How to Clean & Descale your Washing Machine
How do I clean my washing machine?
All you need to know about cleaning your washing machine in a simple, 5-step guide.
- Using a soft, damp cloth, wipe around the glass and rubber seals on the inside of the machine. Carefully lift the seals away from the metal to make sure you reach any soapy residue.
- Remove the detergent drawer, soak it in hot water, then use a clean toothbrush to scrub away residue and any mould. Dry thoroughly before replacing in the washing machine.
- Lower-temperature washes mean some detergent may stay in the drum. The best way to get rid of this is to run machine empty on the hottest cotton cycle.
- Once the cycle is complete, open the door of the washing machine so the interior air-dries. If there’s still residue or a bad smell, repeat the process.
- To finish off, give the rubber seals a final wipe to remove any remaining residue.
How should I descale my washing machine?
If you have a build-up of limescale, use a product specifically for washing machines and carefully follow the packet instructions.
Tips for cleaning a front-loading washing machine
- Lower washing temperatures and non-biological detergents do cause a build-up of soap, so wipe your detergent drawers with a damp cloth or kitchen paper as often as possible.
- Every two months, carefully pull out the drawer (check manufacturer’s instructions) and soak in hot water.
- Check your drain filters regularly for fluff, hair, lint and general debris.
- Inspect your hoses, checking for kinks and signs of wear and tear. Most manufacturers recommend changing hoses every five years.
- Keep your washing-machine’s glass door clean inside and out as dust can be a fire hazard.
- Regularly examine the door seal and remove any stray objects.
- Leave the washing-machine door ajar between wash cycles to allow air to flow and prevent mould.
- Run a maintenance wash once a month to eliminate detergent build-up. With the machine empty, set it to the highest-temperature cotton wash.
How should I clean my washing-machine pump filter?
Most modern washing machines have a filter to protect the pump from obstructions.
- Check your instructions to find where yours is and how to find the retractable pipe.
- Place a towel or two on the floor, then unscrew the filter. Remove any obstructions then wash in hot, soapy water. Replace.
- If there’s no obvious filter at the front, you can remove the kick-strip at the front of the washing machine to see if it’s hidden there. It usually clips into place with three or so tabs. You may need to use a flat-bladed screwdriver, but be very careful, because kick-strips are brittle and may snap easily.