How To Clean Washing Machine – Home Remedies That Work

Does the washing machine smell after the wash? Then you need to know how to clean washing machine. We explain which household remedies are suitable for cleaning the washing machine. The following tips will help you get the drum, detergent drawer, and fluff filter clean again.

When should you clean a washing machine?

The wash cycle is over, you open the porthole of the washing machine, and a bad smell hits you? The freshly washed clothes also smell unpleasant? Then it is high time to clean the washing machine.

The bad smell is caused by bacteria accumulated over time in the washing machine, the detergent compartment, the rubber ring, and the filter or lint filter. The reasons are detergent deposits, hair, lint, crumbs, or earth particles that get into the washing machine with sportswear, for example.

In many households, washing is only done at 15 to 60 degrees - but bacteria die at 70 degrees Celsius. That means: You can reproduce optimally in the damp environment of the washing machine - and start smelling.

In the worst case molds, the washing machine does. This is not only a problem for the user's nose but also for the device itself. Its performance is limited by the deposits, both visible and invisible from the outside, in the hoses. Besides, an unkempt washing machine breaks faster.

How often do you have to clean the washing machine?

The washing machine is a foreign body trap and should therefore be cleaned regularly. The need for cleaning can vary greatly depending on how often you use the device. Every month would be ideal, but every two to three months is still appropriate.

Cleaning the washing machine: which home remedies are suitable?

You don't have to buy expensive detergent to clean a washing machine. Home remedies clean and descale just as effectively - and are cheaper—both for your wallet and for the environment.

  • Washing machine with Natron Cleaning: For stubborn soiling, pour 40 grams of baking soda in the prewash and main wash compartment and another 10 grams of baking soda straight into the washing machine. Set the hottest possible washing program on your device. Most machines will do a 95-degree cotton boil wash - and let the machine run empty. Don't be alarmed; baking soda is a great foam.
  • Washing machine with Soda cleaning: The cleaning is carried out as with baking soda. Put 40 grams of soda in the detergent compartment - divided between the prewash and main wash compartments and another 10 grams in the empty drum. Run the washing machine at the highest possible temperature.
  • Washing machine with citric acid Cleaning: Put five tablespoons of citric acid directly into the washing drum and five in the detergent drawer. Then run the stinking washing machine at the highest temperature - that's all you need to do. Make sure you avoid skin contact with the citric acid. Some people are sensitive to it, so it is best to wear gloves.
  • Washing machine with baking powder cleaning: If you don't have any of the above products in your house, you may have a packet of baking powder. Mix three teaspoons of it with a bit of water to a paste and then spoon it into the washing drum or the detergent drawer. Let the machine run at the highest possible temperature - done.
  • Washing machine with Dishwasher tabs cleaning: Yes, you can also wash the washing machine with the dishwasher's tabs. Put two tabs in the washing machine and let them run at the highest possible temperature.
cleaning washing machine

Citric acid is a healthier alternative to cleaning the washing machine.

How do I clean the washing machine door seal?

You should first remove the visible dirt from the washing machine's rubber edge: hair, fluff, lint - ideally, fish out by hand. Then pull the rubber edge towards you with one hand and use a cloth in the other hand to clean the middle between the rubber edge and the rubber on the washer drum.

Do the whole round once. Wash out the rag and repeat the process until there is no more visible dirt on the cloth. Then soak a second rag with lemon juice and wipe the entire rubber edge of the washing machine, including the spaces in between.

Often dark or black mold stains collect on the rubber seal, which is best removed using soda crystals, thick bleach, or a dishwasher. But be sure to remember.

You should also regularly clean the inside of the door seal.

How can I clean the washing machine's lint filter?

Look in the manual to find out where the filter or fluff filter is on your washing machine. The filter is often a significant cause of a smelly washing machine. To get to it, you may have to open a cover and use a hose to drain any wastewater left in the washing device.

To be on the safe side, have a cloth ready, turn or pull out the lint filter as described in the instructions and use fabric and an old toothbrush to remove everything accumulated in the lint filter. Then clean the lint filter yourself with a brush under running water.

If stubborn dirt adheres to it, just like the detergent drawer, place it in a bowl or the sink to soak. By the way: Washer no longer draws water.

How do I clean the detergent drawer?

Take the detergent drawer out of the machine. This is usually done by gently pressing a point behind the fabric softener compartment. But every washing machine is different and if in doubt, refer to the manual.

If you no longer have it to hand: Many manuals are put online by the manufacturers. Pour warm water into a large enough bowl or sink, add a few drops of dish soap and two heavy dashes of white vinegar or vinegar essence, and let the drawer soak for at least two hours.

Then clean the tricky corners with an old toothbrush and wipe the large areas with a clean cloth. Dry the drawer of the washing machine and put it back in after cleaning.

How do I clean the washing machine's porthole?

The porthole is wiped inside and out with a damp cloth. Hard-to-reach areas can also be cleaned with a toothbrush here. If crusts have already formed on the glass, you can make an effective cleaner yourself:

  1. Pour 500 milliliters of water into a spray bottle, use a funnel to fill in 50 grams of citric acid (if you are sensitive: put on gloves) and shake until the powder has dissolved.
  2. Add two drops of washing-up liquid and spray the dirt on the porthole with the cleaner.
  3. Let everything work for 10 minutes and wipe with a damp cloth.
  4. Repeat if necessary. The DIY all-around cleaner can also be sprayed directly onto a cloth and then used to clean the outside of the washing machine: regulator, Buttons, the case.

All of this doesn't add to the stink, but a clean washing machine needs to be cleaned on the outside now and then.

Do I have to remove the water in the door sealing ring?

Small parts, such as money or buttons, usually get stuck in the door sealing ring. The remaining water is completely normal and therefore does not have to be removed.

How do I prevent a smelly, moldy washing machine?

  • Always leave the detergent drawer and the washing machine's porthole open when the wash cycle is over. This allows the moisture in the machine to dry off better.
  • For example, wash towels now and then at 70 degrees Celsius instead of 60 degrees.
  • Remove hair and lint in the rubber ring between the drum and the porthole after each wash.
  • Regularly wipe the inner porthole and the rubber seal with a damp cloth, as well as the detergent compartment.
  • Regularly clean the lint filter.
  • Clean the washing machine thoroughly once a month, as described above - if the device is in constant use, then twice a month would be even better.

How do I descale the washing machine?

Over time, limescale builds up in the washing machine and the hoses. Therefore, in addition to regularly cleaning the washing machine, you should also descale the washing machine now and then.

How often this should be the case depends on various factors, such as the amount of time in the water. While there are many decalcifying agents to buy in drugstores, we also recommend the healthier and more environmentally friendly version of the home remedies here. Citric acid is best, as it is not nearly as aggressive as a chemical descaler.

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