Do you know experts recommend cleaning your washing machine every month to avoid build-up?

Unfortunately, most people don’t adhere to this rule, which often leads to maintenance issues. 

If you don’t clean your washing machine from time to time, it will eventually affect the lifespan as well as the functioning of the machine.

The mold and mildew, as well as the residue build-up, can make your clothes smelly and even leave residue marks, thereby making them dirtier.

To avoid this, you must deep clean your machine, i.e., different parts (tub, door, lid, washer parts, detergent trays, and surfaces). 

If you don’t know how to clean all these parts, we can help you. This step-by-step guide will show you how to clean a washing machine.

What You’ll Need 

In order to clean your washing machine, here are some items and supplies you’ll need:

  • Microfiber Cloth
  • Toothbrush or Cleaning Brush
  • Towel or Dish Towel
  • Baking Soda
  • White Vinegar


Follow these instructions if you want to learn how to clean a washing machine.

How to Clean a Washing Machine?

How to Clean a Washing Machine

If you have an advanced machine with a self-cleaning function, read the manual and follow the instructions on how to clean a washing machine.

However, if you have a normal machine, follow these simple steps. It will help you to avoid build-up and improve the function of your machine.

Step 1: Vinegar Wash

Vinegar baking soda

First, give your washing machine a good clean. Empty it out, and instead of using regular detergent, pour in two cups of white vinegar. Don’t worry; vinegar won’t hurt your machine or your clothes. This hot water and vinegar mix will get rid of germs and bad smells.

Step 2: Scrub The Inside

Scrub Inside washing machine

Next, clean the inside of your machine. Mix about 1/4 cup of vinegar with a quarter of warm water in a bucket or sink. Grab a sponge and an old toothbrush. Use this vinegar-water mix to scrub the inside of your machine. Make sure to get into all the nooks and crannies, like where you put soap or fabric softener. If you can remove your soap dispenser, soak it in the vinegar water before scrubbing.

Step 3: Clean the Exterior

Clean Exterior of washing machine

Don’t forget the outside of your machine. Dip a damp cloth in the vinegar water mix, then give the outside a good wipe-down. This will also make it look shiny and clean on the outside. how to clean your washing machine.

Step 4: Second Hot Wash

Hot Wash washing machine

Proceed with a second hot cycle, omitting the vinegar and detergent this time. Add half a cup of baking soda to the drum if desired. This will assist in clearing out any remainder of the first cycle’s debris. Once the cycle is complete, clean the inside of the drum with a microfiber cloth to remove any leftover material.

How to Clean a Top Loading Washing Machine?

How to Clean a Top Loading Washing Machine

The process of how to clean a washing machine varies depending on the kind of machine. A top-loading machine has a lid on the top that you need to load and unload clothes. Instead of a door, there is a top lid you need to open and close. Here’s how to clean top loading washing machine:

Step 1: Start with the Washer Tub

Begin by cleaning the inside of the washer tub.

Step 2: Soak and Clean Parts

While the tub is soaking, you can also cleanse and douse your drawers, detergent trays, and any other removable parts. But don’t worry if your washer is new and doesn’t have many removable parts.

Step 3: Outside Wipe-Down

Give the outside of your washing machine a good wipe.

Step 4: Clean Under the Tub

After the cleaning cycle is done, clean the parts underneath the tub surround. You can use either vinegar or bleach but never mix them.

Step 5: Maintain the Agitator and Filter

Remember to clean the filter and the agitator as well.

Step 6: Clean Detergent Parts

 Clean any pieces that have been left soaking in detergent.

Step 7: Cleaning the Tub and Lid

Wipe the interior of the lid and the tub with a clean microfiber fabric.

Step 8: Leave It to Dry

In order to ensure that everything dries thoroughly, try to leave the lid open.

How to Clean a Front-Loading Washing Machine?

How to Clean a Front Loading Washing Machine

The front loading washing machine comes with a seal and rubber gasket, which can collect mold. Follow these steps to clean this type of washing machine:

Step 1: Clean the Tub

Soak the tub and run a washing cycle to clean the inside. Also, soak the removable parts in warm water. 

Step 2: Wipe the Exterior

Make sure to clean the exterior of the machine by wiping it with a damp cloth.

Step 3: Cleaning the Gasket

After completing the cleaning cycle, scrape the rubber door gasket with an old toothbrush. You can use vinegar or bleach to clean it but never combine the two.

Step 4: Filter Clean-up

Don’t forget to clean the filter.

Step 5: Finish Tray and Part Cleaning

Finish cleaning your detergent trays and any other parts you soaked.

Step 6: Tub and Door Wipe-Down

Use a microfiber cloth to wipe the inside of the tub and the door.

