Keeping your front load washing machine clean not only ensures your clothes come out smelling fresh but also extends the life of your appliance. Over time, washing machines can trap water, leading to mold and mildew buildup, which can cause a musty odor. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to get your front load washing machine perfectly clean and keep it that way for years to come.

Step 1: Empty and Run a Clean Cycle

The first step in cleaning your front load washing machine is to ensure that it is completely empty. Remove any clothes or items from the machine before starting the cleaning process. Next, run a clean cycle through the machine. You can use either white vinegar or specially formulated washing machine cleaner tablets for this purpose. These products are designed to remove the easy-to-clean dirt and debris that accumulates in your machine. If using vinegar, add two cups to the detergent tray. For tablets, simply place one in the drum and set your machine to a normal cycle with hot water and a heavy load setting. This helps the machine to fill up with water and thoroughly clean itself.

Step 2: Detail the Gasket and Clean the Drain Filter

Once the clean cycle is complete, it’s time to detail clean the gasket—the rubber seal around the door of your washing machine. This area can harbor a lot of buildup and requires special attention. Use a microfiber towel and a toothbrush with a DIY cleaning solution (one cup vinegar, one cup water, and a teaspoon of dish soap) to scrub the gasket thoroughly.

Additionally, don’t forget to clean the drain filter. Located behind a small door at the bottom of your machine, the drain filter can collect a lot of debris and needs to be cleaned regularly. Place a towel and a dish underneath to catch any water and debris, then remove and clean the filter using the same DIY cleaning solution.

Step 3: Scrub Removable Parts and Reassemble

Take out the detergent drawer and any other removable parts. These components can get very dirty over time. Disassemble them if possible and use the DIY vinegar solution to clean each part thoroughly. A toothbrush can be helpful for reaching into nooks and crannies. Once everything is clean, reassemble the parts and place them back into the machine.

Step 4: Addressing a Discolored Gasket

If you notice any discoloration on the gasket that doesn’t come off with regular cleaning, consider using a mold remover gel. Apply the gel to the affected area and let it sit for several hours before rinsing it off. This can help remove stubborn mold and mildew stains.

Maintenance Tips for a Cleaner Machine

To prevent mold and mildew growth and keep your washing machine smelling fresh, follow these maintenance tips:

Wipe Down After Use: After each use, wipe down the rubber gasket with a towel to remove any leftover moisture.

Leave the Door Open: Always leave the door of your washing machine open or slightly ajar to allow air to circulate and dry out the interior, preventing moisture buildup.

Monthly Clean Cycles: Run a clean cycle with vinegar or cleaning tablets at least once a month to prevent buildup and ensure your machine stays clean.

By following these steps and tips, you can keep your front load washing machine in top condition, ensuring your clothes come out clean and fresh with every wash.

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