Are you interested in learning how to clean top loading washing machines the right way? Then this article is for you…
Ever heard of when the washer needs a wash? That’s not the irony of life, but the reality of it many times. This is the same with washing machines.
To keep the washing machine in a good and useful, operational condition, it is important for it to be cleaned regularly.
We seldom love to agree to how ignorable we see machines and appliances like washing machines or dishwashers.
After all, they do all the cleaning and take in all the dirt. However, these appliances themselves need a good cleaning every now and then.
Depending on the number of times of use, it is important to do a routine cleaning every once a month or two, max.
Truth is, every time you pour the detergent into the washing machine to wash your clothes, there are residues that get stuck in the machine.
Cleaning the washing machine would help you keep away those detergent residues and other dirty bits – either from clothes or beach sand from bikinis or from dog covers, etc. – that could stain subsequent clothes from being thoroughly cleaned.
Knowing how to clean your washing machine therefore is super important, especially if it is easy to learn, inexpensive and do-able. But knowing why you should could be a great starting point.
Why You Need To Clean The Washing Machine
When conversations about buying washing machine rages, it is rarely about cleaning them.
You can read about why the size of a machine is important, especially when you consider top loading machines with narrower frames.
It could be about the load capacity, whether it has a dryer, what the material of the drum is made up of, amongst other things.
However, you can start by looking out for top loading machines that have self-sanitizing cycles that also help you limit how often you wash the machine because that can become a monotonous task over time too.
But till then, you must consider the benefits of having a washer that is clean. You can consider the following reasons as part of why cleaning a washing machine is not out of place:
- Due to their designs, some washing machines hold water in certain components, thereby becoming breeding places for molds and mildews that can cause unpleasant odors. Any machine with this kind of design gets to smell badly and it is very unhealthy. If you also live in a humid climate, incessant moisture in the air won’t allow the washer dry quickly or even completely, especially in between loads. This can cause stale odors and that’s not a nice companion to have in the home or as a laundromat.
- Every now and then, soap and dirt splash up from the washer. That often leaves grime on some parts of the agitator, and with also wash bin which are above the water line.
- Also, hard water affects lime to easily buildup in components and pipes. The result is that washer and pipes become less efficient and run at a slower pace.
How Do You Clean Your Top Loader Naturally?
You can do a washing of a top loader naturally by using baking soda, vinegar and water. Although it takes more than that, it will be where we start from.
This is a natural approach to cleaning the top loading washing machine, and the following steps would serve first as the basic approach before other interventions:
Step 1: Gather The Items You Will Need For Cleaning. You will need:
- ½ cup of baking soda
- Three cups of distilled (white) vinegar
- A rag (damp cloth, more like it)
- A little-mouthed brush to get in-between the crevices
- A pair of gloves for your hands if your hands are sensitive to soda or vinegar.
Step 2: Set The Wash Switch On Your Washing Machine
You would have to set the switch to its highest. Different washing machines have different highest nodes. Choose the one for yours.
Then turn on the switch that allows the hot water to run into your washing machine. You have to set the washer to run on hot water with the highest load setting.
In other words, you fill the washing machine using the highest load size, the hottest water setting, and longest wash. This is not the time to add any clothes or detergent.
Step 3: Put The Cleansing Items You Have Into The Machine
That is, while the water is running, open the lid of the washer and as the washer tub fills, add your white vinegar to the washing machine.
Spread it round the top loader after the cover is opened. Let it be about 3-4 cups of white vinegar.
Then allow the machine to shake up for a minute or more to mix the vinegar with the water. The vinegar breaks down dirt particles in the machine.
After that, you add your baking soda to the washing machine. Spray it across the machine the same way you spread the white vinegar.
Here, you are adding your ½ cup of baking soda. Again, at this time, let the machine run in order to mix in the baking soda.
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Step 4: Let the hot water almost fill up the inner drum of the machine. After that,
Close the lid for a while and allow the water to agitate for a minute. It then washes a little, but does not pour out the water.
After a few seconds (or a minute), open your lid again. Let the vinegar soak in the tub for between 30 minutes and 1 hour.
Meanwhile, remove the detachable parts in the washer, everything that can be removed, and soak them.
After some time, get out those soaked items and scrub them thoroughly. When you are done, allow them to dry out properly before replacing.
After the set few minutes, you pick the rag, dip in the water (the same water doused with vinegar and soda) and clean the outside of the top loader, the hoses and the edges of the washing machine around where the lid covers up to.
Do this as the hot water, baking soda and vinegar are shaping the odors and grime.
When using the damp, clean cloth, ensure it is soaked in the vinegar and water mixture in order to wipe the washing machine down.
Where the space is somewhat tiny for a thorough wash around the edges, get your little brush to clean it up.
In other words, do not forget about the knobs, little ignorable spaces, the washer top and the washer bin, and the fabric softener and/or bleach dispensers.
Step 5: At This Point, You Begin The Washing Cycle Again Till The Water Starts To Drain
There are two potential results here. If the washer can, for example, you need to turn its knob so that the tub can drain while it is still spinning.
What this does is that the loosened gunk is cleaned by pushing vinegar water down through the wash bin holes.
However, if the washer cannot cover for this, just start another hot wash cycle again this time and give it time to run through completely.
At this point, the scum on top of the wash bin can now be easily wiped off using your brush.
There are people who might feel a lot more comfortable with using a bleach and vinegar mixture instead of a soda.
The key ingredients in either use have their significance. Bleach is used for the purpose of killing bacteria, mildew, or mold while the white vinegar assists in dissolving any soap scum and hard mineral deposits in the machine.
As established above, you will equally need a measuring cup to measure the quantity of use. Then also the damp cloth, bowl and sponge that could replace a brush too.
However, to advocate for bleach is not environmentally friendly. The challenge with using bleach is that it is not just a toxic cleaner, it is very bad for septic systems.
The septic systems always need a certain number of bacteria to break down matter. Using bleach eviscerates that.
Also, many new top loading washing machines now have a sanitize cycle. They come in two types. If it is the model whose heater is onboard, the washing machine can heat up to the point that it sanitizes itself without having to use bleach or other harsh chemicals.
If yours doesn’t have one, that is not fret-worthy. Maybe never. There are quite a few washing machines that could be said to be high-efficiency that heat up so much so that they can stand-alone sanitize.
What only happens is that you’ll either need to pour in bleach or some special kind of sanitizer tablets. These are not sold with the washing machine, though.
What is important is to familiarize yourself with your appliance’s instruction manual. You can follow the instructions there faithfully in sanitizing the washer.
While at that, remember the safety-first motto. Do not ever put clothes or laundry in general in the washer while it is sanitizing. That could cause incalculable damage to your clothes.