How to Clean your Washing Machine


Hi there Somewhat Simple readers!  I am so excited to be here with you today.  I am Anna of Ask Anna, I’m a new contributor to Somewhat Simple, and I’m excited to start sharing cleaning and organizing tips with you ever month.  Today, I’m going to share one of my most popular posts, and one of Stephanie’s favorites: How to Clean your Washing Machine.  So here we go…


When I first wrote this post back in February my washing machine was in desperate need of a good cleaning, just look at that picture ^^^ (ewww!)


Fill the washing machine up and pour in 2 cups of white vinegar.

Let it set for 1 hour, then start the washing machine over again and let it run through a complete cycle.

When the machine drains if it still has grime on it, use a sponge and some straight white vinegar and scrub it down really well.


(Look at how much better that is!)

Fill washing machine up again and pour in 2 cups of bleach.  Let it soak for 1 hour.


Meanwhile, use Q-Tips to detail all the nooks and crannies.  My washer hadn’t been cleaned since my dad bought it 15+ years ago so it needed a good detailing!  Don’t forget to clean the knobs and the lid too.

Restart the washing machine and let it run through a complete cycle.

Once the cycle has finished you are done; your washing machine will be clean and shiny!


If you have a front-loading machine, don’t worry, you can use these same steps to clean your washing machine but with a few modifications:

  • Instead of putting the vinegar and bleach (at separate times!) directly in the tub and then letting them soak for an hour, you will put each ingredient {at the appropriate step} in the detergent dispenser and run the machine through a complete cycle.


I think the pictures speak for themselves, isn’t the transformation amazing!?  I definitely won’t be waiting another 15+ years to do this again.  I recommend cleaning your washing machine at least once a year, it’s a great task to add to your Spring Cleaning list!

*This post needs some clarification as there are TONS of comments about the dangers of mixing vinegar and bleach. Yes, mixing the two of these causes toxic fumes, but read this tutorial again and see that you are not mixing these two liquids together. Vinegar is used in one step and a washing cycle is run and then beach is used in the next step. No lungs will be harmed in this process! :)


  1. 216

    Is there a tip u can give me oh how to clean the dryer. I accidently left a pen or marker in one of my pockets and started my dryer, now there black marks all around the dryer inside :( how can i get rid of them? Thanks

    • 217
      Carol O. says:

      You can clean out the black marks with alcohol if it is from a Sharpie. If it is not from a sharpie, you SHOULD be able to clean the drum with vinegar and water.

  2. 218

    Wow, what a difference that made. I have an old washer too, I think I will try this. Thanks for the tip.

  3. 219
    Coach Val Rocks says:

    Love this idea and thanks. I will try it later on in towards the winter time as we are having a massive drought right now here in So. Cal. I sure would hope that people are waiting to try this as we are quickly running out of water!! This is a serious situation right now!

  4. 220

    to get it really clean, you need to take it apart. you would not believe what is behind the tub. it is really nasty.

  5. 221

    What if we have the front load washers any suggestions

  6. 222

    How can I clean the fabric softener dispenser in my HE top loader?

  7. 223

    I put half a cup of vinegar in every final cycle of my washing, it softens the clothes, rinses the last vestiges of soap from them and cleans the machine at the same time.

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