Regular maintenance of your household appliances can go far to ensure their longevity and optimal performance. Let's focus, for example, on one such appliance that rarely gets the tender, loving care it deserves – your washing machine.
Why You Should Regularly Clean Your Washing Machine
A washing machine does the dirty work, literally, but over time, the accumulation of detergent residues and minerals could cause unattractive and equally unpleasant mould and grime. This build-up not only may produce bad odours but also lead to potential breakdowns.
DIY Cleaning Techniques for Your Washing Machine
You don't have to call a professional to give your washing machine a deep cleanse. You can do it comfortably using common household items like vinegar and baking soda.
- Start by running a hot cycle with two cups of vinegar placed in the detergent dispenser. It can eliminate bacteria without causing any harm to your machine.
- After the vinegar cycle, run another hot cycle but this time add 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda and a few drops of essential oils. Essential oils like oregano, thyme, lavender, clary sage, and arborvitae are well-known for their antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Cleaning Rubber Seals and Other Tips
You should not forget about the rubber seals. A vinegar-soaked cloth and an old toothbrush should remove stubborn grime from these areas.
Another technique involves filling the detergent dispenser with vinegar, pouring the leftovers in the drum and adding baking soda directly into the drum.
If your machine hasn't been cleaned in a while, you may require 4 cups of vinegar for it to be effective.
Using Bleach to Clean Your Washing Machine
You can also resort to bleach for cleansing. Just add 1/2 cup of liquid bleach to a cycle set at either 60°C or 90°C. Remember to rinse thoroughly to make sure all bleach residues disappear.
Precations to Prevent Mould Formation
Mould prevention also holds a significant aspect of washing machine maintenance.
You should leave the door and the detergent drawer open after every wash cycle. This allows fresh air to circulate and dry out any remaining moisture, helping to prevent mould and mildew growth.
Using the correct amount of detergent and softener is another preventative measure. Overuse may lead to more residues and, eventually, more grime and mould.
Regularly clean detergent drawers. If you're worried about the environmental impact or possible skin irritation from fabric softeners, consider replacing it with three tablespoons of baking soda for a disinfecting effect.