Q: What's warm and damp and loved by bacteria?
A: Your washing machine.
Build up of soaps, detergent, fabric softener and clothing fibres can not only clog your drain but also present a wonderful breeding ground for bacteria. This can build up over time in your machine and can lead to some pretty foisty smells in your machine… and therefore on your damp washing.
If you’re not using harsh bleaching chemicals or have opted for fragrance-free detergent it’s even more likely that you’ll encounter this at times.
But don't panic, because we’re here with our ultimate photo-guide for a truly clean machine. After all, you want to wash your clothing in something that’s actually cleaner than your dirty laundry…
1. dispenser drawer.
This is the detergent drawer where you pour your fabric conditioner and/or add your powder or liquid detergent (if you haven’t yet made the switch to capsules).
If you’re unsure how to remove the drawer then consult your machine manual but most are pretty easy to remove with a little jigging around.
Once it’s out it needs a thorough scrub with warm soapy water. An old toothbrush is ideal for all those nooks and crannies.
If you’re using fabric conditioner that contains animal fat (most do) then you might suffer from black mouldy drawers! It’s important to remove this mould as often as possible.
OR switch to smol fabric conditioner - there’s no animal fat used for the bacteria to feed on.
Once your drawer is clean, you can replace it back into your machine.
2. drain tube.
Next you’ll need to open the filter hatch at the bottom of your machine.
Inside you’ll find the drain tube - pull it gently out slightly and unplug the end. Water can then drain into a bowl. Once it has emptied, replace the plug and push the drain tube back into place.
Lay down an old towel before you tackle the filter just to protect the floor from any excess water.
Remove the filter which is also found under the filter hatch next to the drain tube.
Take the filter to your sink and scrub with warm soapy water.
4. rubber seal.
Wipe down your drum seal with smol multi-purpose spray and a clean cloth. Remember to gently wipe in all the creases and remove any coins or debris.
5. drum and pipes!
If your machine manufacturer allows, pour 2 cups of white vinegar into the machine drum (you can also add a cup of baking soda to the detergent drawer for an extra boost).
Run an empty wash on the hottest cycle you have. This will kill bacteria deep within the machine itself that may also be causing your machine to smell. It will also prevent limescale build up.
If your warranty does not allow for vinegar then you will need to use a shop-bought machine cleaner.
Complete these 5 easy steps each month for better cleaning, less limescale and a happier, healthier machine that lasts longer!