Cleaning the washing machine

Dirt buildup in the washer can damage the machine and affect energy efficiency and wash results. Therefore, it is important to clean the washing machine regularly. But how and where does dirt get into the machine in the first place, how is the washing machine cleaned properly and how can dirt be prevented?? Answers to all these questions about cleaning the washing machine can be found here!

How and where does dirt accumulate in the washing machine??

The washing machine removes the dirt from the laundry and thus makes it wonderfully clean. However, the removed dirt and other particles such as sand, lint and soap residues from the detergent must be removed with the water. In the process, the washing machine itself gets dirty, and on almost all parts of the device.

Dirt deposits can form in and underneath the drum, in the hoses, on the seals and on the heating element. A special dirt trap is, of course, the lint filter, where coarse dirt collects and foreign objects such as stones, small change or buttons are caught. And the detergent drawer usually gets dirty very quickly and heavily, because the detergent is not rinsed out effectively enough, leaving behind detergent residues and moisture.

Finally, the washing machine can of course also become dirty from the outside, for example from house dust and perhaps also from stains from loading dirty laundry or from spills from adding liquid detergent or fabric softener.

Why is it important to clean the washing machine??

Especially the soiling of the washing machine from the inside is problematic and should be eliminated by regular cleaning. Because dirt deposits in the drum, in the pipes, in the lint filter as well as on the heating rod and on the seals can damage the appliance parts. And in the long run, this means that they can break down and have to be repaired or replaced, which is costly and time-consuming. In the worst case, the entire washing machine may fail, necessitating the purchase of a new appliance. Furthermore, mold can form if parts of the machine cannot dry properly due to dirt residues. In this case, it is also necessary to repair or replace the affected components or even purchase a completely new washing machine. However, regular cleaning of the inside of the appliance can prevent such damage and malfunctions and significantly extend the life of the washing machine.

Cleaning the washing machine ensures energy-saving washing.
Image © miele.Ch

But even if a defect does not occur, there are other good reasons for cleaning the washing machine regularly. Because dirt residues can also cause the machine to work less efficiently and the laundry to become less clean and fresh. Deposits on the heating element, for example, reduce the energy efficiency and sometimes also the washing performance. Because the water is no longer heated as quickly, the heating element consumes more energy for the heating process. And since the heat from the heating element can no longer be optimally radiated, the set washing temperature may not even be reached, resulting in poorer washing results.

Cleaning the washing machine ensures clean and fresh-smelling laundry.
Image © miele.Ch

Detergent residues in the rinse cycle and soiling in the drum also impair the ability of the laundry to become perfectly clean, as old deposits can be loosened during the wash cycle and then become lodged in the fibers. This means that the laundry does not get properly clean and the fabric also becomes hard, brittle and gray in the long run. In addition, dirt residues in the detergent compartment, the washing drum, the pipes and the filter promote the formation of mold and bacteria, which cause unpleasant odors. The machine starts to stink and the laundry comes out of the machine smelling bad. A perfectly clean and fresh-smelling wash is simply not possible with a dirty washing machine.

Last but not least, of course, the exterior cleaning should not be forgotten. after all, a washing machine that is not only clean on the inside, but also shiny on the outside, contributes to an all-around neat and clean overall appearance of the bathroom or the laundry room. The kitchen at.

So, in summary, it is recommended and beneficial to clean the washing machine regularly for several reasons:

Cleaning the washing machine protects and cares for the appliance and its components, thus preventing damage and consequential costs.

✓ a clean washing machine works in a more energy efficient way and therefore saves electricity costs.

✓ a clean washing machine achieves cleaner, more hygienic and fresher-smelling washing results.

✓ a washing machine that is also sparkling clean on the outside contributes to a hygienic appearance of the bathroom or kitchen. The kitchen.

How to clean the washing machine correctly?

Cleaning the washing machine from the outside

Cleaning the exterior of the washing machine is quick and easy.
Image © miele.Ch

The easiest and quickest way is, of course, first of all to clean the outside of the washing machine. To remove dust and stains from the machine, it is usually sufficient to wipe it with a damp cloth. If necessary, a little detergent can be used to loosen dried-on or stubborn dirt. To avoid scratching the surfaces of the washing machine, do not use abrasive milk or a rough cleaning sponge. Dirt residues on the dials and knobs and in the gaps can be easily scraped out with an old toothbrush, cotton swab or toothpick. This way, the outside of the appliance can shine again in a new, flawless brilliance.

Clean detergent drawer and lint filter

The next step should be to clean the detergent dispenser and the lint filter, as these are also relatively easy to clean since they are still quite accessible.

Detergent residues collect in the rinse tank and should be removed.
Image © miele.Ch

The detergent compartment can be.D.R. It can be easily removed and then thoroughly wiped out. Corners and interstices of the detergent dispenser are best cleaned from the outside, as is also the case when cleaning the washing machine z.B. To be cleaned with a cotton swab. To loosen hard encrustations, the detergent drawer can be soaked in vinegar water for a few hours or overnight. Alternatively, and even more conveniently, the detergent drawer can be washed clean in the dishwasher. Incidentally, many modern washing machines now have optimized detergent compartments that accumulate much less detergent and soil more slowly, such as z.B. The miele autoclean rinsing cabinet or the siemens self-cleaning drawer. By having a particularly smooth surface and rinsing out the detergent particularly often and vigorously, noticeably less detergent residue accumulates, so that cleaning of the detergent compartment is required much less frequently.

