How to Clean Your Top Load Washing Machine

To clean your top load washer you will need:
•    scrub brush
•    cleaning cloth
•    cotton swabs
•    4 cups (1 quart) regular bleach
•    4½ cups (1 quart +  ½ cup) white vinegar

I am sure it goes without saying, but you want to remove all clothes from the washer before cleaning it. 

Start by cleaning your washer’s exterior.  Mix 1 cup of hot water and ½ cup vinegar.  Using a clean cloth dampen in vinegar solution and wipe down all surfaces with cloth.  Put some weight into it.  Use a little elbow grease to really clean the knobs well.

Open the top and wipe down the inside of the lid.  Sometimes dirt and soap splash the lid leaving a build up of grime.  Use cotton swabs to get in the crevices.  Remove any bleach or fabric softener dispensers (when possible) and scrub the dispenser with your scrub brush dipped in the vinegar solution.  Use your scrub brush to clean the agitator and take a peek at the top of the wash bin.  Use a cloth to clean this area.

Set your washer to the hottest setting, the largest load and the longest wash and spin cycle.  Let the washer fill with hot water and add 4 cups bleach.  Allow the washer to agitate for 2 minutes and then turn the washer off and let it sit for 1 hour.  Head out to the kitchen and try 2 of our 30 minute meals, I mean you have an hour to kill.  After an hour turn the washer back on and let it finish the cycle.

After the first cycle has finished turn the washer back on and fill with hot water once again.  Add 4 cups vinegar.  Allow the washer to agitate for 2 minutes and then turn the washer off and let it sit for 1 hour.  Go watch a couple DVR’d episodes of your favorite show.  Duck Dynasty and Walking Dead are my personal fav’s.  No point in hanging around the laundry room.  After an hour turn the washer back on and let it finish the cycle.

You now have a clean as new washing machine, ready to be put to the test!  We cleaned out our laundry room while we were cleaning our machines.  Do you know how many things we had in there that we haven’t used in 5 years???  A whole box full!  Not to mention the farm of dust bunnies behind those unused product.  ACK!

Additional tips for maintaining your washer and extending the life of your machine:
•    The cleaning routine should be repeated monthly for best results.  Repeat routine at least every 3 months to prevent build up.
•    If you live in a hard water area you will want to perform this routine monthly.  Hard water and lime can build up in your machine and your lines causing things to run inefficiently. 
•    It is recommended that you replace your washer hose every 3-5 years.  This is something you want to put on your calendar (or on a note in your laundry room) I have had to clean up the mess from a busted washer hose before, it’s not fun.
•    Do not overload your machine it causes the machine to run inefficiently and puts strain on the motor.
•    Shake your clothes out before placing in the washer.
•    Make sure your machine is level; the vibration can cause “walking” of the machine which can damage the floor and objects around it.  Additionally it can cause additional strain on the machine.
•    Leave the lid open.  It will allow the drum to dry completely and prevent mold and mildew odors from developing.
•    Be sure to turn off the water when you leave on vacation.  Hoses are constantly under pressure and a busted water hose can cause severe water damage to your home while you are away.

Tips for maintaining your dryer and extending the life of your machine:
•    Always shake your clothes out before placing them in the dryer.
•    Do not overfill, it causes additional strain on the machine
•    Empty the lint trap after every load.
•    Monthly (when you clean the washer), remove the lint trap and scrub with a soft brush and gentle dish detergent to remove any residue.  An unclean lint trap can block air flow.  Dry completely before returning to dryer.
•    Every six months pull the dryer out and unplug it.  Vacuum out the lint trap and the wall and the floor behind the dryer.  Disconnect the vent and piping and check the airflow to the outside for obstructions.  Proper airflow helps with the longevity and efficiency of your dryer.

Easy peasy!  So, then we had a beautiful, clean and perfectly functional 16 year old washer and dryer set. 

How to developed by Chad Elick - The Slow Roasted Italian
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