How to Deep Clean a Front Loader Washing Machine

Tips on how to deep clean front loader washing machines. Keeping your washer maintained and cleaned means it runs more effectively and cleans your clothes thoroughly. 

Steps to Deep clean your front loader washing machine

Please check your manual for instructions for your particular machine, otherwise, here are my tips:

  1. While empty, pour 1-2 cups vinegar (depending on washer size) into the front loader, run on the hottest cycle.
  2.  Empty and clean the lint trap or drain pump filter on your front loader (every machine varies, please see your washing machine’s instructions).
  3. Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and lemon eucalyptus essential oil – Read more on how to make my Homemade Washing Machine Cleaner Spray here.
  4. Once cycle has finished, put on your gloves and have an old toothbrush handy.  Spray really well around the seal area.  For stubborn mould let sit for a few minutes before proceeding to next step.
  5. Using the toothbrush, get the bristles into areas that are hard to reach to loosen the mould.
  6. Using a rag or paper towel remove all mould particles.
  7. Wipe area clean using a cloth and warm water.

Maintenance:

  • Once a month run an empty cycle on hot with a cup of vinegar to prevent the mould from reappearing.
  • Keep the door open slightly after removing your wet items to allow the moisture to evaporate.
  • Seals exposed to constant moisture are more likely to have mould buildup, as a result do not leave wet items in your washer overnight.
  • On a daily basis wipe over the seal and door of the machine with the Homemade Washing Machine Cleaner Spray.
  • If the problem keeps recurring, consider changing your detergent.

Tips from our community:

  • We had a terrible time with our washing machine staying damp until I came up with a simple solution to stop the pets and breeze closing the door. You know those finger-saver things they sell for internal doors, to stop toddlers slamming their fingers in them? I put one of those on the washing machine door near the hinge to make sure the washing machine door doesn’t get closed accidentally. Easy! – Thank you Callatya for sharing this great tip in our comments below.
  • Apparently doing a hot wash with nothing in is the best way to prevent mould, plus wiping the seals with some diluted clove oil, and leaving the door open. Using bleach is not recommended by washing machine manufacturers (and it only removes the colours of the mould, not kills it) – Thank you to Pen for sharing this great tip in our comments below.

Do you have mould or moisture issues in other areas of your home? Read my tips on how to reduce and clean mould and moisture concerns throughout your house – here.

What is your top tip for cleaning a front loader washing machine?


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111 comments

Deanne Buck on Facebook February 9, 2012 - 5:37 AM

Do you still sell Tupperware brushes

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Callatya February 9, 2012 - 5:40 AM

We had a terrible time with our washing machine staying damp until I came up with a simple solution to stop the pets and breeze closing the door. You know those finger-saver things they sell for internal doors, to stop toddlers slamming their fingers in them? I put one of those on the washing machine door near the hinge to make sure the washing machine door doesn’t get closed accidentally. Easy!

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Katrina February 12, 2012 - 7:27 AM

That is such a great idea, very clever!

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Lisa Lawson on Facebook February 9, 2012 - 6:28 AM

i didnt know u could do that i was thinking would have to replace the rubber seal it was going to cost heaps

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Fiona Copley on Facebook February 9, 2012 - 6:32 AM

I use white vinegar every wash as my fabric softener. Works a treat and helps to keep the machine clean.

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Kathryn September 4, 2018 - 5:38 PM

How much white vinegar would I use to replace fabric softener?

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Kathy Danga on Facebook February 9, 2012 - 6:43 AM

I love my front loader. It’s a 2yr old LG & has a “clean” cycle. However, after cleaning the dog’s blankets (about every 3wks) I put in a cup of vinegar and run the “medical” cycle. Always leave the open when you’ve finished a was too – helps it to dry out which deters the mould.

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Ana De Amaral on Facebook February 9, 2012 - 6:50 AM

do you just put in a glass/cup of vinegar and run the cycle?

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Jodie Gilmore on Facebook February 9, 2012 - 7:02 AM

I have had my front loader for 9 years now. I use vinegar as fabric softener, doesn’t make the clothes smell, and wash my towels on a hotter cycle. This with keeping the door open between washes and I have not had any mould

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Brooke Robins on Facebook February 9, 2012 - 7:14 AM

I NEVER close the door when not in use. You can dry the seal with a towel after use. My new one has 3 little holes that helps drain the water so I don’t need to dry the seal on this one. 🙂

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Amber Marie on Facebook February 9, 2012 - 7:29 AM

I’m another one that leaves the door open whilst not in use. Vinegar is a great fabric softner & also helps keep whites bright… And you can also make your own vinegar – leave 1 litre of vinegar in a 2 litre bottle, fill up with rainwater, put lid back on & leave it for a couple of weeks….

