When you wash your clothes, you want them to be clean and fresh for you to wear. But if you don’t put in the effort to keep your front load washer clean, there is a chance that your clothes and washer won’t be as fresh as you’d like.
That’s why our experts at Top Shelf Services are here to guide you through the process of how to keep your front load washing machine clean. Our team can also help you fix any problems you may be having with your washer or another home appliance.
Method #1: How to Clean a Front Load Washer With Baking Soda
Front load washers are more prone to mold and mildew than their top-load counterparts. Their design causes water, laundry detergent, and fabric softener to push against the door and accumulate in the machine’s rubber gasket.
How can you eliminate and prevent mold from building up in your front load washing machine gasket? The secret ingredient is probably already in your pantry.
Nothing cleans a front load washer quite like baking soda. Baking soda is a natural substance that restores pH balance. It is one of the best cleaning tools, as it is powerful enough to deodorize and eliminate tough dirt and grime.
1. Run a Cycle Using Baking Soda
Select your laundry machine’s sanitize or cleaning cycle. If it does not have one, set your device to the largest load size and hottest water setting. Add one cup of baking soda to the drum and let the substance work its magic.
2. Wipe Down Your Gasket
After the baking soda laundry cycle is complete, wipe down your laundry machine gasket. Spray a gentle mildew or mold cleaner onto a cloth. Rub the entire gasket region thoroughly, reaching all its corners. Try using a toothbrush for tight and hard-to-reach spots.
3. Scrub the Dispensers
Now it’s time to target the appliance’s slide-out detergent dispensers. Carefully remove the trays from the machine.
If they are not completely removable, pull the trays out as far as possible.
Wipe the trays down with warm and soapy water. Leave the trays out until they are completely dry.
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Method #2: How to Clean a Front Load Washer With Vinegar
Your front load wash machine is a high efficiency (HE) appliance. According to Energy Star, front load washers are 25% more energy and water-efficient. This is because front load washers spin the clothes faster than top-load washers. The faster spinning motion dries the clothes faster so that you don’t have to put the clothes in the dryer for a long amount of time.
While this is excellent news for the environment and your wallet, less water can lead to dirt and residue buildup in the machine. The solution: clean a front load washer with vinegar.
1. Run a Cycle With Vinegar
Select your machine’s cleaning or sanitizing setting and add two cups of white distilled vinegar to the detergent tray. If your appliance does not have a cleaning option, run the largest laundry load at the hottest temperature.
2. Follow With a Rinse Cycle
After the initial cleaning cycle is done, run an additional rinse cycle. Do not add anything, and allow the water to do its job. This extra cycle will eliminate lingering stains and get rid of any unusual washing machine smells.
3. Wipe Down the Exterior
After the final rinse, shut down your machine so that you can safely clean the outside.Add one-half cup of vinegar to hot water.
Use a microfiber cloth to scrub the washing machine’s control panel, door, and top surface. Pull back the rubber gasket and give it a good wipe with the vinegar solution, then let the machine dry before using.
Method #3: How to Clean a Front Load Washer With Bleach
A tried-and-true method for getting a clean washing machine is by using bleach. The substance effectively kills mold, germs, and bacteria, making bleach many people’s go-to washing machine cleaner.
1. Run a Bleach Cycle
Make sure your front load washer is empty. Any clothes hiding in the machine may not survive the bleach cycle. Pour one-half cup of liquid chlorine bleach into the detergent tray.
Add chlorine bleach to the bleach dispenser compartment, and fill it to the highest level. If you do not have chlorine bleach, hydrogen peroxide can also get the job done. Use a normal wash cycle or set the temperature to a medium wash with warm water.
2. Wipe Down the Door and Drum
Mix one to two tablespoons of bleach with hot water. Once the bleach cycle is complete, wipe down the washing machine’s exterior, gasket, control panel, and door. Use a soft microfiber cloth to avoid scratching or chipping the machine’s paint.
How to Prevent Future Odors in a Front Load Washer
The key to keeping your front load washing machine clean to prevent lewd smells, mold, and mildew is to stop buildup and moisture from accumulating in your washer. Some good habits to adopt are:
- Leave your load door open after each use. Keeping the door ajar allows the drum to dry. Less water in your drum and gasket reduces the risk of mold.
- Wipe down your gasket after each laundry cycle. One swift wipe between loads reduces laundry detergent and fabric softener buildup.
- Use front load-friendly detergent. Choose detergents designed for HE laundry machines because these products produce fewer suds to decrease residue buildup in the gasket.
By following these tips, you can keep your washing machine and your laundry free of any mold or odors. You’ll be doing yourself and your washing machine a favor.
How to Determine How Often to Clean a Front Load Washer
To determine how often you should clean your washer depends on two factors: how often you do laundry and the amount of clothes you wash.
The more often you do laundry and the heavier a clothes load, the more frequent you will have to clean your front load washer. Also, if you have to use more detergent because there are stains on the clothes, there will be more buildup in your washer.
Other parts of your washing machine, like the rubber gasket, you should clean weekly. This will help stop mold growth before it has the chance to grow.
If you want a baseline of how often we suggest you do a full cleaning of your front load washer, we recommend that you clean it once a month. However, there may be times when you have to clean it more than once a month, depending on your laundry habits.
The Dangers of Mold in Your Front Load Washer
If you don’t clean your front load washer properly and frequently, mold can start to grow. Mold in your washer not only decreases your washer’s effectiveness, but it can also harm your health. If you decide to leave your clothes in your washer that has mold growing in it, the mold spores can attach to your clothes.
They can then cause a variety of symptoms that can negatively impact your health. Some of the symptoms you may experience include:
- Respiratory problems that can lead to severe infections
- Itchy eyes
- Coughing and sneezing
- Skin rashes
These symptoms are usually mild, but if there is a large enough quantity of mold present in your washer and on your clothes, you can inhale the spores that can lead to more severe illnesses like aspergillosis. So, by keeping your front load washer free of mold, you are also protecting your health.
Need Assistance? Schedule Washer Repair From Top Shelf Services
Taking the time to clean your front load washer improves its efficiency and ensures your clothes come out smelling fresher than ever. We hope that the cleaning methods we shared help you keep your clothes and your front load washer clean.
And if your washer needs more than DIY cleaning, we’re here to help. Call Top Shelf Services or fill out our online contact form. We will get in touch and determine the best way to get your front load washing machine up and running again.
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