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Deep Clean Your Washing Machine With Two Ingredients You Already Have

May 04, 2023May 04, 2023

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If you've started to notice a bad smell while doing laundry, it's probably time to clean your washing machine. Over time, washing machines can become covered with mold, mildew, germs, and bacteria, which will end up on your clothes when you wash them. While hot water can kill germs, clothes are often washed in cold water. Deep cleaning your washing machine will ensure that mold doesn't build up in your appliance and your laundry will get truly clean. Luckily, a TikTok hack shows how to clean your washing machine with just baking soda and vinegar.

The hack, posted by TikTok user Carolina Mccauley, shows how you can clean your washer with just two common ingredients and a microfiber cloth. In the video, clothes are dunked into white vinegar, rung out, and pushed into the gasket of a front-loading washer. Baking soda is then added to the drum of the machine and more vinegar is poured into the detergent dispenser. You can remove the clothes and then run the washer for a deep clean.

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While the video promotes using vinegar to clean the rubber gasket, cleaning rubber with vinegar often can damage it over time. Vinegar can be helpful for getting rid of minerals from hard water, but it won't necessarily kill all germs. Though vinegar should be used sparingly on rubber, you can still use it to wipe out the drum and other features, and baking soda can be used to deodorize.

If you're looking for a more thorough clean or if your washer has rubber hoses and gaskets, using bleach might be a better choice. For washing machines with a self-cleaning cycle, you can run it on this cycle with bleach. You can also add ½ cup of bleach to the detergent dispenser and start a cycle with hot water if your washer doesn't have a self-cleaning setting. Make sure to add an extra rinse cycle to ensure all the bleach is washed away.

To keep your laundry fresh, it's best to deep clean your washing machine every month. In between deep cleans, it can be helpful to wipe down your washing machine, especially the seals and gasket. This can prevent the stinky smell that develops. Allowing your washing machine to air dry by letting the door hang open after emptying it can also cut down on unpleasant odors. Washers also have a filter that should be cleaned out regularly.

Cleaners marketed for washing machines — such as Affresh, which can be found on Amazon — are a quick and easy way to clean your washer. Simply add the tablet to the drum of your machine and run it empty, or follow the instructions for the cleaner you purchase. In front-loading washers, the gasket can become a hotspot for mold, so drying it out with a cloth can help prevent mold and mildew from growing. Whether you decide to use bleach, vinegar and baking soda, or a washing machine cleaner, regularly cleaning your washer will help your laundry get cleaner and prevent odor in the machine.