How to Clean a Front Loader Washing Machine

Get rid of those nasty smells coming from your front-loader washing machine and keep your clothes clean and bacteria-free. 

We all want to ensure that our clothes are clean and hygienic. However, if you have a front-loading washing machine, you may have noticed a funky smell, even after running it through a cycle. This is a common problem with front-loaders, and it is often a result of mould and bacteria buildup inside the machine. This is a good indication that it needs a clean. 

Follow my step-by-step guide on how to deep clean a front loader washing machine.

Have you cleaned your washing machine lately?

Check out my tips on how to clean your washing machine to improve its efficiency, remove mould, mildew and grime and any odours.

Do you have a top load washing machine? Follow these steps

Cleaning Kit

steps to clean front loader washing machine

All these step and DIY recipes can be found in my book, The Clean Home.

Please refer to your manual before proceeding and make sure your washing machine is empty before cleaning.

quick clean

  • After each wash, spritz with Kat’s Washing Machine Spray and leave the door or lid open for the machine to dry.

deep clean

  • Check for mould. Pull back the seal with your fingers behind a paper towel (or wear gloves), spray bleach onto mould. Allow bleach to sit for 5 minutes, then wipe away with a paper towel. Spray seal with cleaning spray and wipe again with paper towel to remove all bleach remnants.
  • Clean the drum. Pour 1–2 cups vinegar (depending on washer size) into the detergent dispenser, then run an empty hot temperature cycle. Alternatively, if you don’t want to use vinegar, you could use this Washing Machine Cleaner.
  • Clean seal. Spray the seal with cleaning spray and wipe away any grime build-up with a cloth. Give the seal a final spritz of washing machine spray. Leave door open to allow seal and drum to dry.
  • Clean filter and soap/fabric dispenser. Remove the lint trap or drain pump filter and soap dispenser from the washing machine. Rinse under hot water to remove built-up gunk. Fill up the laundry sink with warm soapy water. Place filter and dispenser into the sink, use a mini brush to remove trapped particles. Rinse with clean water and let sit to air-dry before returning.
  • Clean exterior. Spray the exterior with cleaning spray and cloth to remove any scuff marks. Use cleaning paste or Lemon Soda Paste for stubborn marks, wiping clean with a damp cloth.

Behind the washing machine

  • Unplug your machine and carefully pull it away from the wall.
  • Using your dustpan brush or a dry cleaning cloth, wipe away any dust sitting on the electrical cord and on the back of the machine. If dust is stuck on, carefully use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to remove it.
  • Use a broom and dustpan to sweep up the dust and dirt under the machine. Alternatively, you could use your vacuum, but more than likely it could be sticky and you don’t really want that in your vacuum. Mop the floor.
  • Once the floor is dry, move the washing machine back into place and plug it back in.

How often?

Daily – quick clean
Weekly – clean front loader seal
Monthly – deep clean
Seasonally – clean behind the machine

A dirty washing machine smells bad and can become a serious health risk. By following these simple steps, you can deep clean your front loader washing machine and keep it running smoothly. Remember to clean your machine regularly to prevent buildup and keep your clothes smelling fresh and clean. 


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As a popular blogger, influencer, and author, I draw from my expertise in home organisation, cleaning, and meal planning to offer practical tips and heartfelt encouragement to my audience.