how to clean your washer and dryer

Washers and dryers are the dynamic duo that keep you and your family cleanly clothed, but how often do you give them the cleaning love they deserve? If you don’t exactly know how to clean a washing machine and dryer, we get it. But both these appliances work hard to get rid of stains, odors, and wrinkles—and it’s a dirty job. Read on to make sure it’s not a thankless one!

Before you start, always unplug electronics and appliances when cleaning them. Consult your owner’s manual if you have one, but you’ll find these steps to be safe and effective for most washers and dryers.

How To Clean a Washing Machine

Learning how to clean a washer is easy. Start with an empty washer, baking soda, distilled white vinegar, microfiber cloths, and a toothbrush. The baking soda is a natural deodorizer, whitener, and mild abrasive for removing odors and grime and vinegar is the perfect DIY washing machine cleaner.

  1. Pour two cups of baking soda into the washing machine, then run the washer on the longest cycle using the hottest water.
  2. Pour two cups of white vinegar in (once the cycle has finished) and run the same cycle time, but use warm water.
  3. Remove the detergent and bleach dispensers. Mix equal amounts of vinegar and water in a mixing bowl and let the pieces soak.
  4. Wipe down the interior and exterior of the washer using microfiber cloths and the same mix of water and vinegar from above. Use a toothbrush to get into the tight spots.
  5. Finish using a microfiber cloth dampened with water to wipe off the vinegar and dirt, rinse the parts you left soaking, and put everything back together.

How To Clean a Dryer

Learning how to clean a dryer involves a little more dirty work than cleaning a washer. Start by pulling your dryer out far enough that you can unplug it and access the exhaust hose hookups. Grab your vacuum cleaner, vinegar and water cleaner, microfiber cloths, and a toothbrush.

  1. Remove the exhaust hose and put it aside. Vacuum the round exhaust port, air vents, and floor.
  2. Vacuum the exhaust hose and check it for damage. If the hose has tears, it’s a fire hazard and should be replaced. If your hose is good, reinstall it.
  3. Take out the lint trap and wash it with dish soap and hot water, then let it air dry. Use the longest vacuum attachment to get down into the lint trap area and vacuum.
  4. Wash the exterior of the dryer with vinegar and water, scrub the crevices with the toothbrush, then wipe down the dryer with a clean, damp cloth.
  5. Reconnect the power cord, push the dryer back in place, and replace the lint trap once it’s dry.

Once your washer and dryer are sparkling clean, you may notice the rest of your laundry room is looking dirty and dull. Whether you do it yourself using our housekeeping guides or choose one of our residential cleaning services, The Maids has you covered. Get your estimate today and learn more.


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