When it comes to home maintenance, washing machines are often overlooked. However, regularly maintaining this appliance is very important. Proper maintenance helps keep your machine from breaking down faster, and it also ensures your clothes get cleaner. If you want your washing machine to run as well as it possibly can, you need to learn how to flush it. This is a deep-cleaning method that helps get rid of any buildup. It might sound intimidating, but it’s actually very easy. All you need to do is follow these steps!
Manually Clean Around the Door
Before you flush your machine, you need to go ahead and clean any debris around the door. This removes gunk that can otherwise just float around while you try to flush the machine. If you have a top loader, this step is simple. All you have to do is use a clean cloth with a little soap and water to clean around the metal of the door.
Things are a little trickier for front loaders because they have a rubber gasket. Front-loading machines are notorious for getting mold and other grime inside of the folds of this seal. You will need to carefully scrub out all the folds and creases of the seal. Using bleach and water is very effective for killing mildew, but if you prefer to work with milder cleaners, a mixture of white vinegar and water works well. If possible, use a toothbrush to apply the cleaner. The small bristles can help loosen any debris before you wipe it off with a cloth or paper towel.
Soak and Scrub All Detergent Trays and Other Removable Parts
After tackling the door, check out your machine to see which parts can be removed for cleaning. Most washing machines have detergent trays, drawers, and other removable parts that probably have a layer of gunk on them. Go ahead and take these out and give them a soak in warm water with a few tablespoons of vinegar.
After a few minutes, the dried-on detergent and fabric lint should start to come off more easily. Now you can go ahead and give them a good scrub. Usually, soap and warm water are enough to clean these pieces thoroughly. However, you can use some bleach or another cleaning agent if desired. Just remember to wear gloves and avoid mixing any cleaning liquids, including bleach and vinegar, together.
Give the Inside a Quick Wipe-Down
Flushing a washing machine is mostly about deep cleaning the interior. You usually do this by running cleaner through the system. However, before you start running the machine, take a peek inside. If the machine has been very neglected, there’s a chance that there might be dust, dirt, or other grime on the inside.
It will be easier to flush your machine if it’s as clean as possible, so go ahead and remove any visible debris. You don’t have to spend hours scrubbing it since flushing the washing machine will clean it thoroughly. However, going ahead and getting rid of any muck, hair, or lint keeps it from cycling around inside while you clean the machine.
Prepare Your Washing Machine Cleaner
Next, it’s time to clean the inside of your machine. To do this, you will need to run a special cleaner through the whole system. There are lots of cleaning options available. Keep in mind that some common household cleaners can cause damage if mixed, so only use one cleaning solution at a time. Here are some of the most common options for washing machine cleaning:
- ½ cup of bleach
- 2 cups of hydrogen peroxide
- 4 cups of white vinegar and ½ cup of baking soda
- 2 tablespoons of borax and 2 tablespoons of washing soda
- One commercial cleaner tablet designed for washing machines
Flush Your Washing Machine With a Cleaning Cycle
Now we arrive at the most essential part of any washing machine flushing process. You will need to actively run the machine through a full cycle. First, add your chosen cleaner to the washing machine. Most cleaning methods just require you to put the cleaner in the tub. However, you can add a small drop of your cleaner to the detergent tray, fabric softener tray, and bleach tray if desired.
Once you have your cleaner, go ahead and adjust your settings. Put your machine on the longest cycle possible. Some machines may have a “Sanitize” setting. Otherwise, you can just use the “Full-Load” setting. Whatever setting you pick, make sure your water is set to the hottest temperature possible.
Run the machine for a full cycle and check inside. In almost all machines, this is enough to fully flush the machine. However, in a rare situation with a very messy machine, you might need to repeat the process. Do this right after the first time so any soaked gunk gets removed before it has a chance to harden again.
Empty and Sanitize the Filter
After you flush your washing machine, some debris ends up inside of the filter. If you haven’t cleaned your filter in a while, it is probably filled with gunk. Unfortunately, filter clogs can cause major issues to your machine, so it’s important to clean out the filter every now and then.
This tends to be the trickiest part of flushing a washing machine simply because every machine is different. There is no set rule for how to locate your filter, remove it, and clean it. You’ll need to check the owner’s manual for your machine to figure out how to clean the filter. Some machines have a removable filter you’ll need to take out and soak, and others just have a hatch you lift to quickly clean the filter while it stays in place. Depending on your machine, your filter might be in one of these spots:
- Somewhere along the upper rim of the washing machine drum
- Right underneath the center agitator cover
- At the bottom of the unit
- Behind a hatch somewhere on the unit front
- At the beginning or end of your drainage hose
Let Everything Dry Thoroughly
The washing machine is technically clean now, but don’t just shut the door and forget about it. Instead, use a clean cloth or paper towel to quickly dry the machine. Then leave the door open, so it can finish drying more thoroughly. This step is important because it gives your machine a chance to air out. Even the best washing machines are prone to a little mold growth because it’s such a damp environment. Letting your newly cleaned machine air-dry can help keep it clean for as long as possible. In fact, some homeowners like to always leave the door cracked when their machine is not in use.
This washing machine flushing method makes it easy to get fresh, clean clothes every time. If you run into any problems related to your plumbing, turn to the experts. Green Energy Mechanical Inc is here to help you with leak detection as well as water heater service. We also assist residents of Canton with their heating and cooling needs. Call today to learn more about our team.