How to Clean a Front Load Washer

Learn how to clean a front-load washer with a few basic household staples.

While front-load washers are efficient and look nice, they have one major flaw: they can build up mildew and emit a musty smell. You can get rid of this smell by cleaning your washing machine once per month.

Clean the front load of washing machine simple

There are two DIY ways to clean a front load washer – chlorine bleach or vinegar. 

Before you begin, read your owner’s manual. Some manufacturers recommend a specific cleaning process and product. 

How to Clean a Front Load Washer with Bleach

Before cleaning your front load washer, remove all laundry, ensuring the drum is empty. Then, follow these steps:

  • Remove the detergent dispenser and any removable trays. Wash in hot water with a rag, dry, and put back in place.
  • Mix a gallon of hot water with ⅓ cup of bleach
  • Wipe the rubber gasket with your bleach mixture. Allow it to sit for at least one minute and then dry with a fresh microfiber cloth.
  • Run the cleaning cycle on your front loader machine. (Add bleach to the detergent dispenser, depending on the instructions in your user manual.)
  • Use a towel to dry the drum and gaskets, and leave the door open so the washer can air out.

Tip: If you don’t want to use bleach, purchase a washing machine cleaner tablet. Resort to your user’s manual for recommended products.

How to Clean a Front Load Washer with Vinegar and Baking Soda

Another way to kill mold and eliminate the musty smell in your front load washer is to clean it with vinegar. 

  • Remove the detergent dispenser and any removable trays. Wash in hot water with a rag, dry, and put back in place.
  • Wipe the rubber gaskets with a solution of hot water and dish soap. Rinse and dry afterward.
  • Sprinkle ¼ cup of baking soda in the drum of the washer.
  • Fill the detergent dispenser with 1-2 cups of white distilled vinegar and run your machine with hot water.
  • Once finished, dry the gaskets and drum with a towel. Leave the door open to air out the washing machine.

How to Keep Your Front Load Washing Machine from Stinking

The best way to keep your front-load washing machine from stinking is to wipe the gasket with a towel after each use and leave the door open between washings. Mold and mildew develop in moist environments, and leaving the door open will reduce trapped moisture.

Also, only put HE detergents in your HE machine, and don’t overuse laundry soap.

If the rubber gasket around your front load washing machine doors develops mold, spray it with a bleach and water mixture and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub away the mold. Rinse the gasket with water after cleaning so the bleach doesn’t transfer to your clothing.