How to Clean a Washing Machine

Published on December 22, 2013 By Lauren

How to Clean a Washing Machine

It was time to clean my washing machine because it was starting to have that funky smell….you know the one!  I have tried a few washing machine cleaners out there, and nothing has taken away the smell.  I do at least 1-2 loads of laundry every day, and I think my laundry breeds overnight because I can never get caught up with it.

How to Clean a Washing Machine

So I thought I would try to wash it with items that I already had around my house. Washing machine cleaners can be very expensive, but with items that you already have in your pantry or stockpile, you can do it for FREE!

Here is how to clean a washing machine:

  1. I filled up my washing machine with hot water, then poured in 1 cup of white vinegar and let it sit for about an hour and a half.
  2. Then I re-started the washing machine like I normally would, and let it run through the entire cycle.
  3. I took a sponge and used the scrubby side to scrub off all the stuck on gunk.
  4. I then filled it up again with hot water and filled it with bleach (about 2 cups).  I let it sit for another hour and a half.
  5. While it was soaking I took a rag and washed the inside and outside of the washing machine. (make sure you have gloves on for this part)
  6. I re-started the washing machine again like I normally would, and let it run through the entire cycle.

Voila – a clean and fabulous smelling washing machine!How to Clean a Washing Machine


  • My husband put his grease rags in my washer, and some had gas on them. My washing machine smells like gas now. And so does my dryer. How can I get that horrible gas smell out of them? Help!!

  • This has happened many times in my house lol. I let the washer fill a few inches with hot water then spray all over the inside with homemade cleaner (4oz white vinegar, 5oz cheap vodka, a few squirts of dawn and jet dry and top with water). Then I use a toilet brush from the dollar store that I keep just for this purpose and pay extra attention around the top but give it a quick scrub then run the cycle on hot. For the drier wash your lint trap screen with Dawn and if needed clean the exhaust duct and toss a few clean garage towels in with a few drops of essential oil and run on hot for 20 min or so.

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