How to Disinfect the Washing Machine

To disinfect a washing machine, mix water and bleach and run a cycle. Washing machines need to be cleaned regularly to remove dirt and grime that can lead to bacteria and bad odors.

Not only will a clean washing machine lead to cleaner clothes, but it will also increase the lifespan of the machine. Additionally, regular cleaning may prevent breakdowns and repairs. Neglecting to clean the machine can lead to a buildup of bacteria that can eventually cause the washing machine to become inefficient at cleaning clothes.

In this article, we will explore the steps to disinfect a washing machine, including additional cleaning tips. By following these simple steps, you can keep your washing machine clean and functioning properly.

How to Disinfect the Washing Machine


Reasons To Disinfect Your Washing Machine

Why Is Disinfecting Your Washing Machine Necessary?

Our washing machines are used to clean our clothes, but have you ever thought about the germs and bacteria that are present in them? Here are the key points to consider why disinfecting your washing machine is necessary.

  • Germs and bacteria can stay on clothes even after washing them at high temperatures.
  • Moisture and warmth provide a perfect environment for germs and bacteria to grow and spread.
  • Over time, bacteria and germs can accumulate inside the crevices of the washing machine, leading to unpleasant odours.
  • Regular use of detergents and fabric softeners can create a residue build-up that can attract bacteria and germs.

What Can Happen If You Don’T Disinfect Your Washing Machine?

We mustn’t overlook the importance of disinfecting our washing machines regularly. The following are a few reasons why it is essential to disinfect your washing machine.

  • A dirty washing machine can cause skin irritation or allergies.
  • A contaminated washing machine can cause malodours to transfer to your clothes.
  • Over time, bacteria and mildew can accumulate inside the washing machine drum and door seals, leading to unpleasant odours.
  • Certain bacteria and germs, like e. coli and salmonella, can survive in washing machines and can cause serious illnesses if not removed.

Regularly disinfecting your washing machine will not only increase its longevity but also improve your health and hygiene. So, the next time you put your clothes into the washing machine, consider the benefits of having a thoroughly clean washing machine.

Steps To Disinfect Your Washing Machine

Gather The Necessary Cleaning Supplies

Before starting with the disinfecting process, make sure to gather all the necessary cleaning supplies. Some of the essential things that you would need are:

  • Gloves
  • Bleach
  • Vinegar
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Toothbrush or scrub brush

Clean The Detergent Dispenser And Fabric Softener Dispenser

The detergent dispenser and fabric softener dispenser in your washing machine need to be cleaned regularly to prevent any buildup of mold and mildew. Here are the steps to clean them:

  • Remove the dispenser tray from the washing machine.
  • Soak the dispenser tray in hot water and all-purpose cleaner for about 30 minutes.
  • Use a toothbrush or scrub brush to clean the nooks and crannies of the dispenser tray.
  • Rinse the dispenser tray thoroughly with hot water.

Run A Hot Water Cycle With Bleach

Running a hot water cycle with bleach is an effective way to disinfect your washing machine and get rid of any bacteria or germs. Follow these steps to do so:

  • Fill the washing machine with hot water.
  • Add one cup of bleach.
  • Run the washing machine for a complete cycle.
  • Once the cycle is complete, run another cycle with hot water to rinse the machine.

Clean The Washing Machine Door And Seal

The washing machine door and seal can accumulate dirt and grime over time. To clean them, follow these steps:

  • Mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution on the door and seal.
  • Wipe the door and seal with a microfiber cloth.
  • If there is any stubborn grime, use a toothbrush to scrub it away.

Run A Hot Water Cycle With Vinegar

After running a cycle with bleach, it’s time to run another cycle with vinegar. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that can get rid of any remaining bacteria or germs. Follow these steps to run a hot water cycle with vinegar:

  • Fill the washing machine with hot water.
  • Add two cups of vinegar.
  • Run the washing machine for a complete cycle.
  • Once the cycle is complete, run another cycle with hot water to rinse the machine.

Wipe The Exterior Of The Washing Machine

After disinfecting the inside of the washing machine, it’s time to clean the exterior. Follow these steps to wipe the exterior of the washing machine:

  • Mix equal parts of water and all-purpose cleaner in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution on the exterior of the washing machine.
  • Wipe the machine with a microfiber cloth.
  • Use a toothbrush to clean any hard-to-reach areas.

Tips For Keeping Your Washing Machine Clean

It may surprise you to learn that your washing machine also needs cleaning. Over time, it can accumulate mold, mildew, and other impurities that can affect not only its performance but also the cleanliness of your clothes. Here are some tips on how to keep your washing machine clean.

Remove Laundry Promptly

After finishing a cycle, always remember to remove your laundry from the washing machine immediately. Leaving them in the drum for too long can create a damp environment that is favorable for the growth of mold and mildew. This bad smell can transfer to your clothes, and even trigger allergies.

