Why you need to regularly deep clean your washing machine

Recently, one of our customers approached us because their washing machine wasn’t draining properly and dirty sludge was coming out of their machine. Turns out it was due to the clogged up grime outside the drum and the drainage pipe.

Our pro then proceeded to unscrew the inner metal drum and also the outer plastic tub to fully access the space between. The dirt mainly lined the plastic tub’s outer surface and had gotten into the indents and small crevices.

Using the proper cleaning chemicals to get the gunk off, they managed to scrub the drum walls clean until they looked sparkling again.

As you can see from the drastic before-after comparison, it’s clear that you should deep clean your washing machine from time to time.

Washing machine deep cleaning before and after comparison
Before and after photos of the SP’s washing machine deep cleaning job for a customer in Petaling Jaya

Where does the slime in your washing machine come from?

Detergent and fabric softener going through your clothes often leave a residue inside your washing machine, resulting in what is known as soap scum. Combined with the dirt and bacteria coming off your laundry, it turns into a foul-smelling slime consistency that sticks to the tub and could rub off on your garments.

Many people assume that a washing machine doesn’t need cleaning, since it is always being “cleaned” by laundry detergent on every wash. But it is this build up of dirty soap scum that causes it to become mouldy, smelly and slimy over time. If you don’t remove this, it could damage your machine, and the clothes you wash in it.

By cleaning it properly, you can prevent the washing machine from breaking down, your clothes from smelling bad after every wash, and also save energy.

Here’s why deep cleaning your washing machine could save you money:

1. Clear your drainage flow

Dirt off the clothes from your daily laundry cycle has to go somewhere. So when it accumulates in the draining pipe over multiple cycles and does not get cleared out, the grime begins to clog.

A blocked drainage pipe could then wreak more damage and cause messy leaks under the machine, which could cost even more to repair..

2. Eliminate funky odours

Bacteria from dirt lining the inner drum’s walls have a tendency to counteract with your cleaning detergent, rendering it ineffective.

Your clothes could come out smelling the same as before, or with a really bad smell that might need even more washes to get off, wasting energy.

Smelly clothes coming out of the washing machine
Bacteria inside the washing machine will cause your clothes to smell bad

3. Avoid damaging your clothes

Apart from the bad odour of a dirty machine rubbing off on the garments, the mildew collected around the rim and inner tub could do some damage too. It can stain them easily, leaving dark, hard-to-remove marks, forcing you to spend on new clothes more often

4. Retain machine’s efficiency

Excessive mildew and mould growth could reach the crevices of the machine’s inner components and cause clogging. Eventually, this could wear it down faster over time.

How often should you deep clean your washing machine?

We recommend deep cleaning your washing machine once a month, following the steps below:

For top-load machines:

  1. Turn the empty machine on to the hottest setting. Press start and let the basin fill with water.
  2. Add 3 cups of white vinegar in while the water fills. Once the water level is adequate, let the machine run for 5-7 minutes then stop the cycle.
  3. Add a ½ cup of baking soda and let the machine run again for a couple more minutes, before stopping the cycle and letting it sit for 2 hours. Then, turn the machine on again to drain the tub.
  4. Once slightly empty, use a sponge dipped into the same solution to scrub the mildew and grime off the machine’s rim.
  5. Lastly, rinse the residue off with hot water and wipe the tub dry with a clean cloth.

For front-load machines:

  1. Start by scrubbing the rubber seal using a wet cloth sprayed with a water and vinegar solution. Spray the ring with the solution as well for it to work on the dirt.
  2. After a minute, wipe off the residue with a clean cloth.
  3. For the drum, add half a cup of baking soda and 3 cups of white vinegar. Set the machine to the hottest setting.
  4. Let the cycle run and once done, run the machine with hot water. After it has emptied, wipe down the inside with a clean cloth.
Wiping mildew and dirt off of a front-load washing machine rim
Don’t forget to thoroughly wipe down the rim and the insides
  • Don’t leave your laundry to sit in the washing machine after the cycle is over. High humidity levels inside create an optimal environment for bacteria to breed.
  • Leave the machine door open for a few minutes after unloading to allow the tub to dry.
  • Avoid overloading the washing machine to the point of overworking. It causes the added level of humidity to exacerbate the problem and start clogging the drainage pipe further.

What to do if the washing machine still isn’t clean?

If you find that, even after performing the monthly cleaning steps above, you simply can’t get the stains or smells out of it, you can get help from a professional.

Our verified technicians will dismantle your washing with care. By opening the outer casing, dismantling the pipes, motor and control panel, they will be able to expose the inner and outer drum and give it a deep cleaning. This is done using chemicals that won’t corrode the internal parts. After putting it all back together, your washing machine will clean like new again! Submit a booking today and our pros will get in touch with you.

Book washing machine deep cleaning


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