Aaaak, what’s that smell?! Kinda sums up being a mom, right? Let’s deal with that gross smell coming from your laundry room and find out how to clean a front loading washer.
I know, super fun! But, if you’re sick of your towels smelling like a rotting skunk, you gotta do it. Okay, “rotting skunk” was probably too much. How about “moldy basement in a haunted house?”
Take it Apart
In order to clean a front loading washer, you have to take all of the dirty bits out.
Detergent Tray. Pull out the tray as far as it will go, then press down on the back of the rear insert, releasing the entire tray. Now you have an empty space, which is also really icky.
Filter. Take everything out of the drawer underneath and put an empty tub under the door to catch the water. If you’ve never done this, there’s going to be a lot of water gushing out so you want to be ready.
Now remove the filter by turning it lefty-loosey. I take the door off too, but you don’t have to. This is when the water comes out so make sure you have the tub to catch it. It’s a dang mess if you don’t know water is going to flood everything, which I found out the hard way!
This whole process goes a lot easier if you give the cleaning products time to do their job. I used Scrubbing Bubbles and Oxy Clean. I thought I would have to use bleach, but it wasn’t necessary.
Remove the inserts from the detergent tray and put them in a sink or tub filled with hot water and Oxy Clean. Add the filter after you take all of the hair and whatnot out. Swish everything around and make sure water is covering all of the pieces.
Update!!! I found an amazing mold killer, RMR-86. Now this stuff is no joke. You need to wear a mask and rubber gloves when using it, but it works almost instantly and keeps crud from growing for way longer than other products.
Now for the disgusting gasket.
Use chip clips to keep the gasket open so you can spray Scrubbing Bubbles all over the inside of it.
Spray more Scrubbing Bubbles inside of the spot where the tray goes.
Scrub & Wipe
When you clean a front loading washer, getting rid of the all of the black and orange gunk is key. Use an old kitchen scrubber and go to town on all of the pieces in the sink.
Time to tackle the tray area on the washer. Use a cotton swab to get in all of the nooks and crannies on the top of the compartment. Now wipe it all down with a cleaning cloth or sponge. Finally, wrap your cloth around something long, like a screwdriver and get it as far into that tube at the back as you can.
Yeah, so I don’t have a photo of this step as it is a bit hard to take a picture with one hand while shoving the other inside a washer. Just use your imagination.
Oh, and make sure that tub is in place! You can use a bottle of water to squirt down the tube and rinse it but know that the water will shoot out of the hole the filter was in!
Wipe out the filter compartment.
Scrub and wipe the gasket. If it doesn’t get pretty clean the first time, just spray more Scrubbing Bubbles and go at it again. Repeat until it’s clean and free of dog hair.
Put the detergent tray back together and slide it back in place. It’s all shiny and clean!
Twist the filter back in place and replace the door if you took it off. Load everything back in the drawer and empty the tub.
Take the clips off of the gasket and admire how lovely it is. Look, only a single piece of dog hair left!
Wipe down the glass on the door. Go over the entire door and seal too.
Run the tub clean cycle on the washer and wipe down the front.
You’re D-O-N-E! Great job! Now your clean clothes will smell like clean clothes again and you won’t have to panic if your mother-in-law wants to use the washer. Win-win.
For more tips on cleaning gross stuff, take a look at this plan to get your house completely clean. You might also like this gem about cleaning your oven glass!