I know this sounds pretty mundane, but appliances are expensive. I found these tips to be helpful and will be sure to leave the door open on our front loading washer. We were lucky that the previous owners left their washer and dryer here.
How to Clean a Washing Machine
By Christina Peterson
More from Good Housekeeping
In order for a washing machine to continue to keep getting your clothes clean, it needs to be kept clean itself. Here's how to keep your washer in top shape.
When a cycle's finished, remove the load promptly. This will prevent a musty smell from developing in the washtub and then being transferred to your clothes and linens.
Running a monthly cleaning cycle can eliminate any odors that do develop. Many newer models have a special washer cleaning cycle. If yours doesn't, add liquid chlorine bleach to the dispenser and run a normal cycle with hot water; or use a speciality cleaner, like Affresh or Tide Washing Machine Cleaner (following the packaging directions. If you have a front-loader, be sure to wipe the rubber gasket.
After each use, lift the lid or keep the door slightly ajar to allow air to circulate and dry out any remaining moisture. Don't forget to remove any water or fabric softener gunk from the dispenser drawers. For help on how to clean them out, check your washer's manual.
If you have a pet that sheds in the house, there's no way around it, you're going to find pet hair in your washer after running several loads. The easiest way to remove it is to leave the door open until the pet hair and drum are thoroughly dry. Then, using your vac's soft brush attachment, vacuum out the pet hair.
Don't forget to clean the exterior of your washer too. Use a soft damp cloth to wipe up spills and never use an abrasive cleanser or solvent which can scratch and damage the surface.
There is a hidden spot in your washing machine that you may have never thought to clean before —-- the inlet hose filters. You'll find them inside the water inlet connections. Their purpose is to keep minerals and debris in your water from getting inside the washer. And when they're clogged, water won't flow adequately into the machine for a wash cycle.
If your old washer has died or you want to find a more efficient model, here's the dirt on the best washing machines. Need more info on which type of washing machine you should buy? Check out our washing machine buying guide advice.
To get a firsthand look at how we tested washing machines, tour the Good Houskeeping Research Institute][/quote]
From MSN's lifestyle section