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Michelle Leach on Facebook February 9, 2012 - 7:43 AM

yep i agree i was told never close the door when not in use but the vinegar trick i will use! thanks for the tip girls..

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Gail Taylor on Facebook February 9, 2012 - 7:54 AM

I use vinegar instead of fabric softer and cleans the machine ( I never have all that gunk in the filter)
I use it in the dishwasher every now again too, just pour some on the bottom

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Sew, cook, laugh & live on Facebook February 9, 2012 - 8:00 AM

I use vinegar for my front loader all the time! Works a treat!

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Tammy Donohue on Facebook February 9, 2012 - 8:02 AM

Thanks for this… It’s something I need to do with both washing machines..

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My Encore Store (the designer recycle store) on Facebook February 9, 2012 - 8:17 AM

excellent – I’m going to do this now!

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Hayley Guy on Facebook February 9, 2012 - 8:28 AM

Mine is sooo overdue thanks xx

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Eilen Seah-Wong February 9, 2012 - 9:03 AM

this is very helpful indeed 🙂

what i often do, as a maintenance, is to use a dry cloth to wipe away accumulated bits of water at the bottom of the seal after every wash and keep the door open for a day or so. this will help to slow down the amount of mould at the seal.

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Katie Lenon September 16, 2012 - 10:39 PM

I just did a vinegar wash and washed the seal with bleach. It was black and full of gunk and mould! Horrible. I noticed that there was about a half an inch of water in there after the wash. I wonder if this is normal? I think I’ll be manually drying the seal out after each wash from now on. And never

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Natalie Dunstan on Facebook February 9, 2012 - 9:08 AM

A washing machine guy told me never to use fabric softener damages machine and also to clean run a cup of Epsom salts through

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Hayley King on Facebook February 9, 2012 - 9:31 AM

Always use the vinegar!!! but not sure about the bleach as I have always been told that bleach doesn’t actually kill the mould spores, it just hides them. Instead I mix 1tsp of oil of cloves to 1 litre of water and put in spray bottle. The oil of cloves kills the spores and also aids as a preventative. I use it everywhere just to prevent mould and kills it if it ever comes.

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Natalie Gray January 27, 2016 - 7:11 AM

where to you get oil of cloves from?

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Donna January 27, 2016 - 10:50 AM

You can get oil of cloves from major supermarkets and also pharmacies/chemists and health food shops – wherever you see the stands with pure essential oils.

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Harriet Archer February 9, 2012 - 9:40 AM

Curious. I have had a front loader for about eight years and I’ve never noticed mould anywhere! I’m not the most observant soul in the universe, so I went and had a jolly good look with a torch and everything. No mould to be seen. My laundry is poorly lit and incredibly badly ventilated, so you would think it would be a mould factory for sure – so I was a bit surprised to discover we had none. Rust, yes – but mould, no!

So I had a bit of a think about it – and came up with a couple of reasons why we don’t seem to have the mould situation…

1. I use a low sudsing, eco-friendly washing powder, and only use a rounded dessert spoon full of powder rather than the 2 1/2 tablespoons recommended. I have clean clothes that don’t smell, so that is enough soap. (Washing machine repair man told my mum to under rather than over soap… there’s not as much water in there to get all the soap out) Because it’s not highly soapy, there’s not as much soap residue hanging around.

2. I only wash once a week – the first load goes in Friday night, and the last load overnight on Saturday night (on a good week that is, lol). The machine is therefore empty the rest of the time, and has the door open, so it gets a good amount of time to dry out completely.

3. Every 3-4 months, I run it through on 95C with nothing in it.

(Oh, and if you want to get the turps smell out of your front loader… I definitely recommend a super hot wash with a capfull of eucalyptus oil! Worked a treat after the bloke had an oops with some oil paint.)

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Katrina February 12, 2012 - 7:33 AM

Wow Harriet you definitely are one of the lucky ones, thankyou so much for sharing your tips. Regularly washing with nothing in it will be a great help.

