Despite regularly retrieving clean clothes from your washer and dryer, these appliances also need periodic cleaning. After many laundry loads, the interior of your washer can accumulate dirt and detergent residues, and the drum’s interior can get contaminated with fecal bacteria. The interior of your dryer can also accumulate lint, dust, and dirt. Therefore, thoroughly cleaning your washer and dryer every few months will result in cleaner clothes.
Cleaning Your Washer
- Clean the top and underneath the washer’s lid with a damp sponge. Remove the lint trap (if your machine has one) and rinse it under running water.
- Clean the soap, bleach, and fabric softener dispensers. If these cups are removable, take them out and rinse them under running water. Otherwise, use a pipe cleaner or some cotton swabs to remove the residues.
- Eliminate mold and fungus smells, as well as soap and fabric residue buildup. Run the empty machine with hot water and approximately 2 cups of white vinegar. You can use 1 cup of bleach instead of vinegar, but bleach can damage rubber seals. Run a hot water cycle and 1 gallon (3.8 L) of white vinegar if you have hard water once a month or every 10 loads. The vinegar will help dissolve mineral deposits caused by hard water or well water.
Cleaning Your Dryer
- Thoroughly clean the lint filter. Use the narrow rod attachment of your vacuum cleaner to remove as much lint as possible that has accumulated under the filter.
- Vacuum or clean the inside of the dryer, including the door seal. Detach the dryer’s lint duct and clean or vacuum it.
- Check the external vent. Lift the flap and ensure there are no residues or lint blocking the vent, preventing air from escaping freely.
- Wash the top and the exterior of the dryer. Use warm soapy water and then rinse off the soap residues.
- Remove crayon, ink, or melted dyes. Apply an all-purpose spray cleaner to the drum and wipe it with a damp cloth or paper towel. For an extra measure, throw some old towels in the dryer and let it run at high temperature for about 20 minutes; any color residue not removed with the spray cleaner will transfer to your old towels.
Community Questions and Answers
I have ink stains from a pen inside the drum. What can I use to remove them?
Acetone (nail polish remover) will remove the ink, but it is very flammable. Put it on a cotton ball and wipe the stains. Then clean it with soap and water and rinse well.
How do I remove smells from my dryer?
Run the dryer empty several times and then add dryer sheets.
What do I use if there is rust on the outside of the dryer?
If it’s surface rust, sand it off. Make sure the vent pipes don’t have leaks as they can produce moisture and cause corrosion.
Can Dr. Beckman cleaner be used on a combined washer/dryer?
Yes, it will work.
I have a washer dryer and it has started to smell after a wash, can you explain?
You should leave the door open after cycles to ensure the interior dries out. It can cause mold if not dried properly.
What could cause silver stains on clothes in the dryer?
You might have washed your clothes with something silver or it could be a chip of metal from the dryer.
How do you clean lint and sea gravel in the dryer vent?
Get a vacuum with a long, thin crevice attachment. Use it to clean the vent. Otherwise, you may need to hire someone to clean the inner duct.
Is it okay to use bleach to clean a dryer after my cat urinated in it?
Do not use bleach to clean the dryer. Clean it only with a damp cloth.
Will Awesome Cleaner damage my washer or dryer?
It should not damage your appliances.
Tips and Warnings
- If your washer drains into a large sink, make sure you have a strainer in the drain to collect any residue that might be in the clothes you wash. It will help prevent pipe clogs.
- If possible, keep the lid of your washer in an open position when not in use. If you have a front-loading machine, try to keep the door open between washes. Keeping the lid or door open between washes will help prevent mold formation inside the washer.
- After washing a particularly dirty or grimy load of clothes, make sure to clean the inside of the washer immediately after removing the clothes so that the residues do not dry inside your machine.
- Clean your dryer’s lint filter before drying each load. Lint buildup can cause a fire.
- Change the hoses connecting your washer to the cold and hot water taps every 3 to 5 years, or as soon as they begin to show wear. The hoses can split if they become old or brittle, causing a serious flood.