The top tip for extending the life of your washing machine
It is, of course, regular cleaning! Not just any sort of cleaning though. A deep clean of each component of your machine means that there’s no way for bacteria to slip through the cracks.
A washing machine is not just made up of the drum and the detergent drawer, and there are definitely areas unknown that everyone should be scrubbing.
How to deep clean a washing machine
1. Clean the seals
The rubber seals that line the door of your machine are a haven for mould if left alone. Unclean seals can lead to mould build up, smelly clothes and sometimes even leaks if it begins to decompose.
Because these seals are made of rubber, the best cleaning agent to use is actually just warm soapy water. Using bleach, vinegar or a harsh chemical can damage the seal and make it porous. This could further the mould build up as bacteria is easily able to grab onto porous surfaces.
After using your machine, it is recommended to leave the door ajar as long as possible. This will help keep the door seals in shape (so no gaps and leaks form) and increase air circulation for fighting mould.
2. Run an empty cycle
The drum, or the central part of your washing machine, is ultimately the most important component. It houses your clothes, linens and doonas and provides the wash and tumble portion of the machine. Luckily, the drum can be cleaned in the same way.
Running an empty cycle, or cleaning cycle if that’s an option on your machine, with hot water and a bit of detergent should do the trick. This will reduce scrud build up, a waxy residue left over from detergent and fabric softener overuse, and keep your clothes hygienic when being washed.
It is recommended to run an empty cycle every month or two, especially if you regularly use fabric softener.
3. Clean filter
The filter is such an important part of the washing machine. After cleaning your clothes and bed sheets, the graywater will run through the filter and out through the pipes into stormwater drains.
If you tend to leave tissues or receipts in your pockets before washing, then the filter may be full of loose debris. The best way to clean out the filter is by completing the following:
- Find the filter, which is usually toward the front lower part of your machine. Place a towel in front of your machine to prevent any water spillage.
- Remove the filter and clear out any lint, hair or debris from it. Rinse under running water and use a soft brush to get rid of any leftover grime.
- Check the filter housing for any blockages or build up. You can remove build up with a damp cloth.
- Place the filter back in. Run a short rinse cycle on your washing machine to ensure no leaks or problems have occurred.
4. Wipe down external surfaces
Finally, the outside of your washing machine also deserves a good scrub. Every couple of months, get a soft, damp cloth to wipe down the detergent drawer and the outside surfaces of your machine.
If there is any residue in your detergent drawer, you can remove and soak it in warm soapy water.