How to … clean your front-loading washing machine

Font Size:

It’s frustrating taking clothes out of the washing machine to find them covered in fine lint or caked in soap residue. Here’s a simple way to keep your hard-working washing machine clean and in action.

In most washing machines the soap dispenser is removable. This tray is a common location for mould to grow. To wash the soap dispenser, gently pull it out and place it in the top rack of your dishwasher or wash it by hand using hot, soapy water. If it doesn’t come out easily, check the machine instructions, as it may not be removable. If this is the case, wipe it with hot water and vinegar.

Next, gently clean out the filter. Lint and soap suds often build up here, commonly causing problems for front loader washing machines. When following the manufacturer’s instructions, the filter should jiggle loose easily.

Inspect the inner door and seals of your washing machine for mould. If mould has grown, you can remove it using a cloth dipped in an equal parts mix of hot water and white vinegar. Between washes it’s best to leave the door of your washing machine slightly ajar. This will allow airflow into the machine, giving it a chance to dry and reducing the likelihood of mould growing.

To clean the inside of the machine itself, put half a cup of white vinegar into the drum and two tablespoons of bicarbonate soda into the detergent dispenser drawer. Run a normal hot wash cycle. Check on your machine regularly during this wash, especially if you have not cleaned it in a while as it may cause left over soap to foam up.

How often do you clean your washing machine – if ever? Do you have any tips or tricks you want to share with other readers? Let us know in the comment section below.

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy


How to … clean the air in your home naturally

When we think of a clean and hygienic home, few of us think of air pollution but we should.

How to clean your smartphone, monitor or laptop screen

Remove those smudges and stains without ruining your screen.

Written by livga


Total Comments: 20
  1. 0

    You should also leave the soap dispenser open most quality frontloads have a clean cycle which usually runs about 128 minutes

  2. 0

    “detergent dispenser draw”- what happened to spellcheck (or the ability to spell simple words)?

  3. 0

    Well said Amelia. This particular word is a favourite of the ignorant. Granted, spellcheck is what they should be using, but really, what can you do with adults who don’t know the difference between DRAW and DRAWER?

    Proof reading seems to have disappeared over the years as I see this sort of idiocy more and more often.

    A more recent addition to the idiot dictionary is the use of the word LOOSE instead of LOSE.

  4. 0

    What about cleaning top loading washing machines? I presume you use the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda solution.

  5. 0

    PULL YOUR HEAD IN ALL YOU SMART PRICKS OUT THERE AND YOUR SPELLING!! I carnt spell for shit but every one knows what I am saying!

  6. 0

    Adding bicarb to vinegar simply neutralises the mix, ie acid plus base equals salt plus water.

    Simply running a full cycle with vinegar alone is enough.

  7. 0

    With either top or side clean can you do a normal wash ie. clothes plus detergent

  8. 0

    Since I began to use ionic laundry balls instead of detergents and fabric conditioners I only have to clean the lint filter and clean the seal around the door once a month! There is no residue left on clothing, all laundry comes out clean and dries to a lovely soft texture. A bonus is there is no ‘stink’ of the scents that so many companies believe necessary for their products (but which cause me to leave them on the shelf). There is an initial cost for the balls, but most last for over 150 washes, so in reality they are quite inexpensive, there is no need for any other treatments like conditioners. Some can be refilled, although they are getting harder to find. In any case I will never go back to using detergents. An added bonus is that there is no stink coming from the pump either!!!!!

    • 0

      Yep, they are a bit more expensive but you are certainly on the money – only buy them now and quite a few of them when “on Special”.

  9. 0

    I gave up using powder detergents after a few too many washes came out with white streaks where detergent had not rinsed away. Now I use liquid detergent only. Never had another wash with streaks and the machine stays clean. Unlike another contributor, I quite enjoy the perfume smell in my clothes after using the special conditioners. Mind you, another bloke was eyeing me off down at the supermarket. The perfume must be attracting unwanted attention since I smelt so flowery LOL.

  10. 0

    All the above is good advice. I clean the inside of my rubber folds around the drum rubber, every month or so and just use a paper towel sheet that I spray with dish washing detergent (once only) and that’s about 90% of where the smell comes from. The remainder can be from the detergent tray. Always leave the glass door ajar after a wash to air dry the WM. Check for any black spots developing anywhere on the rubber folds or tray, this indicates mould build up and cleaning required as above.

    Only had a smelly machine once in 10 years of use (small Miele front loader 6.5 Kg) Also some machines are so mingy with water (mine included), they don’t rinse properly, so I always add extra water per wash. The other trick is to use half or less than the recommended detergent. If you see lots of foam developing during the wash, you’ve put in far too much detergent. This will leave the clothes with too much residue. Never used the self clean cycle. Once I did a wash cycle with a little detergent, (30 minute express wash) no clothes and just used the express option. (about once per year.)

    Important to use powder detergent designed for front loading machines. It doesn’t, or shouldn’t, foam up very much. Any brand (“el cheapo”) is as good as any. Don’t believe the BS hype of expensive detergents. I buy Coles brand or OMO when it’s half price on special, other wise any El cheapo will do! All the brands contain the same ingredients for washing!.

    Even the added “freshener” liquid added during the rinse cycles is Coles “El Cheapo” After the clothes dry on the line on a sunny day I have to wear sun glasses to stop the glare from white towels, when I bring in the washing. I’m not kidding!

Load More Comments



continue reading


Friday Funnies: The barista and the spoon

Enjoy these caffeinated jokes from Readers Digest while you sip your morning coffee. They may even improve the best part...


What chickens can tell us about living with COVID-19

Professor Amir Hadjinoormohammadi As the world grapples with rolling out various vaccines for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, there...


Vaccinations, transmission, contact tracing: COVID questions answered

What do we know about COVID-19? Given how new the disease is, how much has been learnt in the past...

Mental Health

What is agoraphobia and how is it treated?

Popping to the shops, picking up a coffee on the way to work, queuing up for entry to a gallery...


Benefits of kefir and what to look out for

Forget kale and nut butter: fermented foods are the one big health trend we'll all be spooning into our diet...

Age Pension

CPI figures point to an increase in the Age Pension in March

After pensioners were denied an Age Pension increase in September last year, due to a rare case of deflation in...


MND breakthrough offers hope damaged nerve cells can be repaired

There is hope of a breakthrough in treating motor neurone disease (MND) after Edinburgh researchers found a way to repair...


Avoid these common mistakes people make with bleach

Bleach is one of the most effective and least expensive disinfectants around, but it pays to remember it's not an...