Has this happened to you before? You wake up in the morning and the first thing you notice is your house smelling a bit off. It’s a mouldy kind of stench, like laundry that hasn’t dried properly. You search around the house for the source, only to find that the funky smell is coming from your washing machine.
It may sound odd considering your equipment’s function, but having unpleasant odours in your washing machine may mean it’s time to give it a good cleaning.
Benefits of cleaning your washing machine
Your washing machine is supposed to do what it says: wash your clothes. So how come it’s still recommended to clean the machine itself once in a while?
Whenever you wash dirty laundry, it’s inevitable that hair, pet fur, crumbs, small leaves and other paraphernalia will come off of your clothes. The lint that you notice sticking on black clothes comes from cloth fibres that get mixed in during the wash, then trapped inside the machine. If you wear a lot of flannel and other fuzzy clothing like knit sweaters, you would know that they’re common lint-causing culprits in washing machines.
Over time, the residue left in your washing machine becomes a breeding ground for bacterial growth. The trapped dirt and bacteria can lessen the effectiveness of your machine’s cleaning power, and worse – transfer unpleasant odours to your clean laundry. Imagine the horror!
To ensure that your equipment is well-maintained, cleaning experts recommend giving your washing machine’s exterior and interior parts a monthly cleaning, at the least. The more frequently you clean it, the better.
These are the benefits of washing your washing machine:
The hot, humid environment inside a washing machine makes it conducive for moulds to form. If you’ve noticed that your clothes don’t smell freshly laundered even after running a cycle in your washing machine, moulds and bacteria are likely the cause.
This is especially true for heavily soiled items like socks, gym wear, towels, and other linen. It’s likely that the build-up of germs in your washing machine is counteracting the laundry detergent from removing unpleasant odours in your clothes.
With regular cleaning of your machine, you’ll eradicate dirt and bacteria that can leave a mouldy or musty odour on fresh laundry. Simply run your washing machine on its self-cleaning function if it has one, or you can DIY. Using a store-bought cleaner that also functions as a washing machine freshener is effective in removing odour-causing buildup. Alternately, running a hot cycle using white vinegar works just as well. Vinegar is a natural solution to deodorise your machine’s interior if you are sensitive to solvent fumes.
Whether you’re using a store-bought cleaner or a natural cleaning alternative you can find at home, you can rest assured that you’ll be left with fresh-smelling clothes after sanitising your washing machine.
As an added tip, aerate your equipment by leaving the door open in-between loads of laundry. The continuous airflow helps dry out the inside of your machine and prevents moulds and bacteria from growing in the crevices. You can also opt to wash clothes more frequently so that germs will not have a chance to form in between laundry cycles.
Longer lifespan for your washing machine
As with any other electrical equipment, a regularly maintained washing machine will be less likely to break down. With unclogged, freely-flowing machine parts, your washing machine will be running more efficiently and exert less effort when washing your clothes.
The best way to clean your washing machine is to give your equipment’s exterior and interior parts a run-through every month. Check the manual if there are specific care instructions. However, if you’re unsure about giving your washing machine a DIY cleaning, you can ask for professional help from house cleaners in Sydney.
Cleaner laundry area
A pristine washing machine leads to an equally spotless laundry area (especially for those living in apartments who may have their washer and dryer in the bathroom!). Cleaning your washing machine inside and out removes dust and bacteria that collect in your laundry room.
To clean the exterior, carefully spray a cleaning solution suitable for the surface of your washing machine, then wipe with a non-abrasive cloth. Using an old toothbrush, scrub hard-to-reach areas while taking care to remove any trapped residue in-between spaces.
It’s more cost-effective
After clearing the debris that collects inside your washing machine, you’ll be needing less soap and hot water to clean your clothes effectively. You’ll have fresh-smelling clothes every time, and lower expenses in the process.
If you’re keener on cleaning your washing machine with bleach instead of using a freshener or white vinegar, you can to do so. Just add 2 cups of bleach, then run a hot cycle to give your machine a thorough cleaning. This is still cheaper than using twice the amount of detergent and raising the temperature when doing laundry.
You’re helping the environment
There are some kinds of bacteria that can only be killed at temperatures of 600 Celsius or higher. To completely remove these hard-to-kill germs, you’ll have to raise your machine’s temperature to this level, but there’s a caveat.
Doing so leads to higher electrical consumption and results in more carbon emissions in the environment. On top of that, hotter washing cycles mean greater chances of clothes shrinkage and wear and tear. There’s no need to waste clothes that are in perfectly good condition.
When your machine is well-maintained and cleaned regularly, there’s no need to raise the temperature of your washing machine and double up on non-biodegradable soaps and detergents. You’ll be doing your part in minimising your carbon footprint, and you get to enjoy clean clothes.