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Pen February 9, 2012 - 10:00 AM

apparently doing a hot wash with nothing in is the best way to prevent mould, plus wiping the seals with some diluted clove oil, and leaving the door open. Using bleach is not recommended by washing machine manufacturers (and it only colours the mould, not kills it)

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Katrina February 12, 2012 - 7:35 AM

Yes clove oil would be perfect to use!

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Gil Watling on Facebook February 9, 2012 - 10:12 AM

The only mould I have found on my front loader is from the tray. Sure I can pull that out to clean it but the part where it leads the powder to the bowl is another story!

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Tonyandvic February 9, 2012 - 10:48 AM

Does the type of detergent used make a difference to mould buildup?

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Katrina February 12, 2012 - 7:34 AM

Yes it does, if your mould continues you should try a different detergent.

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Janine Mumma D Daly December 30, 2013 - 6:30 AM

we can only use one type of detergent due to skin allergies and yes found a mould build up what else apart from changing detergents can prevent it?

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Lisa Orford on Facebook February 9, 2012 - 12:01 PM

Rule 1 I never close the door if not in use 2 take out the powder dispenser and wash it weekly this helps with clumps of powder and refreshes unwanted smells 3 I never use fabric softner it causes so much damage for ur machine and ur health 🙂

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Tammy February 9, 2012 - 3:00 PM

OMG! I just tried this and the machine overflowed and there was bubbles everywhere taking a loooong time to clean up with many rinse/drain cycles on the machine to empty the bubbles inside… crazy! I might stick to using vinegar next time, lol.

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Katrina February 12, 2012 - 7:37 AM

Yes, you won’t have bubbles with vinegar!

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Veronica White on Facebook February 9, 2012 - 4:01 PM

Hmm. mys sister is on front loader no 2 in about 5 years..she is single and soon to be a mum is änal about drying the machine and leaves the door open and still has mould..but will pass on the tips..

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Tammy Maskrey on Facebook February 9, 2012 - 6:47 PM

Ha ha just tried this tip and it made my machine overflow with bubbles everywhere!!! Big messy job to clean up. Then used 1c of vinegar through hot cycle to clean it up and remove any bleach residue. Not doing bleach clean again! Would love to know how to keep mould out of top powder drawer, at the end of the drawer inside the tray compartment, such a pain to clean all the time!

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Annemarie Biffin on Facebook February 9, 2012 - 6:58 PM

A dumb question probably but do I put the vinegar in with clothes or in the compartment where I put washing powder much thanks I sooooo love this site x

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Nadine July 14, 2015 - 12:14 PM

When using in place of fabric softener, I put in that dispenser. To clean with I’ve done both, in tub or in dispenser.

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Erin @ Lohtown Life February 9, 2012 - 6:59 PM

Tree tree oil is a natural anti-fungal. I wonder if wiping it around the seal would help as a preventative? I suspect what others have said about keeping the door open to dry out the machine would make a big difference too. Love your idea of the doorstop, Callatya!

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Vanessa February 11, 2012 - 5:24 PM

Leaving the door open (it does not have to be wide open) between loads prevents mould forming. I use Purex complete Crystals Softener, which is a fabric softener you put in the actual machine (front or top loader) to stop your fabric softener dispenser clogging up.

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Ljiljana Vidovic February 13, 2012 - 10:25 PM

Exit mould does the job, no need for toothbrush and elbow grease, just persistence until all mould disappears, then as per Venessa”s comment, leave the door slightly open when not in use and you are a winner.

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Joy October 16, 2013 - 11:23 AM

That’s what I found works best for me. Only had mould once. Used Exit mould, left over night and it was all gone. I always use a cloth to dry around the seal and leave the door ajar.

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Di-licious February 26, 2012 - 11:05 AM

I always leave the door ajar on my machine (but hubby always insists on closing it!) The ‘finger-saver’ door stop idea is fantastic – thank you.
With our former machine we had a lot of problems with mould and when the seal was replaced it got worse. I was constantly wiping it out but hesitant to use bleach in case it caused deterioration to the rubber seal.
But with the new machine we’ve had no mould at all. I’ll definitely do the hot water cycle to keep it that way!

