With frequent use, some washing machines tend to develop a funny smell, which eventually leaves clothing also smelly (even though washed). When this happens, you know your washing machine needs proper cleaning. This cleaning chore you can do yourself, without investing too much time, effort and resources.
- A useful tip for removing unpleasant odours from the washing machine is to run a so called service wash. This is basically running the machine empty. Do so on the hottest temperature setting as hot water will dilute and remove more residue and gunk from inside the machine.
Cleaning the washing machine – the known problematic areas.
- Unclogging the filter – the filter of a washing machine is one of the areas where gunk and grime tend to accumulate, the constant moisture inside the machine in combination with all the gunk in the filter will likely make up for a nasty smell. A musky smell might mean the machine is not draining properly thus retaining moisture, making the bad smell even stronger. Clean the filter thoroughly using hot water and detergent, scrub off any gunk grime with a hard bristle brush. Cleaning the filter is usually a messy affair so wear and apron and gloves, spread a drop sheet or place a bucket on the floor near the washing machine to keep everything clean.
- Clean and wash the detergent drawer – the detergent drawer will develop sticky residue from powder and liquid detergents, as well as other washing additives uses frequently. Clean and wash the drawer with hot water and medium brush. You can also use an old toothbrush and get in all the nooks and crannies where grime and residue might have built up.
- Cleaning the seals and interior – the door seals and certain parts of the washing machine drum are known to develop mildew and cause that unpleasant smell. Clean the rubber seals with detergent and hot water. Leave the solution on the seals for about ten minutes and then wipe clean using a clean, dry cloth. Do the same for the washing machine drum, and try to be as thorough as possible.
- Running an empty cycle – this step can be both the first and last form of cleaning you perform on your washing machine. Add a pinch of washing soda crystals or a small amount of white vinegar to the empty cycle to get best possible results. Once you have cleaned and wiped everything listed above manually, it is not a bad idea to run another empty cycle on maximum temperature setting to sanitise everything for optimal results (remember to add the washing soda crystals). When the final empty cycle is finished, take a quick look inside the drawer and drum to check for any bits and pieces of old detergent, gunk etc. which may have come loose during empty. Wipe the draw and drum clean and dry with a clean rag just to ensure a fresh start.
Performing this basic cleaning maintenance regularly will keep the washing machine clean, and your clothing smelling fresh.