It’s not uncommon for the most fastidious of cleaners to sometimes forget that those things that we use to maintain cleanliness in one part of our lives actually need to be cleaned themselves from time to time. The washing machine is one appliance that falls into this category. In this article, we’ll talk about how to clean a washing machine easily, effectively, and naturally.

Begin by filling your washing machine with the largest load size, hottest water, and longest wash cycle possible.

As the washing machine is filling, grab your carton of white vinegar.

Fill a measuring cup with a quart of vinegar. (Note: You could also use bleach in this step. I chose touse vinegar as an all-natural cleaning agent instead.)

Pour the vinegar into the hot water of the washer.

Next, fill a cup measuring cup with baking soda.

Pour the baking soda into your hot vinegar-water. Close the washing machine lid, and let the cycle begin, agitating the water, vinegar, and baking soda for about one minute. After a minute, open the lid (to stop the agitation) and simply let the mixture soak in the washing machine tub for an hour.

While the water mixture is soaking in the washer, it’s an excellent time to clean some other stuff around your washer. Remove any parts that are easily removable, such as the fabric softener and bleach trays, and soak them.

Use a toothbrush and vinegar or another mild cleaning product such as simple green or Mrs. Meyer’s all-purpose cleaner to clean the grime out of and off of gross areas on and around the washing machine.

Take care not to drop debris into your cleaning solution, which is resting in the washer tub (with the lid open). Don’t forget areas like under the lid hinges and inside the lid rim.

Use a soft cloth, such as a microfiber cloth, to wipe the agitator. A cleaning toothbrush works great for other hard-to-reach areas around the rim of the tub. You can even clean the front and sides of the washer now, if you’re feeling ambitious.

After an hour, close the lid and allow the washing machine to go through its cycle with the vinegar and baking soda. Use this time to clean the panel or other areas that were obscured by the lid’s being open.

When the cycle has completed, run one more cleaning cycle on the same settings.

This time, you’ll only add in a quart of vinegar. Don’t add baking soda to this cycle. This will help to clean away any residue that happens to be left behind from the first cleaning cycle.

After the second cleaning cycle has completed, you can wipe out the inside of the washing machine with a dry, soft cloth such as a microfiber rag. Leave the washer lid open to let the entire tub air-dry. This is actually a good habit to get into, because it allows the washer to stay cleaner longer as the interior can dry out thoroughly between loads.

Congratulations, you’ve just learned how to clean a washing machine. Enjoy the peace of mind, knowing that your clothes are being cleaned in an appliance that is now fresh and clean itself.

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