Cleaning your washer may not initially make sense. After all, it has soap and water running through it all of the time, right? Your clothes go in dirty and they come out clean – so why would you need to put any work in to clean something that’s already clean? And as far as your dryer is concerned, you’re putting clean clothes in there anyway, right? So why would it get dirty? However, just like anything else, it’s important to clean your washing machine and dryer.
Why Should I Clean My Washer and Dryer?
Unfortunately, this is not the case. All of that dirt and grime from your clothing has to go somewhere, and it doesn’t always leave through the hoses. Remnants are stored in your washer and will stay there for months or even years until they’re cleaned properly. Take a look at some of these reasons why you should keep your washer and dryer clean:
It helps your system work more efficiently.
Did you know that the dirt from your clothing can build up in the pipes and the electrical system of your washer and dryer? This can cause your system to slow down or even clog up. If you let it go for long enough, the hoses in your washer could end up leaking, which means flooding for you. Not fun.
It ensures your safety.
When looking at the dryer alone, it’s easy to throw clothes in without a second thought to your safety. The dryer is actually a very powerful electrical machine, and like anything electrical, it’s capable of starting fires. Keeping your dryer and lint screen clean is an essential safety measure for you and your family.
It saves you money.
Issues caused by dirty systems can cause problems with the wiring, the hoses, the ventilation systems, and the drainage. If you’re keeping up with the cleaning and taking care of your machines, you won’t have to spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on repairs.
It reduces mold buildup.
Mold spores are sneaky and they grow literally anywhere there is moisture. This means your washer and your dryer can both be affected. This can make for clothes that smell not-so-fresh, or worse, mold spores anywhere on your body! A good cleaning will take care of this.
How Do You Clean Your Washing Machine & Dryer?
Now that we’ve covered why it’s so important to clean your washer and dryer, you might be asking yourself what the next steps are. How are you supposed to clean something that essentially already cleans itself every time you throw a load in?
One of the most important things to consider is the quality of cleaning products you use. When it comes to anything in your home that directly affects your health, all-natural and organic cleaning products are preferable. Instead of using washer and dryer cleaning detergent or undiluted bleach, consider going with white vinegar instead. Not only does it kill mold and deodorize, it will also leave behind little-to-no residue.
On top of that, vinegar is inexpensive! Yes, bleach is what is often used to kill mold spores, and you can certainly substitute the vinegar for bleach if you’d like. But vinegar can often be just as effective. In fact, vinegar has a reputation for getting spores out of porous materials better than bleach can! Don’t forget to keep in mind that chemical cleaning solutions can also often damage your washer and dryer.
When you’re ready to start cleaning, here are some simple steps to follow:
To Clean Your Washing Machine (Top-loading):
- Add four cups (or 950 mL) of bleach to the drum of your washing machine
- Add a little baking soda if you’d like (around one cup – it works nicely with the vinegar to lift stains)
- Start the washer on the hottest cycle at the highest water level
- After your washing machine is filled to the top with hot water, open the lid and let it sit for about an hour
- While your washer is soaking, use the time to take a sponge (or toothbrush, if you’re so inclined) to scrub the dirt and grime around the lid, sides, and knobs (you can use white vinegar for this as well)
- Close the lid and let the washer finish the cycle
- Dry everything thoroughly with a dry, clean cloth
To Clean Your Washing Machine (Front-loading):
- Put 2-3 cups of vinegar into the drum and close the door
- Mix ¼ cup of baking soda with ¼ cup of water and pour it where you typically pour your detergent
- Run a cycle as you normally would
- Once the cycle is finish, use a damp cloth to wipe down the inside of the machine to get rid of any mold or grime
- Wipe dry with a clean cloth
For Your Dryer:
- Use a spray bottle of white vinegar to dampen a cloth
- Wipe the entire inside of the drum
- Dry with a clean cloth
- Locate the dryer exhaust on the outside of your house and make sure your dryer is turned on
- Wipe down with a dampened vinegar cloth
- Dry with a clean cloth
For long-term cleaning of your dryer, you will want to do more than just wipe the drum and clean the dryer exhaust. For example: the hose of your dryer should eventually be disconnected and vacuumed out to prevent clogs and mold. But in the meantime, this simple solution will keep your dryer smelling good and it should keep the mold out of the drum. See below for some quick tips regarding the hygiene of your washer and dryer.
- In the future, when you finish a load of clothes, keep the doors to your washer and dryer slightly ajar. This will prevent mold from growing.
- Lightly clean between cycles. Remember that mold grows around the lids and the drum. Keep a spray bottle of white vinegar nearby so you can wipe it down every 7 days or so.
- If your washer and dryer are older, clean them more frequently.
- Do a thorough cleaning every 4-5 weeks, and replace the hoses every 5 years to prevent additional buildup and damage to your system.
If you’re like many people and find that you don’t have time to clean all the things you need to clean regularly, then consider hiring a cleaning service. The professionals at MaidLuxe can help you keep your home sparkling clean. We have a variety of services that match your needs. Call for a quote today.