Have you noticed that your washer doesn’t seem to get your clothes and linens as clean as it used to? The problem might be that your unit needs a thorough cleaning. Learning how to clean a front load washer properly can help you get your clothes looking fresh and vibrant again.
The 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.
Parts of Your Front Load Washer that Need to Be Cleaned
To make sure your clothes are free from mold, dirt, bacteria, and other unwanted particles, you’ll want to clean the entirety of your front load washer. Regardless of what type of cleaning solution or product you use to clean your machine, make sure you give extra attention to the following areas:
- Gasket: Front load washers have a large rubber gasket around the door that stops water from leaking out While the gasket is an essential part of your unit, it can also trap water and cause mold growth. To stop mold and mildew from accumulating in your unit and dirtying your clothes, make sure to clean your front load washer’s gasket.
- Drum: Your machine’s drum can also harbor germs and harmful bacteria if it isn’t cleaned properly. You can easily clean your front load washer’s drum by adding your cleaning solution of choice and running a cycle.
- Door: Cleaning your washing machine’s door and drum is almost useless if you neglect to sanitize and scrub down the door. Once you’ve cleaned the three main parts of your washer, your clothes will smell fresh and look great!
Now that you know which parts of your washer need to be cleaned, it’s time to learn how to clean them thoroughly and effectively. You can use three different cleaning solutions and methods to remove dirt, grim, and mold buildup in front of your unit. Keep reading to learn how to clean your front load washer with baking soda, vinegar, and bleach.
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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.
If you’ve noticed mold growth in your unit, there’s a simple method you can use to clean your front load washer, eliminate mold buildup, and prevent mildew from returning. The secret ingredient used in this method 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. Here’s how you can get your washer looking brand new by cleaning it with baking soda:
Run a Cycle Using Baking Soda
Select your laundry machine’s sanitizing 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.
Wipe Down Your Gasket
After completing the baking soda laundry cycle, 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.
Scrub the Dispensers
Now it’s time to target the appliance’s slide-out detergent dispensers. Carefully remove the trays from the machine. Pull the trays out as far as possible if they are not completely removable. Wipe the trays down with warm and soapy water. Leave the trays out until they are completely dry.
Once the trays have dried, your machine will be ready to use. While the baking soda method is a great way to clean your front load washer, you can also try several other methods.
How to Clean a Front Load Washer With Vinegar
According to EnergyStar®, 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. However, there is a solution that will keep your washer in pristine condition despite its reduced water usage. Take a look at the following steps to learn how to clean a front load washer with vinegar:
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 has no cleaning option, run the largest laundry load at the hottest temperature.
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 any unusual washing machine smells.
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.
Once the inside of your machine has dried, you’ll be able to use your unit without worrying about dirt and other unwanted particles ruining your clothes. Cleaning your front load washing machine with vinegar is an easy and effective option, but there are also other ways to get your unit working better.
How to Clean a Front Load Washer With Bleach
A tried-and-true method for cleaning a washing machine is by using bleach. Bleach effectively kills mold, germs, and bacteria, making it the go-to washing machine cleaner for many people. To get the best clean possible using bleach, follow these steps:
Run a Bleach Cycle
Before you clean your front load washer with bleach, make sure your unit is empty, as any clothes hiding in the machine may not survive the bleach cycle. Once you’ve emptied your washer, 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. Hydrogen peroxide can also get the job done if you do not have chlorine bleach. Use a normal wash cycle or set the temperature to a medium wash with warm water.
Wipe Down the Door and Drum
Next, 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 using the bleach and water solution. Make sure to 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 unwanted smells, mold, and mildew is to stop buildup and moisture from accumulating in your washer. Some good habits to adopt are:
- Leave the door open after 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: 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 Often to Clean a Front Load Washer
Now that you know how to clean your front load washing machine with precision, it’s time to talk about how often you should clean your unit. We recommend that you clean it once a month. That being said, you may have to clean it more frequently depending on your laundry habits.
The more often you do laundry, the more you will have to clean your front load washer. You should also clean it more often if you usually have large loads of clothes. If you work in a profession or have a hobby that causes your clothes to get excessively stained or dirty, you should clean your machine more often.
To prevent mold growth, you should clean your front load washing machine’s rubber gasket once a week. It’s also best to wipe excess moisture off your unit’s door once after each use.
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 leave your clothes in your washer with mold growing in it, the mold spores can attach to your clothes and cause health problems. Mold exposure can cause a variety of symptoms that can negatively impact your health. If you are exposed to mold, 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 a large enough mold is present in your washer and on your clothes, you can inhale the spores and develop more severe illnesses like aspergillosis. To prevent allergies and other serious health effects, make sure you clean your front load washer frequently and correctly.
Maintaining Your Washer Is Just As Important as Keeping It Clean
No matter how clean your front load washing machine is, it won’t do you any good if it breaks down or stops operating at full capacity. If you’ve noticed that your washer isn’t working as well as it used to, it might be in need of repair. Fortunately, our washing machine repair service in Tacoma, WA, can make the fixes you need to get your unit back up and running.
A quick visit from our washer and dryer repair team and remedy any of the following issues:
- Washer fills with water but doesn’t start
- Washer only works sometimes
- Washer is leaking water
- Washer does nothing when you turn it on
During a repair visit, our experienced technicians will inspect your washer, diagnose the problem, and fix it. If you notice any persisting issues after your repair call, please take advantage of our 90-day repair warranty.
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Taking the time to learn how to clean your front load washer properly can improve its efficiency and ensure 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.
If your washer needs more than DIY cleaning, we’re here to help. Contact Top Shelf Services to find out how we can assist you. We will get in touch and determine the best way to get your front load washing machine working like brand new.
Click to contact Top Shelf Appliance Repair Services today