Why cleaning the washing machine is important?
Most of the components of a washing machine are in constant contact with dirt coming off the clothes. They are also exposed to water, which leads to forming of scale on the heating element, drum and filters. If left to such state, the machine might start to malfunction. The heater will take more time to warm up the water. Pressure in the tubes will weaken because of the scale accumulating inside. If it is not removed regularly, the parts will eventually get broken. Repairing the device would generate additional costs. It is often the case that fixing the broken elements is simply too expensive. It might be more economic to replace the whole device. Having that in mind, one can assume that cleaning the washing machine saves it from a serious breakdown.
Continuous contact with water, warm environment and poor ventilation inside the machine create perfect conditions for organisms such as yeast and fungi.
Mould is very dangerous for human health, as it releases toxic substances into the air. It can affect respiratory and nervous systems, as well as skin. Mould in the home may be the cause of various types of allergies. It can also cause tiredness and cold-like symptoms. Fungi in contact with skin is very likely to cause an itchy rash.
Yeast occupying your washing machine might be the cause of an unpleasant smell, which might affect the laundry. Thorough and systematic cleaning of the washing machine will prevent the aforementioned issues. It will not only minimize the risk of device malfunction, but will also make it more efficient.
How to clean the washing machine - home remedies
There is a wide range of ready-made products for cleaning a washing machine. However such cleaners might not only be expensive, but also harmful for health. They are typically made with chemical substances, which may irritate human body. Sensitive people might be especially prone to adverse effects of chemicals. For this reason, when picking the right solution to clean the washing machine, natural remedies are advised. Such methods usually require ingredients that can be found in every kitchen. They are cheap and using them is safe.
Cleaning washing machine with baking soda
Bicarbonate, in other words - baking soda is quite a versatile substance. It is used mainly in the kitchen for baking purposes. It is also an ingredient of many home-made cosmetics, such as face masks and scrubs.
Baking soda is also a perfect cleaner. It removes all types of dirt, limescale and stains from the cleaned surfaces. It is a brilliant odour remover. Cleaning the washing machine with baking soda helps to protect its parts from scale and therefore prolongs their lifetime. The powder removes all kinds of unpleasant odours, which could affect the laundry.
Cleaning your washing machine with baking soda is not a difficult activity. All that is needed is half a glass of baking soda, which should be put into the detergent drawer (the powder compartment). To wash the machine, run an empty wash cycle using the highest possible temperature (usually 90 degrees). The spin speed in this case is not important - it can be set to the lowest. If needed, you can load the machine with some towels or kitchen cloths.
Cleaning washing machine with vinegar
Another solution for cleaning the washing machine is vinegar. It is a good bleach with antistatic properties. It can be used to wash towels, it removes detergent residues and increases fabric’s ability to absorb water.
Similar to baking soda, vinegar is able to remove scent. To clean the washing machine, pour 1-2 litres of vinegar into the detergent compartment and set a high temperature washing cycle. Vinegar will remove limescale, mould and bacteria.
The only issue with this method is the strong, sour smell that might spread across the entire household. Ventilating the rooms, however, should quickly get rid of the scent. It might also be helpful to set another washing cycle with a little bit of washing powder or liquid. Its smell will kill the vinegar odour.
Cleaning washing machine with citric acid
Apart from vinegar and baking soda, there is also a third product that can be used to clean the washing machine - citric acid. It can be used to descale various appliances, not only washing machine. Citric acid is commonly used to remove limescale from devices such as kettles and coffeemakers.
How to clean the washing machine with citric acid? Simply put 120 g of the product in the powder compartment. Similar to the previous methods - set a high temperature washing cycle.
Cleaning washing machine with vinegar and baking soda
If the washing machine is very filthy and the previously mentioned methods do not work, you can combine the ingredients. For instance, vinegar and baking soda can be used to make an extremely effective cleaning scrub. To do it, mix 10 tablespoons with baking soda until solid paste is formed. Place the pulp in every problematic spot and leave it for a few hours. Finally, rinse it using a damp sponge or cloth, then wipe until dry. You can also boost vinegar with citric acid. The proportions are: 20 g of citric acid per one litre.
Cleaning the washing machine - essential issues
Just rinsing the washing machine with a cleaning solution might be not enough. One must pay attention to each and every part of the appliance. The most important components are:
- Filters - usually they are located in the front of the machine. You should check it for small objects that often get caught in there. Small parts of garment, such as socks also often get in the filters. After cleaning it carefully, rinse it with clean water and put it back in its place.
- Detergent drawer - in this place mould is very likely to grow. If the washing machine was not cleaned for a very long time, the drawer should be removed from its socket and thoroughly scrubbed. It is best to use a sponge and an appropriate cleaning product, or soda. Apart from the drawer, the socket itself should be cleaned as well.
- Seal and other rubber parts - those components are the most susceptible for damage from water. In front load types the most filth residues can be found under the door seal, therefore it should be cleaned regularly. The aforementioned paste made of vinegar and baking soda will be perfect for this purpose. Using it makes cleaning easy and quick.
The above parts are most prone to filth, scale and mould growth, therefore they need careful attention. Routinely cleaning the washing machine and its components will prevent major issues with the device in the future.
How to clean the washing machine - cleaning tools
To just wipe the surface, use a soft cloth. You can also use a hard sponge to scrub stains that are difficult to remove. Plastic bristle brushes are excellent for cleaning as well. However they should be used with caution when scrubbing delicate elements such as rubber seals. To access hard-to-reach places (for instance detergent drawer socket), you can use an old toothbrush.
Cleaning the washing machine should be performed regularly. This important activity increases durability of the device and makes it more efficient. Routinely cleansed washing machine will wash the laundry better, making it fresh and pleasant-smelling. Natural cleaners are definitely worth the effort. They are highly effective and do not cost much. Soda, vinegar and citric acid can be found in almost every household. Using them is an easy way to take care of your washing machine and guarantee its long-lasting performance.
Cleaning the washing machine naturally - FAQ
📍 Cleaning the washing machine with vinegar - in what temperature?
Cleaning the washing machine using vinegar should involve the highest possible temperature. It speeds up the reaction of acid with limescale, and makes the cleaning more effective. The best temperature is 90°C.
📍 Cleaning the washing machine - does it affect its durability?
Cleaning the washing machine regularly is a very good way to prolong its life. Preventing the accumulation of scale on its parts is a guarantee that the device will run without fail for a long time.
📍 How much does it cost to clean the washing machine?
The cost of natural cleaning remedies is remarkably low. The only products to buy are vinegar, baking soda or citric acid, which are very cheap. Their price is a fraction of the store-bought chemical cleaners.
📍 Cleaning the washing machine - how often?
It is advised to descale your washing machine once a month. Doing it will prevent scale and other substances from accumulating inside of the device. All of the parts, such as filters and the drawer, should be cleansed manually every six months.