How to Clean Your Front Load Washing Machine

How to Clean Your Front Load Washing Machine. Front load washing machines are a great way to get your clothes clean, while also saving energy and water. But one major problem many high-efficiency washer owners find is that they can quickly start to smell if not properly maintained. Luckily, there are a few simple measures you can take to avoid those nasty smells and ensure your clothes stay fresh and clean every time you wash. Learn how to clean your front load washing machine and keep it fresh and sweet smelling!


Front load washing machines are a great way to get your clothes clean, while also saving energy and water. But one major problem many high-efficiency washer owners find is that they can quickly start to smell if not properly maintained. Luckily, there are a few simple measures you can take to avoid those nasty smells and ensure your clothes stay fresh and clean every time you wash. Learn how to clean your front load washing machine and keep it fresh and sweet smelling!

How to Clean Your Front Load Washing Machine

Why Your Washer Smells

Before we dive into how to keep your front-loading washing machine clean, let’s talk a little bit about why they stink in the first place. High-efficiency washers use less water and energy than standard washers, which is great for your utility bills, but not so great for the cleanliness inside the machine. Less water means that there is a bigger opportunity for detergent resident, mildew, and hard water deposits to build up inside the machine. That buildup can result in foul smells inside the washer. And those nasty scents can be transferred to your clothing as you wash if you are not careful.

To keep your washing machine for getting gross, follow these simple steps. This process will help ensure each part of your washer is sparkling clean, so you never have to get a whiff of mold and mildew inside your washing machine again.

How to Clean Your Front Load Washing Machine Notes and Warnings:

Read your washing machine manual before you do any of the listed ideas below. My old Miele washer and my current Asko washer have a “do not use bleach” caveat, and so I never use bleach when laundering or to clean the washer (the water was almost boiling, so things get killed and cleaned very well). Other washing machines may have different cleaning warnings. So, before you begin, read the manual! Also, my Asko actually has a “drum cleaning” setting. If your washer does, that may be enough for you!

Wash with Vinegar

The first step to properly cleaning your front load washing machine is the probably the easiest – run a wash cycle with vinegar. Vinegar is a “natural disinfectant”, making it a great option for cleaning your front-loading washing machine. It will also help deodorize your washer, working to remove some of the foul smells coming from inside the washing machine’s drum.

Start by making sure the inside of your machine is completely empty. Then add two cups of vinegar to the detergent tray and select your washer’s clean cycle or tub clean setting. If your washer does not have a cleaning cycle, you can also select the hottest setting for the largest load. Allow your washing machine to run through the cycle completely (both wash and rinse).

After you have finished washing with vinegar run another quick rinse cycle to ensure that all the residue and any lingering vinegar is washed away from inside your washing machine’s drum.

Note: I know a lot of people that use vinegar in the rinse cycle instead of fabric softener. I do it myself fairly often for towels if they are not being bleached.

Wash with Bleach

While vinegar is great for disinfecting and deodorizing, tough odors and mildew inside your washing machine will probably need a stronger disinfectant to do the job. Bleach is the perfect option for cleaning your washing machine of hidden mold and mildew. By using bleach in the tray of your washing machine, you are not only helping to disinfect and deodorize the tray, but it will also help remove stains and germs in your washing machine’s drum, as well.

To wash your washer with bleach, add two cups of bleach to the machine’s detergent tray (note: do not overload. If your tray cannot take that much bleach (mine cannot), use the maximum recommended amount). Then run your washing machine on the clean cycle (or hottest and largest setting if your machine doesn’t have a clean cycle). Be sure to allow your washer to run through a complete cycle with a completely empty wash tub.

After you have finished both the wash cycle with bleach, run another quick rinse cycle to ensure that all the residue and any lingering bleach is washed away from inside your washing machine’s drum.

Wash the Detergent Tray

The easiest way to “clean” the detergent tray is to not allow for soap, fabric softener, or non-fabric bleach build-up. Clean as you go.