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dry cleaning Monroe County April 30, 2012 - 4:55 PM

These are indeed great cleaning tips for front loader washing machines. These techniques will ensure that all the nasty odors are removed. This will also help in maintaining the machine’s efficiency. Thanks for sharing.

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Cakebaker September 16, 2012 - 4:22 PM

I have a front loader but loads from the top…I know that sounds strange but that’s how it is. There is no agitator in the machine. Fortunately I have a reminder built into the machine program which tells me when it needs to be cleaned…..after each wash I turn the washing machine taps off, release any small amount of water left in the outlet and then dry out the barrel of the machine…no mould build up when the machine is dried.

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reviewing-mum September 16, 2012 - 10:17 PM

I’ve never had a mould problem, but I was told by a washing machine repair man to throw in a dishwashing tablet into the drum and run the hottest cycle (95’C in my case) for most effective cleaning. When I read the bleach idea I cringed with the thought of how much it would bubble up! Plus I HATE the smell of bleach… :/ The dishwashing tablet worked great for me, though as I mentioned – I’ve never had actual mould problems 🙂

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Guest September 17, 2012 - 7:08 AM

yay a day off………. i did my linen cupboard the weekend before your place the challange invite my washing machine had a hot wash after hubby’s work clothes(thanks miss 4 i left the machine on and was mowing and came back to 25 mins to go and hubby thought i had a load on so i just left it) did under the laundry sink saturday after i knocked over the dry dog food so i can do my floors and the my everyday little bits and i am done 🙂

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Lindsey Riley September 17, 2012 - 9:23 AM

My washing machine desperately needs a clean! Does it really need to be the hottest wash cycle used? I can do a 95C wash but it takes about 2hrs and I am reluctant to use that much power? Would a 40C wash do the same job or do I need to just put up with the power costs this one time? Also would the bleach be ok to use just the once? I have some in cupboard but would have to go out to get clove oil? Thanks!!

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Jasmine September 25, 2012 - 10:09 AM

to save a bit of power put it on after 10pm when it changes to the off peak tariff, this is when i turn my dishwasher on at night too

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EJ Butler January 4, 2013 - 12:29 AM

Bleach wont kill mould

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Dree October 16, 2013 - 11:51 AM

To kill any germs your wash needs to be >60deg

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Kerry Rebecca Hunt September 17, 2012 - 5:33 PM

On my washer the soap drawer gets the most mould, the seal around the door doesn’t get any. But I do ensure I leave the door open after each wash.

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Monique September 18, 2012 - 11:03 AM

I use vinegar instead of softener ( greenie that I am) but wash only on 40 degree.
Will that do or do I still need a hot rinse with the vinegar once a month?

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greeniepants December 5, 2012 - 12:58 PM

Most supermarket laundry products have what are called filler and extenders in them. These are things added to increase bulk without the expense of the active ingredient. In powders, manufacturers use things like crushed bone and crushed light globes. Yes, this is what you are washing your clothes in. Obviously, these things don’t dissolve so they get stuck in your clothes and your machine. They wreck your machine, wear at your clothes and cause irritation to sensitive skins. That’s before I get into all the other horrible hazardous chemicals that are in supermarket brands. And all of this goes down the drain and into the ocean, poor fish. I use an eco friendly brand of home care products that avoids all of the above issues and creates far less mould in the washing machine, dishwasher and bathroom. They also have a descaler which is awesome for the periodic cleaning of machines (washing and dishwashing) and cleans kettles as well. I have even used it to get rid of scaly build up in the loo without having to scrub and without having to use bleach. SInce the products are concentrates, they work out much cheaper than supermarket brands per use too. My favourite brand is available at http://www.nat.trinature.com but there are several eco responsible brands available. Investigate carefully as there are a few brands that are not as responsible as they preach.

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rebekkap March 24, 2013 - 5:01 PM

I don’t know where you got the idea that crushed up bones and light globes are used as filler – it’s not true. The filler used in washing powder is sodium sulfate. While there are good reasons to use an eco friendly washing powder, this isn’t one of them.

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EJ Butler January 4, 2013 - 12:10 AM

Hi, I have just discovered your blog and LOVE your pantry. I have just started selling Tupperware and really look forward to decking out my pantry and the rest of the kitchen.

I live in Darwin and with the humidity mould is my biggest nightmare in particular in my shower in the grout. After research I have discovered Vinegar or water with a small amount of clove oil is best for mould. Bleach only makes it look like it isn’t there in other words bleach’s it. You need to kill the mould. Use vinegar for that.

