How to Clean a Washing Machine {top loader}

Today I’m giving you two quick ways for how to clean a washing machine. I have written 2 posts about cleaning your washing machine, and they are both listed below.

Step 1
To clean the barrel of your washing machine click HERE for the full tutorial.


Step 2
To detail the inside pieces of your machine click HERE for the full tutorial. You will be amazed at what you find inside your machine!
I still get a lot of emails with readers asking me how to clean front-loading washing machines.  Here is my answer to that: I don’t have a front loading machine (obviously) but if I did I would use the same steps to clean my washer but instead of putting the vinegar, and then the bleach, directly in the tub, put it in the detergent dispenser. I told a couple friends, with front loading washers, to try it this way and it worked well for them.

An important thing to note on this task is to make sure the washing machine is well rinsed between the vinegar and bleach cycles.  The combination of those two liquids can be very dangerous.  If you prefer not to use bleach use baking soda instead.

Have fun washing the washing machine!  You’ll be surprised by the transformation!

More washing machine posts!

How to Clean a Washing Machine

About the Author

"Hi I'm Anna! Welcome to Ask Anna where I love to answer your household questions! I have always loved to clean, organize and decorate and this blog is a fun way for me to help you love it too! I am a busy mom of a beautiful little girl and I'm married to the love of my life. Together we fill our days with projects , laughter and love. I serve an incredible God and overall I'd say I'm truly blessed!"

Leave a Comment



  1. I LOVE this website, and I really want to clean my washing machine, but when I click on “Part 1” and “Part 2,” it doesn’t take me to the right pages. It takes me to the dishwasher page, and I was wondering if I am clicking something wrong? Thanks for the help:)

  2. Anna ~

    It’s the combination of BLEACH and AMMONIA that releases CHLORINE gas, not vinegar. Do NOT combine bleach and ammonia or the results will damage the lining of your lungs. Vinegar, however, can be combined with any other chemical compound without any adverse effects!

    Great article!!!

  3. Additionally, I would add that using HOT water to fill up the washing machine’s tub works much better than warm or cold water.

    Thanks for a groovy website!!!

  4. Nichole Wright says:

    Would you recommend using Tea Tree Oil instead of bleach for the second step? I’m not a bleach person, but I do want to make sure I get all the mold, mildew, and excess bacteria from my washing machine. How many drops would you suggest I add to my drum/tub full of water? Let it soak for an hour just them same, and then rinse?

  5. Flo Gilkey says:

    Hi Anna,
    I just purchased a HE washer. So what do I do withe all my detergent that is not HE? Please don,t suggest I throw it away. Can I use smaller amounts, or do I have to rinse after each wash,etc?
    I look forward to your input.

    • I would give it to a friend that doesn’t have an HE washer. :) If you don’t want to do that, if it’s a powder detergent, I’d just add water to the scoop (right before you put it in the washer) to make it a liquid form.