To keep smells at bay, not only should you leave your washer door open in between cycles, but you should keep your tray open. Ever notice some water left behind? If you open your tray, that will evaporate – instead of breeding smells in a closed tray!

The detergent tray of your front load washing machine has a lot of different liquids running through it every time you run your washer, which means it can be a place for mold and mildew to hide. A great way to ensure your detergent tray stays fresh and mildew-free is to clean inside it and all its components on a regular basis.

Start by removing the bleach dispenser, detergent dispenser, and fabric softener dispenser trays and soak them in warm, soapy water for a few minutes. While your trays are soaking, use a damp washcloth or sponge to wipe down the inside of your detergent tray. Be sure to reach into the back of the tray to wipe away any mold or mildew you cannot easily see. Finish by washing each of the trays, drying them and placing them back into the detergent tray.

Clean the Door

The door and door seal of your front-loading washing machine can get dirty very quickly, so it is important to take the time to clean it as often as possible. Start by creating a bleach solution by pouring one cup of liquid bleach into one gallon of warm water. Use a clean, lint-free cloth to wipe down the glass part of the door with your bleach solution.

The next step to cleaning your washing machine’s door is probably the most important – the rubber seal. This seal helps keep water from leaking out of your machine during the wash and rinse cycles, which is an important job, but it can also be a place where mold and mildew can hide if you do not keep it clean.

To keep your door’s seal fresh, pull it back (but do not dislodge it) and wipe the gunk inside with your bleach solution. Then, take another dry cloth to the seal and wipe again to remove additional moisture from inside and avoid more mildew or mold from growing in the space.

Clean the Gasket

Your washing machine’s gasket is the most likely place mold and mildew are hiding inside your front load washing machine. The gasket is the rubber section located between the door and the washer’s drum. And I bet it will be the grossest part of the machine you will clean – you probably have no idea how dirty it even is! To see the grime inside your washer’s gasket, pull back the rubber seal (but do not dislodge it) and take a peek inside the deep crevice between the gasket and the drum.

To clean this yucky part of your front load washing machine, dip a lint-free cleaning cloth into your bleach solution and wipe all around the inside of the seal. Make sure you really soak the space with bleach to help the cleaning solution do its job. Let the bleach soak into the area for five to 10 minutes by leaving the door to your washing machine open. This will give the solution a chance to kill mold and mildew inside the gasket and let the water soak into any stuck-on grime. Then, use a dry cloth to wipe away the cleaning solution and residue that it loosened during the soak.

Clean the Exterior

While the interior of your front load washing machine is probably the source of any foul odors coming from your washer, it is always a good idea to keep the exterior of your appliance clean as well. To clean the exterior of your washing machine, spray a cleaning solution along the top, front, and sides of your machine and wipe away any dust or detergent resident with a damp cloth or sponge. Finish by spraying a glass cleaner on the window and wipe away with a lint-free cloth or paper towel.

Air Dry

The final step to cleaning your front load washing machine is to allow the appliance to air dry completely before using it. Simply leave the machine’s door open for a few hours or overnight to give the machine time to dry completely before you wash another load inside your clean washing machine. In fact, is a good idea to keep your machine’s door open after each use to allow it to air dry after each cycle. This will help prevent mold and mildew from building up inside and make deep cleaning your machine easier next time!

Note: None of this is meant as medical advice. I am not a doctor and do not play one on the internet. Please consult a physician if you have any questions about using bleach or vinegar so your doctor can better explain to you the benefits, possible side effects, and any warnings about bleach or vinegar.

If you are interested in more cleaning tips and ideas, be certain to read these informative cleaning posts:

15 DIY cleaning formulas to make yourself and use in your home – Homemade cleaning formulas are some of the easiest “recipes” you will ever make! Many DIY cleaning formulas work as well, or better than, commercially made cleaning products. Here are some homemade cleaning products for the kitchen, bath – the entire home!

