How to remove sludge from the drain holes of a washing machine

Written by gail delaney
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How to remove sludge from the drain holes of a washing machine
Cleaning the drain holes in your washing machine is an important part of maintenance. (Anton Vaver/iStock/Getty Images)

Washing machine drain holes fill up with sludge formed from washing powder residue and the dirt and lint that comes off clothes during the wash. Sludge is nasty gloop that can block the drain and give off a foul smell. It can also stain your clothes. Proper maintenance of your washing machine drain holes is important if you want to extend the life of your machine and improve drainage.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Vinegar

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  1. 1

    Turn the washing machine to a hot cycle and fill it with hot water.

  2. 2

    Add 1/2 cup to three cups of white vinegar.

  3. 3

    Run the machine without putting in any clothes. Listen for the cycle where the machine drains the water out.

  4. 4

    Turn the cycle to spin and drain the water out. Repeat these steps if the washer drain holes still have sludge.

Tips and warnings

  • You can also add 1/2 cup of baking soda along with the vinegar to help with the cleaning process.
  • Clear filters and lint traps regularly to keep the drainage pipe free of sludge.

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