Now by no means do I claim to be some sort of a domestic goddess– especially now living in a small travel trailer, I’m quite limited in the cooking/cleaning/decorating/organizing I can do. But when I was a stay at home momma at our house in IN, I spent lots of time and trials experimenting with all sorts of home projects. One of the most fruitful tasks I developed was a deep clean of my washing machine (and a light clean of my dryer).
My method was taken from several Pinterest pins that led me to various blogs. Each person seemed to have their own way of doing it, so I took a little from each and gave it a shot. Now there may be quicker or more effective ways out there, but this is what worked for me.
I know this is a travel blog aimed at making things work in a LITTLE trailer (without said washer and dryer) but I’m going to bend the rules because..hey it’s my blog! Hehe… And a friend of mine asked for the steps I used so it made me think of it today. Here goes:
First I let the washer fill up with hot water and before it started agitating, I shut it off. I guess some new model washers actually have a “Clean” setting that lets you clean but not mine! So once the drum was full, I added 2 cups of vinegar. I left the lid open and let it sit for an hour. After an hour, I resumed the cycle and closed the lid and let the washer go through an entire cycle.
Once it was done and water drained, I wiped down the inside and got lots of lint–then I moved the drum around and could see at the top tons of gunk loosened up around the rim. I wiped and wiped and wiped using paper towels to get as much of the yucky stuff as possible. I used Q-tips to clean the bleach dispenser at the corner of the washer as well as the fabric softener cup too. They were both pretty gross. I then filled up the drum again with hot water and this time added 2 cups bleach.
Again I let it sit for an hour. This time while it sat, I used a Mr Clean Magic Eraser to scrub the top of the washer and detailed all the knobs; you will be shocked at how much dirt will come up! I used a toothpick to pick away at the hinges of the lid of the washer which for some reason also had a ton of gunk. Once you start looking, you will find lots of cracks and crevices where stuff was hiding.
After an hour, I let the washer run a short wash cycle with the bleach. Once the water had drained, I used the Magic Eraser to scrub at the actually spinner in the center of the drum and that came really clean. I doubled checked all rims inside the washer with paper towel and Q tip; the bleach had loosened even more, so there was more wiping.
As far as the dryer, the only major thing I did was use a skinny vacuum attachment to suck down into the lint trap. If you run water over your lint trap and it pools up rather than runs through, then you need to clean your lint trap. Over time, fabric softener, leftover detergent, and tiny microfibers will get woven across the lint screen and prevent it from collecting lint. This means the lint will end up in the hose and could cause a dryer fire! I soaked the lint trap in hot soapy water (blue Dawn dish soap) and used an old tooth brush to scrub front and back. It pulled up lots of tiny lint fibers. I could even smell fabric softener as I rinsed it. Afterward, the water flowed right through the screen! I also used Magic Eraser on the front and knobs of the dryer
That’s about it! I felt better knowing our clothes were coming from a washer that was clean rather than harboring all sorts of yucky stuff! Hopefully those of you with the LUXURY of having your own washer and dryer (sigh…) can put this to good use!