Step 7: Final Touch

Give the entire washer another wipe-down with the cloth.

Step 8: Keep It Dry

If you can, leave the door propped open to make sure everything dries completely.

How to Clean the Washing Machine Tub

Clean Washing Machine Tub

Apart from regular cleaning, you also need to deep clean your washing machine. Deep cleaning involves cleaning different parts separately. We’ll start with washing the tub. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Step 1: Start Empty and Dry

Begin with an empty and dry washing machine.

Step 2: Choose the Right Settings

Set your washer to the cleaning setting, or pick the hottest and largest setting available.

Step 3: Add Vinegar

While the washer is filling with water, pour in 3 or 4 cups of white vinegar.

Step 4: Let It Soak

Let the washer start to move the water around, and then stop the cycle. Allow the vinegar to soak for a minute.

Step 5: Add Baking Soda

After the vinegar soak, add 1/2 cup of baking soda. Start the agitator again.

Step 6: More Soaking

Stop the cycle once more and let everything soak for up to an hour. If you’re in a hurry, at least let it soak for half an hour; that works best.

Step 7: Complete the Cycle

Start the washer and let it run until it finishes.

Step 8: Repeat if Needed

You can repeat the process in case you are not satisfied with your washing machine as you’d like.

Clean the Washing Machine Lid and Door

Clean Washing Machine Lid and Door

For front-loading washing machines, it is important to clean the door as the rubber gasket can accumulate mold and dirt. Also, the hair and lint can get stuck in the lid of the top-loading machine. Follow these steps if you want to know how to clean a washing machine door or lid:

Step 1: Get a Wet Cloth

Start by getting a clean cloth damp.

Step 2: Wipe the Outside

Use a damp cloth to clean the front and sides of the washer. Don’t forget to clean the top and the part under the lid.

Step 3: Pay Attention to the Lid

Especially clean under the edge of the lid. Sometimes, old soap and lint hide there.

Step 4: For Mold or Mildew Worries

If you’re worried about mold or mildew, you can make a mix of bleach and water. But if you prefer, vinegar and water work, too.

Step 5: Scrub and Rinse

Scrub the areas well with a microfiber cloth or a paper towel. Then, rinse it with water.

Step 6: Dry It Off

Finally, use a dry cloth to wipe it all dry.

Clean Washing Machine Detergent Trays, Washer Parts and Surfaces

Clean Detergent Trays Washer Parts and Surfaces

A liquid detergent can cause gum up, and powder detergent can lead to a build-up on the parts. So, if your machine has removable parts, here are the steps you need to follow:

Step 1: Remove the Dispensers

Start with removing the dispenser for soap from your machine.

Step 2: Soak and Clean

Soak the parts in hot water and use small cleaning brushes to scrub off any dirt.

Step 3: Rinse and Dry

Rinse the parts and make sure they’re completely dry. After that, put these parts back.

Step 4: Wipe the Outside

Lint, dust, and dirt can stick to the exterior, so make sure you wipe it. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the top and sides, and your machine will look shiny and clean.

Clean Washing Machine Filter and Agitator

Clean washing machine Filter and Agitator

You also need to clean the filter and agitator in the machine along with other parts. It will help you to improve the lifespan of the machine. Follow these steps if you want to learn how to clean a washing machine filter and agitator:

Step 1: Unplug Machine

Start with unplugging your machine to stay safe.

Step 2: Remove Filter

Now, check the manual for instructions and remove the filter from the machine. 

Step 3: Remove Agitator

Use a wrench and unscrew the bolt to remove the agitator from the washing machine.

Step 4: Soak and Scrub In Cleaning Solution

Mix 2 cups of vinegar, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and 1/4 cup of water to make a cleaning solution. After that, put the agitator and filter into the mixture and clean with a soft scrub.

Step 5: Rinse and Dry

After cleaning the filter and agitator, rinse and dry them with a microfiber cloth.

Step 6: Put The Filter and Agitator Back

Put the filter and agitator back into your washing machine once everything is clean and dry.

Best Products for Cleaning a Washing Machine

Here are some of the best natural and commercial products to clean your washing machine:

  • White Vinegar
  • Commercial Products
  • Baking Soda
  • Bleach


How often should you clean your washing machine?

You should clean your washing machine every month. 

What is the best natural washing machine cleaner?

You can use vinegar or baking soda to clean your washing machine naturally. 

What makes a washing machine smelly?

The accumulation of mold can give your washing machine an unpleasant odor.


This is how to clean a washing machine at home. By following our given steps, you can easily clean different types of machines. We have included a list of steps to help you clean different types of machines. You can also deep clean the washing machine by removing and cleaning the parts separately. Regular cleaning will help you extend your machine’s life and guarantee clean and fresh-smelling clothes.

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