10 Things in Your Kitchen You Are Probably Not Cleaning Correctly – 10 Tips and tricks as well as great instructions for cleaning things in your kitchen – which will not only help limit the potential for nasty bacteria but will leave everything looking and smelling wonderfully fresh. These cleaning solutions will help you deep clean your kitchen one step at a time!

10 Tips For Hiring a House Cleaning Service – I’ve had a cleaning service for over 10 years now, both at home in New York and in our other residences in Utah and Florida. I’ve learned a lot about the dos and don’s of hiring a cleaning service, and what to expect once you have hired one. These are my tips on what you should know and consider before hiring someone to clean your home!


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15 Beautiful Pier 1 Imports Products You Can Buy on Amazon

Pier 1 Imports is a great place to find tons of unique decorative items for your home. And if you are a fan of this fun home store, I have great news for you! You can now buy a variety of amazing Pier 1 products on Amazon thanks to their new Amazon shop.


Pier 1 Imports is a great place to find tons of unique decorative items for your home. And if you are a fan of this fun home store, I have great news for you! You can now buy a variety of amazing Pier 1 products on Amazon thanks to their new Amazon shop.

15 Beautiful Pier 1 Imports Products You Can Buy on Amazon

I looooooove Pier 1. Like love, love, love Pier 1 Imports. So much so, that I try to stay out of the place because every trip is a few hundred dollars out of my pocket. Now, sometimes ya gotta do whatcha gotta do, but other times you just like to buy trendy and cute Pier 1 products for a specific reason – such as a season, event, or holiday – and not get distracted by all pretty shiny objects.

And Pier 1 has a whole lotta pretty shiny objects.

Luckily, Pier 1 Imports now has an Amazon shop!! Here are some fabulous Pier 1 products you can now purchase on Amazon:


1. Antiqued Vanity

Featuring a beautiful antiqued white finish and gentle distressing, this pretty antiqued vanity is the perfect piece of furniture for your bedroom. In addition to a handy tilting mirror, this amazing piece of Pier 1 furniture also includes three drawers for plenty of storage.


2. Tufted Ottoman

This amazing leather tufted ottoman can serve a variety of purposes in any room. Whether you use it to rest your feet as you read the morning paper or as a coffee table in a small room, you’ll love the classic look it adds to your home. And with built-in storage, this simple piece of furniture does double duty anywhere you put it!


3. Espresso Mug Set

This fun set of stacking espresso mugs is both functional and stylish. This espresso mug set includes six demitasse cups and six complementary saucers, all in beautiful bright colors, in addition to a handy stand. The cups easily stack together, making it simple to store them or display them on your kitchen counter. This lovely set would make a great addition to your kitchen’s décor – they’re the perfect way to add a pop of color to the room – or a thoughtful gift to give your coffee-loving friend. Either way, they’re an amazing Pier 1 product that you can find on Amazon!


4. Blue Office Desk

For a stylish addition to your home office, consider ordering this beautiful blue office desk from Pier 1 on Amazon. The lovely sky blue finish and pretty curved cabriole legs make this unique table an amazing way to add some visual interest to your boring office décor.


5. Magnolia Floral Curtains

Pier 1 Imports is well known for its unique home décor finds. These beautiful floral curtains are another one of those awesome home décor offerings from Pier 1 that you can find on Amazon. These lovely curtain panels feature a classic floral pattern makes a dramatic statement without wandering too far outside the traditional realm They’re the perfect way to add some visual appeal to any room! These unique curtains are lined and have easy-to-hang grommet top construction. Machine washable. You’ll love the way they finish your room and give it a polished look.


6. Accent Table

I just love this adorable black accent table from Pier 1. The stylish tapered legs and overhanging top make it a beautiful decorative piece and the useful drawer on the bottom makes it wonderful for storage, as well.


