How to Clean Your Front Loader Washing Machine 🥚

3 Materials
1 Hour

Like all things that have anything to do with water, if you are not keeping your washing machine clean and dry, the smells will come- and let me tell you those smells won’t be pretty. Over time, washing machines build up sludge from detergents, fabric softeners, and different fibers from our clothing. This sludge then gets trapped in a warm, damp machine.

With these 5 simple steps you will be able to get rid of that yucky smell that sometimes comes with a front loading washing machine.

You will need the following supplies to get this job done:

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda 🥚
  • Water
  • Towel for wiping off grime
  • Sponge
  • Start by mixing 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1/4 cup of water. 
  • Add this solution to your machine’s detergent container. 
  • Next you will need to pour two cups of white vinegar directly into the drum. 
  • You will run a normal cycle at high heat.

The baking soda and vinegar will break up that sludge stuck to your drum.

 It will also kill any mold. And no mold means, no more yucky smells. 

Once your cycle has completed you will now wipe out the drum to remove any moisture. Grab the detergent dispenser and clean the tray and any attachments. You may have to refer to your owner’s manual to see how to pull these trays out to clean. 

Once you have cleaned and dried the detergent dispenser replace it directly back into your machine carefully. 

When your cleaning cycle has completed and you have also given it a good wipe with a soft cloth to remove any excess moisture you are done cleaning your washer!


To clean the gasket I like using a sponge for this step of cleaning my smelly front loading washing machine. Grab your sponge and add a touch of vinegar to it and scrub, scrub, scrub. 

You may have to rinse your sponge and reapply vinegar a few times during this process till you get all the grim and junk out especially if you have an animal that sheds a lot of hair!

This step can actually be done daily but it is also important when doing your monthly cleaning of your washer. Not only is it important to wipe down the inside but be sure to focus on wiping down the outside as well. When wiping down the glass of the door that faces the inside of the drum you are removing moisture that could possibly be trapped inside a closed washer for days at a time. 

This last step is the most important. It is simple, leave the door open. You want to do this not only after your monthly cleaning but after every wash cycle 

Leaving your door open after every wash helps the moisture evaporate quickly. This will help in keeping those unflattering smells from returning

Resources for this project:

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

3 Great Ideas To Easily Upgrade Your Window
Get The Outdoor Space You've Always Dreamed Of With These DIY Ideas
3 Gorgeous And Unique Ideas To Display Your Plants
21 Clever Wind Chimes You Can Make
Easy DIY Remedies For Your 7 Most Hated Bugs
26 Adorable Ornament Ideas to Get You REALLY Excited for Christmas
31 Creative Garden Features Perfect For Summer
Adrienne Carrie Hubbard | Crafty Little Gnome

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 12 questions

Join the conversation

2 of 31 comments
  • Gail Garner Marlatt
    Gail Garner Marlatt
    2 hours ago

    Newer machines both front load and top load have a clean washer cycle or similarly named cycle. I like to use the tablets to clean mine. The manual says once a month. I also use vinegar in place of fabric softener.

  • Bettyann Severa
    Bettyann Severa
    Just now

    Yes I will, my granddaughter left a load of clothes in the washer over night. When she opened the washer door she called me and said my clothes stink. I told her to wash them over, and don’t leave them in the washer again. I wiped the washer out and ran load with water and fabric softener. I was excited to see how to clean my washer on DIY. I did follow the directions and when the washer stop I opened the door and my washer smelled great. Thank you DIY!!

Your comment...