It does sound a little crazy to clean your washing machine, but it really should be done, especially if your clothes aren't coming out as clean as they used to. Cleaning your clothes washer will also prevent and remove and mold or mildew growth, this is very important if you only use your washing machine once per week or less. A clothes washing machine is just like any other appliance in your home, in order to keep it in good working order, it needs to be properly maintained. Cleaning your washing machine should be a part of your regular cleaning routine.
To prevent mold and mildew growth on the door or lid seal, make a 50-50 mixture of warm water and bleach, wipe the rubber seal and behind it as much as possible. Do this for both front loading washing machines and top loading washers.
Mix warm water with about 1 teaspoon of a mild dish washing detergent, dip a sponge in the soapy mixture and wipe down the sides front and top of the washing machine. Dip a rag in plain warm water and wipe down all surfaces of the washing machine, follow with a dry cloth.
Whenever the washing machine is not in use, always leave the top lid or front door open to allow the inside to dry. If the door or lid is closed, you can end up with mildew and black mold growth.
Once a week, fill your washing machine with hot water, 1 cup of bleach and about 1 tablespoon of laundry detergent. Turn off your washer and allow the mixture to soak for approximately 30 minutes. Turn your washing machine back on and allow it to finish the cycle. When the wash cycle is finished be sure to leave the lid or door open to allow the inside to dry.
To clean your fabric softener dispenser, wipe the dispenser down with a wet rag, then wipe down with white vinegar. If you have an enclosed fabric softener dispenser fill it with white vinegar, allow the white vinegar to soak for about 30 minutes and drain. You can clean the fabric softener dispenser at the same time you are cleaning the inside of your washing machine with bleach. Never use any type of soap or detergent to clean your fabric softener dispenser because the combination of soap or detergent and fabric softener will leave stains on your clothes.
Replace rubber or plastic hoses with flexible metal hoses. Replace flexible metal hoses every 4 to 5 years to prevent leaks and flooding.