Life Love Larson: Cleaning a Top-Loading Washer


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cleaning a Top-Loading Washer

I posted about cleaning the surface of my washing machine a while back, but this time I also cleaned the inside using bleach and water.  I was totally amazed (and totally grossed out) after cleaning it!  You are going to want to go clean yours immediately!

We have had our washer and dryer for years and have not had any issues.  It’s just your standard, middle of the road Whirlpool washer/dryer and we will be keeping it for as long as it is getting the job done.  Let’s break it down…

1.  Fill washer with HOT water.  Add 1 quart of bleach (I just eyeballed as usual :).  Let agitate for a minute and lift the lid again.  Let stand for 1 hour.  Be sure to set a timer on your phone so you don’t get sidetracked (easy to do in my world :).

washer 6

washer 7

2.  After an hour, run the cycle through.  Immediately fill up the washing machine with HOT water again.  Add one quart of vinegar and agitate for 1 minute.  Lift lid and allow to sit for one hour.

While the vinegar and water is standing, use that mix to thoroughly clean the inside and outside of the washer.  This is where you will find things that gross you out!  Get out a handy dandy toothbrush and soft cloth and get into every nook and cranny of the machine.  There are a lot of them!

washer 4

I also removed the fabric softener lid and cleaned inside.  I filled up our laundry sink with some hot water and vinegar and dropped the entire piece inside.  Fabric softener gets built up and your water will look like this! 

washer 5

This is what the water looked like in the washing machine after letting the vinegar and water sit for an hour and cleaning the entire inside and outside of the washer.  Gross, right?

washer 3

3.  Let the cycle finish out and admire your sparkly clean washing machine!  Much cleaner clothes are on the horizon at the Larson’s!

washer 1

The original post I found and used to follow these steps can be found here.  Also, I know some people don’t like to use bleach in their homes.  I am sure you could probably do two cycles of the vinegar and water and your washer will still be cleaner than when you started!

In case you missed them, here are the links to a few other cleaning posts…
Cleaning a Stainless Steel Sink
How to Clean an Iron

Linking up with:


  1. This is awesome! Thanks! I will be doing this as soon as I buy more vinegar over the weekend...I pinned it, too!
    Selene @

  2. You're cleaning posts are so good!

    1. I remember you asking about this-hope this helps! Thanks for reading! :)

  3. I need to do this... I can't imagine what sort of sludge might come floating up!


    1. I never really thought to clean a machine that cleans our clothes! Guess I know now!!

  4. Andrea - this is great advice. I attempted to clean our washing machine the other weekend and after an hour, I was frustrated and just gave up. Isn't it ironic that the appliance which is supposed to wash our clothes and keep us clean gets this cruddy and dirty. TGIF! ~ Holly

  5. Thanks for the tip! This will definitely come in handy.

  6. I pretty much use this method to clean my front loader. I found you via It's Overflowing. I would love it if you visited my cleaning tips blog.


  7. I've done this once - I know, you think "I'm washing our CLOTHES in this?" It's amazing at the lint build up that occurs, which then gets MOLDY, and results in that not-so-clean smell, and you think "But I just washed this..." We had a washer for about 12 years - no problem (other than that funny smell) then it leaked. Hubby took it apart to fix it and I was horrified at the molded lint that was in the outter tub. Got a new one the next day!

  8. Thanks! I'm doing this immediately!

  9. Thanks! It's amazing how dirty these things get!

  10. These methods of pressure cleaning could be highly risky as they involve high heat and perilous chemicals. Therefore, extra precaution is to be taken while making use of these methods. It is wise to hire professional or trained personnel to do this job for you. Using these pressure cleaning methods require a lot of practice in order to avoid any kind of harm or damage.