Cleaning Tips for your Washing Machine and Dryer

We’ll guide you through how to clean your washing machine effortlessly and efficiently, using less harmful products and materials which are better for your machine and the environment. 

Our tips will help keep your machine in excellent condition whilst maintaining its cleanliness and help to preserve the life of clothes and have them smell like freshly cut flowers.

Some cleaning products can cause more harm than good on washing machines and dryers – some brands don’t recommend using any cleaning products internally on your machine as this can affect your warranty. Always check your instruction manual for advice on products. 

We have created a step by step guide to make cleaning your machine a breeze and offer advice and cleaning tips for keeping your detergent drawer, rubber seals, filter and drum in tip-top condition, with minimal effort, keeping your machine looking and smelling brand new.

Empty washing machine

How often should you clean your washing machine?

To keep your machine in pristine condition, we would recommend cleaning at least once a month, depending on how many times you use your washing machine. 

A busy household frequently using the machine more than twice a day will require more regular cleaning as grime can build up in your machine causing very unpleasant odours.  

Washing machine use How often to clean
Once a day (7 washes a week = 56 washes) Every 2 month 
Twice a day (14 washes a week = 56 washes) Every 1 month
More than twice a day  Weekly cleans 

How often should you clean your tumble dryer?

After every use you should clean the lint filter – this gets filled with fibres from your clothes and without cleaning the filters, your clothes will take longer to dry, evidently consuming more energy.

If you have noticed a stale smell on your laundry, it’s time to clean the lint filter and give your dryer some attention…

The lint filter is very easy to clean. Gather your cleaning supplies and we will advise  the best way to clean your lint filters:

Cleaning supplies:

  • Microfibre cloth
  • Old towel 
  • Warm soapy water
  • Rubber gloves 
  • Hand brush

How to clean the lint filter on a dryer

  1. Mark sure your dryer has cooled down;
  2. Open the door, locate the filter (this is usually in the door rim)  and remove the filter;
  3. Place the old towel on the floor to catch any lint;
  4. Using rubber gloves, remove as much lint as possible, disposing into the bin;
  5. Using a hand brush lightly brush the corner of the filter to remove any stubborn lint;
  6. Replace filter.

Tip: Put a sticky note on your dryer door as a reminder to “clean the lint filter”.  

A monthly deep clean is necessary. Removing and washing all filters, wiping the internal drum and door is important to keep your dryer in great condition. The drum can carry bacteria which can be transferred to your clothes, making them have a stale damp smell. Not an attractive smell! 

Adding a capful of Zoflora Disinfectant to your warm soapy water whilst cleaning will help remove the unpleasant damp smells.

Monthly deep cleans will help to keep your machine looking new and performing more efficiently.

What to use when cleaning a washing machine and dryer

To keep your machine working properly, you will need to keep on top of cleaning it. Using the correct cleaning products which aren’t harmful for your machine is vital and will keep your machine fresh and mildew free.

Cleaning supplies:

  • Scented Disinfectant
  • Bowl
  • Hot soapy water
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Toothbrush
  • Rubber gloves

How to clean a washing machine

Cleaning a washing machine can be a tedious chore if you haven’t done it in a while.

We have created a step by step guide to make cleaning your washing machine a breeze.

  1. Have your cleaning supplies ready.
  1. Make a bowl of warm soapy water adding 1 cap full of scented disinfectant. Also make a trigger gun using 2 capfuls of concentrated disinfectant and 800ml of water.
  1. Directly spray the inside of the drum with the solution using rubber gloves and use a microfiber cloth to wipe the inside of the drum, paying particular attention to the perforated holes as these can hold onto grime. 
  2. Clean your cloth in the warm soapy water and repeat the process. Wipe the inside of the door and the rim where dirt can be hidden.
  1. Remove the detergent drawer and soak in warm water for 5 mins; this makes it easier to clean the hard deposits that have stuck to your drawer.
  1. Clean the housing unit of the drawer with the warm soapy water solution. You may need the toothbrush for this as there will be hard to reach areas. Wipe with a microfibre and dry thoroughly.
  1. Finish washing your drawer and reassemble in the housing unit.
  1. Wipe the rubber seals with your cloth, using the toothbrush to get in between the seals. You will probably notice a build of grime and maybe even hair.  Carefully rub to remove the stubborn grime.
  1. Dry the seals using a fresh dry cloth (drying seals after every use of your machine will also prevent mildew).
  1.  Using a clean cloth and the warm soapy water solution, wash down the front of your machine and dry using a clean cloth.
  1. Add 2 capfuls of scented disinfectant to the drum of the machine and run on a hot cycle.

Your machine should now be smelling amazing and ready to use. Using this guide once a month will keep your machine performing at its best.

Tip: Leaving your door ajar after every use will eliminate odours. 

How to clean a washing machine detergent drawer

This can be an unpleasant experience, especially if you don’t clean it regularly.  Grime can build up at the back of the drawer, creating displeasing odours.

