How to clean the inside of your washer and dryer

Most people who clean the inside of their homes regularly tend to forget that their appliances need some attention as well. Your washer and dryer are two of the most hardworking machines in your household, so why not show them a little TLC?

Not only does cleaning your appliances keep them looking nice, but it also helps them to run more efficiently, saves you money on your electric bill, and prevents safety hazards. If it’s been awhile since you’ve shown your washer and dryer some love, follow these tips to keep them looking and performing their best. 

Top-loading washers – Get rid of built-up detergent and fabric softener residue from dispensers by removing them and washing them with soapy water. Next, fill the empty washing machine with hot water and one cup of bleach, let it sit for an hour, and then run a long cleaning cycle. Once the cycle is complete, refill the washer with hot water and add one to two cups of vinegar, let it sit, and then run the machine through another cleaning cycle. Lastly, run a hot-water cycle on its own to ensure the washer is completely clean.

(Tip: To avoid getting bleach on your colored items, wash any whites you have first, in case there may still be some bleach remaining in the washer). 

Front-loading washers – The most common complaint of high-efficiency front-loading washers is that they form mold inside of the door seal and begin to have a musty odor. This happens when excess moisture stays inside of the machine, along with dirt and grime. 

To keep your washer door clean, mix one part bleach to nine parts water and thoroughly clean the door seal with a small cleaning tool such as a toothbrush, making sure to get in all of the tiny spaces where mold can grow. Clean the rest of the machine by following the steps above. 

To help prevent mold and odor from reoccurring, avoid leaving wet clothes in the machine overnight, keep the door open to air out when not being used, and wipe down the seal weekly with a mild cleaning solution. 

Remove the lint trap and clean it using a soft bristle brush and soapy water, then set it aside to dry out. Use both a dryer cleaning brush and a nozzle attachment on your vacuum cleaner that will fit inside where the lint trap sits to brush and suck out any dirt or lint that is stuck inside. With a cloth, wipe the inside of the dryer drum with vinegar or a mild detergent. 

Next, to keep your machine drying properly, scrub the electrodes using steel wool, a Scotch-Brite pad, or emery paper. This will help to remove any lint or dryer-sheet residue that may be covering the electrodes (which act as moisture sensors, controlling the automatic cycle) and causing the dryer to signal that your clothes are dry when they actually aren’t. 

Lastly, clean the exhaust on the back of the dryer by loosening the clamp and taking the exhaust off. With your hands, remove all of the lint you can. Then, use a dryer cleaning brush or clothes hanger to remove the clumps of lint you couldn’t reach with your hands. Vacuum any lint that may be remaining in the exhaust and back of the dryer, and then reattach the exhaust using the clamp. 

Once the inside of your machines are taken care of, wipe the outsides down with a gentle cleaner to remove any stains and use a Magic Eraser to get rid of scuff marks. 

Now that your washer and dryer are good to go, be sure to mark your calendars so that you can remember to clean your appliances regularly. Don't have a washer and dryer? Contact Appliance Warehouse today to have a set conveniently delivered to your home.  

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