How to Clean a Washing Machine With White Vinegar

Cleaning a Washing Machine with White Vinegar Spray and a Cloth - Clean and Tidy Living

Can You Use White Vinegar to Clean a Washing Machine?

If you’ve stumbled onto this article, you’re probably already aware of the magical cleaning power of this stinky liquid. 

Or maybe you just saw the words ‘How to clean a washing machine with white vinegar’ and thought ‘vinegar?! Bleurgh!’ 

Luckily, cleaning a washing machine with vinegar doesn’t leave a pungent stench behind. 

In fact, it will make your machine, and therefore your clothes, smell even better than before.

White vinegar is an affordable, non-perishable household staple that can handle most cleaning jobs around the house. 

It’s great for cleaning glass, degreasing hobs and even clearing bad smells. 

But we’re not here to talk about those! 

Keep reading to find out how to clean your washing machine with white vinegar alone, and also methods for cleaning your appliance with vinegar and baking soda or soda crystals for extra cleaning power. 

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How to Clean a Washing Machine With White Vinegar

White vinegar is excellent at cutting through household grease, soap and scum. 

All three of these nasties are commonly found inside our washing machines and, unfortunately, also in the pipes and components that we can’t see. 

To keep our washers working at their best, it’s important to regularly perform a deep-clean and pipe flush using a product like white vinegar, that can wash away all the build-up. 

Cleaning The Drum - HOW TO CLEAN WASHING MACHINE WITH BAKING SODA AND VINEGAR - Clean and Tidy Living

You will need: 

1. Spray the rubber seal (gasket) with white vinegar and use a microfibre cloth to wipe all around the inside. Rinse and repeat until the cloth comes out clean.

2. Open up the dispenser drawer and wipe out any detergent or water with a paper towel. Spray with a drawer with white vinegar and wipe down with your cloth, or scrub any particularly soap-scummy areas. Take out the drawer and have a look inside to see whether these areas also need a good clean.

3. Once it’s clean, fill your detergent drawer to the max line with white vinegar and run your machine on its hottest, most intense cycle. 

4. Spray the outside of the machine, including buttons and dials, with white vinegar and wipe down with a microfibre cloth. Use a scrubbing brush for any tough dirt or stains. 

5. Once the washing cycle has finished, dry the inside of the machine with a microfibre cloth or a towel that won’t leave lint deposits in the drum. 

6. To clean the filter: place an old baking tray or tub underneath the filter (usually at the bottom of the front of the machine) and unscrew the cap. Allow the filter to train and then spray and scrub with white vinegar until no more scum and hair is coming out. 

If you’re wondering where to buy white vinegar, take a look at our post Where To Buy White Vinegar For Cleaning In The UK.

Cleaning a Washing Machine With White Vinegar and Baking Soda

Like white vinegar, baking soda is a celebrity in the home-remedy cleaning world. 

It’s foaming reaction when mixed with an acid cuts through grease but is also very cool to watch. 

Baking Soda in a Pot - HOW TO CLEAN WASHING MACHINE WITH BAKING SODA AND VINEGAR - Clean and Tidy Living

You will need: 

1. Take out all the removable components and soak them in vinegar in the sink. Spray the inside of the now empty detergent drawer with white vinegar and scrub away until clean. 

2. In the sink, scrub the washing machine components with vinegar or a baking soda paste if there’s stubborn dirt. Dry these parts and put them back.

3. Spray the rubber seal (gasket) with white vinegar and use a microfibre cloth to wipe all around the inside. Rinse and repeat until the cloth comes out clean.

4. Sprinkle baking soda into the detergent drawer and then pour down neat white vinegar to create a foaming reaction that will help to clean the inside of your washing machine. 

5. Spray down the outside of the washing machine with white vinegar, including the buttons and dials and scrub if required. 

6. Throw all the used cloths and towels into the washing machine and add about a cup of baking soda to the drum, then fill the detergent drawer with white vinegar. Run a full cycle on the hottest and most intense setting. 

7. To clean the filter: Once the cycle has been completed, remove the towels from the drum and place an old baking tray or tub underneath the filter (usually at the bottom of the front of the machine) and unscrew the cap. Allow the filter to train and then spray and scrub with white vinegar until no more scum and hair is coming out. 

If you’re interested in this method, we also have a post with a detailed breakdown of this method, How To Clean A Front Loading Washing Machine With Vinegar And Baking Soda, and an article that explains all the different ways you can Use Bicarbonate Of Soda For Cleaning.

How to Clean Washing Machine With Soda Crystals and White Vinegar

Soda crystals help to remove the build-up of soap, mould and scum that can often be found inside a washing machine and the waste pipe. 

These crystals also help to reduce limescale buildup, which can prolong the life of your appliance and improve its cleaning ability. 

You will need: 

1. Take out the detergent drawer and spray down with white vinegar over the sink and give it a good scrub with a brush. 

2. Clean the door seal (gasket) with white vinegar and a microfibre cloth, being sure to get deep inside the seal. 

3. Pour up to half a pack of soda crystals into the drum. 

4. Fill the fabric softener compartment of the detergent drawer with white vinegar and select the hottest and most intense wash cycle. 

5. Spray down the outside of the washing machine with white vinegar and wipe away any dirt and soap marks. 

6. Once the washing cycle has finished, dry the inside of the machine with a microfibre cloth or a towel that won’t leave lint deposits in the drum. 

7. To clean the filter: Place an old baking tray or tub underneath the filter (usually at the bottom of the front of the machine) and unscrew the cap. Allow the filter to train and then spray and scrub with white vinegar until no more scum and hair is coming out. 

How to Clean a Washing Machine With White Vinegar – Final Thoughts 

Out of the three options above, we aren’t sure if we can pick a favourite method. 

We love the foaming reaction from cleaning a washing machine with baking soda and vinegar, and the anti-limescale properties of soda crystals, but also how fuss-free and shine-producing white vinegar is by itself. 

Whichever method you choose to use to maintain your appliance, we hope it gets your washing machine looking as good as new and your clothes smelling fresher than ever. 

It’s important to perform fairly regular deep-cleaning on expensive appliances where a lot of the inner-system can become clogged. 

Failing to flush out the washing machine with a hot wash and vinegar or soda crystals could cause the machine having to be replaced sooner than usual. 

We think a bi-monthly deep clean is worth the cost saved from not having to fork out for a new washing machine. 

If you’ve enjoyed this article and would like to get some more cleaning tips and advice from us here at Clean and Tidy Living, check out these related posts below. 

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How to Clean a Washing Machine With White Vinegar

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