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How to clean your washing machine for fresher clothes

Your washing machine needs a good cleaning, too. Experts recommend cleaning with vinegar and baking soda once a month.

Washing machines need washing, too. The appliance that cleans your clothes can collect dirt and debris, promote mold and mildew, and just downright stink sometimes. Solutions are easy to keep your washing machine in good working condition for longer.

The newer your machine, the more likely you will have problems if you are not using the proper amount of detergent. Newer machines conserve water and need less cleaning product. If you put in too much detergent, the machine might not provide enough water to break it down properly, leaving behind a coat of soap that could damage your washer.

Always follow the washer manufacturer’s instructions on what kind and how much detergent to use. If you’ve lost the instructions, look them up online with the brand name and product number.

Never leave wet clothes in the washer. That’s how mold and mildew — and smells — get into the mix.

You can keep your machine clean even if you have used too much detergent or let mold and mildew grow. It’s easy and doesn’t require any expensive cleansers.


  1. Settings: Use the hottest and longest
  2. Add: 2 cups of vinegar and ¼ cup of baking soda
  3. Run the wash cycle with the machine empty
  4. At the end of the cycle, wipe down the inside and outside with a damp cloth or sponge
  5. Use a clean cloth to dry all surfaces
  6. Repeat once a month for best results


  1. Settings: Use the hottest and longest
  2. Add: 4 cups of bleach
  3. When the washer is filled completely, stop the machine and let it sit for 1 hour
  4. After an hour, turn it back on to complete the wash cycle
  5. Do it all again, but this time with 4 cups of vinegar
  6. After the vinegar has soaked for an hour, dip a sponge or cloth in the tub and clean all exposed surfaces, the detergent and softener baskets, and the lip of the tub
  7. Finish as with a front loader

Clothes should smell much better after a thorough cleaning!

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