How to Deep Clean a Top Load Washing Machine

Wren’s Little Nest
by Wren’s Little Nest
5 Materials
1 Hour

With a family of five, our washing machine goes through a lot. It’s not uncommon for me to be doing at least one load of laundry per day just to stay on top of it. Every couple of months, I like to give our washing machine a good deep cleaning. The best time I find to do this chore is with the changing of each season. Not only does this help me to remember when I cleaned the machine last, it also rids it of any build up that has accumulated over that season. As we are heading into winter and leaving fall behind, I found lots of tiny pieces of leaves and just general dirt that had accumulated in some of the crevices of the washing machine.

Cleaning your washing machine might not be a chore that you have ever thought of doing, but in reality it is so important. Not only will it clean your clothes better, it will help to extend the longevity of your washing machine.

Read below to find out how I like to deep clean my washing machine with just a few easy steps!

Here is the washing machine before cleaning. From far it doesn’t look to bad, however the last few times I went to put a load in, I noticed that it was definitely due for a good deep clean.

You can see here in the bleach dispenser the buildup of dirt, leaves and hair leftover from previous loads.

I never use fabric softener when I do laundry, so this little compartment tends to collect a lot of debris from when I load the washing machine with clothes.

The first thing that I like to do, is to take out any removable parts and soak them in some hot soapy water while I work on the rest of the machine.

Using a soft bristled brush and a mild cleaner work your way around the entire machine giving everything a good scrub. Be sure to concentrate on any deep crevices that dirt and buildup can accumulate in.

I love to use diluted original Pinesol for this as it is laundry safe and won’t damage the machine or my clothes afterwards. You can also use white vinegar if you prefer that.

In most top load washing machines you are able to gently tilt the drum in order to expose the area underneath the lid. This is where most of the debris will be, so be sure not to skip cleaning this area.

Once you have finished scrubbing everything with the brush, wipe away any excess cleaner and water with a clean microfiber cloth. Rinse and put back any of the pieces you removed before cleaning.

You can see just what a big difference a little scrubbing has made.

The machine is looking brand new!

Final step is to clean the interior of the washing machine drum. Add 1/2 - 1 cup of baking soda to the drum and run the machine on a hot cycle. The baking soda will help to break up any buildup underneath and behind the drum, as well as deodorize the machine.

After the baking soda wash is complete I like to run a quick wash (hot water again) with one cup of vinegar to rinse away any remaining baking soda, as well as to disinfect the machine.

And there you have a beautifully cleaned and refreshed washing machine. It seriously makes a huge difference in the way your washing machine will clean and even smell.

Squeaky clean and ready to take on the next load of laundry!

Whether you have a top load washing machine or a front load, it’s so important to maintain it and give it a good cleaning every several months.

More Washing Machine Cleaning tips

For more brilliant ideas on cleaning your washer read this comprehensive guide on How to Clean a Washing Machine for Fresher Laundry.

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3 of 7 questions
  • Dfc70437253 Dfc70437253 on Dec 18, 2022

    I have the exact same washer. One tip is to leave the lid up after loads to allow the drum to dry to keep musty smells at bay.

  • Jim Bryant Jim Bryant on Dec 18, 2022

    What about a front loading washing machine, will this work as well?

  • Marchea Hunley Sovde Marchea Hunley Sovde on Dec 19, 2022

    Why don’t you use fabric softener?

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2 of 34 comments
  • Sha72287297 Sha72287297 on Dec 20, 2022

    I have a front loading washing machine and after every load, I wipe down the door, the gaskets and the laundry dispensers. Then I leave them open to air dry. I also use vinegar in all loads.

  • CESCA CESCA on Dec 20, 2022

    My mother used white vinegar in her wash to soak white sheets, that's all we had in those days. Now I put a cap full, depending on the size of the load, and I had sprinkle baking soda in the final rinse, cloths come out spanking bright, no soap restdue and soft to the touch. I've been doing this for years.