No one wants their clothes to be washed in something that stinks and the problem with washing machines is that, if they're not taken care of properly, they will start to smell. This is due to the mildew that grows inside the machine on account of the levels of moisture, germs and general grime the machine encounters.
It is important, therefore, to take precautions to ensure your machine stays as fresh as possible and in doing so, always presents you with perfectly clean and wonderful smelling laundry. Here are a few tips to help you in your mission to keep your washing machine as fresh as the day you bought it:
1. Bleach cleaning
Doing a bleach clean every other month or so will help your washing machine to stay clean and grime free on the inside. You will need to ensure all items of clothing are removed from the drum and then add half a cup of bleach into the drum. Give the drum a quick wipe around and then pour another half cup into the detergent drawer. Put the washing machine onto the shortest hot cycle available and then let the machine do its thing.
2. White wine vinegar cleaning
White wine vinegar is an extremely good cleaning product. Between the following two cleaning methods (tips 3 and 4) and this method, you shouldn't have any problems with bad smells radiating from your washing machine. As with the bleach, you will need to add some white wine vinegar to the drum and to the detergent drawer.
Put your machine onto a short hot cycle and the vinegar will do its job by removing all signs of grime from your machine. It is recommended to do this once a week, although you can vary it with the methods discussed in tips 3 and 4.
3. Lemon juice cleaning
Lemon juice is extremely acidic and so is very effective at cutting through grease and limescale. As such lemon juice is the perfect cleaning product for your washing machine, as it will not only clean up all the dirt left behind from washing your clothes but also the limescale that has built up from your water use.
To get the best effects from using lemon juice, it's a good idea to squeeze a few cups, one of which goes into the drum and the other, into the detergent drawer. Once again, put your machine onto a short hot cycle and you'll soon see the effects of the lemon juice at work. You'll also find the smell the lemon juice leaves behind nice and refreshing.
4. Bicarbonate of soda cleaning
Bicarbonate of soda is used for many things, from cleaning teeth, removing red wine stains and of course cooking, right through to keep washing machines healthy and of course smelling fresh. Start by making up a paste with the bicarbonate of soda and some cold water. Take the paste you have made and wipe it around the drum of the washing machine with a wet cloth. Be sure to give the detergent drawer a wipe around with the paste as well.
Next, take some bicarbonate of soda powder and place it in the powder section of the detergent drawer (a few spoons are all that is needed). Then, as with the other methods, put your machine onto the shortest hot cycle and the soda mixtures will be left to do their thingâ€¦that is clean.
5. Overall upkeep
The methods detailed above, if performed on a regular basis, will all help to keep your washing machine smelling as fresh as possible. However, it is also important to ensure you take care of the outer shell, as well as the outer components, such as the door and the door seals. If left, these areas can get very grubby and as such, will start to smell.
Be sure you therefore use kitchen cleaner, the commercial kind or the homemade kind (bicarbonate of soda, vinegar, bleach and lemon juice will all work just as well), on these areas. It is best to give the external shell of the machine, the door, the seals and any removable components (such as the detergent drawer) a good wipe around at the end of every week.
All of the above is easy enough to incorporate into weekly cleans (and monthly deep cleans) of your house and is most definitely worth doing if you want to ensure your clothes stay smelling fresh, instead of mouldy and horrible.
An article published on behalf of Ms. Laura. She writes for the Wash House kitchen appliances. When not blogging, she can often be found saving for upgrades to her existing appliances.