If you’ve ever caught the smell of something stale or musty whilst removing clothing from your washing machine or your washing machine drum when loading, I hate to tell you but it’s more than likely your washing machine is dirty and is the culprit for the smell! This is why as a rule of thumb you should be cleaning your washing machine at least every two months to get maximum results from it.
The first thing you need to know about getting a clean washer is that hot water is your best friend, and will do a lot of the work for you. So if you’ve never cleaned your washing machine, simply pop it on the hottest cycle it has with no clothes in it and for added help use a washing machine cleaner like Dr. Beckmann or even a bit of laundry detergent. This one step should easily give you a cleaner washing machine. Once the cleaning cycle is over give it an extra rinse and spin to make sure any trace of left over detergent for example are completely washed away.
Next, clean the dispenser drawer. You will find in newer machines the drawer is completely removable, making it an easier task to clean. So pop them out, take them apart if can and rinse well under hot water. To help dislodge any gunk use either a toothbrush or something similar to small brushes like our 3 in 1 grout brush, these should remove any stubborn dried on grime. Wipe the pieces down and reassemble and insert back into the machine. If still wet, wipe them down with a microfibre cloth or leave them out to air dry at least.
Once complete, wipe and dry the rubber seal around your washing drum. If you have a front loader, wiper the rubber area completely clean and dry thoroughly to prevent and avoid mould. Leave to air dry too if possible. If you can, a really good habit to get into is to leave your washing machine ajar or lift the lid open after every use. This allows your machine to dry out and let air circulate, drying out any lingering moisture and creating those awful musty smells.
So what else can you do to help keep your washing machine fresh and free of smells?
- Take out your clean clothes promptly, basically as soon as the cycle ends remove your clothes. If you leave them in there for a period of time the damp clothes will start to create the musty odor and will leave that lingering smell in your drum. Also, you don’t want your clothes smelling like that so you’d have to waste money rewashing them again… Always a bonus!
- Remove any pet hair, dirt or debris. If you have a pet that sheds in the house like I do you’re going to finder in your washing machine after running a few loads. Leave the door open again to air dry until all the pet hair and drum are thoroughly dry. Once fully dry wipe or brush the hair so it’s piled at the bottom of your drum and then vacuum with your soft brush attachment. This should remove most if not all hair.
- If you have a front loading machine another good habit to get into is regularly checking your gasket to make sure no small items such as baby socks are trapped in there and dry it with a microfibre cloth thoroughly to keep more mould away.
Even though we trust our washing machine to clean, make sure you always give it some TLC so it can run better and longer for you!