How to clean your front-loading washing machine

Got a front loader? You need to clean it.
Lee Suckling

Got a front loader? You need to clean it.

Washing machines are self-cleaning, right? Wrong, especially if you've got a front loader.

Wash after wash, your machine can easily collect the little bits of grime that come out of your clothes, and hold them in the rubber corners of the seal.

Moreover, because that seal is left moist, it builds up mould.

Two simple ingredients from your pantry are all that is needed
Lee Suckling

Two simple ingredients from your pantry are all that is needed

I found this out the hard way this weekend when I did a load of whites, only to discover the mould had somehow broken free during the wash and dozens of tiny bits of it where stuck to my new t-shirts.

Here's how to go about cleaning your washing machine so this doesn't happen.

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The seal on your drum is where the mould hides
Lee Suckling

The seal on your drum is where the mould hides

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • ¼ cup of baking soda
  • ¼ cup of warm water
  • 2 cups of white vinegar
  • A scouring sponge
  • A regular sponge
  • Paper towels
     

DIRECTIONS:

Detergent container
Lee Suckling

Detergent container

Check the mould status of your front loader's seal by pulling it back from the drum with your fingers. If it looks green or grey, you have a build-up you need to tend to before proceeding.

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To tackle this, douse the area in white vinegar, and leave it to sit for 10-20 minutes. Return with your scouring sponge, hold the seal back with one hand, and scrub the mould off with the other.

If you can't dislodge it all with a sponge in your hand, try and old toothbrush. Use a few paper towels to wipe the vinegar/mould solution away.

Then, In a small bowl, mix together the baking soda and warm water. Place it in the detergent slot of your machine, as if you were doing a regular wash with powder or liquid.

Pour the vinegar directly into the drum of the machine. Turn it on to a normal cycle with the temperature on hot, or use the specific "drum clean" cycle if your machine has it.

As your machine does its thing, the combination of baking soda and vinegar will destroy all of the grime and excess mould that's still surviving.

Once the cycle is done, wipe the inside of the drum and the seal again with your clean, regular sponge (or a rag) and a bit of clean water.

If you notice any bits of grime or mould that haven't gone away, you'll want to get your scouring brush out again and finish it off.

Repeat this process once a month to ensure the build-up never gets that bad again.

Also, in order to prevent mould building up in the seal in the future, blot any water out of it after every wash with a towel, and leave the door slightly ajar (presuming no children or pets have access to it).

 - Stuff

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