It seems like something you can always rely on. You put your dirty clothes through your washer and dryer. Then, they come out clean and smelling fresh. But without some regular maintenance, that may not always be the case. Below are some tips for cleaning your washer and dryer.

Step One

To start out, make sure your washing machine is empty. Add about two cups of baking soda directly into the drum of your machine. Baking Soda will help to remove any mineral buildup from hard water. It will also help to scrub away any lingering soap scum that may have built up inside the machine. As a bonus, it is also known for its ability to deodorize. So if your clothes have been smelly a little musty even after a wash, this is your solution. If your machine has a self-clean or tub clean cycle, now is the time to use it. If not, just use the longest, hottest cycle your machine can run, and let the baking soda work its magic.

Step Two

For this start, start out the same as before, but replace the two cups of baking soda with two cups of white distilled vinegar. The vinegar will clean up any mold or other smells that the baking soda was not able to fully remove. As before, run the machine on the longest, hottest setting you can find. Once this cycle is done, you can dry the drum with a microfiber cloth. If you have a front load machine, now would be the time to wipe down the rubber gasket around the door of the machine. This gasket comes in contact with all sorts of things, so make sure to get every surface. Use the vinegar to remove any soap buildup that may be hiding there.

Step Three

Next it is time to tackle the outside of the machine. Lots of dust, lint, and soap splatter ends up here. Start by using vinegar to wipe down the inside and outside of the door. Then use an all-purpose cleaner to wipe all the exterior surfaces. And do not forget to scrub the soap dispenser trays as well. These can get sticky and coated in soap buildup as well. Now might be a good time to find that old cleaning toothbrush and put it to good use for all the nooks and crannies.

Additional Tips

Always leave your washing machine door open after you are finished using it. This will allow air to get into the machine and prevent mold from forming inside the gasket or drum. The air flow will also help to prevent any unwanted odors.

Make sure you use the right amount of detergent for your load. This helps to prevent any excess soap buildup inside the machine. Follow the recommendations on the back of your detergent bottle. The amount you need may surprise you. Often it is much less than you might think. That soap dispenser tray can hold a lot more than you may need.