How to Clean a Front Load Washer

You may not realize you should clean your front load washer. But it’s important to do so once a month to keep it smelling fresh. Regular cleaning also helps prevent mold and odors from forming.

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When to Clean Washer

You may not realize you should clean your front load washer. But it’s important to do so once a month to keep it smelling fresh. Regular cleaning also helps prevent mold and odors from forming.

How to Clean a Front Load Washer

  1. First, empty out the drum. Then remove the detergent dispenser and clean the tray and any attachments. Replace the items when they’re cleaned.
  2. Next, clean the gasket around the drum and the door glass that faces the inside of the drum. Wipe these surfaces with a solution of three-quarters of a cup of chlorine bleach added to one gallon of water.
  3. If your front-loader has a cleaning cycle, run it now. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Some washing machine manufacturers recommend using a specific cleaning product. Others say you can use liquid chlorine bleach or distilled white vinegar.
  4. When the cleaning cycle is complete and your front load washing machine is cool, wipe the lid, opening and door glass with a soft cloth or towel. Then leave it ajar.

Here’s what to do if your front-loader won’t drain. And check out our expert washer and dryer buying guide.

How to Clean with Vinegar and Baking Soda

If your front loader doesn’t have a clean cycle or is smelly, clean the soap dispenser, gasket and door glass as noted above.

  1. Make sure the drum is empty.
  2. Then, sprinkle a half-cup of baking soda inside the drum.
  3. Next, pour one cup of distilled white vinegar into the detergent dispenser.
  4. Finally, run the washer on the hot water setting.

How to Keep Your Washing Machine Clean

You can help prevent smells, mold and mildew in your front loading washing machine by doing a few simple things.

  1. Remove clothes as soon as the washing cycle is over.
  2. Wipe up any moisture on the drum, lid or gasket.
  3. Leave the door open in between loads.
  4. Make sure you are using the proper amount of HE detergent.

Don’t miss these instructions for cleaning a washing machine water inlet screen.

Melanie Radzicki McManus is an outdoors enthusiast specializing in travel. She has won many awards for her writing, most notably four prestigious Lowell Thomas Awards, considered the Pultizers of travel writing. McManus is the author of "Thousand-Miler: Adventures Hiking the Ice Age Trail." Her work has appeared in Backpacker, the Chicago Tribune, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, How Stuff Works and dozens of other publications.