How to Clean Your Washer and Dryer

Why have a front loading washer if they are so hard to keep clean?

Your washing machine cleans your clothes, and your dryer makes sure they are wrinkle free and dry, but how often do you clean them? To work properly and safely both need to be cleaned every once in a while. These tips showing how to clean your washer and dryer will help keep them running smoothly so your clothes come out of the laundry fresh and clean every time!

You should also check out: Reusable dryer sheets

how to clean your washer and dryer

It's really important to make sure that your washing machine is clean so that your clothes come out clean and smelling fresh as well. Washing machines can retain water in between uses, which can cause a mildew smell and hard water can build up in the washing machine as well. Front loading washing machines are notorious for smelling like mildew if they aren't cleaned properly and often too. Your dryer doesn't get as dirty as the washing machine, but it's very important to clean your dryer's lint trap and dryer vent hose thoroughly every few months to prevent a fire and to keep the heat flowing properly. To make your cleaning easier, check out our tips and tricks on making your own DIY wrinkle release spray.

How to Clean a Front Loading Washing Machine

adding vinegar to front loading washing machine to clean

Start by adding two cups of vinegar to your washing machine's detergent tray. Don't turn the washing machine on yet.

cleaning the inner rubber gasket on a front loading washing machine

Mix a ½ cup of water and ½ cup of distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle. Pull back the rubber seal on the front of your washing machine and spray liberally with the vinegar and water mixture. Use a microfiber cloth to clean the inside are of the rubber seal, removing any buildup, hair and debris. Now, run the hottest and largest wash cycle that your washing machine has. If your washer has a Tub Clean cycle, you can run that one. Once the cycle has finished, allow your washing machine door to stay open so the inside of your washer can air dry. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the outside of your washing machine.

I recommend leaving your washer door open slightly between washes to allow it to dry in between uses. This will help keep the mildew smell away.

How to Clean a Top Loading Washing Machine

pour vinegar in top loading washing machine to clean
  • Fill a spray bottle with vinegar or, add a spray nozzle to a bottle of vinegar. You can see how I used an old vinegar spray bottle to Make a Glass Spray Bottle HERE if you like!
  • Spray the inside of your washing machine liberally with vinegar. Be sure to get around the top of the rubber ring at the top of your machine.
  • Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe down all of the inside surfaces of your washing machine including any grooves and around any of the rubber gaskets.
  • If your washing machine has a fabric softener dispenser, remove it and clean it with vinegar and water, then place it back in the washing machine.
  • Add 2 cups of distilled white vinegar directly into the tub of your washing machine.
  • Run your washer on the hottest and largest cycle it offers.
  • Use a damp cloth to wipe down the outside of your washing machine.
  • Once the cycle is finished, leave the lid of your washing machine open and allow it to air dry.

How to Clean Your Dryer

There aren't any major steps for cleaning a dryer, just a few simple things you should do often.

  • Clean out the lint trap in between every use. Lint is one of the number one fire hazards because it can catch fire very easily.
  • Once every couple of months, use your vacuum's attachment to clean out the lint trap reservoir. This is the area that your lint trap fits in to. Excess lint and debris can accumulate there and should be removed.
  • Check the dryer hose every few months to make sure it is working properly and not clogged with lint. Over time, holes can form in the hose, causing it to release moist heat into your home. Lint and debris can also become trapped in your dryer hose, and needs to be cleaned. Personally, I replace my dryer hose every year just to make sure my dryer works properly.

Looking for more cleaning tips and recipes? I have shared hundreds, and you can find them all HERE on my Home Cleaning Page!

cleaning tips