Back to the washing machines… Did you know that fabric softener is harmful to your clothes? it breaks down the fibers in the fabric making them deteriorate a lot faster. my alternative is to use vinegar instead. $2.19 for 2 a litre bottle. its far cheaper and just as good. This would also help with your mouldy washing machine.

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Steph January 21, 2013 - 8:52 AM

Yes! Bleach is pretty unhealthy. Hydrogen peroxide is much better and bleach only whitens the mould and doesnt kill it. Clove Oil is awesome for killing mould also. Ive found these 2 links pretty helpful with using Hydrogen Peroxide instead of bleach. (I’m not associated with either of these pages – just thought I’d share) 🙂
http://www.livinghiho.com/article/hydrogen-peroxide-vs-bleach
http://lyle-lylesplace.blogspot.com.au/2011/03/clorox-bleach-versus-hydrogen-peroxide.html
Love this blog!! Great work Katrina 🙂

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Jennifer Bradburn January 22, 2013 - 1:27 AM

I always use white vinegar as my fabric softener and after many years of owning a front loader I have never had any mould or damp smell – unfortunately I do several loads a day and I am sure my machine never gets the chance to air out or dry. I think vinegar must be the charm !

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Mum23boys March 5, 2013 - 8:02 PM

I’ve had a frontloader now for about 2yrs (and we got it second hand) and I’ve never had a problem with mould. I use vinegar as my rinse/fabric softner every cycle….. seems to do the trick! 😉 (And leaves the clothes fresh and soft of course!)

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Gin June 2, 2013 - 11:44 AM

Would running an empty cycle with the Canestan detergent you can buy help with the mould?

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Bonnie Lewenza July 30, 2013 - 12:11 PM

The canestan is too filmy I wouldn’t do it. Use vinegar on the clean cycle.

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Bonnie Lewenza July 30, 2013 - 12:09 PM

When I use my washer and I am done I take a tea towel, pull back rubber and wipe it dry, I do the same with the door,then i open the soap disspenser and I leave the door open for a couple of hours so the drum can dry. I have never had mold but I don’t put fabric softener in it either.

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Sunshine Mands September 25, 2013 - 9:36 AM

Yay I was looking for something else and found this, which I really need to do

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Talea October 16, 2013 - 11:09 AM

We have an enviro system so can not use bleach, is there another way to clean our front loader?

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Kat October 16, 2013 - 11:43 AM

White vinegar 🙂 if you need to scrub add some bicarb soda to make a paste

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Katrina October 17, 2013 - 3:01 PM

I love the vinegar bicarb combo, cleans so well!

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Kristy December 30, 2013 - 6:24 AM

Hi Talea. I use and recommend Tri Nature products. They are an Australian owned company. The product that I would suggest is the Maxim which is a machine descaler. You can descale your washing machine, dishwasher, coffee machine etc. My Facebook page is Tri Nature Products by Kristy. (Please delete this comment if not appropriate)

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Wendy Inglis October 16, 2013 - 4:58 PM

I have a problem
I cannot find the lint filter there must be one some where on the machine We have a Bosch front loader I also have a bit of mould on the rubber in the door seal but will not use bleach have tried tea tree oil but not luck there

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Ingrid October 17, 2013 - 10:07 AM

Hi Wendy,
European washing machines usually have their lint filter below, behind a hinged ‘door’ the width of the machine. Mine just flips open and voila, there it is on the left. The lid serves as a tray for any spills (I switch my machine to pump any residue water out first).
By the way, I also leave my door open, as well as giving my laundry powder compartment and regular wipe-over. Never had a problem with mould. Cheers, Ingrid

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Cakebaker October 17, 2013 - 11:14 AM

Perhaps if you look in your operating manual it will show you where the lint filter is….:-)

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Sarah December 30, 2013 - 9:59 AM

Bottom right hand corner of the machine. There is a flap and inside that is the filter. When you turn the knob make sure you put a towel underneath to collect all the excess water. The whole knob will come out and that;s the bit you clean. Hope that helps.

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DonnaE June 5, 2014 - 11:36 AM

oh crap – there’s a lint filtre? I’ve had a Bosch front loader for about 6 years and have never cleaned or even known about the filtre…will check it when I get home I guess!

