If your washing machine is smelling worse than your sweaty workout shirt, it’s time to give it a good cleaning. Yes, even washing machines get dirty. Failure to clean and maintain your washer can lead to bad odors, germs, bacteria, and mold. Laundry soils, detergent and hard-water minerals build up in areas you can’t see and mold and mildew can thrive in the washer lid and the door.
Cleaning your washing machine naturally.
Fill the washer’s drum or the dispenser with ½ cup of baking soda and 1 quart (1 liter) of vinegar. You can substitute vinegar and baking soda with citric acid, hydrogen peroxide, chlorine bleach, or oxygen bleach and enzyme detergent (for specific instructions on how to use these ingredients, see section below).
For a front-loading machine, add white vinegar to the detergent dispenser and baking soda to the softener dispenser, and begin the wash cycle.
If you have a top-loading washer, let the water run for a few minutes, then add in the baking soda and vinegar. Allow the machine to agitate for 1 minute to combine the ingredients, then stop the cycle to let the mixture soak for one hour before letting the cycle finish.
While the hot water, vinegar, and baking soda are penetrating the grime and odors, use a clean cloth dipped in the vinegar water to wipe down your washer. Give attention to the top of the washer, the knobs, the top of the wash bin, and any bleach or fabric softener dispensers.