Clean bed linen and fragrant clothes: the washing machine is one of the most important household appliances. However, it is often neglected when cleaning. The result: smelly laundry and limescale deposits. We explain how to clean the washing machine and how to clean the drum and rubber seals.
Cleaning the washing machine: why should we clean the drum, rubber seals and hoses regularly?
Smelly laundry, hard-to-feel towels, and high energy consumption are sure signs that you need to clean your washing machine. But why does it actually happen?
- Gentle washes: More and more often, clothes are washed at 30 degrees Celsius. On the one hand, because the fabrics are very sensitive, on the other hand, because the detergents promise good cleaning even at low washing temperatures. The result: germs accumulate in the rubber seals and in the hoses. Because bacteria and fungi cannot be killed at 30 degrees Celsius.
- Standing water in the rinsing compartment: Depending on the model, water may remain in the wash compartment after the wash cycle. Water also often collects in the rubber seals. This is a prerequisite for mold growth.
- Detergent residues: If the detergent does not keep its promises and does not dissolve completely at temperatures below 60 degrees Celsius, then detergent residues can accumulate and cause damage. An unpleasant smell is a sure sign that you should act quickly and remove the detergent residue.
Summary: Germs, mold and limescale should be removed regularly. Germs are usually killed at temperatures above 60, preferably even above 90 degrees Celsius. You can also clean mold and limescale with certain home remedies.
Cleaning the washing machine: How to clean the machine step by step
Clean your washing machine regularly. You can save yourself a thorough cleaning twice a year and always have a perfectly functioning device. Proceed as follows:
- Clean the outside of the device. Use household and hospitality cleaning wipes or a damp all-purpose wipe to wipe the washing machine and remove dirt. If necessary, you can wipe the surface with microfiber cloths with a fine structure and special cleaning agents for device surfaces.
- Follow the instructions for use and clean the lint filter. The drain is similar for all models: you find the drain hose (it is located behind a flap in the lower area of the device), let the water flow out, then take out the lint filter and clean it. Tip: Line the floor in front of the washing machine with towels or cleaning rags and always have a soup plate, lunch box or frying pan within easy reach to catch the water.
- The rubber seals can be wiped with a microfiber cloth. You can also use a home remedy to remove dirt and mold.
- The detergent drawer you can put in a deep vessel and soak in a solution of vinegar and water for 1-2 hours. Then rinse the detergent drawer thoroughly to remove all detergent residue and let it dry.
- For the drum proceed as follows: First let the washing machine run empty at 90 degrees Celsius to kill germs. Then open the washing machine and leave the door open for about an hour. Then you can use a special detergent or use one of the following home remedies to clean the drum.
Cleaning the washing machine: The following home remedies are possible
There are numerous home remedies you can use to clean your washing machine.
Caution: To be on the safe side, you should seek advice from the manufacturer to prevent damage.
– Washing machine with dishwasher tabs clean. Would you like to remove dirt and limescale deposits, but you don’t have a special cleaning agent on hand? Then there are dishwasher tablets. Put a rinsing tab into the drum and let the washing machine run again empty at at least 60 degrees Celsius.
– When used correctly, it can citric acid Working wonders in the household. This means that various devices can be descaled without any problems. Some manufacturers of baby devices even recommend regular descaling with citric acid. Citric acid is available in powder form in drugstores. Depending on the degree of soiling (is there an unpleasant smell or do you just want to descale and disinfect the washing machine?), Put between 6 and 8 tablespoons of citric acid powder directly into the drum and let the washing machine run at 90 degrees Celsius.
– Soda, baking powder, soda: The three home remedies have a similar effect and are mainly used to remove limescale deposits. For the best effect, you can combine them with white wine vinegar. However, you should be careful with vinegar – you will learn more about this below.
Baking soda Protects the rubber seals and, in combination with a high temperature, can successfully kill germs and loosen limescale deposits in hard-to-reach areas. Simply fill 50 g of baking soda into the detergent compartment and start a wash cycle at 90 degrees (without pre-wash). Do not add detergent and let the washing machine run dry. At the end you can choose an additional rinse. Leave the washing machine open. Take out the detergent drawer and rinse it under running water.
baking powder can replace baking soda. Put two packs of 15 g each in a bowl, add 50 g – 100 g water and stir until it has a creamy consistency. Then fill the baking powder cream into the detergent compartment and start a main wash cycle at 90 degrees Celsius. Let the washing machine run empty (without laundry).
soda is another variant for home remedies. You can use washing soda for cleaning. Dosage: For heavy soiling, put 4 – 6 tablespoons of powder in the detergent compartment and let the washing machine run dry at 90 degrees Celsius. For regular cleaning, you can mix 1 tablespoon of washing soda with washing powder and select a main program without pre-wash at 60 degrees Celsius.
– vinegar is often used to remove debris in the washing machine. However, the experts advise against its use. Although the home remedy can reliably remove limescale residue, it can also damage certain parts of the washing machine. The vinegar, for example, makes seals, hoses and other details made of plastic brittle. Incidentally, the vinegar reacts with bleach and various bleaching agents, producing a harmful gas. So you should be very careful with it. It is best to use white wine vinegar (clear, 5% acid) to clean the detergent drawer.
Clean the washing machine regularly and prevent limescale deposits
If the laundry suddenly starts to smell, you should clean the washing machine thoroughly. Fortunately, the germs can be killed off quickly. On the other hand, limescale deposits are more problematic because they can cause great damage. Therefore, you should clean the washing machine regularly. These tips will help you further:
1. Clean the washing machine once a month. This saves you time and effort.
2. Do not overload the washing machine so that the detergent can be dissolved in the water and rinsed off.
3. Use the detergent sparingly. Sure, fragrant laundry is something special. But the excess detergent cannot be dissolved during the wash cycle and is deposited in the water hoses. If you notice that you have used too much detergent, you can start an extra rinse.
4. Let the washing machine run empty once a month at 90 degrees Celsius. Unless otherwise stated, cleaning rags, underwear and bath towels can be washed at 90 degrees.