Q:

How do you clean a washing machine?

A:

Quick Answer

To clean a washing machine, wipe down the outside, run an empty machine with detergent and bleach and then run it again with only vinegar to remove soap scum and hard water stains. Clean the fabric softener dispenser in the kitchen sink, or run vinegar through it.

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Full Answer

  1. Clean the outside of the machine

    Wipe the outside surface of the washing machine with a wet, soapy rag, and then rinse it off with a wet towel.

  2. Clean the inside of the machine

    Set the machine to run a large load with hot water, but don’t put any clothes in it. Add the usual amount of detergent and a cup of bleach. Then, start the machine. Stop the machine halfway through the wash cycle, and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Turn the machine back on, and allow it to finish cycling. Run the machine again, with no bleach or detergent, to remove any residual bleach.

  3. Clean hard water stains and soap scum

    Repeat step two, but add a cup of vinegar instead of detergent and bleach.

  4. Clean the fabric softener dispenser

    Remove the fabric softener dispenser from the machine, and wash it in the kitchen sink with soap and water. Rinse completely to remove the soap. If the dispenser cannot be removed from the washing machine, heat a cup of vinegar in the microwave, and pour it into the dispenser. Run the empty machine.

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