How to clean a washing machine (the easy way)

A washing machine should wash itself, right? Tell that to the dog-hair-ball that's rolling around in there

How To Clean A Washing Machine

Washing machines make our clothes smell so fresh — but it’s always a good time to stick your head next to your machine and clear out the grey sludge that’s stuck in the rubber door sill. And it’s not your partner’s fault that their hair has twisted into a slimy knot in the drum! 

Knowing how to clean the washing machine = clean, fresh clothes – and that’s an act of love in itself! 

Here are our washing machine cleaning tips, and a fun illustrated downloadable guide that’ll have your washing machine smelling (and looking) clean and fresh in just five easy steps.  


Before you get started, don’t forget to check your washing machine manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines to avoid any damage.

1. How to clean washing machine interiors

The inside of your washing machine can easily smell gross without the right cleaning method. So, the first step is to make a solution that’ll help get rid of the grime and remove any funky odours. Here’s what to clean washing machine with: 

  • ¼ cup of baking soda mixed in ¼ cup of water
  • 2 cups of white distilled vinegar

Start off by adding your baking soda mixture to the detergent drawer (we’ll show you how to clean the washing machine drawer later). Next, pour the vinegar into an empty machine and run on a full cycle. Once the machine has finished use a piece of strong, damp kitchen paper to wipe away the remaining debris.


Plenty MAX is strong even when it’s wet, but it’s flexible too, making it ideal for wiping fiddly corners like washing machine drawers, buttons and interiors.

2. How to clean washing machine exteriors

Moving onto how to clean washing machine exteriors, the first step is to take the plug out of the wall. Then for this cleaning task you’ll need:

Stick your gloves on, dip the sponge into your bucket and ring out excess water. Take your time scrubbing all parts of the washing machine, making sure to get into the corners where mould and mildew might be hiding – that’s the most satisfying bit! Wipe dry with kitchen towel. 

3. How to clean the washing machine door seal

Pay particularly attention to your washing machine’s gasket and seal as this is a common source of that grubby-washing-machine smell. Carefully work your way into the folds of the door seal, using a little of the vinegar solution to wipe away any build-up of muck. Finish by thoroughly wiping down with a paper towel to ensure it’s dry. 

4. How to clean washing machine drawer parts

If the draw is removable, start off by removing it and soaking it in a solution of warm water and washing-up liquid. While the drawer is soaking, scrub out the area that the detergent drawer is held in and dry with a paper towel. Scrub away at the drawer to remove any build-up of washing detergent and dirt, wipe all the parts, dry and put it back in – done! 

5. Ongoing maintenance and other washing-machine-cleaning tips

One of the easiest ways to clean washing machine interiors, exteriors and parts is to regularly maintain them. The following washing-machine-cleaning tips will help fight odours and keep your machine fresh: 

  • Wipe down regularly and deep clean once a month
  • Dry thoroughly (especially in tight corners)
  • Add two cups of white distilled vinegar to the detergent draw and run an empty washing cycle once a month
  • Don’t skimp on detergent – quality products will not only help your machine work more efficiently, but they’ll also leave less residue behind, too

Pulling out those never-ending webs of matted hair and bits of soggy sludge means that everyone in the house can enjoy having fresher, cleaner clothes from now on – and that’s what makes following these washing machine cleaning tips worthwhile. Plus, if they notice the difference, they might volunteer to clean the machine for you next time. 


How To Clean A Washing Machine Guide


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How to Clean a Washing Machine in 5 Steps

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How to Clean a Washing Machine in 5 Steps

Discover how and what to clean a washing machine with in 5 easy steps. Find out some of the best ways to clean washing machine interiors, exteriors and parts.