  • Firstly, using rubber gloves, remove the drawer and soak it in warm soapy water, this will loosen the hardened grime.
  • Use a microfiber cloth and toothbrush to remove the build up of dirt in the housing unit. This area can be difficult to get to – make sure you are wearing rubber gloves.
  • Clean the hardened deposits on the drawer using a toothbrush and rinse with warm water then dry thoroughly.
  • Dry the inside of the housing unit using a cloth and reassemble the drawer.

Tip – Keeping the detergent drawer open for 30 mins after every wash will prevent mould growing in there.

Always use your washing machine’s manual for instructions on “how to remove your drawer”.

Inside Washing machine drawer
Washing machine when drawer is removed

How to clean washing machine rubber seals

Is your washing machine starting to smell? This is usually a good sign that your rubber seals may need cleaning as grime can build up in seals, causing very unpleasant odours. 

Without regular cleaning, this can cause mould which we all know isn’t the easiest to clean and also isn’t the best smell.

Follow our easy guide to get seals looking new again:

  1. Have your cleaning supplies ready;
  1. Make a bowl of warm soapy water adding 1 capful of scented disinfectant;
  1. Pull the rubber seal back using your fingers and wearing your gloves;
  1. Wipe the inside of the seals using a microfibre cloth;
  1. Using a toothbrush, glide around the seals to remove any stubborn grime;
  1. Repeat wiping the seals with a cloth until all residue is removed;
  1. Using a dry large cloth, wipe in between the seals until completely dry;
  1. Leave the door ajar to help air circulate.

Tip: Place a damp cloth over your toothbrush and glide round the seals – this will collect more grime than the cloth or toothbrush alone.

Cleaning inside of washing machine

How to clean a washing machine filter

A washing machine filter system prevents solid items from clogging the pump when discharging water. If the machine fails to drain water, this is an indication that the filter is blocked. 

Filters should be cleaned immediately when it is clogged, or every 6 weeks.

  1. Place a shallow container and cloth on the floor to clean up any spills;
  2. Open the filter on the front of the washing machine (this is usually located at the bottom of your machine);
  3. Pull out the drain hose and remove its cap;
  4. Drain the water into the shallow container;
  5. When the container is full, block the hose with the cap and empty the container;
  6. Repeat the process until the water is fully drained;
  7. When finished, block the hose again with the cap;
  8. Turn the pump filter to remove;
  9. Clean any residue and grime with warm soapy water and a cloth;
  10. Install the filter back;
  11. Close the filter tab.

Following this quick and easy procedure every  6 weeks will ensure a smooth running of your machine and will avoid the filters becoming blocked, which can be damaging to your machine.

How to stop a washing machine from smelling bad

A buildup of grime and bacteria is usually the main culprit for your machine smelling bad. These smells can transfer onto our garments, leaving bacteria on your clothes.

Keeping on top of cleaning the detergent tray, drum, seals and filters will help eliminate odours. The last thing we want is our lovely sweater smelling like something has gone off.

Have you noticed your clothes smell after washing? 

Bacteria layers are formed on the drum usually as a result of washing at very low temperatures to reduce washing times. It’s important not to wash every time at low temperatures for the life expectancy of your machine. 

Keep your drum clean to avoid your clothes smelling stale.

A monthly deep clean using 2 capfuls of scented disinfectant in the drum on a hot cycle will add freshness back to the machine. 

Keeping your door and detergent drawer ajar for 30 minutes after every use will help also eliminate odours and a build up of mildew. 

What not to do when cleaning a washing machine or tumble dryer

Avoid spraying cleaning products directly onto the control panel – wipe with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly. 

Have you ever noticed that your white goods have a yellowish tinge? This can be due to using harsh chemicals and spraying directly onto your machine. Using warm soapy water and microfibre cloth is enough to clean your machine. Maybe add a cap of scented disinfectant to keep them smelling pleasant.

Using vinegar on stainless steel can corrode causing rust – we recommend using only a very small amount and ensuring you dry thoroughly.

Some cleaning experts recommend using baking soda. This can become extremely messy and is harsh to use, which can cause scratches on your machine and eventually lead to it looking unsightly.

Never use scourers, these too can scratch. We recommend soaking detachable equipment to remove residue, rather than scouring away at them.

Can you put zoflora in a washing machine?

Zoflora will add the freshness back to your machine. Adding 2 capfuls to an empty drum after a deep clean and running on a hot cycle will reduce lingering smells that can essentially be transferred to your clothes.  

Always check your washing machines instructions manual before use, as some brands warranties are affected by the use of washing cleaners.

Photo of author

Matt Tomkin

I am an avid tech lover and the journey started back when LCD TVs and Plasma image burn were all too common. Over the years I have sold technology in retail stores but more recently have been building numerous businesses all based around technology. It's great to be able to test new tech and provide my thoughts on a platform like this.