I use my washer and dryer everyday which is why it is extremely important that I have a regular cleaning routine for these appliances. I have a front loader washer which is more susceptible to mold and mildew because of the rubber gasket which lines the door to prevent leakage and the detergent residue build up. I am sure cleaning your washer and dryer seems like such a huge undertaking that its daunting. But do not fear! Here is a basic breakdown of how to deep-clean these appliances, the Naturally Clean way.
Cleaning the washer:
- All you need is two microfiber cloths and a spray bottle with a mix of equal parts of liquid dish soap and warm water.
- Start by spraying the rubber gasket and wiping it down with a damp microfiber cloth. Be sure to pull back the rubber gasket to clean inside since this is where most of the grime piles up. If you notice a little black mold, spritz it with a mix of vinegar, water, and hydrogen peroxide.
- Grab an old toothbrush and gently scrub along the inside of the gasket. Rinse and wipe clean.
- Next, run the machine through a complete wash cycle at a hot setting adding two cups of vinegar. Since the manual states never to run an empty load, I put a few towels in the washer.
- Remove the detergent dispenser and clean with a mixture of equal parts of vinegar and water. Make sure you wipe down the inside of the washing machine as well where the detergent dispenser goes.
- Lastly, clean the inside of the door with your vinegar/water solution and a microfiber cloth. Pay extra attention to the bottom part of the door where the water might pool.
- Quick tips to clean your washer every time you run a load of laundry:
- After each load of laundry, check the rubber gaskets for any small clothing items. Wipe gaskets down quickly with a dry microfiber cloth to get rid of any excess water.
- Leave the washing machine door slightly open to prevent the growth of mold and mildew by allowing the air to circulate.
- Remove wet clothes as soon as you can. Check inside the corners of the washer for clothes that may be hidden on the sides.
- Try to clean your washer once a month. If there is no visible mold, wipe the washer down with a damp microfiber cloth and a spritz of your vinegar/water solution to keep the soap residue at bay.
- Don’t use a lot of detergent. Adding more detergent can lead to more residue build-up and actually decrease your machine’s cleaning efficiency.
- Add some vinegar to your detergent. Vinegar is great for removing odors from both your clothes and your washing machine and will also help to soften your clothes. Use this in place of fabric softener. It is cheaper, will not leave behind a residue, and does not have any added chemical ingredients. Add about ½ to 1 cup of vinegar per load.
Cleaning the dryer:
Regular maintenance of your dryer will help to improve the drying speed of your clothing, reduce energy usage, and reduce the risk of dryer fires.
- Unplug dryer and pull the dryer out away from the wall. Pull it our far enough so you can get into the vent on the back of the dryer.
- Remove and clean the lint trap. Get into the habit of cleaning the lint trap after each load of laundry. A more thorough cleaning of the lint trap should be done at least twice a year. Clean the lint trap in your sink with liquid dish soap and warm water. Clean the corners of the lint trap with an old toothbrush. Make sure the lint trap is dried well.
- Next, remove the lint trap cover using a screw driver. Using a HEPA filter vacuum hose attachment, vacuum up as much lint as possible from inside and around the vent, being careful not to force the nozzle down the vent. Clean the remaining debris along the outside of the vent with a dry microfiber cloth and your vinegar/water solution. Replace the cover and lint trap.
- Using a screw driver, remove the vent clamp in the back of the dryer and slide the dryer duct off the dryer. Reach in the hole and remove any large clumps of lint. Use the hose attachment and vacuum as much as you can. Re-attach the vent securely with the clamp.
- Next, vacuum up any loose debris around the floor near the washer and dryer. Mop the floor with your microfiber mop and a solution of liquid dish soap and warm water. Quickly dry the floor with an old towel. Plug your machine back in and slide it back into position.
- Using a damp microfiber cloth and your vinegar/water solution, wipe down the inside of the dryer. Dry thoroughly. Clean the inside of the door. Take a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol and clean the moisture sensor electrodes located inside the dryer below the door opening.
- Lastly, wipe down the outside of the machine with your vinegar/water solution and a damp microfiber cloth.