Updated February 2021
Do you have a front load washer or know someone who does? Have you noticed it has a disappointing smell and a nasty look? Get ready for a clean front load washer in two simple steps, using only natural ingredients.
If you have this problem, rest assured you are not alone! I, for one, couldn’t believe that my washing machine, which had cost more than $1,000, got so dirty over time that my clothes began to have a mildew smell. Gasp! I admit it. But don’t worry, I’m going to show you how to clean your front load washer and maintain it so this won’t happen again.
Below, I get into detail about the ingredients, tools, and instructions as well as the reason why I got into this situation myself. You’ll also find out how often you should clean the front loader so that you don’t have to see and smell mildew each time you need to do the laundry.
Best Way To Clean Your Front Load Washer: A Step-By-Step Guide
You know that I love sharing my family cleaning tips, so here we go! These pictures are not pretty at all, so beware!
I did not dump pond water into my washing machine prior to taking these pictures. Neither did my husband nor I place muck-covered clothes in our machine. This is simply the bottom of the machine that washes the clothes of a family of four.
One of the biggest problems is that I can’t leave the door open after using the washer. My front loader is located in a closet, and I have no way of leaving the door open long enough for the inside air to dry out.
That’s probably the main reason why mildew started growing on the inside of my washer. Although the pictures might suggest otherwise, my front loader is only a year and a half old.
Scary, right? What’s even more interesting, this baby is still under warranty but looks as if I’ve been using it for decades. Since I noticed how messy it looks, I’ve researched and tried almost every single tip on how to clean a front load washer.
I even talked to my repairman, but his advice did nothing to help with the problem.
Fortunately, I was persistent enough to find the simplest solution to deal with mildew in a front load washer. I came across the easiest tip ever that literally does wonders without using a load of harmful chemicals.
My main goal is to reduce the use of chemicals in my household, so I always opt for the most natural alternatives. That’s why I created this easy-to-follow guide that will deliver a freshly clean washing machine in no time.
Two Steps For A Clean Front Load Washing Machine
If you want to find out how to clean your front load washing machine without a hassle, just follow these two steps. First, get familiar with the tools and ingredients that you’ll need.
You’ll need to pour one cup of vinegar with five to six drops of the Melaleuca oil into the detergent drawer and then run your machine on its regular cleaning cycle.
Step 2: Once the cycle is complete, then comes the part where you will need to use a little elbow grease.
Don’t forget to grab a pedicure nail brush, which you’ll use to get to all the hard-to-reach spaces. This brush will help you remove the mildew much faster without scrubbing for hours.
If you want more tips for cleaning hard-to-reach spaces in your home, check out this guide for deep cleaning overlooked areas.
Also, don’t be afraid to pull back the rubber of the drum, just like you saw me do above, to really get into it! Be sure to scrub in every crevice, and don’t be afraid that you’re going to break it. The rubber will stay attached, and you should be able to get the length and width of the brush into the crevices to clean it.
Voila! That’s all you need to do to have a clean and shiny front load washer. Forget about the nasty look and the horrible mildew odor. Once you’re done, the washer will have a pleasant smell.
This guide will also remove the funky smell your clothes previously had, and all that in only two steps! Check out how much better it looks.
If you’re happy with the results here, then check out a very popular article of mine on how to clean your shower head. My technique has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Buzzfeed, and Country Living!
Please note: In order to maintain this level of clean and fresh smell, I’ve been drying off the drum of my washer after every use. I certainly do not want to have to redo the kind of deep cleaning that I did last time, so I’m making sure to maintain it.
How Do You Clean The Rubber Gasket Of A Front Load Washer?
As I mentioned, to properly clean the rubber in the drum, you have to put in some extra work. This is the part where a lot of gunk can get stuck, and you’ll end up with a smelly washer and even noticeable dark spots on the rubber part.
Aside from scrubbing with a brush like I did, you can try a mixture of one cup of baking soda and one cup of bleach. Clean the detergent drawer, then fill it with the mix. Add a little extra baking soda to the rubber seal, then turn on the washer on a self-clean cycle using hot water.
It might take a few tries, especially if there is a lot of mildew on it and you haven’t washed it in a while. If this doesn’t work, though, grab your brush and start scrubbing. It is still one of the easiest, most hassle-free ways to clean the gasket.
How Do You Clean A Front Load Washing Machine Without Using Chemicals?
There is no need to expose yourself or the family to heavy chemicals anymore. Now, you can turn to more natural recipes and opt for essential oils to clean the washing machine. Some of the options are lemon, tea tree, lavender, and geranium.
Feel free to use tea tree oil for the washing machine and not only for cleaning purposes—it will also deliver a nice scent that will fill your entire laundry room. All you need to do is add two to three tablespoons of the oil in the detergent drawer, then set it on a self-cleaning cycle. You can also mix it with your regular detergent.
Finally, leave the doors of your washer open and you’re done!
How Often Should I Clean My Front Loader?
Ideally, you should do a light cleaning round each month. Most of these machines have a problem with mildew, so understand that it’s not something that you’re causing. Make sure that you run a cleaning cycle once a month to prevent unpleasant smells. It’s fast and won’t take too much of your time, plus you’re saving yourself from scrubbing with a brush as I did.
Most people forget that even the appliances in your home need to be cleaned regularly. If you don’t properly take care of your washer, especially front loaders, you will have a lot of work on your hands. Not all front-loading machines will smell and look the way mine did, but most of you will probably face this once or twice. That’s why I wanted to share my little secret cleaning hack that works at any time of the year.
To make your home cleaning routine easy, do check out this cleaning checklist for how often you should clean your household appliances.
Also, if you want to know more cleaning tips for keeping your electronic appliances clean, check out this guide to cleaning a vacuum cleaner and restoring its performance.
So now it’s time that you gather all the necessary tools and ingredients and go get that washing machine squeaky clean.
This recipe is so simple, with natural ingredients that don’t have an awful smell. I learned my lesson, so now I maintain it monthly and so should you. I hope that this also works the wonders that it did for me. Let me know in the comment section if you tried and how you like it.