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The Appliance Care Company Blog

Thursday, Mar. 8th 2018

Cleaning Your Washing Machine

When it comes to cleaning washing machines, there are different rules for top loaders and front loaders. (Cleaning refers to the inside and outer tubs to prevent mold, mildew and a foul odor.) 

For top loaders, mold, mildew and a foul odor is rarely an issue.

Front load washers, however, are an entirely different matter and extremely susceptible to mold, mildew, germs and foul odors.

Mold, mildew, germs and foul odors in front loaders start with body oils, bacteria and skin cells–all things found on human bodies that are transferred to clothes. When washing clothes, front load washer owners who use generic detergent, which isn’t concentrated or pure enough, can have problems with mold, mildew, germs and foul odors.

So can people who don’t use enough name brand detergent. Those who use too little of a quality detergent, will find their washers don’t have enough detergent to break down body oils, fluids and other things found on clothes. When those items aren’t broken down enough to be flushed through the washing machine, you find icky, nasty stuff.

Germs and bacteria cannot grow, live or survive in extreme cold or extreme heat. Germs and bacteria live, grow, breed and prosper in room temperature environments, just like humans. We like room temperature and so do they.

There’s a couple of things that could prevent the growth of mold, bacteria and germs: freeze your washer or keep your washing machine at 120 degrees. Since we can’t freeze washers or keep them at 120 degrees, we need to use an alternative: bleach. Regular Clorox bleach.

If you don’t use bleach on your whites regularly, then you need to run a bleach cycle in your washing machine.

Follow these steps to run a bleach cycle in your front load washer:

  • Start the washing machine.
  • Let if fill with water.
  • Dump a quart to half-gallon of Clorox bleach through the detergent dispenser.
  • Allow the bleach to flow into the tub.
  • Walk away from the washer and let it complete its cycle.

When finished, leave the washing machine door open, even if there’s a light in the washer. This gives the unit time to dry out.

If you close the door, mold and bacteria will grow and you’ll start to smell a foul odor.

Use the bleach treatment every month or two. If you start to smell a bit of a foul odor, you know it’s time to run a bleach treatment.


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