• TriniHelper

Caring for the most frequently utilised appliance: Washer/Dryer

Cleaning your washing machine

If there's one household appliance most of us simply could not do without, it's the washing machine. It is perhaps one of the most important appliances in the home, used to keep things clean. But people often overlook the fact that it needs cleaning itself.

A dirty washing machine can not only leave your clothes and fabrics with a less than pleasant odor, but it can have a build-up of dirt and grime that can harbor mold, mildew and even dangerous bacteria. Even a washing machine that looks perfectly clean on the outside may be hiding dirt and gunk under the surface. You would be surprised at what you may find.

People often make the mistake of using harsh chemicals to try to clean this build up, but this can be harmful to your washing machine. There are simpler, safer and more effective ways to clean your washer and get rid of unpleasant odors and all you will need are common household ingredients.

White vinegar and baking soda are effective cleaning agents that are non-toxic and environmentally safe. Vinegar acts as a solvent, meaning it can dissolve things like soap scum and grease. Not only that, vinegar is a powerful deodorizer. Although it has a pungent scent itself, this scent does not linger but it will eliminate other unpleasant odors. Additionally, vinegar acts as a natural disinfectant that can kill germs and bacteria. Last but not least, vinegar is cheap compared to expensive chemical cleaning agents. These properties makes vinegar a perfect solution for a dirty washing machine.

Like vinegar, baking soda also has cleaning properties. Baking soda causes dirt and grease to dissolve in water. Unlike air fresheners which simply mask odors, baking soda actually absorbs and eliminates unpleasant scents. Put together, vinegar and baking soda are a power combination that will tackle tough dirt and grime build up in your washing machine.

To clean the tub, simply fill your machine with hot water and add three to four cups of white vinegar. Allow the machine to run for a few minutes then add about half a cup of baking soda. Let the machine run again for a few minutes. Let the water, vinegar and baking soda mixture sit in the machine for at least 30 minutes. The solution will penetrate the grime and odors. Meanwhile you can use a cloth dipped into the solution to wipe down the exterior of the machine. A toothbrush can help you clean around knobs and other hard to wipe areas. You can allow the water to drain while spinning to push out loose grime. This process should be repeated every few months or as needed. This method works for top loading washing machines.

If, however, you have a front loading machine, you will need to follow a slightly different procedure. You must first locate the gasket which is the rubber ring that runs along the opening of your washing machine’s drum. This rubber ring is what creates a seal to prevent water from leaking out of your machine. You will need to peel back the rubber ring which is where dirt and grime tends to build up. To clean the drum of your front loading machine, simply sprinkle about one third a cup of baking soda into the drum and pour two cups of vinegar into the detergent tray. Set you washer on a high temperature and allow it to r