Use Appropriate Amount Of Detergent

Using too much or too little detergent can both be harmful to your washing machine. Excessive detergent can cause build-up and clogs in your machine, while using too little will not effectively clean your clothes. Always follow the recommended dosage on the detergent pack based on the load size and soil level.

Leave The Door Open Between Washes

After doing laundry, always leave your washing machine door open for a few hours to allow the interior to dry completely. This helps prevent moisture and odor buildup, which can damage your machine, and spread to your clothes.

Clean The Washing Machine Once A Month

Cleaning the washing machine regularly can prevent mold and mildew growth, and improve the overall performance of your machine. Begin by running a hot water cycle with some vinegar or washing machine cleaner. Afterward, wipe down the interior and exterior of the machine, including the door seal, with a solution of water and vinegar or mild soap.

Consider Using Washing Machine Cleaner

In addition to regular cleaning, consider using washing machine cleaner to keep your machine fresh, hygienic, and well-maintained. These cleaners are specially formulated to dissolve hard water deposits, residue, and other buildup that may have accumulated in your washing machine.

However, always read and follow the instructions carefully before using any washing machine cleaner.

By following these simple yet effective tips, you can help extend the life of your washing machine, prevent unpleasant odors from lingering on your clothes, and possibly even save money on costly repairs in the future.

Common Washing Machine Cleaning Mistakes

When cleaning your washing machine, there are some common mistakes that you should avoid. Here are the most frequent ones:

Using Too Much Detergent

Using too much detergent is a common mistake that can lead to a build-up of soap scum and dirt in your washing machine. This can cause your washing machine to smell bad, and it can also damage the machine’s inner workings.

To avoid this, use only the recommended amount of detergent for your washing machine, as specified in the user manual.

Not Cleaning The Washing Machine Often Enough

If you’re not cleaning your washing machine often enough, you could be putting your clothes and your machine at risk for bacteria and mold growth. Aim to clean your washing machine every three to six months, depending on how often you use it.

You can use cleaning solutions or natural ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, or lemon juice to clean your washing machine.

Not Using The Appropriate Cleaning Supplies

Using the wrong cleaning supplies can be harmful to your washing machine and your health. Be sure to use cleaning products that are specifically designed for washing machines and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Avoid using bleach or other harsh chemicals that can damage the machine’s components.

Not Checking The Manufacturer’S Instructions

It’s essential to check the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning your washing machine. Some machines require specific cleaning techniques and products. Failure to comply with these instructions can result in damage to the machine or invalidation of the warranty.

Remember these common washing machine cleaning mistakes and avoid them to keep your washing machine running smoothly and your clothes looking and smelling fresh.

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Disinfect The Washing Machine

How Often Should I Disinfect My Washing Machine?

It is recommended to disinfect your washing machine at least once a month to prevent the build-up of bacteria, mold, and mildew.

What Should I Use To Disinfect My Washing Machine?

You can use a mixture of bleach and water, or a disinfectant cleaning product specifically designed for washing machines. Follow the instructions on the product label for best results.

Can I Use Vinegar To Disinfect My Washing Machine?

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant, but it may not be strong enough to kill all types of bacteria and viruses. It is recommended to use a bleach solution or a disinfectant cleaning product for optimal results.

How Do I Clean The Detergent Dispenser?

Remove the dispenser and wash it with warm soapy water. Use a toothbrush to gently scrub away any dirt or residue. Rinse thoroughly and let it dry completely before putting it back in place.

Can I Disinfect A Front-Loading Washing Machine?

Yes, you can disinfect a front-loading washing machine using the same methods as a top-loading machine. Make sure to clean the door seal and filter as well to prevent the build-up of bacteria and mold.


After reading this article, you now understand why it’s important to disinfect your washing machine regularly and how to do it effectively. There are several natural products that you can use, such as vinegar and baking soda, that are safe and affordable.

These products not only get rid of harmful bacteria, but also eliminate unpleasant odors. You can also use commercial cleaners that are specifically designed for washing machines. Whichever product you use, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions. By regularly disinfecting your washing machine, you can ensure that your clothes are being cleaned in a hygienic environment and prevent the spread of germs in your household.

So, don’t forget to add washing machine cleaning to your monthly cleaning routine and enjoy fresh, clean clothes every time.

Daniel Methews
Daniel Methews
Daniel Methews is a cleaning expert with a wealth of experience and knowledge in the field. With his expertise in various cleaning techniques, he has become a trusted specialist in the industry. Daniel's mastery lies in the art of vacuum cleaning, where he excels in utilizing the latest advancements in technology to ensure impeccable results. Additionally, his skills in stain removal are unparalleled, as he possesses an in-depth understanding of different types of stains and the most effective methods to eliminate them. Daniel Methews is dedicated to providing top-notch cleaning solutions, leaving spaces spotless and customers satisfied.

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