7. Chalkboard Label Basket

With a handy chalkboard label, this beautiful wicker basket is a great way to keep your home organized. Whether you set on your coffee table or order a few to organize your playroom, this chalkboard label basket will keep any room organized in style.


8. White Duvet Cover

You can never go wrong with classic white, which is why this beautiful white duvet cover from Pier 1 is a great option for your master bedroom. Constructed of 100% cotton, this lovely ruched duvet cover features a pattern of flowers on a field of diamonds, all in crisp white. This interesting ruching design adds visual appeal to the classic white comforter, making it anything but boring. Whether you choose to use this pretty duvet cover as your everyday comforter or fold it up at the end of your bed to save for special occasions, you’ll love the stylish look it will instantly give your bedroom.


9. Modern Windchimes

These beautiful windchimes will instantly turn your porch or garden into a relaxing retreat, creating a wonderful ambiance in any outdoor space. The soothing sound these modern windchimes make as the breeze blows through them is just one of the many reasons to add them to your Amazon cart. You’ll also love the modern combination of black metal with rustic brown wood – making them a great option for any farmhouse style front porch.


10. Fuzzy Bean Bag Chair

How’s this for fun in a kid’s room, family room, or playroom? This cozy, chocolaty, fuzzy, faux-furry little number is sure to be a great place to read a book, watch TV, or decompress after a tough day at school or work.


11. Hand-Woven Shelf Storage Basket

Pier 1 does baskets right! This hand-woven faux-rattan basket will help you keep chaos at bay. It is as functional as it is lovely. The Pier 1 Amazon shop has many different baskets to fit your organizational needs stylishly, so be sure to check them out at this link!


12. Bennington Wooden & Metal Handle Cheeseboard Serving Board Tray

Throwing a party!? This beautiful Bennington Wooden & Metal Handle Cheeseboard Serving Board Tray is crafted of mango wood with aluminum accents, this ensemble hits just the right notes at all your parties and gatherings!


13. Neutral Tan Chenille Seed Stitch Throw Blanket

This super soft, luxurious chenille throw not only feels great to cuddle up with but looks fabulous when drafted over a chair, sofa, ottoman, or the foot of your bed. This decorative throw is more than that – cuddle up with this little softy when watching TV, snuggling by the fire, or reading your favorite book.


14. Hurricane Candle Holder

I have Hurricane Candle Holders on my teacart, and in my dining room. They are a taste of old-world elegance and timeless décor. This particular hurricane candle holder is listed as safe for indoors or covered outdoor patios!


15. Alona Moss Green 4×6 Indoor or Outdoor Patio Hand-Woven Rug

Don’t forget the floor! We actually use a stylish indoor-outdoor rug under our kitchen table. They seem to be long lasting – we are only on our second one in 13+ years, and you know how much wear and tear a kitchen rug gets from sliding the chairs back and forth alone. I’d encourage anyone would want a rug for under their kitchen table to explore the indoor-outdoor rug route.

Note: One tip is do not hesitate to purchase if you see something on Pier 1’s Amazon store that you want. The stock sells out fairly quickly.

Looking for gift guides? You might enjoy these tips:

15 Fun and Useful Gifts for Wine Lovers – There are so many fun and useful gifts for wine lovers that it is hard to choose just one. If you or someone you love is in a deep, committed relationship with vino, you really must check out these awesome products!

15 Must-Have Brunch Items – They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Personally, I think that while breakfast is great, brunch is even better!! The food is similar, but with brunch, you can get away with drinking delicious things like Mimosas or a Bloody Mary! Yum!

15 Wonderful Ways to Give the Gift of Chocolate – From tantalizing candies to ways to serve up melted and creamy chocolatey goodness, there are all kinds of decadence happening on the list below. If you are a chocoholic (like I am) you are going to love these chocolate gift ideas!


Disclosure the links in this post may be affiliate links.

