Homeowners can clean a front-load washer by wiping the gasket and door after use, wiping the detergent dispenser weekly or monthly, and running a cycle without any clothing. Regular cleaning removes detergent, fabric softener and dirt that collect inside the machine.
When laundry debris collects in the washing machine, mold and mildew can grow, particularly around the gasket. Wiping down the machine on a regular basis removes any remnants before they start smelling or growing mold.
The daily cleaning should include wiping away any moisture and debris left inside the washing machine after the last cycle of the day. On a weekly or monthly basis, the owner should clean out the dispenser with a damp cloth. The leftover detergent in the dispenser dissolves with the moisture.
An empty monthly cleaning cycle on the hottest setting can help remove dirt. Some front-loading washers have a special cleaning cycle. One cup of bleach or baking soda added to the cleaning cycle helps break up the residue.
Owners can reduce leftover detergent by using only HE detergent in small amounts. Front-load washers don't produce as many suds as a top-load washer. Extra detergent isn't used and sticks around in the machine. Fabric softener also collects in the washer. Users should skip fabric softener when possible and use dryer sheets instead.