Front-loading washing machines are designed for doing laundry quickly with minimal effort, but they do require routine care. Over time, residue from laundry detergents and fabric softeners may cling to the inside of the washer. In warm, humid weather, mildew or mold may form, particularly if you have forgotten damp clothes in the washer for a few hours. Keeping the washer fresh and clean is an important step in keeping your laundry fresh.
Items you will need:
- 4 tablespoons baking soda
- 1 quart water
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 quart water
- Soft cloth or sponge
- Spray bottle (optional)
Cleaning With Baking Soda
Dissolve 4 tablespoons baking soda in 4 cups warm water. Baking soda cleans and deodorizes household surfaces.
Saturate a clean cloth or sponge with the solution of baking soda and water, and wipe down the inside surface of the washing machine. Scrub lightly if residue resists your efforts.
Close the door and run the washing machine through a rinse cycle to complete the cleaning process and rinse away baking soda residue. The water/baking soda solution leaves a white, powdery residue on the surface if not properly rinsed.
Cleaning with Vinegar
Mix 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar in 1 quart water to make a solution for removing residues from soaps or oils. Vinegar breaks down grease and freshens the washer.
Saturate a cloth or sponge with the vinegar and water solution and wipe down the interior of the washer. If stubborn buildup resists your efforts, place the dampened cloth over the area for several minutes to allow the vinegar to break down and loosen the buildup. Scrub lightly to remove the soiled area.
Run the washer through a rinse cycle to remove residue and traces of vinegar.
- For stubborn areas, make a paste of baking soda and water and apply with a sponge. Scrub gently and rinse clean with water.
- Add the vinegar and water solution to a spray bottle and keep it near the washer. Use to wipe away spills or do a quick cleaning of the interior between washes.
Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.
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