Is cleaning your washing machine important? It certainly is! The inside of your washing machine is constantly being subjected to dirty water, mineral deposits, detergent deposits, and if you launder cloth diapers it is especially important to keep your machine clean and in tip-top condition. Much like dishwashers, sinks and bathtubs get dirty even though they are meant to clean things, your washing machine can become a mess in no time. Though, most dirt and soil is washed out with the water, dirt, soap residue and other unidentifiable grungy objects can be left behind and you actually have to get rid of this dirt yourself. Every time you wash your clothes, hard water and detergents cause build up to accumulate also, inside the tub, pump and hoses. This build-up reduces the ability of your washing machine to perform and mineral build-up can be abrasive to your cloths and diapers you are washing, causing them to wear faster. Cleaning your washing machine eliminates these problems.
First, run a cycle of hot water along with two cups of vinegar or lemon juice to loosen up soap and grime. Remove the fabric softener receptacle and soak it in hot water and detergent. Clean the bleach dispenser with a spray cleaner and paper towels and Q-tips. Donâ€™t forget to clean the top rim of the wash bucket as it is up and under where it canâ€™t usually be seen easily and becomes dirty. Run the washer empty on a hot cycle one more time.
While this is going on you check all your hoses for leaks. Over time, the water hoses that came with your washing machine may leak or burst. It’s a good preventive maintenance practice to check these hoses from time to time for any sign of wear or weakness. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the hoses every 5 years. Make sure your hoses are not a disaster waiting to occur!
Once youâ€™ve soaked the fabric softener receptacle, replace it and polish up the outside of your washing machine with vinegar and a cloth towel. Your washing machine now looks better and will run better as well!
Tiffany Washko is president of Jelly Bean Diapers – a cloth diaper manufacturing company, The Diaper Jungle, http://www.diaperjungle.com and Nature Moms, http://www.naturemoms.com.
After working several years in corporate healthcare marketing and public relations, she took time away to be a mother. This new pursuit lead her to a new passion, helping new moms make the decision to return to the basics and use cloth diapers.