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10 Things in Your Kitchen You Are Probably Not Cleaning Correctly

cleaning supplies and blue bucket on a white surface


10 Tips and tricks as well as great instructions for cleaning things in your kitchen – which will not only help limit the potential for nasty bacteria but will leave everything looking and smelling wonderfully fresh. These cleaning solutions will help you deep clean your kitchen one step at a time!

10 Things in Your Kitchen You Are Probably Not Cleaning Correctly

You may be surprised to know that up to 80% of all foodborne illnesses come from your home kitchen. Terrifying! Even when your kitchen looks as though it is sparkling clean, it may not be the safe space you think it is.

My list of 10 things in your kitchen you are probably not cleaning correctly – and how to clean them properly!

sponges on white surface


1. Your kitchen sponge. Dr. Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, found that kitchen sponges (and dishcloths) can be as much as 200,000 dirtier than a toilet seat.

Can you even believe it?

Because sponges are porous and wet, they are ground zero for some of the most dangerous bacteria that make humans sick.

E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enteritidis, and Campylobacter jejuni are very happy living in your kitchen sponges. You can click the links to see what each of those bacteria will cause in humans, or you can take my word for it when I tell you that, simply put, it’s not pretty.

Because of the awful illnesses, dirty sponges can cause, the USDA did a study to find effective methods to clean kitchen sponges. Here are the two they recommend.

After using your sponge place it in a microwave for 1 minute at full power.
When you are doing your dishes, pop your sponge on the top rack for the full wash and drying cycles.

Either will work and help keep your kitchen safe.

2. Kitchen sink. If you are a family of meat eaters, your sink is likely coated in invisible E. coli, salmonella, viruses and sadly, even parasites.

To properly clean and sanitize your kitchen sink, start by using a damp towel with baking soda or a product that will not scratch such as Bar Keepers Friend to clean away any stains.

Next, plug the sink, add warm water to fill it and approximately 1 TBSP of bleach per gallon of water. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Use vinegar to rub away any water spots.

two wooden cutting boards on white surface


3. Wooden cutting boards. A good quality wooden cutting board will last for many years if you take care of it.

First, wash the wooden cutting board with hot water and a little soap on a sponge. The important thing here is to use soap and water, especially in the spots of the cutting board that have indentations from knives.

Next, combine a solution of half cleaning vinegar and half water, soak a cloth in it and thoroughly wipe your board down.

Make certain you dry it off afterward or the wood will swell and warp.

Repeat this process every time you use a cutting board.

can opener and paper towel


can opener and wire brush


4. Can openers. Whether you have an electric can opener or a manual one, you should be cleaning it after every use. Hubby said that health inspectors inspect them first in restaurant kitchens as they are most likely to be gunked up and gross.

Again, cleaning vinegar to the rescue!

Wipe the can opener thoroughly with cleaning vinegar and then take a clean toothbrush or small wire brush to scrub it a bit – do not forget the wheel as that is where the gunk collects. If the can opener is electric pop off the arm that holds the can and soak it until it is clean.

If you have a manual can opener you can slowly run a paper towel next to the wheel as you turn the wheel. If your can opener has gunk on the wheel, it will come off on the paper towel. After that proceed to clean with cleaning vinegar and then take a clean toothbrush or small wire brush.

two stainless steel Jenn-Air stoves


5 The glass of an oven door. Warm up the oven just a bit. While you do not want the oven to be 450 degrees it will be easier to clean if the door is a bit warm (try 200 degrees). Turn off the oven before cleaning the glass door.

Using a damp cloth, wipe the glass and sprinkle it with Bar Keepers Friend. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Get your cloth damp again and begin working in circular motions to clean it. You will repeat wetting your cloth as needed until you have finished removing all the Bar Keepers Friend and dirt and grime.

Using a dampened clean cloth you can wipe away all the residue.

