Can You Run a Washing Machine Empty to Clean It?


If you have just got your hands on a new washing machine, then you might be wondering what the correct process is when you set it up. Should you run it empty to clean it first or go ahead and put in your first load?

Throughout use, your washing machine is also going to need regular maintenance if you want to keep it in good condition. You wouldn’t wash your dishes in dirty water, so why wash your clothes in a dirty washing machine? 

If you are wondering how to correctly clean your washing machine, you have come to the right place. We are going to tell you exactly how you can do this yourself in this article. 

Can You Run a Washing Machine Empty With No Clothes to Clean It?

Yes, you absolutely can run a washing machine empty to clean it, and this is actually the correct way of doing so. Regular maintenance and care is really important for keeping your washing machine in good working condition, and it will help you to save money on repairs and replacements in the future.

By taking care of your washing machine now, you will be ensuring that it will last for as long as possible. 

The best thing that you can do is to clean your washing machine on a regular basis, and this will ensure that nothing goes wrong and that your clothes are being washed to a high standard.

It might be worth checking the instruction manual that came with your washing machine to find further instructions, but there are some general instructions to follow otherwise, which we will leave below.

How to Clean Your Washing Machine

To clean your washing machine, you should run a hot cycle with an empty washing machine to remove any unwanted build up inside the machine. You can also run the machine on a 40 degree wash with a washing machine cleaner to get rid of any odours that might be present.

You should then get a cloth that has been dampened with hot water and wipe down the machine and door. Don’t forget to get under the rubber seal on the door to make sure that you get rid of all the extra gunk. 

As well as cleaning inside the machine, you should also clean the detergent drawer by removing it and letting it soak in a bowl or in the sink. If this drawer is particularly dirty, then you can add some bleach to the bowl of water to help make it extra clean.

You should also wipe inside the gap that the drawer was previously inside. You can then use a toothbrush or Super Sonic Scrubber to scrub inside the drawer before you put it back in the machine. 

Should You Run a New Washing Machine Empty First?

Yes, you should always run a new washing machine empty first to ensure that it is as clean as possible. This process is similar to the way in which you would wash any plates or cutlery before you use them for the first time once you have bought them.

While the machine might be brand new, cleaning it first will ensure that it is clean and that there is no construction residue left inside it.

You should turn your washing machine on once it has been plumbed in and put it on a hot wash with no clothes inside. This will clean the inside of the machine and make sure that there are no problems with the machine.

A hot wash is typically the best for this purpose as the heat will help to loosen any oils and grease that could be lurking inside the machine. 

Do I Need to Use a Cleaning Product for This?

No, you don’t need to use any cleaning products or laundry supplies for cleaning the washing machine on an empty cycle, as the hot water will do all of the hard work for you. There is actually no reason to use any additional products as there is no need for them.

How to Clean a Washing Machine Filter

Cleaning the washing machine filter regularly is just as important as cleaning the rest of the washing machine. So, when you are cleaning your machine, you should also remember to clean the filter.

The filter works to protect the pump of the washing machine by preventing lint and other materials from getting into the mechanics of the machine. You will need to empty the filter regularly and make sure  that anything it has picked up is removed. 

First, you should unplug and drain the machine, and then unscrew or release the filter cover. Any debris should come out with the water, but you should still check inside to be sure. You should then give it a wipe down with a cloth, clean any additional components, and put it back in its place.

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Can you run a washing machine with no clothes to clean it?

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