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How to clean the washing machine with soda crystals

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How to clean the washing machine with soda crystals and white vinegar and help keep it mould and mildew free.

If you’ve noticed your washing machine is smelly, then chances are your clothes are not going to come out smelling all that fresh either.

And nobody wants a smelly washing machine!

Most new washing machines now come with a “washing machine cleaning cycle” built into the programmes. However if your’s doesn’t then it’s super easy to clean the washing machine using simple, natural products.

To clean inside of washing machine we use soda crystals, white vinegar and ordinary washing up liquid, all of which are readily available, cheaply at the supermarket.

I prefer to clean inside of washing machine using more natural products especially as I have young children at home – chemicals are best kept to a minimum especially around inquisitive types!  

You do have to make sure you store soda crystals out of sight and reach of children though as they are an irritant.

What to use to clean the washing machine

Cleaning a washing machine with bicarbonate of soda and vinegar is really easy – you’ll just need…

  • 2 cups of white vinegar
  • big squirt of dish washing soap
  • old toothbrush
  • cleaning cloths

How to clean your washing machine

As part of a deep clean washing machine routine here’s how to clean the washing machine using natural products.

  • Turn off the electricity on the washing machine then remove the detergent drawer and give it a wash in warm soapy water. The detergent drawer can really get disgusting and filled with gunk!

A dirty detergent drawer can often be the cause of a smelly washing machine!

  • Scrub any crevices in the washing machine detergent drawer using an old toothbrush. This will remove any build up of black gunky soap that can hang around in there causing washing machine smells.
samsung washing machine detergent drawer being soaked in hot soapy water for cleaning
  • Clean inside the soap dispenser space in the washing machine, again use dish washing soap and a toothbrush to scrub any small tight areas.
uses a toothbrush to clean the inside of the washing machine where the detergent drawer goes
  • Finally wipe around with a damp cloth before returning the clean detergent drawer.
using a soft white cloth to clean the inside of the washing machine where the detergent goes
  • Turn the washing machine electric supply back on – and add the soda crystals to the detergent drawer.
soda crystals being tipped into the detergent drawer on a samsung washing machine
  • Pour the cups of white vinegar directly into the washing machine drum
white vinegar being poured into the washing machine drum on a samsung washing machine
  • Put the washing machine on the highest temperature wash cycle.
samsung washing machine with lights lit up indicating it's set to it's hottest, longest wash cycle
  • Once it’s finished use a soft cloth to wipe clean the inside of the glass door and the rubber door seal.
glass door on a samsung washing machine being wiped with a soft white cloth to clean it
  • Dry the rubber door seal and leave the door slightly ajar so air can circulate.
grey rubber seal on a samsung washing machine being wiped with a soft white cloth to clean it

Get more green cleaning tips here

How to clean the outside of the washing machine

As part of my deep clean washing machine I also clean the outside of the machine.

The outside of the washing machine can be cleaned with a microfibre cloth and warm soapy water.

Just wipe the machine down gently and then buff dry with a clean, dry cloth.

How to clean the washing machine door seal

The washing machine door seal is the one part of the washing machine that gets black mould on it the quickest.

Once the black mould is on the rubber door seal this can’t really be removed, even using bleaching products, it rarely gets the mould off.

The only option is to change the seal. You can usually order door seals from the parts department of the manufacturer.

The best way to prevent the door seal getting black mould on it is to make sure you dry the seal after use and leave the washing machine door slightly ajar so air circulates.

Get more housework tips here

How often should you clean the washing machine

To avoid a smelly washing machine or gunk building up in the soap dispenser drawer it’s a good idea to clean the washing machine at least once a month and rinse the detergent drawer out once a week.

Cleaning the washing machine regularly is one of our top laundry tips!

Washing machine cleaner

Every couple of months and after any illness in the family I always use a washing machine cleaner to really deep clean and hygienically clean the inside of the washing machine.

My favourite washing machine cleaner is Dettol Washing Machine Cleaner – it’s super easy to use and leaves the washing machine smelling really fresh and clean.

Love a nice clean house? Try these top natural cleaning tips

Get more housework routine ideas and checklists here

  • How to air the bed – airing the bed daily is a good thing! We’ll show you how to air the bed properly and why it’s important.

How to clean the washing machine with soda crystals

Step by step instructions for cleaning the washing machine with soda crystals and white vinegar.

Prep Time 2 minutes
Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost £2

Materials

  • 1 cup soda crystals 
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • big squirt dish washing soap

Tools

  • old toothbrush 
  • cleaning cloths x 2

Instructions

  1. Turn off the electricity on the washing machine then remove the soap dispenser drawer and give it a wash in warm soapy water. Scrub tight crevices using the old toothbrush.
  2. Clean inside the soap dispenser space in the washing machine, again use dish washing soap and a toothbrush to scrub any small tight areas.
  3. Then wipe around with a cloth before returning the clean soap dispenser.
  4. Turn the washing machine electric supply back on – and add the soda crystals to the soap dispenser drawer.
  5. Pour the cups of white vinegar directly into the drum of the washing machine.
  6. Put the washing machine on the highest temperature wash cycle.
  7. Once it’s finished use a soft cloth to wipe clean the inside of the glass door and the rubber door seal.
  8. Dry the rubber door seal and leave the door slightly ajar so air can circulate.
  9. The outside of the washing machine can be cleaned with a microfibre cloth and warm soapy water.

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