How I Keep My Washing Machine Clean

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by affresh®.

Back in our pre-child days, Finn and I each did one load of laundry a week. It was a super easy chore for us both. In fact, I never really understood why people would complain about doing laundry. I mean, it’s not that hard, right? Now that Rory is here, I know better. We probably do at least two or three loads per day! I don’t understand how such a tiny person can make such a huge pile of dirty laundry day in and day out!Laundry room organization

I’m so happy that we revamped our laundry room late last year and added new Maytag® appliances because we’re now in that room all.the.time. Since we’re doing so much laundry these days and our machines are constantly in use, I wanted to share my tips to clean a front-load washing machine. I know some people are worried about front-load machines because they’ve heard horror stories about them starting to smell a little funky. I’m here to tell you that with the proper cleaning regimen, you can avoid that!

Tips to Clean your Washing MachineTips to clean a front load washing machine

It’s so important to clean the thing that cleans. If you don’t clean your washing machine (or dishwasher for that matter), how is it supposed to clean the items you put in it? Over time, soap scum, dirt, lint, and fabric softener residue can start building up inside your washing machine. Gross! If you don’t take care of it, then you’ll get that dreaded odor in your laundry room and on your clothes. Here are the tasks I do regularly to prevent that.

Leave the Door & Drawer Open Open the door and drawer on your washing machine after every use

After every wash, I always always always keep the door open! If you close the door, that moisture stays in there and the washing machine doesn’t air out. Whenever I put the clothes in the dryer, I’ll leave the washing machine door open and also pull the detergent drawer out so it airs out too. Open the drawer on your front load washing machineAfter a few hours, they’re usually dry and I can close them, but let’s be honest, it’s usually time for another load of laundry anyway.

Use affresh® Washing Machine Cleaner MonthlyAffresh cleaning tablets

Once a month, I give the washing machine a good clean using affresh® tablets. These little tablets are pretty magical. They work to break up the dirt and residue inside the washing machine and dissolve slowly throughout the entire wash cycle. Put the affresh tablet in the washing machineThese work for all models…top-load and front-load washers. So they’re not specific to the machine we have.Put the affresh tablet directly in the washing machine

To use, you simply put the tablet in the empty washing machine  – not in the dispenser, but in the actual machine where you put the dirty clothes.Maytag appliances

My Maytag® washing machine actually has a “Clean Washer with affresh®” cycle! If yours doesn’t, that’s a-okay. Just read the back of the packet and follow the directions to use the correct cycle and temperature.

I throw in the tablet, use the clean washer cycle, and an hour and a half later my washing machine is so.much. better!

Clean the Door SealWash the seal of your washing machine

Once the cycle with affresh® washing machine cleaner is done, I take a rag and wipe down the inside of the door seal. This is a good spot to wipe down regularly – at least monthly, but after every use is even better! Residue can build up in here and moisture can accumulate. So simply take a rag (or even affresh® washing machine wipes), pull the seal open, and get on in there!Wipe down the door

The cleaning cycle will leave some moisture on the front door of the washing machine. Take a dry rag and wipe that front door down. The water will work to clean the door and it will be left dry and streak-free.

Take Out the DrawerTips to clean your front load washing machine

If you forget to open the dispenser drawer after everyday washes (guilty!), you’ll want to take it out and give it a thorough cleaning once a month. On my machine, I just push a button and I can get the entire drawer out. I then use a rag to wipe it down and a little brush to get in the crevices. It’s all about removing any moisture and soap scum before it turns into a bigger problem. Once it’s dry, I pop it back in!

Set a Monthly ReminderCleaning my washing machine

I live and die by my online calendar, so I have a monthly event on there that says “clean washing machine”. I have it set from now until the end of time (ha!), so I always remember to complete this task. If it’s on my calendar, then it’s gonna get done! Find a way to remind yourself to do this monthly. Your clothes, and nose, will thank you!

Clean Other AppliancesOther affresh products for cleaning appliances

Right now, we don’t have a kitchen, but when we do, we also clean the appliances monthly. We use affresh tablets for both our garbage disposal and our dishwasher. Finn is a big fan of the garbage disposal affresh tablets because it bubbles up and makes a big foam in the sink. Highly entertaining!

We’re getting a new dishwasher and garbage disposal in the kitchen space, and I’m determined to make sure we keep them clean and fresh from the start. Regular maintenance with affresh tablets will definitely be happening in our new kitchen!

Get Cleaning!

How to clean your washing machine

Now, I’ve gotta know. Have you been regularly cleaning your washing machine? It’s okay if you haven’t been keeping up with it, but now is the time to start! It’s such a simple process and your laundry room and clothing will smell much better with these simple steps.

Oh, and anyone else catch the spit-up on my shirt in the picture above? Looks like there’s even more laundry in my future…

tips to clean a front-load washing machine


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.