How to Clean the Inside of a Washing Machine

Written by ehow home & garden editor
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Just like all home appliances, your washing machine requires upkeep and cleaning. After being used for awhile, the inside of the machine may develop an odor or have a build-up of dirt or minerals. It is a good idea to clean the inside of your washing machine once or twice a year to ensure your clothes come out looking and smelling clean.

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  1. 1

    Set your washing machine to the largest load setting and then turn it on, allowing it to completely fill with hot water and begin to agitate.

  2. 2

    Open the lid on the washing machine and add 3 to 4 cups of white vinegar and 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda to the water. Allow it to agitate for a few minutes and then shut the machine off. Let the solution sit inside the machine for an hour or two.

  3. 3

    Restart the washing machine and let it complete the wash cycle and fully drain. Shut off the machine again.

  4. 4

    Remove the fabric softener dispenser and the bleach dispenser if your machine has one. Wash both of these with a 50/50 solution of hot water and white vinegar.

  5. 5

    Use a clean rag, wet with the water and vinegar solution, to wipe the inside of the machine. Be sure to wipe all surfaces including the blades of the agitator, the top rim of the wash bucket and the lid of the machine. Put the fabric softener and bleach dispensers back into place.

  6. 6

    Run the empty washing machine one more time using hot water.

Tips and warnings

  • When you are cleaning your washing machine, it is a good time to check all of the hoses for wear or damage. Most manufacturers recommend changing your washing machine hoses ever five years.

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