How To Clean A Washer and Dryer
Taking the time to clean two of your hardest working appliances – your washer and dryer – can help make the laundry process much more efficient and pleasant. Not only do cleaner appliances look nicer and run more efficiently (giving you cleaner clothes and saving you money on your electric bill), they are less susceptible to dangerous safety issues.
Soils from prior loads and even a build-up from detergents and softeners can linger in your washer and dryer and potentially transfer onto your clothes, reducing the overall cleanliness of your laundry. Keeping your dryer clean and lint-free is also extremely important – lint buildup in the lint trap, exhaust hose, and in the dryer itself is a major fire hazard.
Your hard-working machines should be given a good cleaning at least twice per year.
Washing Machine Exterior
- 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 inside of the washing machine tub, the rim, and the inside of the door or lid. Allow the product to sit for a few minutes to penetrate any soils and grime before wiping it away with a damp cloth, microfiber or paper towels.
- 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.
- Allow the washing machine to run through a complete wash and rinse cycle.
- Select the "clean cycle" or "tub clean" setting on your washer. If your washer doesn't have those settings, fill the machine using the highest load size, hottest water temperature, and longest wash. As the tub fills, add ¼ cup of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner to the water. Let the machine agitate for a minute, then open the lid back up and let the water sit for one hour before resuming the cycle.
- Clean exterior. As the washer runs (front-loading) or sits (top-loading), wet a microfiber cloth or sponge 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 dry it with a clean, dry microfiber or towel.
- Run second cycle with water only. Once the initial cycle has finished, run an additional cycle using just water. This will thoroughly rinse the interior, leaving it sparkling clean.
- Clean dispenser tray. Remove the dispenser tray. Put it into a bucket or large bowl and fill with 32 ounces of water and about 3 ounces of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner. Allow it to soak in the Simple Green solution. After the tray has soaked for about 10 minutes, rinse with water and dry with a clean towel before reinstalling.
TIP: After each use, wipe down the lid or door and the rubber gasket that surrounds it with a dry towel. Attach a magnetic hook to the side of the washer to keep the towel handy as a reminder. In between loads, it's also a good idea to leave the lid or door open to help dry out the interior.
- Prepare dryer. Unplug your dryer and move it away from the wall.
- Clean exterior. In a spray bottle, dilute about 1 ounce of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner to about 4 cups of water. Spray the solution all over the exterior, including on the buttons and knobs and the outside of the lid or door. Wipe all areas clean with a microfiber cloth dampened with water. Then dry it with a clean, dry microfiber or towel.
- Clean lint trap. Pull out the lint trap and remove all of the excess lint. Use your Simple Green solution to remove the film left behind by fabric softener and dryer sheets. Spray down the trap and gently wash it before rinsing it clean under running water. Allow it to air dry before using.
- Remove leftover lint. Use the hose attachment on a vacuum to further suck out any lingering lint that's stuck inside the lint trap area.
- Clean interior. Clean the inside of the dryer's drum with your Simple Green solution. Spray the solution onto a microfiber cloth and wipe down the entire surface of the drum, the rubber seals and gaskets, and the interior of the dryer lid or door. Wipe down again with a microfiber cloth dampened with water. Leave the lid or door open and allow the drum to dry out.
- Remove leftover lint from behind dryer. Remove the vent tubing from the back of the dryer. Pull out any loose lint, and use the vacuum hose to remove any remaining pieces.
- Plug dryer back in. Move the dryer back to its place and plug it back in.
- Run cycle to finish drying. Toss in a few clean, dry towels or microfiber cloths and set the dryer to high. Allow it to run for ten minutes to finish drying it out.
TIP: To reach further into your dryer vent duct, use a dryer lint brush, dryer lint vacuum attachment, or a wet dry vac.