Ever wonder why something that is used to clean something else could smell unclean or in other words…down right STINKY? That is WHY you should clean your washer. Eventually, it will get stinky if you don’t show it a little love and here’s why.
WATER VOLUME MATTERS:
Top load washers use MORE water than front load washers. They are less efficient in that regard than front-load washers which use less water. Front loaders can really get stinky and here’s why…
Since the drum fills vertically they fill just the bottom of the wash tub with water & you have to use high-efficiency detergents , but when you wash your laundry with the wrong kinds of soap and softeners, the smaller amount of water can’t fully rinse them away. This begins a cycle of stinky soap scum that sticks to the drum, which is itself peppered with debris and dirt from your clothing. Add to that the heat and dampness of your washer & you have one happy, skummy home for bacteria, mold, and mildew! YIKES!! Front-loaders use a rubber door gasket for the sake of keeping water from leaking out. Makes sense right? But guess what? This creates a nasty little riot of dirt, soap, and particles of fabric that get stuck protesting just under the gasket. You guessed it! STINK BREEDING!
Mix ¼ c. of baking soda and same of water & add to the washer’s detergent container, then pour 2 c. of white vinegar into the drum (& you know how much I love vinegar for natural cleaning). Begin a ‘normal cycle’ on HIGH HEAT without clothes. Heat helps kill germs too! All together, they break up stuck on gunk AND annihilate mold and stinkiness! If you still see any grime just soak a sponge with the same mixture and wipe it off. It’s just monthly maintenance after the stomping.
KEEP UP THE GOOD SMELLS:
Use detergents formulated specific to HE (high-efficiency) machines. They need less sudsy detergent which fights off the stinky, clingy scum-bags AND while you’re at it get rid of fabric softeners! They are also mucky.
A damp drum invites scum-bags so keep it dry by simply leaving the door open after finishing a load and don’t leave your wet load in the washer for too long before sending your laundry to the dryer. You can also do a quick dry using a high quality microfiber cloth like NORWEX .
You should regularly remove any debris you see trapped in the gasket and wipe it down with a cleaning solution made of one part white vinegar and one part water.
One last tip, be sure to dispose of any lint that may have accumulated in your machine’s drain trap filter about once a week. I love using my Norwex Enviro Cloth for this step.
NOW FOR THE TOP-LOADER:
Get your arsenal of white vinegar, baking soda, old toothbrush, and a microfiber cloth.
Set the washer for HOT and HEAVY washer load. Sounds like a hot date right? Then the LONGEST wash cycle. Now we are getting really steamy! While the washer is filling with water add a quart of my dear friend, WHITE VINEGAR (not bleach – foe), then close the lid and let agitate about 1 minute, then open the lid and allow it all to soak & sit for about an hour. While soaking, remove any parts like the lint trap or softener dish, etc then soak them as well AND clean all the spaces under the lid. Give them a little scrub with that old toothbrush then dry them and put back. Then brush the upper part of the agitator and the hard to reach areas under the lid and around tub rim. While you are at it, use the washer solution to wipe off the control knobs & console. After an hour go ahead and close the lid to start the washing cycle.
REPEAT another HOT wash but use a c. of baking soda this time which neutralizes the vinegar AND helps loosen any residue left behind from the first wash cycle. When cycle finishes, wipe the bottom and sides of the tub with vinegar to remove any remaining residue. Of course, leave the lid open to air out or use your microfiber cloth to dry. Always do this to prevent mildew after every laundering. DONE!.
Get the younger kids involved. They will have fun finding all the GUNK!