We know what you’re thinking: Washing machines clean clothes, surely they’re constantly clean? Well, neglecting to look after your washing machine can result in long-lasting issues.
Have you noticed that your clothes are coming out of the washing machine smelling worse than they did when they went in? If you have a pet, washing their beds and toys in the same machine as you wash your clothes can result in a smelly, musty aroma that doesn’t seem to disappear no matter what you do.
Here are some tips on how to transform your washing machine from a grungy mess, to a sparkling appliance:
White vinegar and baking soda
Fill up a spray bottle with the white vinegar and begin by spraying the rubber seal, wiping it down with a microfiber cloth. This will dislodge and remove the hair, scum, and mildew that collects in the crevices of the seal.
Then, set the washing machine to the highest level and the hottest water temperature. Add two cups of the white vinegar to the detergent dispenser and allow the machine to run through a complete cycle.
Finally, run a second cycle on the highest level and hottest temperature, this time adding one cup of baking soda to the drum. This will ensure that the inside of your machine is sparkling and smelling fresh. Once the cycle is finished, wipe down the drum with a microfiber cloth.
An old toothbrush
This is an excellent tool to clean the detergent drawer of your washing machine. This little drawer can easily become clogged up with gloopy detergent remnants, which can start to smell.
To tackle this, remove the detergent drawer from your machine and get to work with an old toothbrush and an ordinary domestic cleaner. The bristles on the toothbrush will allow you to access all of the nooks and crannies that a cloth would miss.
Don’t forget the filter!
The filter in the washing machine collects any debris that falls from your clothing. This includes coins, tissues, hair, mud, and general dirt. If you neglect emptying the filter, then this debris will build up, emitting smells and causing serious damage to your machine. It will also act as a breeding ground for bacteria, as the filter is usually humid and damp.
To empty the filter, first consult your manual to find out where it is. Usually, it’s located along the lower edge of the machine, underneath a hinged cover. You’ll need to roll your sleeves up, because the emergency drain tube needs to be disconnected. Place a bowl underneath this to catch any water spillage.
Then, unscrew the filter. Trapped debris should run out with any water build-up, but check the cavity just to be sure. Wipe around the area with a cloth, screw everything back into place, and voila!
It’s all about detergent
We all know the feeling of walking down the detergent aisle, surrounded by colourful bottles and refreshing scents. However, research shows that extra suds and liquid softeners have been linked to leaving a residue in washing machines that contributes to bad smells and mould.
Instead, if you want to be kinder to your laundry and your washing machine, use powder instead of liquids.
Leave the door open!
Between washes, you’re encouraged to leave your washing machine door ajar. This will allow air to circulate around the drum, helping to stop germs from breeding and reducing the musty, damp-associated scents.