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wash-expert October 17, 2013 - 12:07 AM

i keep the door open after using the washer – so it can dry inside an no ugly smells will exist. Once in a year i clean the washer with a special cleaner for Washing-machines. this is really enough

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Alecia December 4, 2013 - 1:19 PM

My cat has a naughty habit of weeing on clothes, so i began adding a cap of white vinegar to each load of washing. Ive found it totally gets rid of the smell, keeps the washing machine sparkling clean and also keeps whites nice and white 🙂 Vinegar is amazing for everything 🙂

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Janine Mumma D Daly December 30, 2013 - 6:24 AM

im going to try that now alecia my cat does that too 🙁 hes old so we don’t go mad at him and its usually a towel left down by kids

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Janet from Redland City Living December 30, 2013 - 10:07 AM

I don’t have mould, but the seal and inside of the door just gets really gungy, don’t know how to get it off, any tips appreciated!

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chrissy December 30, 2013 - 12:57 PM

You mention using bleach, but then in the ‘tips’ you advise against it. Do you have an alternative to bleach in that case? Thanks.

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Monica January 6, 2014 - 9:06 AM

Hi. I live in Europe and the manufacturer of my front load machine recommended to use a small amount of vinegar in the last rinse cycle instead of liquid fabric softner (which builds up and causes nasty residue). Also when washing towels or rags they said to use the hottest setting and to completely fill the fabric softner compartement with vinegar. By doing this regulary (I do a large load of towels every 10 days or so) it has really kept my machine clean and mildew free. It also eliminates the need to run the washer empty, saving money and water. And do not forget to keep the door ajar between washes to let the seal dry properly. (If the vinegar smell is too strong for you after doing the towels just run a rinse cycle again on cold).

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michelle January 29, 2014 - 9:24 AM

I always use vinegar instead of fabric softener, it works great!

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michelle January 29, 2014 - 9:23 AM

oil of cloves is definitely the way to go for mould rather than bleach, i tried your technique with bleach and a tooth brush and ended up getting bleach flicked in my eye, so if anyone was to do this PLEASE WEAR EYE PROTECTION. Also my washing machine repairer said that you should use a dishwashing tablet/powder to clean your washing machine and put it on the hottest cycle. He also told me that our water was too cold for fabric softener… it was causing a brown grimy buildup in my machine which would get all over the clothes

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Snap Laundromat January 29, 2014 - 10:46 AM

Great post. We regularly clean the washing machines at the laundromat as it really does ensure a better and brighter wash. Michelle @ http://www.snaplaundromat.com.au

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Sarah January 29, 2014 - 4:36 PM

I have been using Scalex in my washing machine every three months and is brilliant. I have also heard that liquid detergents are better as less likely to build up. Method are a lovely range of detergents that are all natural and have other natural cleaning products too. The Scalex is usseable in top and front loader machines and I also use it for my dishwasher every 3 months. No smell in either!!! Also with dishwashers I noticed in my manual that it says not to use any tablets with power balls as could ruin the machine (Just another tip I found I thought I’d share). Cleaning the seals with an old toothbrush is also handy and can be used on the fridge and dishwasher too.

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Ann May 25, 2014 - 10:30 AM

Have used front loaders for at least 20 years. Only ever wipe down with a microfibres cloth and water. I use environmentally friendly powder, Softly for woollens no softener. Despite multiple climates and sites from under an old Queenslanders to an indoors poorly ventilated room I have never had problems with mould or needing to clean inside the machine

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Smart Discoveries Team May 28, 2014 - 11:43 AM

Hello Katrina, this is LG Electronics ‘Smart Discoveries’ Campaign Team.
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We would like to show your post and we intend to link to your blog.
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Katrina May 28, 2014 - 12:58 PM

Hi there, thank you for contacting me. I do not wish for you to show my post on your blog, you are welcome to show a snippet and they can click to the link you will include to read the full post. Please email me to discuss further.

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Victoria September 3, 2014 - 8:20 AM

The last paragraph says that bleach shouldn’t be used, and is against manufacturer instructions for most machines. So why is using bleach still the most prominent thing in this article, in the first couple of paragraphs. Surely you should edit the entire article and remove the harmful advice?

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Industrial washing machine October 1, 2014 - 3:31 PM

Great blog. Vinegar may be the best choice to clean your laundry machine.

