How to Clean a Washing Machine (HE)
Cleaning a cleaning machine may seem unnecessary, but for a washing machine to do its job effectively, it needs regular care and attention.
Most front-load washing machines are high-efficiency (HE), meaning they use less water and energy than standard washers. Saving water and energy is great for both the environment and your wallet, but can cause leftover detergent residue, dirt, soap scum, and hard water accumulation. If left untreated for too long, the odor-causing buildup in your front loader may even hinder your machine's cleaning performance.
A clean machine looks newer, smells fresh, and most importantly, works more effectively. Your hard-working washer should be given a good cleaning at least twice per year.
You may have previously used Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner as a laundry pre-treat or a laundry detergent booster, but it can also be used to clean the inside and outside of your washing machine.
- Spray and wipe interior. In a spray bottle, dilute about 1 ounce of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner to about 4 cups of water. Spray the Simple Green solution all over the washing machine tub, the rim, and the inside of the door. Allow the product to sit for a few minutes to penetrate soils and grime before wiping it away with a damp cloth, microfiber or paper towels. Focus on the rubber seal around the door opening, as this can trap moisture in the machine, creating a breeding ground for mold and mildew. If mold and mildew become an issue in your washer, you may be interested in Simple Green d Pro 3 Plus Antibacterial Cleaner, which can control mildew growth.
- Run tub clean cycle. Pour about ¼ cup of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner into the detergent tray, and select the "clean cycle" or "tub clean" setting on your washer. If your machine doesn't have those settings, fill the machine using the highest load size, hottest water setting, and longest wash cycle.
- Run second cycle with water only. Allow the washing machine to run through a complete wash and rinse cycle. Once the first cycle has finished, run an additional cycle using just water. This will thoroughly rinse away any remaining residue.
- Clean dispenser tray. Remove the dispenser tray and any other removable parts. Rinse them in clean water, then put them into a bucket or large bowl. Fill with 4 cups of water and about 3 ounces of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner. Allow the parts to soak in the Simple Green solution for about 10 minutes. Then rinse with clean water and dry with a clean towel.
- Clean exterior. Wet a cloth, microfiber or paper towels with the same spray bottle solution you mixed in Step 1 and wipe down the buttons, knobs, and the exterior of the machine.
- Damp-wipe and dry exterior. Wipe the exterior down again with a clean, damp cloth, microfiber or paper towels. Then follow up with a clean, dry microfiber or towel.