Washing Your Washer: How to Clean a Front Load Washing Machine

By: The Cleancult Team

October 26, 2018

If you ask people what they love less about their front load washing machine, most of them will probably say that it’s the funky smell and the mildew that can infest clothes, towels, bedding, and the machine. Yuck! Because of the water stuck in the nooks and parts of the front load washing machine, the type of laundry detergent used, or even how much time you leave the clothes in, mildew can accumulate on your machine! However, know that there’s an easy fix for this washing machine problem! So, fret not! We got your back. Today we’ll explore what causes this mold and mildew in washing machines, how to get rid of it, and how to prevent it.

What causes the mold & mildew?

The number one cause of mold and mildew in washing machines (especially front load washing machines) is laundry detergent! You may be either using too much (which is common when using liquid laundry detergents), the wrong type (non HE when you hace an HE machine), or detergent that is filled with waxes, fillers, and questionable chemicals. Remember that too much of anything is never a good idea! Using too much detergent or the wrong detergent causes too many suds when washing clothes and leaves residue, minerals, and dirt build up on your machine that never get rinsed away. Plus, most manufacturers use animal fat as cheap filler which is...gross. Front load washers are more problematic because they have a tighter door seal, and use about 1/3 less water than your standard top load machine. So throw in detergent that has fillers with waxes and animal fat and...yep! You have a recipe for mold and mildew.


How do I get rid of the funky, mildew smell?

We’re no strangers to cleaning cleaning appliances! The washing machine is no exception! You might think “cleaning a washing machine? But it should be clean with all the soap, laundry detergent and water running through it constantly!” Well...not really. Washing machines have a lot of nooks where the dirt that is cleaned out from clothes can accumulate! Here is a step by step recommendation:

1) Drop one cup of vinegar inside your washing machine and run a cleaning cycle with nothing but the vinegar. 2) Mix one cup of vinegar, half a cup of warm water and two tablespoons of baking soda. Clean the rubber seal of your washing machine with this mixture. 3) Remove all trays and wash in a mixture of warm water and vinegar. 4) Finally, leave the door and detergent tray open over night to air it all out. If you still notice mildew or any funky smells, redo the entire process.


Now that my washer is all clean, how do I keep it that way?

The first change you need to make is to start buying the right detergent. If you have an HE washer, definitely buy HE detergent from now on. HE detergent is specially designed to work well with the low quantity of water used by HE Washers. HE detergents are now available in all types of detergents: liquid HE detergent, HE detergent pods, HE powder detergents. By buying the right detergent, you’ll find that you won’t have to maintain your washer as much and your clothes will come out cleaner! Never neglect your rubber seal! Even giving it a quick wipe down once a week will help. Perform monthly maintenance cleaning like washing the detergent dispenser and cleaning your washer with the “clean cycle” or sanitize cycle. And lastly, try to remove wet clothing immediately after the cycle completes! That’s it! Good luck and have a great, non toxic day!