How to clean your top-loader washing machine


Bet you've never cleaned your washing machine.

Most of us (wrongly) assume that there is no reason to clean the inside of a washing machine. We figure that this appliance must get cleaned by the copious wash cycles that we put it through on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, soap and mineral residue from your detergents actually builds up over time, causing your clothes to get less clean and your washing machine to work harder.

There are a number of commercial products available for cleaning a washing machine, but a top-loading machine can be cleaned with nothing but bleach and vinegar. A note of caution: Never combine bleach with anything, especially an acid like vinegar.

Instead, allow the empty washing machine to fill with hot water, pour a quart of bleach into the machine and let it run for about a minute. This will agitate the bleach and get it all over the sides of the machine. Stop the cycle and open the top for about one hour. At the end of this hour, let the machine complete its cycle, taking the bleach with it.

Next, repeat all of the same steps with vinegar. The vinegar will neutralize any remaining bleach, clean the inside of your machine further and leave your laundry room smelling great.

If you are still concerned about your washing machine – or any appliance in your home – it may be a good idea to invest in a home warranty. An affordably priced TotalProtect® Home Warranty will ensure that you are covered in the event that a large appliance or home system breaks down.

The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.