Clean Your Machine

Until I owned my own home for about six months, I had no clue that washing machines needed to be cleaned. To my horror, I discovered this task should be completed every one to two months! My ancient top-loading washer had belonged to the previous owner of the home (and maybe even the owner before that). Had they known this cleaning commandment?

There was only one way to find out - I removed the fabric softener receptacle and looked down into the agitator and found (warning not for the faint of heart)...washing machine sludge:

My revulsion was beyond words. I quickly turned to the internet to find out how to clean the machine that was supposed to be cleaning my clothing. Here's what I found out:

Just like any other tub we use for cleaning (sink, bathtub, etc), the washing machine eventually will get dirty. To remedy this issue, the following steps are recommended (for top-loading washers - those of your lucky folks with the front loaders can stop reading here):

1. Gather the following ingredients - distilled white vinegar, baking soda, measuring cup

1. Remove the fabric softener dispenser and soak in the sink with 1/2 C Vinegar. Then run this through the dish washer

2. Fill the washer with hot water and add 3-4 cups of vinegar and 1-2 cups of baking soda. Turn off the machine when it begins to agitate and let it soak for 30 minutes to an hour.

3. Complete the cycle and wipe down the inside of the tub with a wet rag. Hard to reach areas can be accessed with a bristled brush.

4. Return the fabric softener dispenser to its home, and your washer should be good to go!

I've been faithfully cleaning my machine ever since.

Also if you want to avoid build-up, use less detergent and substitute white vinegar for fabric softener. Cheap. Green. Clean. Now that's my kind of washing machine!

Happy cleaning!


  1. My fabric softener thingy is worse than that, I do not clean it regularly, I wasn't really sure how to go about cleaning it, I think i actually threw the top cap part of it away at one point because of its filth... LOL but it still needs cleaned underneath.

    I don't know why I never thought of using vinegar and baking soda, I run bleach water through the empty machine every once in a while...thanks for the tips, I think I will try to keep on top of this!

  2. I'm sure bleach works too! As long as it's getting cleaned somehow lol

  3. I'm sure bleach works too! As long as it's getting cleaned somehow lol



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