Cleaning a washing machine with vinegar can reduce musty smells and remove mineral build-up. You can use vinegar to clean front-load and top-load washing machines, although the steps are different for each.
Cleaning your washing machine twice per month will keep it in good shape and ensure your clothes come out clean.
How to Clean a Topload Washing Machine with Vinegar
You can clean your top-load washing machine by adding two cups of white distilled vinegar and running it at its hottest temperature. If your washing machine still smells musty, repeat the process.
While you’re at it, use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the exterior and under the machine’s lid.
How to Clean a Front Load Washing Machine with Vinegar
Using vinegar in your front-load washing machine can remove a musty smell, mildew, and grime build-up. But you need to be more cautious since front-load washers have rubber seals on the door that can erode when they come in contact with undiluted vinegar. Resort to your owner’s manual for precautions.
Before you wash your front-load washer with vinegar, wipe down the rubber gasket with soap and water. Then, add two cups of vinegar to your detergent dispenser and run the washing machine on its hottest setting.
After the cycle, hand wash detergent trays, fabric softener trays, and the agitator. Then wipe down the exterior of the washing machine.
Cleaning a Washer with Vinegar vs. Bleach
Bleach is effective at killing bacteria and reducing mildew smells, but it’s harsher than vinegar. While you can use either to clean your washing machine, be cautious of how much bleach you use. A half cup of bleach on the hot water cycle is all you need. Do an extra rinse so no lingering bleach ruins your clothes. And never mix bleach with vinegar. The combination results in toxic chlorine gas.