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Jo October 7, 2014 - 1:47 AM

Hi, stupid question but when using vinegar to clean a front loader, do u put it into the detergent drawer, the fabric softener bit or straight into the drum? When using vinegar as a fabric softener, do u put it into the fabric softener section of the detergent drawer at the beginning of the wash (ie: do u treat it exactly like fabric softener? How much do u use? Many thanks, love the tips 🙂

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Kate - Kat's Assistant October 8, 2014 - 12:17 PM

Hi Jo, no not a silly question. I have attached a link for you on the blog that gives you all the info: https://theorganisedhousewife.com.au/cleaning-2/cleaning-tip-cleaning-front-loader-washing-machine/

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Natalie Phillips October 19, 2014 - 5:19 PM

I wanted to ask the same 2 questions as Jo, however the link that Kate has provided does not give that kind of detailed info, of where to actually put the vinegar for a cleaning cycle and for use as fabric softener….Can somebody please advise us – thank you so much.

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Cas January 9, 2015 - 8:29 PM

Don’t know if this was already suggested as so many comments to scroll through but we recently had our seal replaced on our front loader as it was still under warranty and the technician told me as well as wiping it down after use, put a rag, t-shirt or sock in the seal depression to soak up the water between use. He said despite manufacturers advice to do the hot vinegar hot wash once a month, it won’t be suffice to prevent mould and to use the sock/rag to soak up excess water. This is a great blog by the way, so many valuable and frugal tips! ????

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Mumma Trace February 24, 2015 - 7:35 PM

Have you ever weighed your washing? I recently replaced my washing machine and whilst researching found that most 7kg front loading washing machines can take up to 40 (yes 40!)adult TShirts. Who has that many Tshirts in their house anyway?

No wonder I was washing 2/3 loads a day. When I weighed my washing I found it was usually around 2/4kg max per load.

Now I save my washing (adjusting to not having an empty wash basket) and have reduced the number of loads per day, so not as much sorting and putting away anymore.

I weighed myself on the scales without washing then weighed myself again with a basket of washing to get an idea of how how much the washing weighed.

Check your manufacturers instructions first but most people unknowingly underload their washing machine.

Try it. Better for the environment and better for our little legs not having to go up and down the stairs to put washing away all day….

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Margaret Eastcroft June 8, 2015 - 12:41 AM

iam going to try the white vinger to see how good it really workes as no bleach

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 9, 2015 - 8:51 AM

I love it Margaret! It’s my most favourite cleaning agent.:)

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Kyle O'Ren June 2, 2016 - 3:46 AM

Thanks for the tip to use a toothbrush for the harder to reach areas. I often forget that toothbrushes don’t have to just be for teeth and can often be the best tools for cleaning hard to reach spaces. I will have to see if this helps my washer stay cleaner longer.

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Tess September 16, 2016 - 10:06 PM

I have a front loader and I always wipe the door and seal with a micro cloth after each wash and place another micro cloth at the bottom of the opening with it slightly pressed between the ridges of the seal leaving the door slightly open between washes. I would do 3-4 loads a week and over 3 years have NEVER had any build up, mould or residue. Also response to Mumma Trace…. I have a 8Kg front loader and when I made purchase at Harvey Norman they demonstrated amount of washing it would take Very Useful … They had 9 King Size towels sewn together and I was extremely surprised just how much my machine takes for a full load ??

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Lindsay February 12, 2018 - 12:25 PM

It’s spelled mold 🙂

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 13, 2018 - 11:01 AM

In Australia it is spelt mould but thanks for checking

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John April 21, 2018 - 10:42 PM

Hi,
I don’t see those answers to the question Jo asked. Anyone can answer these if they know the answer/s to the questions I’ve asked below.

I’d also like to know about when and where to put the vinegar, and also how much vinegar to use.

1. When doing a drum clean, where do you pour the vinegar? In the detergent tray or inside the drum? How much should you use?

2. When using vinegar as a fabric softener, where do you pour it? I have a Bosch Front Loader Washing Machine with i-Dos (automatic dosing) compartments. One is for detergent, one for fabric softener and one for manual dosing. I’m not sure you could pour vinegar in the fabric softener compartment, so could I still put it in the manual compartment, and when would I put it in if wanting to do manual dosing of fabric softener? I never use fabric softener or the i-Dos automatic dosing, so that only leaves one manual compartment for detergent. I assume I shouldn’t put the vinegar with the detergent in the same compartment at the start of the wash?

