach, make sure to follow the manufacturer's guidelines and use it in the appropriate amount.

Just remember that vinegar can be just as effective and less harsh on your machine.

Maintenance Tips for Keeping Your Washing Machine Clean and Fresh

To keep your washing machine clean and fresh, it is important to follow these maintenance tips: perform regular maintenance washes, clean the outer shell regularly, clean the detergent drawer periodically, clean the filter to prevent clogs, and consider using natural cleaning solutions if desired.

Regular maintenance washes

Regular maintenance washes are important to keep your washing machine clean and fresh. By running a maintenance wash every few months, you can prevent the buildup of detergent residue and remove any dirt or grime that may be lingering in the drum.

To do this, simply select a hot water cycle and add four cups of white vinegar to the drum. Let the cycle run its course, and your washing machine will be refreshed and ready for more clean laundry.

Remember to consult the manufacturer's guidelines for specific instructions on how often to perform maintenance washes for optimal performance.

Cleaning the outer shell

To keep your washing machine looking clean and fresh, it's important to regularly clean the outer shell. You can use a microfiber cloth dampened with vinegar or a mild soapy solution to wipe down the exterior surfaces of the machine.

Pay special attention to any areas that may have accumulated dirt or grime, such as control knobs and buttons. Remember to also clean behind and underneath the machine, as dust can collect in these areas over time.

By keeping the outer shell of your washing machine clean, you not only maintain its appearance but also ensure that it continues to function efficiently for years to come.

Cleaning the detergent drawer

To keep your washing machine clean and fresh, it's important to regularly clean the detergent drawer. Soap residue and fabric softener can build up over time, leading to mould growth and unpleasant odours.

To tackle this, start by removing the entire detergent drawer from the washing machine. Then, use a microfiber cloth dampened with vinegar or a toothbrush dipped in baking soda to scrub away any dirt or buildup.

Rinse the drawer thoroughly under running water to remove any remaining residue. Once it's clean and dry, simply slide the detergent drawer back into place in your washing machine.

Cleaning the filter

To keep your washing machine running smoothly, it's important to clean the filter regularly. The filter is responsible for catching lint, hair, and other debris that can clog up the machine and affect its performance.

You'll want to locate the filter, which is usually located at the bottom of the machine behind a small door or panel. Once you've found it, simply unscrew or pull out the filter and remove any trapped debris.

Rinse it under water to get rid of any stubborn dirt or residue. Cleaning the filter every few months will help prevent blockages and ensure that your washing machine continues to work effectively.

Using natural cleaning solutions if desired

If you prefer to use natural cleaning solutions to clean your washing machine, there are a few options available. Vinegar is a popular choice and can help dissolve hard water deposits and remove odours.

Baking soda can also be used to break up mineral deposits and refresh the machine. You can mix hot water with vinegar and baking soda for an effective natural cleaning solution. Just remember to check the manufacturer's guidelines before using any cleaning method.

Adding four cups of white vinegar to a full washing machine and pausing the cycle can ensure thorough cleaning results.

Take Action: Keep Your Washing Machine Clean

In conclusion, keeping your washing machine clean is essential for maintaining its efficiency and ensuring fresh laundry. By following the step-by-step guide and using the recommended cleaning solutions, you can easily remove dirt, grime, and odour from your machine.

Remember to regularly clean the detergent drawer, filter, drum, and door seal to prevent mould growth. With these maintenance tips and proper cleaning techniques, your washing machine will continue to work effectively for years to come.

So, don’t wait and take action now! Give your washing machine the care it deserves!

Would You Like a Free Cleaning Quote?

Contact Perfect Clean to get a cleaning quote within 60 minutes!
Get A Free Quote

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I clean my washing machine?

It is recommended to clean your washing machine once every 2–3 months to keep it running efficiently and prevent odours.

Can I use regular household cleaners to clean my washing machine?

No, it's best to use a specific washing machine cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda for cleaning. Regular household cleaners may damage the internal parts of the machine.

What areas of the washing machine should I focus on when cleaning?

When cleaning your washing machine, pay attention to the detergent drawer, rubber door seal, and drum, as these are common areas where dirt and grime can accumulate.

Is it necessary to run an empty cycle after cleaning my washing machine?

Yes, after cleaning your washing machine, it's recommended to run an empty cycle with hot water to rinse away any leftover residue from the cleaning process.

Can I use bleach to clean my washing machine?

While bleach can be effective in removing stains and sanitising your washing machine, it’s important to use it sparingly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Excessive use of bleach can damage the internal parts of the machine.

How can I prevent mould growth in my washing machine?

To prevent mould growth in your washing machine, make sure to leave the door open after each cycle to allow air circulation. Regularly clean the detergent drawer, filter, drum, and door seal to remove any dirt or grime that can contribute to mould growth. Using a washing machine cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda can also help prevent mould growth.

Get a FREE Quote

Fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you with a comprehensive cleaning estimate!

Check - Elements Webflow Library - BRIX Templates

Thank you

Please check your inbox to download your Free EBook!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
*FYI, parts of this blog post were drafted by artificial technlogy. But rest assured, it's been thoroughly researched, edited, reviewed and me & my team.
Author Fahad Zahid
About Author
Founder @ Perfect Clean

Joe Brennan, the founder of Going Solar, is dedicated to making solar power mainstream in Ireland and meet SEAI objectives. With a focus on affordability and sustainability, he is bringing renewable energy solutions to homes, reducing costs & environmental impact.

Founder @ PerfectClean

The founder of Perfect Clean, is an experienced cleanliness expert, dedicated to providing top-notch house cleaning services in Dublin. He leads Perfect Clean with a relentless commitment to providing top-notch sanitation solutions for diverse client needs.