If you have a glass stovetop (we did in Florida, electric only, no gas) and there is a stubborn stain on your glass stove top, start by rubbing the spot in a circular motion with a silicone spatula. That will help loosen the grime and lighten the stain.

Cover the stovetop with a paste of 1 TBSP distilled vinegar and 4 TBSP of baking soda. Let it sit for a few minutes. Rub it with a soft cloth, and then use a clean, wet cloth to remove the residue.

2 slot stainless steel toaster


6. The inside of a toaster. Unplug the toaster (always unplug all electrical appliances before cleaning!), pull out and empty the bottom crumb tray. Use a clean “scrubbie” with a little Dawn, and start scrubbing. Rinse away the soap and let it completely dry.

Use a clean toothbrush to gently get rid of the crumbs and little pieces of burnt bread on the heating elements inside the toaster. Turn the whole thing upside down over your trash can and shake it if your toaster does not have a removable crumb tray or pop-open bottom.

7. Granite countertops. If you are wiping them down with soap and water, that is great. However, they also need to be disinfected.

Keep a spray bottle that is filled with equal parts isopropyl alcohol and water at the ready. Spray the countertops, let the solution sit for 5 minutes, and then wipe them down with a microfiber cloth.

stainless steel fridge and stainless steel freezer


stainless steel fridge and stainless steel freezer


8. Stainless steel appliances. They are so, so pretty when they are shining, but between fingerprints and streaking, they can be a bit of a problem to keep clean.

Depending on the age of your stainless steel appliances, a Dawn dish soap and water solution may be all you need. My newest stainless steel appliances are only to be cleaned with a mixture of Dawn and water as per manufacturer instructions. I wipe the solution off with a cloth diaper (cloth diapers make the BEST cleaning rags!), rinse with clear water, and buff. Done!

Now on old stainless steel appliances… that is a bit trickier. In my household we use Stainless Steel Magic. It is the only thing I have found that does not leave streaks provided a “wax-on, wax-off” motion is used. My fridge and my freezer are older units (15 years old) so build up does occur every 12-18 months. At that point I strip it with full strength cleaning vinegar and start the Stainless Steel Magic again.

9. Dishwasher. Dishwashers are the best thing to happen to kitchens since the electric stove! They work hard for us and deserve their own cleaning a couple times a month to keep them in optimal working order.

Remove the food trap, empty it, soak it, and scrub it if necessary. If you are not sure where your dishwasher trap is or how to remove it, a quick YouTube search will help (that was how I found mine on my old dishwasher after the instruction booklet went missing!)

Fill the dishwasher dispenser with a packet of sugar-free lemon Kool-Aid or some citric acid. Run a full cycle.

10. Refrigerator. Take everything out including all the removable parts of your fridge. Wash them in hot, soapy water and leave them to dry while you are cleaning the rest of the fridge.

Using a spray bottle filled with half cleaning vinegar and half water, generously spray the inside and wipe down with paper towels. If there are sticky or stubborn places, dip a half lemon in some baking soda, scrub and wipe away the residue. It will be sparkling clean and smell super fresh.

Those are my 10 tips for cleaning your kitchen. Did I miss some great kitchen cleaning tips you wouldn’t mind sharing? I would love it if you’d comment and tell me what they are.

Note: None of this is meant as medical advice. I am not a doctor and do not play one on the internet. Please consult a physician if you have any questions about using cleaning products and disinfectants so your doctor can better explain to you the benefits, possible side effects, and any warnings about cleaning products and disinfectants.

If you are looking for more cleaning tips (tricks, hacks, whatever word you would like to use), check out these posts:

Twice a Year Cleaning Secret For Sparkling Shower Doors

15 DIY Cleaning Formulas to Make and Use at Home

Spring Cleaning Tips

10 Tips For Hiring a House Cleaning Service


Disclosure: the links in this post may be affiliate links.

• For more Library Reading posts on Ann’s Entitled Life, click here.

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