How to Clean Front Load Washer

For many, the front-load washer is a reliable and efficient workhorse in our daily lives, providing us with fresh, clean clothes. The importance of regularly cleaning this appliance, however, is often overlooked. This oversight can lead to issues such as unpleasant odors, reduced performance, or even breakdowns. Contrary to what many believe, the cleaning process of a front load washer is different from that of a top load washer, as the two designs present unique challenges and require a unique approach to maintenance. If you notice that your clothes are coming out of the washer without any fresh smell, it is a clear indication of a washer in desperate need of deep cleaning. The goal of this article is to provide a comprehensive guide on how to clean a front load washer effectively, extend its lifespan, and ensure your laundry always comes out smelling as fresh as a daisy. 


In this article, we’ll cover: 

How Often to Clean a Front Load Washer 

We trust the washer with our most cherished clothing items and expect it to perform optimally day in and day out. However, like any other piece of machinery, a washer requires consistent maintenance to maintain its efficiency. And central to this ongoing maintenance is following a regular cleaning routine. Neglecting this simple routine task can lead to a buildup of residue and a host of problems.  

Now, one might wonder how often is “regular” when it comes to cleaning a front load washer. As a rule of thumb, it's recommended to clean your machine at least once a month. You should note that this frequency might vary depending on your usage and water quality. For instance, those who use their washers heavily or live in areas with hard water may need to clean their machines more frequently. Regular cleaning in such cases goes a long way in preventing the build-up of hard water minerals and detergent residue. On the other hand, those who use their washers moderately can stick to the once-a-month cleaning schedule.  

Despite the regularity of these monthly cleanings, they are often light and superficial, tackling only the visible dirt and grime. The real challenge lies in the areas unseen, where mold and mildew can flourish, leading to unpleasant odors and a potential decline in machine performance. Therefore, it is essential to schedule a deep cleaning every three to six months, depending on your usage. During this deep cleaning, particular attention should be given to hidden areas, such as the rubber gaskets and the detergent drawer, to eliminate any hidden mold and mildew. This comprehensive cleaning approach ensures that your front load washer stays in top shape, delivering fresh, clean clothes every time. 

Cleaning Supplies for Cleaning a Front Load Washer 

The cleaning process of a front-load washer, while not complicated, can become significantly easier and more effective with the right cleaning supplies. It's about working smarter, not harder, to keep your washer performing optimally. The real game-changer is the time you save by using targeted products, specially designed to address the typical challenges of washer maintenance, such as hard water residue, detergent build-up, and mold growth.  

It is better to use natural and safe ingredients instead of harsh chemicals expecting magical results. Harsh or abrasive cleaning ingredients can damage the interior of your washer and cause faster build-up. This is where household supplies which are common in almost every kitchen can work wonders. In addition to these household staples, a commercial washer cleaner can be an excellent addition to your cleaning toolkit. These cleaners, available in various forms, from powders to tablets, are designed to penetrate and dissolve residue that can accumulate over time.  

However, always check the manufacturer's guide or user manual before proceeding with the deep cleaning to prevent any kind of damage to your washer. Some washers might be designed for specific cleaning ingredients so we recommend referring to the manual. Now, let's explore the top three cleaning aids for a front-load washer.  

Supply 1. Baking Soda: This versatile kitchen ingredient works wonders for deodorizing and scrubbing away stubborn residue inside your washer.  

Supply 2. White Vinegar: Known for its disinfectant properties, it is used for eliminating mold and mildew in the washer.  

Supply 3. Commercial Washer Cleaner: Specially designed to break down residue, these cleaners are great for monthly deep cleans.  

How to Clean a Front Load Washer: Step-by-Step Guide  

Contrary to popular belief, cleaning a front-load washer is a simple task. In fact, with the right guide, it's a straightforward process that can be easily carried out by anyone, irrespective of their technical know-how. The seeming complexity of the task often deters many from attempting it, allowing residue and grime to build up over time. But worry not, this step-by-step guide aims to demystify the process, providing an easy-to-follow guide that will help you maintain your washer in its best condition and without wasting any unnecessary time or effort.  

Having a step-by-step guide is beneficial, especially for those who don't know where to start. It allows you to follow a systematic approach, ensuring that every nook and cranny of your washer gets the attention it needs. By following the guide, you can ensure that your clothes smell fresh every time they come out of the washer.  

  1. Empty the Washer: 

Ensure there are no clothes or items in the washer. Start by emptying your machine entirely, and removing any stray clothes or items. It is a good idea to pull out the gasket to get better visibility of the washer interior. Now it is easier for you to remove all leftover objects like buttons, coins, hair, etc.  

  1. Use Cleaning Supplies: 

Apply baking soda, vinegar, or commercial cleaner. You can use a spray bottle for this process to distribute the cleaner evenly in the washer drum. Alternatively, you can put the cleaning solution in the detergent dispenser. Now run a hot wash cycle without any clothing. This will effectively destroy any mildew, foul-smelling mold, or build-up in the front load washer. 

Tips to Keep Front Load Washer Clean and Prevent Odor  

Maintaining a clean front load washer is as critical as the washing process itself, primarily due to the myriad of benefits it offers. A clean washer ensures that your clothes are not only washed but also smell fresh. In addition, a well-maintained washer simplifies future deep cleaning, making the process less time-consuming and strenuous. It also contributes to the overall longevity and efficient performance of your appliance.

Maintaining a clean front loader can be quite simple following a set of easy tips and establishing a routine. By incorporating these tips into your post-wash routine, you make washer maintenance an integral part of your laundry process.

  1. Post-Wash Routine: Wipe the door seal, clean the gasket, and leave the door slightly ajar after every wash. This routine reduces humidity in the drum and prevents mold growth. 

  1. Regular Cleanings: Aim for light cleaning once a month, and deep cleaning every three to six months. You can increase the frequency of deep cleaning depending on the quality of the water in your area and the usage of the appliance.  

Dos and Don'ts of Cleaning a Front Load Washer 

Understanding the dos and don'ts of cleaning a front load washer is crucial in ensuring its longevity and peak performance. This knowledge allows you to avoid harmful practices that could potentially damage your appliance while encouraging beneficial routines. From using the right cleaning supplies to recognizing the areas that need extra attention, these guidelines provide valuable insights into the effective maintenance of your washer. So, let's dive into the key dos and don’ts to keep in mind when undertaking the task of cleaning your front load washer.


Do Don't

Do use gentle, non-abrasive cleaners to avoid damaging your machine.  

Don't use excessive detergent or fabric softener, as these can build up in the machine. 

Do clean the detergent drawer regularly after use. 

Don't neglect the rubber seal; it's a common area for mold growth. 

Do run a rinse cycle after using a cleaning agent. 

Don't leave damp clothes in the machine for long periods. 

FAQs on How to Clean a Front Load Washer 

How do you deep clean a front-loading washing machine? 

Use a specialized washing machine cleaner or a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Run a hot wash cycle, followed by an extra rinse to ensure all cleaning agents are removed. 

Can you use bleach or vinegar to clean a front-load washing machine? 

Yes, both bleach and vinegar can be used to clean a front-load washing machine. However, use them separately and never mix them as it can produce harmful gasses. 

Is bleach or vinegar better to clean the washing machine? 

Both bleach and vinegar can effectively clean a washing machine. However, vinegar is often preferred due to its non-toxic nature and ability to safely remove mold and mildew. Bleach can be a little harsh on the interior of the appliance. 

How do I clean and deodorize my front-load washer? 

Clean the drum using a washer cleaner or a vinegar solution, then run a rinse cycle. For deodorizing, use baking soda in the drum and run a hot wash cycle.