Do you have a high-efficiency (HE) washing machine and need to know how to clean it? Have you ever even thought about cleaning it?
When I first got my front loader, I was so excited because of the energy savings. I just couldn’t wait to see how much our water bill would be reduced. What I didn’t expect, was how much more time the new washer takes to maintain than the 25 year old top-loader we previously owned.
I know it seems kinda seems crazy to wash a machine that is supposed to clean. However, taking 5 minutes each month to clean your washing machine will save you loads of trouble in the future.
I personally just added “clean the washing machine” as a a repeating function on my cleaning schedule so I wouldn’t forget.
Why should you clean your high-efficiency washing machine?
Since the design of a front loading washing machine doesn’t naturally allow for “airing out,” humidity can easily get trapped. That means there’s a potential for mold. Mold reeks havoc on the washer. It can also cause trouble when trying to get your clothes clean.
No one has time to deal with mold in their washing machine…so prevent it before it starts!
Prevent odors and mold from taking over your washing machine.
There are many ways on how to prevent mold and stinking odors in your washing machine. Here are just a few to implement as you go about your usual laundry routine:
- Leave the door and the dispenser unit slightly open once the laundry is done.
- Don’t leave a wet clothes in the washer overnight.
- Rotate the drum with your hand to make sure you’ve removed all wet items.
- Use softener sheets in the dryer instead of liquid softeners in your washer.
- Use less than the recommended detergent level for your load. Too much detergent can cause a residue buildup.
- Wash occasional loads with hot water to help flush out wash residue, especially if usually use cold water.
- Check the gasket just inside the door opening to remove any visible debris.
- Always use HE detergents with high-efficiency front load washers.
- Clean your washer on a regular basis.
Now it’s time to deep clean your washing machine.
Once you put some of these tips into practice, you will want to deep clean your HE washing machine monthly. Just make sure there aren’t clothes in the washer when you clean it.
1. Clean the inside drum of your high-efficiency washing machine:
Option 1: Vinegar
- Dump a half gallon full strength white vinegar in the machine.
- Add as much washing soda in the detergent dispenser as will fit.
- Run through a hot wash cycle.
- After the wash cycle, take a sponge soaked in vinegar and rub/clean the rubber gaskets in the front and the glass window.
Keep in mind that the washing machine will smell like vinegar for about ten minutes. But don’t worry, the odor will fade quickly!
Option 2: Affresh
- Put one Affresh tablet into the drum of the washer.
- Run through a hot wash cycle.
- After the wash cycle, take some paper towels or terry cloth towel to wipe down the drum.
Clean the rubber seals on your front loader.
The next thing you need to clean, if you don’t do this after each load, is the area where the door seals to the inside. Mold can collect around the folds of the rubber seals. Items like socks and washcloths can get stuck in there too!
- Use a terry cloth towel to wipe as much trapped hair and gunk as possible out of the inside of the rubber seals.
- For those hard to reach places, you might find that a q-tip to comes in handy.
- Finally, spray vinegar on and in the rubber seals and give it another good scrubbing.
Clean the drain pump filter.
- Place a towel on the floor so it reaches underneath the washing machine.
- Put a shallow bowl on top of the towel. You probably need a larger dish than the one pictured if you haven’t emptied your drain pump in a while.
- Carefully open drain pump door. Mine doesn’t open easily so I have to use a flat head screwdriver with a soft cloth over it.
- Turn the drain pump to the left to open just slightly. If you open too quickly the water could just gush out!
- Let the water slowly drain out. If you need to empty your dish before the drain pump fully empties, just push the drain pump in and to the right to tighten. Empty the dish and start over.