The lint filter can also be easily removed for cleaning via the opening in the baseboard of the washing machine. To prevent the dirt from landing on the floor and causing even more cleaning work, a bowl should be provided and cloths or newspaper laid out before unscrewing the lint filter. All dirt deposits and small parts can then be removed and the sieve can be reinserted cleanly.

Cleaning the inside of the washing machine

Finally, it is not quite so easy to clean the inside of the washing machine, because many components such as the drum, pipes and heating element are difficult or impossible to reach.

The rubber seal in the door is the first part of the washing machine to be cleaned. Water, soap residue, lint and small particles often remain here, which in the long term not only form unhygienic deposits, but can also cause mold. For this reason, the sealing ring should be thoroughly wiped with a damp cloth and a cleaning agent.

To clean the inside of the washing machine, an empty, hot wash cycle is required.
Image © miele.Ch

The drum can also be cleaned in this way, but only from the inside. The outer side of the drum, pipes and many other parts are no longer accessible. in order to get the entire interior of the washing machine perfectly clean, a wash cycle must be inserted without laundry and detergent, but with a cleaning agent and at as high a temperature as possible. By the way, many modern washing machines already offer special machine cleaning programs that are specially optimized for cleaning the drum. Often, these programs can remove detergent residues and dirt accumulations without the use of chemicals and are therefore not only particularly gentle on the materials of the components, but also on the environment. They also make washing machine cleaning much easier, faster and more convenient. If the machine cleaning program also has an alarm that signals when it’s time to clean the drum again, there’s really nothing standing in the way of a perfectly clean washing machine at all times and thus wonderfully fresh laundry.

The heating element is also not easily accessible and therefore cannot be cleaned by hand. Limescale is the main deposit here, which is why it is best cleaned by decalcification.

Last but not least, the connection hoses of the washing machine should not be forgotten, because dirt can also build up here in the long term. Since they can be removed, however, they are somewhat easier to clean. To clean the fresh water and drain hose, it is best to soak them in hot vinegar water for a while and then rinse them thoroughly. Then they can be reconnected to the washing machine and the water will be freshly rinsed in again and removed perfectly.

How often should the washing machine be cleaned??

How often the washing machine should be cleaned depends very much on the individual use, because many different factors influence the degree of soiling. Depending on how often the washing machine is used and which detergent is used, as well as which washing temperatures are selected and which textiles are washed, the machine can become soiled to different degrees. Frequent washing understandably leads to more dirt. Furthermore, especially liquid detergents and low temperatures promote the formation of deposits. If textiles are washed frequently that tend to form a lot of lint, for example.B. Wool, or if paper handkerchiefs and other small parts are accidentally washed from time to time, this also leads to a faster contamination of the washing machine, or. Insebsondere of the lint filter. Since usage patterns can vary greatly from household to household, only very rough recommendations can be given on how often the washing machine should best be cleaned.

In addition, not every component is cleaned at the same rate. Equally dirty. Consequently, the recommended cleaning intervals for the various parts of the washing machine are different. The sealing ring, for example, should be wiped out directly after each wash cycle to remove any foreign bodies and lint, as well as soap residues and moisture, thus preventing the formation of odors and mold. the detergent compartment should also be cleaned of deposits from time to time, e.g. after a few washes. The lint filter should be emptied approximately every two to three months. Cleaning the interior is recommended at least once or twice a year, but should be done at the latest when the washing machine already has an unpleasant odor.

component recommended cleaning
surfaces according to need
detergent compartment after a few washes
lint filter every 2 – 3 months
sealing ring after each wash
interior (drum, hoses, heating element, etc.).) 1 – 2 times a year

Which products should be used to clean the washing machine? ?

To clean the washing machine, you can use home remedies or detergents. Diluted citric acid can be used as a household remedy. Furthermore, a universal chlorine cleaner is also suitable. However, it is better to use special products that are exactly designed for cleaning the washing machine. Because these not only offer reliable instructions for use and can therefore be dosed much more precisely, but above all are naturally optimally matched to machine cleaning. In most cases, they not only remove the dirt and deposits typical of washing machines, such as detergent residues and limescale, but often also contain care components that protect and preserve the materials and components of the washing machine during cleaning.

How to prevent soiling?

Even a few small tricks and hand movements can reduce the soiling of the washing machine and prevent the formation of odors and mold. This is how deposits on the inside can be counteracted by regularly carrying out a boil wash at 95°C. It is also recommended to use powder detergent instead of liquid detergent. To allow the rinse aid dispenser, drum and rubber gasket to dry properly, the detergent drawer and the door of the washing machine should be left ajar after washing. It is even better if the door is always left slightly open when the washing machine is not in use, so that the interior is well ventilated at all times. Even with these simple measures, cleaning of the washing machine can be done less frequently. In addition, it is then much easier and faster to clean.

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