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The Best Way to Cleaning your Washing Machine

You clean and disinfect every surface in your home, but have you thought about your washing machine? It sounds crazy, right? The washing machine cleans your clothes, why do you need to think about washing machine cleaning?

You may be surprised to learn why.

Smelly Washing Machine

Washing Machines are Dirty

The facts may scare you, but it’s important to hear. Your washing machine may carry more bacteria than you knew. A study found that one in four pieces of laundry washed in 40 degrees Celsius temperatures (the most common temperature) contained feces.

If that’s not enough to scare you – washing machines also accumulate germs and bacteria, all of which can add up to old, musty smells that can transfer to your clothes too. The only way to avoid this is to wash your clothes in 60 degrees Celsius temperatures, but a majority of your laundry wouldn’t survive those temperatures.

Think about it, though. What do you wash in your washing machine? Dirty clothes you wore to the gym, work, or the store – they all have germs. In fact, today all clothes are seemingly ‘contaminated’ in the face of the pandemic. But also think of the dirty towels, washcloths, dishtowels, gym clothes, and sports uniforms you put in your washing machine. It adds up to a lot of dirt, grime, and germs.

So what option do you have?

You must clean your washing machine, but how?

Washing Machine Cleaning Using Hydrogen Peroxide 3%

When we say you should clean your washing machine, we really mean disinfect it. There’s a big difference. Cleaning just gets rid of the dirt and grime. It doesn’t get rid of the bacteria and germs. Soap too gets rid of dirt, not germs. If you want to disinfector or sanitise, you need something that will kill the germs, like hydrogen peroxide.

Here’s the best way to clean a washing machine.

  1. 1

    Fill your washing machine with hot water. Set it to the hottest temperature possible and fill it to the highest level. Also, set it for the longest wash cycle.

  2. 2

    Add around four cups of 3% hydrogen peroxide to the water, or less if you wish. Let the washing machine gone through its cycle, agitating the water. You want the water and hydrogen peroxide to get mixed around in the washing machine for a minute, then pause it. Let the washing machine filled with water sit for at least one hour.
    The hot water and hydrogen peroxide will kill the bacteria and loosen any grime. The longer time it has to sit there, the more it will disinfect the entire machine.

  3. 3

    Once the water is cool (usually about one hour), start the washing machine again, letting it run through its cycle. This will rinse any dirt and grime that loosened up during the cycle right out of the machine.

  4. 4

    After the washing machine completes its cycle, get in there with an old towel or microfiber cloth and wipe it down. Pay close attention to every part, including the drum, agitator, door, and any cups (removable or fixed). Any area you can easily get to and wipe down – do it.

  5. 5

    Run the washing machine again, on the hottest cycle and at the highest water level. This time let the cycle run through. Letting the water cycle through the washing machine will wash away any dirt or debris you missed.

How Often Should you Clean a Washing Machine?

This is an age-old question, and the answer is that it depends. If you want to set yourself on a regular schedule, do it monthly. If you are the type that likes to wait until you notice a problem, visually inspect your washing machine often.

You’ll notice:

  • Your clothes don’t smell clean or have a musty smell to them.
  • There’s a soap buildup on the agitator and drum. You may even see bacteria growth, which is a result of the soap buildup.
  • You may see a buildup of debris, such as pet hair, human hair, or random debris.

It’s best if you practice washing machine cleaning before it gets to this point. Think of it as a preventative measure rather than a fix. You aren’t trying to fix a problem; you want to prevent it.

Other Ways to Keep Your Washing Machine Clean

If you want to extend the time your washing machine stays clean, try the following tips in between cycles:

  • Keep the door cracked in between cycles to let the washing machine completely dry. This helps reduce bacteria growth in the washing machine.
  • Wipe the washing machine down with a microfiber cloth after each cycle or as often as you can. The less moisture that sits in the washing machine, the lower the risk of bacteria growth becomes.
  • Do laundry more frequently. This may sound crazy, but the more you run your washing machine, the less likely it is to grow bacteria. If you constantly have water running through it, with little time in between for the bacteria to grow, you’ll decrease the risk of musty smelling clothes and bacteria growth.

Are you already thinking about how soon you can disinfect your washing machine? Don’t feel bad if you haven’t done it yet – we all naturally assume washing machines are clean, after all, they do the cleaning! Once you think about it though, you’ll see why washing machine cleaning as often as you can is important.

When you use natural 3% hydrogen peroxide, rather than bleach, you deodorise, sanitise and clean your washing machine effectively. Your washing machine will smell fresh, as will your clothes. Once you do it once, you’ll quickly be able to recognise when your washing machine needs cleaning again.

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