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife April 23, 2018 - 3:58 PM

Hi John, I would place 1 cups of the vinegar directly into the drum, although you can add into the detergent area if you like as it’s much of a muchness and actually as a bonus it may clean the pipes at the same time too. Great question about using vinegar as fabric softener. I had a top loader and I used to place the vinegar where it asked for fabric softener. Now I have a front loader I do exactly the same, pouring the vinegar into the fabric softener compartment. I haven’t used your model before so I’m unaware of the best way to use it, however, please don’t be afraid of filling your fabric softener compartment with vinegar. Vinegar is natural so it shouldn’t harm anything.

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John April 25, 2018 - 9:38 PM

Hi Katrina, thanks for the reply.

I guess I will have to try and figure out how to use it as a fabric softener in my particular machine. As I mentioned, I’ve never used fabric softener in my previous front loader at all, ever, so I’m not sure at what point/stage of the wash the machine places the fabric softener in? Does it normally put it in at the start of the wash or at some point before the rinse?

For the drum cleaning, yes, that sounds like a great idea if I put it in the detergent compartment as that could also help clean out the pipes like you said. I never thought of that.

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Karina Smith June 5, 2018 - 4:05 PM

I too had the same problem of a very smelly front loader. Tried everything – except bleach, won’t have that in the house. Used commercial cleaners, hot cycle, bi-carb and soda / vinegar, and still was nasty. Got to the stage I was going to buy a new machine.
I then saw Sharon Lush (the old fashioned cleaning remedy lady) on Sunrise. She said you should only be using 1 tablespoon of commercial cleaner (I had already years earlier cut right down – stands to reason company’s want you to use as much as possible for the $$$), 2 tablespoons of bi-carb and then 2 tablespoons of vinegar in the bowl (I put 3 as it’s a natural disinfectant, and my tablespoon of commercial cleaner I use a half/half mixture of normal washing powder and Sard soak or similar). I also add to the powder/ bi-carb mix whatever DoTerra essential oil I feel like at the time. Make sure to mix it thoroughly through the powder mix, especially with whites if using citrus oils otherwise can mark. Since that time, my washing machine smells like brand new and my clothes come out spotless and smelling beautiful (and I am a bit of a laundry nut when it comes to perfectly clean clothes – one little mark and back it goes). Also leave the door open. It’s actually a combination of the build up of the commercial powders and moisture left in the machine that causes all the problems, and the build up in our clothes isn’t good for them either.

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Sally Lockrey September 3, 2018 - 9:40 AM

When all washing finished I put a dry face washer into the folds of the seal and leave for about three hours or more.
Leave door slightly open always. It the seal is dry you never need to worry. I also use vinegar as a fabric softener, marvellous.

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Andrea April 15, 2019 - 10:26 AM

Both my sister and washed our front loaders as you suggested, but they have both got a terrible smell in the drum since the wash, almost like a mouldy wet washing smell. Do you have any suggestions to get rid of this?

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Tamara November 3, 2019 - 8:58 AM

Does the vinegar go in the drum of the front loader section or where the detergent and that go?

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife November 7, 2019 - 3:18 PM

Tamara the vinegar goes straight into the drum of the front loader. Happy cleaning 🙂 Kat x

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Jahnavi Jaanu February 11, 2020 - 2:45 AM

Very helpful tips on how to clean the front load washing machine. The usage of readily available tools at home makes it much more easy to follow your instructions. Thank you for sharing the post.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 11, 2020 - 3:24 PM

My pleasure, I am glad you found it useful 🙂

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En iyiler May 10, 2021 - 4:13 AM

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I will definitely recommend this article to my friends and other communities.

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Julie H July 4, 2021 - 11:19 AM

Our miele washing machine is 15 years oldand we havve had to replace the grey door seal once now this one has the same problem. It doesnt matter how many times i dry it after each use the mould still form? Yes i have done the vinegar solution and it make everything else cleaner.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife July 5, 2021 - 2:49 PM

Make sure to not leave wet washing sitting in your machine and leave your washing machine door open so it dries out between each use. Could there possibly be mould elsewhere in the machine that is encouraging mould to grow on the seal?

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