Dirty Washer? Clean it Up!

Dirty Washer? Clean it Up!

  I’m sure you know what I’m talking about… your high efficiency washing machine.  You know what I’m talking about, all you HE washing machine lovers.  I’ve had a love/hate relationship with mine for about four years now.  Never has four years seemed so long.  I love my HE washing machine, don’t get me wrong, but the smell… the gunk… the washing machine cleaners.  Really??? I need to WASH the appliance that washes my clothes?  No… I’m not ok with that.

So, after just tolerating the stink for four years and using the washing machine cleaning tabs (yeah… those things that are full of promise but always leave you disappointed, kind of like all of the chocolate that could’ve been dark chocolate that didn’t quite make it there), I finally found a few methods that actually cleaned my washing machine.  I mean ALL of the gunk and stink gone.  Want to rid yourself of the stench?  Follow these simple steps:

  1. Throw away all of your washing machine washing tablets… they don’t work.
  2. Run a tub clean cycle (if your machine doesn’t have the cycle, use the hottest cycle your washer has) with 1/2 cup of white vinegar in the detergent dispenser and 1/2 cup in the tub with 1/2 cup of baking soda.
  3. Grab a deep baking pan and an old towel.  It’s time to clean that nasty filter and drain pump tube thingy (yes, that’s it’s technical name).  There should be a small door toward the bottom of your washer.  If not, you should be able to take the bottom panel off of your washing machine to access the filter that can be removed (righty tighty, lefty loosey).  Rinse the filter and remove all of the gunk from the inside of the filter portion.  Next, remove the stopper from the drain pump tube thingy (there’s that technical name again), and drain it into the pan.  Doing this once a month (let’s be honest, do it whenever you can… ain’t nobody got time for that) should prevent a lot of buildup or stagnant water from backing up.
  4. Keep your washer clean so you don’t have to do the previous steps (yes, this IS possible!).
    • Add 1/2 cup of Borax to the tub with every load of laundry.
    • Whenever you wash towels (I usually do this about once a week), use the sanitary cycle with 1/2 cup of Borax.  If your machine doesn’t have a sanitary cycle use the hottest cycle your machine has.

I noticed a white film after using baking soda and vinegar in my machine.  If this happens, use a sponge dampened with white vinegar to rub the film away.  Sometimes laundry has a funny smell even when the washing machine is clean.  If this happens, add 5-10 drops of tea tree oil to a washcloth and toss it in the dryer and add the stinky culprits.

Happy cleaning!