If you are reading this and convinced that the title is a typo, you probably have not yet deep cleaned your clothes washer. You also may not really understand how to clean it or why it is important that you do so.
Why wash a washing machine?
Washing machines put up with a lot of dirt. Even worse, they are often inundated with too much laundry detergent or softener, as well as harsh chemicals like bleach. If the water it uses to clean clothes is not softened, the washer may also be dealing with a layer of crusty mineral deposits. All of these issues can cause a washer to become unable to clean clothes effectively.
How can you tell if a washer needs cleaning?
If your washer is suffering from a build up of dirt, laundry products, lint, and mineral deposits inside the tub, on the agitator or inside the pump, hoses, and screens, your nose and eyes will know first. This is because the washer will often leave clothing smelling and looking unwashed, even after a full cycle with the recommended amounts of detergent and laundry boosters. When this happens, people tend to overcompensate by using even more detergent or adding boosters and brighteners, but this just compounds the problem.
How do I clean my washer?
To clean your washer and help it return to providing you with fresh, clean clothing, start by filling the washer with hot water and setting it on the large load setting. Then add a quart of white vinegar and one cup of baking soda to the machine.
The acidic vinegar will work to remove built-up detergent residue and scale buildup from hard water while the baking soda will freshen the interior and help to remove stale odors.
Let the washer agitate for five minutes and then stop the cycle so that the tub remains full for at least one hour, or overnight. Then restart the washer and let it finish the cycle. If this is the first time you have cleaned your washer, doing this process for a second time will be helpful. After your washer is clean, you will want to clean it regularly, or at least once per month to keep it smelling fresh and clean.
If cleaning the interior of your washing machine does not solve the problem of smelly or less-than-clean laundry, contacting an appliance repair technician in your area, such as D-3/A-OK Appliance Service Inc., is the next step to consider.