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Cleaning Your Washing Machine

Posted by Eric G. Stark on

Who knew you need to clean your washing machine?

I didn't know. In fact, I thought it cleaned itself. After all, you put soap and water in there and, after all, there is a rinse cycle. 

So if this is the first time your read about cleaning your washing machine, don't worry, you are not alone. I stumbled on a story a website while doing a Google search for another topic. 

Failure to clean and maintain your washer can lead to bad odors, germs, bacteria, and mold. I experienced this first hand when I began to see black bits all over my laundry.

Once you give your washing machine a good cleaning only need to repeat the process after six months. By doing this, you will keep the washer working well for the long haul. 

McCombs Supply has 5 tips for cleaning your washing machine, tips that will increase the longevity of your washer running well and make it more efficient. 

[Here is a related story on 5 tips for cleaning your refrigerator ]

Cleaning The Inside

Make a plan to clean the inside of the washing machine every six months. 

Use hot water and rag or toothbrush to clean off any soap detergent or scum buildup. Take out soak any removable parts like a soap or fabric softener dispenser. 

 If you have a front-loading washing machine, be sure to wash/wipe the rubber gasket at the front of the washer. 

The gasket collects soap residue, hair, lint and can even mildew.  

Soak some towels with either hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar, and pack the gasket's cavities to let the hydrogen peroxide or vinegar loosen up any mold or grease, and disinfect the area.

After an hour, wipe the gasket and door seals clean or use a toothbrush to scrub off residue.

The genuine Whirlpool FSP Kenmore washer door gasket seal bellow (part no. W10111435) is a popular item sold at McCombs. 

After scrubbing the nooks and crannies on the inside, get two cups of white vinegar a cup of baking sodea and put the washer on the hottest water and largest load cycle.

Add white vinegar to the detergent dispenser and baking soda to the softener dispenser and let the cycle run. If the washing machine is really dirty (like you never cleaned it before) repeat the cycle and add a half up of baking soda. 

For a top-loading machine you can start the cycle and use the running water to clean up the inside. 

Once your second cycle is finished, leave the washing machine door open to allow the inside to dry and to prevent mildew.


Agitator dogs

You will need to hand wash the top portion of the agitator and basin above the water line. McCombs sells plastic agitator coupling coupler
and agitator dogs

Some washing machines have lint traps. If you have a lint trap in your machine it will need to be cleaned. 

For a complete list of washing machine parts McCombs Supply sells see our website for details. 

Cleaning a Top-Load Washer
vs. Cleaning A Front Load Washer

You can pause and start the cycle whenever you want with a top loader. This is the main difference. This allows you to to add ingredients into the washing machine, start the cycle for a minute and mix the ingredients. You can also stop the cycle and let the ingredients soak and then run the cycle again until it finishes. 

The difference with a front loader is once it starts its cycle it has to run its course. Another difference is with cleaning the parts. 

With a top-load washer you must clean the agitator in the middle. A front-load washer you must clean the fabric softener and detergent dispenser and the gasket or rubber door seals. 

Cleaning The Outside

This is like detailing a car. Start at the top and work your way down. 

Washing machine knob

Use a dam cloth or towel, and using a toothbrush will help. Wipe down the knobs and control panel. If you notice a knob or control timer need replace, McCombs has a large inventory of knobs and timers

drain hose

This is also a good time to inspect the hoses connected to the machine.  If you see cracks to the drain hose or the inlet fill hose, McCombs sells replacement hoses.  

While cleaning at the door, check the door lid switch. Use the toothbrush to remove any debris. If the door latch or lid switch are not working properly, McCombs has replacement parts. 

The last thing you want to do is wipe down the outside with glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth to make it shine. 


Here is a video showing tips for cleaning your washing machine. 

The only difference from his demonstration is we recommend putting vinegar to the detergent dispenser and baking soda to the softener dispenser before letting the cycle run.

About Us

McCombs Supply Company, Inc.

In business since 1953, McCombs Supply Co., Inc. is a third-generation family-owned business that specializes in low prices and fast, reliable shipping.
Located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, McCombs Supply Co., Inc. offers replacement repair parts for dishwashers, dryers, microwaves, range-ovens, refrigerators, washing machines, HVAC, commercial refrigeration, commercial cooking, pellet stove parts and more. Some of our manufacturers we distribute for include – Backer-Chromolox, Broan-Nutone, Exact Replacement Parts (ERP), EZ Flo, Fasco, Mastercool, ICM, JW Harris, Packard, Robertshaw, Sealed Unit Parts Company (SUPCO), White Rodgers, Englander, Breckwell, Harman, Lennox, Napoleon, St. Croix and Quadra-Fire.

We supply contractors, service technicians, housing developments, hospitals, retirement communities, institutions, and do-it-yourselfers.

Today, we have nearly one million SKUs in our system. We are constantly upgrading our cutting-edge technology to serve our customers better.

Copyright 2018

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