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Cleaning Your Washing Machine

A How To Guide

Is cleaning your washing machine important? It most certainly is! The inside of your washing machine is constantly being subjected to dirty water, mineral and detergent deposits. If you launder cloth diapers, it is especially important to keep your machine clean and in tip-top condition. Just as dishwashers, sinks and bathtubs get dirty as they are used to clean things, your washing machine also can become a mess in no time. Though most of the dirt is washed out with the rinse water, some of it remains. In addition, soap residue and other unidentifiable grungy objects can also be left behind. Every time you wash your clothes, hard water and detergents cause build-up to accumulate inside the tub, pump and hoses. This build-up reduces the ability of your washing machine to perform properly. Mineral build-up can be especially abrasive to the clothes and diapers you wash causing them to show wear faster. Cleaning your washing machine eliminates these problems.

First, run a cycle of hot water along with two cups of vinegar or lemon juice to loosen up the soap and grime. Remove the fabric softener receptacle and soak it in hot water and detergent. Clean the bleach dispenser with a spray cleaner, paper towels, and Q-tips. Don't forget to clean the top rim of the wash bucket which is up and under where it can't usually be seen easily. Run the washer empty on a hot cycle one more time.

While this is going on, check all your hoses for leaks. Over time, the water hoses that came with your washing machine may start to leak or even burst. It is good preventive maintenance to check these hoses from time to time for any sign of wear or weakness. Most manufacturers recommend replacing hoses every 5 years. Make sure your hoses are not a disaster waiting to happen!

Once you've soaked the fabric softener receptacle, replace it and polish up the outside of your washing machine with vinegar and a cloth towel. Your washing machine now looks better and will run better as well!

Happy washing!

Need more laundry tips?

Diaper Detergent Chart