How to clean your washing machine without chemicals

Your washing machine might do a great job of cleaning your clothes, but it won’t clean itself. Grime, mildew and limescale can build up with every load, leading to smells that you don’t want anywhere near your wardrobe.

Cleaning with bleach and other chemicals might not be the best idea either. If they linger in your machine, they’ll get on your clothes and then onto your skin – not to mention their effect on the environment. So use these steps to clean your washing machine without the chemicals.

1.     Clean the drawer and any removable parts

The drawer that holds fabric softener and washing powder is often forgotten when it comes to cleaning your washing machine, but it can be just as grimy as the drum.

Start by removing the drawer (and any other knobs and buttons that come off easily) and soaking them in vinegar for a couple of minutes. Then use the rough side of a sponge or an old toothbrush to clear away any mould and mildew before rinsing everything under warm water and putting them back on your machine.

2.     Clean the drum and hidden insides

Next it’s time to clean the main part of your machine – the drum and all the hidden pipework where most of the dirt and limescale builds up.

Start with the door seal as this is where you’ll find most grime. Pour a little vinegar into the gap in the seal, add some bicarbonate of soda and use a cloth to wipe this mixture around the rubber.

Now put 400ml of vinegar into the drum of your machine and 50g bicarbonate of soda into the drawer before turning your machine onto its hottest wash.

washing machine drum

3.     Clean the outside for a pristine finish

While your washing machine does the hard work cleaning the inside, you can make sure the outside looks as good as new.

You can make a great chemical-free kitchen cleaner by mixing orange peel, salt, vinegar and water and leaving it to sit for a couple of weeks. With this great-smelling and environmentally friendly cleaner you can simply wipe down the outside of your machine with a cloth, using an old toothbrush to get at any stubborn grime.

Cleaning your washing machine like this regularly will help keep it performing at its best for longer. If you want more tips on prolonging the life of your kitchen appliances, check out this article.