Perfectly clean and fragrant laundry is what we want every time we load our washing machine with dirty or smelly clothes.
We have more or less all experienced the disappointment of a laundry with a bad smell, or that stinks, perhaps because we forgot to remove the clothes immediately after washing leaving them to get tangled in the basket, or because the washing machine is old or dirty.
As with any appliance, proper use and proper maintenance of the home washing machine are very important to ensure its proper functioning.
We will therefore see what are the good habits to keep our washing machine clean and efficient, and what the solutions are to clean, wash and sanitize its components.
Why does the washing machine stink?
When we buy a new washing machine, there is nothing to worry about. But problems can come later.
If our washing machine starts to emit unpleasant scents, or our clothes no longer smell like the early days, then we probably have not followed the rules of proper maintenance of the washing machine.
It is perfectly normal for mold and unpleasant odors to be created inside a washing machine, as the drum remains cyclically in contact with the stagnant water from the drain, often even for a long time, between one wash and the next. The stagnation of water is the first cause of the formation of bad smells in our washing machine. Furthermore, soap and fabric residues can get stuck on the gaskets, on the filter, or on parts of the basket, eventually forming other foci of mold and bacteria.
Therefore it is important to follow the routine maintenance practices that will be discussed later, but also to assume virtuous behavior in the daily use of the appliance.
For example, to avoid stagnation of moisture inside the drum, it is a good practice to leave the door always open, so that the inside of the washing machine can dry completely, without creating condensation and additional humidity.
The use of an excessive amount of detergent will greatly increase the chances of developing mold and bad odors inside our washing machine since greater quantities of detergent correspond to greater residues at the end of each wash.
Even cold washing, often preferable to others as it is less expensive and polluting, should not always be adopted: a 60 ° wash occasionally helps to sanitize the interior of the appliance, killing germs and bacteria. of unpleasant smells.
How to prevent bad smells?
So what is the correct maintenance of the washing machine? It should be washed, ideally on a monthly basis, especially if we use it daily.
So let’s see how to clean the washing machine, so that it works perfectly throughout the year, guaranteeing us the clean and fragrant laundry we want.
The cleaning process of the washing machine simply consists of a vacuum wash, without clothing or detergent. Instead of detergent, we can put two tablespoons of vinegar, baking soda, or coarse salt in the tray. The perfect ingredients are also in the case of the washing machine those of timeless grandmother.
Once the tray is loaded, just set a standard wash to at least 60 ° C, considering that the ideal would be to start a wash at the highest possible temperature, in order to be sure that you have eradicated germs and mold.
Vinegar and baking soda often used together to remove stains and disinfect domestic surfaces, will clean and sanitize the entire interior of the machinery, ensuring its correct functionality and, which is of no small importance, contributing to the longevity of the appliance.
Generally, vacuum-cleaning with salt, vinegar or baking soda is sufficient to eliminate the problem of bad odors and clean the entire interior of the washing machine well. But if that is not enough, and our washing machine continues to stink or stink the laundry, we should proceed with a more thorough cleaning.
How to thoroughly clean the washing machine?
Cleaning the washing machine thoroughly also means dedicating yourself to the gaskets, filters, and removable parts of the appliance. Let’s see in detail how to clean the washing machine, wanting to sanitize all the components:
- The seals The internal rubber parts of the washing machine are often harassed of mold and dirt, which can get stuck and develop dirt and a bad smell. To clean the seals, simply wipe them with a damp cloth soaked in vinegar or baking soda. In the most difficult cases, a toothbrush will help us get even to the most stubborn dirt.
- A similar process can be used to clean filters of the washing machine, on which soap residues and lint of fabric tend to accumulate which – over time – stagnate on the bottom of the washing machine. Removing the filters from their housing and cleaning them by rubbing them with a toothbrush is an operation that should be done at least every six months. the most suitable products, also for this process, are apple cider vinegar and baking soda.
- The trays finally, must be extracted and washed very carefully. To be sure of being able to remove all the soap incrustations and all the residues from the plastic, the advice is to keep them soak in a basin with hot water, vinegar, and baking soda. After a few hours, just remove the remaining residues with the help of a dry cloth.
How to do if we have a high water-saving or top loading washing machine?
If the vacuum cleaning does not work, and not even having cleaned every single part of our washing machine was able to solve the problem of bad smells, then ours is probably a latest generation washing machine, or with high water saving, or with load from above.
So let’s not despair, and let’s see how to clean the washing machine even in the two specific cases:
- High water-saving washing machine
The procedures described above will not be entirely useful for its cleaning. This type of washing machine, in fact, requires that the basket is never completely filled with water, which is why our vinegar and bicarbonate allies will not be able to clean a large part of the basket. In this circumstance, it will be necessary to manually add the missing water.
Like? Once the above vacuum cleaning has started, you will have to wait for the water loading phase; once the water load is finished, just pour at least two liters of water into the detergent compartment. Once the water has been introduced, you can proceed with the insertion of the apple cider vinegar, or of the baking soda, and carry out the vacuum cleaning to the end. This procedure will ensure an accurate cleaning of all parts of the basket, including those that generally remain untouched by the water.
- Washing machine with top loading
These washing machines present a different but equally annoying problem: often they do not drain all the water used during washing, greatly increasing the possibility that stagnant water creates bad smells.
To thoroughly clean and disinfect a washing machine of this type, you must start a vacuum washing cycle which will be interrupted when the water has reached half the basket. At that point, add half a bottle of vinegar directly to the basket and leave the washing program suspended for at least an hour. After this “soaking time”, we can restart the washing program.
A few more precautions
We have seen how to clean a washing machine that stinks, to keep it efficient and in perfect condition, ensuring a fragrant and spotless laundry. Once you have cleaned our washing machine, remember to repeat the operation constantly: if complete cleaning is recommended at least once every six months, vacuum cleaning with coarse salt, vinegar, or baking soda should be done every month.
The natural remedies work very well, but if you prefer you can use bleach instead of them, pure or diluted in water, to be inserted in the soap tray during the emptying phase. In the case of the top-loading washing machine, you can replace the half bottle of vinegar with a cup of bleach, which must be poured into the suspended washing basket.
At least once a year, it is still advisable to leave the “natural” way and use specific products for cleaning the washing machine: today there are all types and prices on the market, and they are often suggested by the same manufacturer of our washing machine.
If, on the other hand, we have limescale problems, and the stench problem occurs more frequently, we can use apple cider vinegar, which is slightly more acidic than white and apple vinegar. It will be sufficient to eliminate limescale, but will not ruin the components of the washing machine. Two glasses of cider vinegar will be enough to eliminate the limestone residues: before a vacuum wash, one must be added in the soap pan and one directly in the basket.