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A laundry room reflected in the glass of a washing machine door.

How To Clean A Washing Machine

Cleaning the washing machine is an essential part of washing machine maintenance. After all, if your machine isn’t clean that what do you expect will happen to your clothes when put inside it?  

How to clean your washing machine

When you’re cleaning a washing machine, there are three main aspects to consider:

  • The drum – where you load your clothes
  • The filter- which protects the washing machine pump from being blocked by lint, fibres, and items that may have been left in pockets (such as coins)
  • The detergent drawer – where you load certain types of detergent (powder) and fabric softener

It’s important to keep all of these areas clean. If one of them becomes dirty it can cause the whole washing machine to smell, or worse, to break down! Here’s how to clean a washing machine from the drum to the detergent drawer.  

  1. How to clean a washing machine drum 

    Learning how to clean your washing machine drum is very easy and there are a few simple steps you should take. Cleaning the drum is important because it helps to prevent the build-up of bacteria, mould, and mildew.

    Give your washing machine door a good scrub with a little ordinary soap and water; focusing on the seal and cleaning both the inside and the outside Clean the inside of the drum by running your washing machine on an empty cycle. Select a hot setting and add a little OMO detergent or a cup of white vinegar to help remove limescale and get rid of any nasty build-up 

    Did you know?

    You can help prevent the build-up of damp in your machine by leaving the door open for a couple of hours after each use. This lets the seal around the door dry out, keeping your machine fresher for longer.  

  2. How to clean a washing machine filter 

    Now let’s turn our attention to the next step in cleaning a washing machine: the filter. Locate the filter on your washing machine – this varies so consult your manual.

    Pull the filter out, following the instructions; Scrub the filter with an old but clean toothbrush and some warm water and soap.

    Replace once cleaned 

    Did you know?

    If the filter is really clogged up or dirty then you can leave it to soak for a couple of hours to dislodge some of the debris before continuing with your cleaning. Washing machine filters work best when clean so it’s worth it in the long run.

  3. How to clean your washing machine: Washing the detergent drawer 

    Lastly, it’s time to clean the detergent drawer. This part of your washing machine can accumulate a lot of dirt over time due to the heavy use it can receive. Remove the detergent drawer, according to the instructions in your manual

    If your drawer has a plastic insert, then remove this and clean it separately. Soak the drawer, and the plastic insert, in warm water with a little dish soap

    Scrub the drawer and insert with an old, clean toothbrush to remove any detergent residue. Replace in the machine when done, making sure it slots in correctly. 

    Did you know?

    When cleaning a washing machine detergent drawer it’s just as important to wash the opening in the machine as it is to wash the drawer itself. While your detergent drawer is soaking, use an old toothbrush and a little dish soap to clean the opening. Wipe it with a clean, dry cloth before replacing the drawer inside.  

How often should you clean your washing machine?

Now you know how to clean a washing machine, it’s time to consider how often it requires cleaning. Washing machine maintenance should always be completed regularly but exactly how often depends on the type and frequency of use your machine receives. As a general rule, try and wash your machine from drum to detergent drawer every couple of months.

Follow our simple steps when cleaning your washing machine to help prolong the life of your machine and ensure it works efficiently.