Your washing machine can easily develop mould and residue from detergent and fabric conditioner, that if left unchecked can lead to larger problems. However, simply cleaning the three most important parts of your washing machine can make a measurable difference to its performance. It’s not fun, but it’s necessary: if you haven’t cleaned your washing machine before, you’ll soon notice the difference.
At House Keeper London, we know that your washing machine will be looking and smelling like new in an instant, all you need is a cloth, some white vinegar and anti-bacterial spray. This simple guide to keeping your washing machine clean will help you to get started:
Where should I start?
Taking a three-pronged approach to cleaning the washing machine is a guaranteed way to getting rid of unwanted smells, mould or mildew.
Clear the filters
If you’re noticing problems with water drainage in your washing machine or have wet clothes after the final spin, it could be hair, fabric or dust clogged in the filter. Located at the front of the washing machine, often behind a small hatch, the filter is an important place to clean but one that’s not immediately noticeable.
Designed to collect hair grips, tissues, coins and more, the filter ensures that small items don’t enter the pipes and do some real damage that might necessitate washing machine repair. Be careful when removing it through – a blocked filter is likely to have lots of backed up water behind it.
We recommend having towels and a bowl at the ready for extra water.
Once the filter’s out, soak it in hot water with a sterilising tablet to get it clean. Rinse the filter and replace it. If the same problems persist, consider getting it repaired.
Clean the detergent drawer
One of the most damaging things to a washing machine is using too much detergent or fabric softener. One of the first places this could show up is in the detergent drawer, where clogged pipes could mean that the drawer fills with water.
If possible, remove the drawer to make it easier to reach all the corners. Use hot water and a toothbrush to remove any residue, mould, or mildew with ease.
Clean the seals and drum
The rubber seals around the outside of the washing machine door can be a breeding ground for bacteria as fluff and hair from clothes can gather and gradually turn mouldy. Using white vinegar and a cloth, wipe along and under the seal, removing any debris as you go.
Once you’ve finished with the seals, add approximately 500ml of white vinegar to into the empty drum and run a hot wash at 90 degrees or higher. Afterwards, the washing machine will smell as good as new!
Use less fabric conditioner to keep your washing machine in great condition. As well as being economical, using less fabric softener will help combat a build up of soap scum. It is only necessary to use one teaspoon per washing load.
If fabric conditioner mixes with detergents, it will form a residue that won’t dissolve, and it will steadily build up as grey deposits in the machine. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that you add fabric conditioner only at the final rinse stage.
Once you have used the washing machine and the cycle has finished, it’s also important to not let your damp laundry sit inside the machine. Remove it immediately and leave the door open to let the drum dry out properly. You could even take a damp cloth and wipe between the folds of the seal, ensuring that all hair and dust is removed between washes. If too lazy, book our one-off cleaning services or even schedule regular household care.
Following all of these maintenance steps means that your washing machine will stay in great condition for as long as possible, in turn making doing the laundry less daunting and ensuring that your clothes come out looking and smelling fresh all the time.