How To Deep Clean A Washer and Dryer Quickly and Easily

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Do you want to know how to clean your washer and dryer? My washer and dryer are very well-loved by our family of 4 and probably gets more than regular use. Besides doing around 11 loads of regular laundry at a minimum every week (I know, right?!!!), it has to clean baseball gear, dance wear and costumes, pillows, blankets & bedding, and more. I figured it was about time to give it a little TLC and deep cleaning to help them last. Just follow these simple steps to get your laundry appliances in ship shape.

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Do you want to know how to clean a washer and dryer? I figured it was about time to give it a little TLC and deep cleaning to help them last.

How To Clean A Washer and Dryer

1. Clean the outside of the washing machine and dryer

In a spray bottle place 1 part vinegar and 10 parts water. If you don’t like the smell you can use a tablespoon of lemon juice. Or, if you’d rather, you could use an all purpose cleaner like dish soap and water as well.

Spray down the entire exterior of both your washer and dryer and wipe it clean with a clean towel or microfiber towel. Make sure to get the surface, buttons/dials, and all the nooks and crannies.

2. scrub the inside of your washing machine

The best way to clean all the nooks and crannies on the inside of the washing machine is with an old toothbrush. Spray the tough spots like the bleach spout, washing machine door, detergent drawer, fabric softener dispensers, detergent dispensers etc. and scrub with an old toothbrush.

In my top loading washing machine the center spinning part gets built-up soap scum and detergent residue, and it turns brown. Use a magic eraser to clean that right up, as well as any other tough spots.

In your washer make sure to clean on top and around the tub of the washing machine. There is a lot of dirt and dust that collects up there.

3. Clean the washing tub

For the tub itself, place 1 quart, or 4 cups of vinegar in the tub of your top-loading machine and fill the empty washing machine all the way with hot water. Run your normal cycle. Again, you can add lemon juice to cut the smell of the vinegar if you like. Once it’s complete you can opt to do a second rinse cycle if you like.

4. Clean the inside of the dryer

Spray the vinegar mixture inside your dryer, as well as on all surfaces as you did with your washer, and wipe clean with a washcloth or microfiber cloth.

5. Scrub the inside of the dryer

Use a toothbrush to get the dirt and grime out of tough spots. I had fuzzy stuff and dirt collected by the lint filter.

6. Clean out the dryer vent

My dryer came with a bristle wand. I use that to dig down and get the extra lint out that my lint trap might not have collected.

I also use my vacuum cleaner with the wand attachment to clean out the lint trap.

7. Clean the dryer vent

I spray my lint trap with the vinegar mixture and use a toothbrush to scrub it clean.

Rise the lint trap off and let it dry.  If it’s good and clean the water will run through the trap, if it’s not clean enough the water will not go through the mesh.

My washer and dryer look great and are all clean. Mine is almost 18 years old! The good news is that with regular cleaning and a little TLC they will keep working well for a long time.

Other tips for how to clean a washer and dryer:

  • Make sure to clean a rubber seal, especially in a front-load washer.
  • This same technique I used for top load washers can be used in front load washers.
  • Make sure to clean your washer door with warm water and a damp cloth as well.
  • You can always run a clean cycle of your choice with several cups of white vinegar to start cleaning everything out.
  • Many front loaders have a cleaning cycle and it’s a good idea to run it often.
  • Leaving washing machine doors open to eliminate that musty smell is always a good idea when you have an empty washer.
  • Open your laundry room door if it’s closed up to help with air circulation.
  • If you have hard water it will leave residue and mineral deposits behind.
  • You can always run a wash cycle with a warm to hot water temperature in a top-loading washing machine to clean it out quickly after your last load of laundry.
  • Chlorine bleach is a great cleaner to stop and clean out mold growth or mildew growth in a pinch, and it works in both top-loading washers and front-loading washing machine.
  • Don’t forget to check the vent in the back of the dryer as they sometimes get clogged, and you’ll want to check this to prevent a fire hazard.
  • You can also buy a washing machine cleaner from the store to throw into your front-loading machine if you don’t have time and want to get rid of the musty odor.
  • Some of the nasty film inside is actually from detergent buildup and soap residue. You can clean this out with a cup of white vinegar or some baking soda in the water and use less laundry detergent.

Learn more about “Why to Deep Clean and Organize Your Home” to save money, function better, and keep your sanity.


How To Clean A Washer and Dryer Video

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Do you want to know how to clean a washer and dryer?  I figured it was about time to give it a little TLC and deep cleaning to help them last.

Share it with others!

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  1. Such a good and conscientious cleaning! I’m inspired to roll up my sleeves and tend to this neglected task!

    1. Thank you Michele, mine was in need of it for sure. Now I just need to keep up with it 🙂

  2. Thank you for sharing the cleaning tips on The Handmade Hangout. It seems that my washer and dryer get neglected quite often when it comes to getting cleaned. I think that it is definitely time.

    1. Thank you Amy and you’re not the only one – I definitely let mine slide a little too long.

  3. We even pull them out from the wall and clean behind and underneath. Found you on Blogger’s Pit Stop Link Party.

    1. That is so true Candy, I’m in need of doing that as well. I just need my husband’s help for that part 🙂

  4. This inspires me and I’ll pin it so others will see. Thanks for sharing at the the sweet inspiration party 111. My post is right next to yours, 50 Ways to Raise Your Vibration

    1. Thank you so much Nancy and thank you for the Pin and stopping by 🙂

  5. Thanks for all the tips, Chas. I need to do this as well!

    1. Thank you so much Linda 🙂 I hope it helps you too

  6. Good cleaning tips for two machines that handle a lot of cleaning! I regularly clean my dryer lint screen and that’s about it, so a deep cleaning as this wouldn’t do any harm. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much Cathy and those lint screens are so very important 🙂

  7. Ooh…you’ve inspired me to clean my washer and dryer this weekend.

    1. Thank you so much Kara, I’m so excited you want to give it a try.

  8. Our washer and dryers aren’t high on the cleaning list and can become neglected. Thanks for sharing your cleaning tips on Sunday’s Best.

    1. Thank you Rhonda, I have let mine slide too and totally get it.

  9. Great tips, I do give our washing machine a run through on a super hot wash with soda crystals and vinegar every now and again, but that is about it. Time to up the procedure I think!

    1. Thank you so much Julie and what you’re doing sounds great too!

  10. I feel like I’m always doing laundry:wait I am I prolly do around 15-20 loads a week sometimes more .but I thought i was one in a few who had to clean my cleaners so thank you for that

    1. Thank you Tonya, and thanks for sharing. It is amazing how many loads we do isn’t it? It’s so important to take care of our appliances so they can last so we can help them last as long as they can.

  11. Heather Pendragon says:

    HI Chas…thanks for the lovely step by step tutorial. LOVED the one on toilet cleaning too. It’s surprising how many of us were never properly taught how to do things. I have a brain injury and just get completely overwhelmed with these tasks sometimes. By breaking it down into these simple steps you make it so “do-able” and less daunting. I know for most people that probably sounds silly, but sometimes, I just don’t know even where to begin. May I let you know of a small type-o I found in this article? Where you show in the photo of you adding 4 cups of liquid into your washer, you say to add 4 cups of water, but I know you meant to say vinegar. I just wanted to point that out in case you wanted to change it. It’s my OCD that catches those little things! Wishing you all the very best!

    1. Hi Heather, thank you so very much for sharing, and for showing me the typo. I appreciate it! I’m so glad you like the tutorial.

    1. Thanks, Kim, I need to do another post about front loaders even though the process wouldn’t change a whole lot. I know many people have those and would like a tutorial about those

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