This is my guide on how to clean your washing machine using vinegar and baking soda – without toxic chemicals. My demonstration includes an easy way to clean front loading washing machines, but this method should work on top loading washers as well.
We have had our LG front-loading washing machine and dryer for a few years now. We love them (thanks Mom and Dad!). The only thing we did not like was the moldy smell coming from our washing machine.
Some sites recommend keeping your washing machine door open to let it air out after each cycle. We have cats and I worry about the possibility of them climbing into the washtub when no one is watching. I have tried leaving the door ajar with a piece of masking tape connecting the door and the edge of the machine. I often forget to do this.
It was time to clean the washing machine. I had been putting this task off for a while. This afternoon, I finally decided to bite the bullet and just get it done. Surprisingly, it was quite easy to clean the washing machine and it took very little time.
Guide to Easy Washing Machine Cleaning without Toxic Chemicals
How do you clean a washing machine? I did some research. I used Pinterest (of course), some Google searching, and the LG Caring For Your LG Front Load Washer cleaning manual.
If you have an LG washing machine, or some other brands, check to see if you have a special cycle mode called “Tub Clean”, or something like that. On my washing machine this option is in the upper right corner.
How to periodically clean the washtub on some washing machines.
- Be sure the wash drum is empty (no clothes, towels, etc.).
- Pour bleach, tub cleaner, or vinegar into the dispenser, but do not add any additional detergent or fabric softener. If you are using a powdered cleaner, remove the liquid detergent cup and add the powder to the main wash compartment.
- After closing the drawer and door, select the tub clean mode and then start.
- After the cycle is complete, open the door and use a towel or cloth to wipe the various parts of the door (opening, door seal, glass door) and wipe inside the rubber seal as well.
LG recommends running this Tub Clean cycle monthly in order to remove detergent buildup and other residue.
If your washing machine does not have a tub clean mode or it needs a more thorough cleaning, continue on to the next part – Easily getting your washing machine clean without toxic chemicals.
How to Clean a Front Loading Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda
As a breast cancer survivor, I have become more cautious about the chemicals we use in our house. It is impossible to eliminate all chemicals, but if I can, I try to substitute gentler cleaning products in exchange for harsh chemicals. This method of cleaning a front loading washing machine involves using water, vinegar, and baking soda. I try to stay away from bleach. If your washing machine is super dirty and has lots of mildew, you might need to use something stronger than the water, vinegar, baking soda combination. Remember, if you choose to use bleach, make sure the room is well ventilated (open doors and windows), wear gloves, and do not use vinegar or ammonia at the same time as bleach.
- First, prepare a spray bottle with a mixture of half vinegar and half water. Get discounted spray bottles here.
- Thoroughly spray the inside of the washing machine. Be sure to pull back the rubber gasket/s, where there will most likely be mold and spray there too.
- Using a cloth or paper towels wipe down the entire inside of the washing machine. Be sure to wipe down the area underneath and behind the pulled back rubber gasket. You may even want to use a toothbrush to get in between the tight spaces. You will pull out all kinds of fun (gross) stuff.
- If there is still mold remaining, soak a rag with the vinegar and water solution, squeeze it in between the rubber gasket, and let it sit for an hour.
- Or, add some baking soda to extra grimy or moldy parts. Let it sit and then clean off the baking soda with the water/vinegar.
- Using a clean cloth wipe down the inside until everything is dry and the grime is removed.
- Open the detergent dispenser and wipe down the inside with a cloth, water, and vinegar.
- Now, add 2 cups of vinegar to either the tub or dispenser and run your washing machine on the hottest setting possible. Note – If you used bleach to clean the inside of the tub, run a hot wash cycle without vinegar first, before running the vinegar cycle.
- After the cycle is done, use a rag with water and vinegar to clean the inside of the door and outside of the washing machine.
Now you have a clean washing machine! That wasn’t bad, was it?
Did you notice anything about the picture? I just realized my legs are in the photo in the reflection on the door. Oh well. That must mean the washing machine door is sparkling clean, right?
Deals on new washing machines
If you need a new washing machine here some deals on washing machines.
Best Buy has a promotion now for UP TO 40% OFF MAJOR APPLIANCE TOP DEALS. See the washing machine (and dryer) deals here. You also get free haul-away and free delivery ($399+).
Home Depot has a promotion for up to 30% off major appliances. See the Home Depot Washing Machine deals here.
If you are looking to save money and get a cheap washing machine, Walmart has deals on portable washing machines starting at just $212.