How to Clean Your Clothes Washer with Bleach: Essential Tips for Fresh Laundry

Ever wondered why your clothes don’t smell as fresh as they used to? Picture this: you toss a load of laundry into your washer, only to find out it smells musty once it’s done. Fret not, as we’ve got the solution for you! In this article, we’ll show you the magic of cleaning your clothes washer with bleach.

When was the last time you gave your washer a thorough clean? If you can’t remember, it’s probably time for a refresh. By using bleach to clean your washer, you’ll not only eliminate odors but also ensure your clothes come out smelling clean and looking fresh. Stick around to discover the step-by-step guide to a cleaner, fresher laundry experience.

Importance of Cleaning Your Clothes Washer

When it comes to cleaning your clothes washer, regular maintenance is key. Here’s why it’s important:

  • Eliminate Odors: Over time, residue, dirt, and detergent build-up in your washer can lead to unpleasant smells in your clothes.
  • Prevent Mold Growth: Damp and dark environments are breeding grounds for mold and mildew. Regular cleaning helps prevent their growth.
  • Extend Appliance Lifespan: A clean washer operates more efficiently and is less likely to break down, saving you money on repairs or replacements.
  • Ensure Clean Clothes: Dirty washers can transfer grime onto clean clothes, defeating the purpose of washing them in the first place.

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Regularly cleaning your clothes washer helps maintain its performance and ensures that your laundry comes out fresh and clean every time.

Signs Your Clothes Washer Needs Cleaning

If you’re unsure whether your clothes washer needs a clean, watch out for these telltale signs:

  • Musty Smell: Indicates mold or mildew buildup.
  • Residue on Clothes: Dingy garments even after washing.
  • Visible Mold: Check seals, dispensers, and drum.
  • Sluggish Drainage: Water lingering after cycles.
  • Excess Detergent: Creates soap scum inside.

Regularly checking for these signs ensures a fresh, clean laundry experience.

Materials Needed for Cleaning with Bleach

When cleaning your clothes washer with bleach, you’ll need a few essential materials to get the job done effectively. Here’s a list of what you’ll require:

  • Bleach: Opt for a chlorine bleach suitable for cleaning purposes.
  • Water: Have access to water for diluting the bleach and rinsing the washer.
  • Protective Gear: Wear rubber gloves to protect your skin from the bleach.
  • Ventilation: Ensure the area is well-ventilated to prevent inhaling fumes.
  • Cleaning Cloth or Brush: Use a cloth or brush for scrubbing and wiping down surfaces.
  • Old Towel: Have an old towel handy for wiping up any spills or drips.
  • Owner’s Manual: Refer to your washer’s manual for specific cleaning instructions.

Remember, safety first – always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and safety precautions when using bleach for cleaning.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Clothes Washer

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Clothes Washer

To ensure your clothes washer stays clean and odor-free, follow these simple steps using bleach:

Step 1: Preparation

  • Gather your materials: chlorine bleach, water for dilution, protective gear, ventilation, cleaning cloth/brush, old towel, and the washer’s manual.
  • Read the manufacturer’s guidelines and safety precautions on using bleach.

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Step 2: Pre-Cleaning

  • Run a hot water cycle with bleach to sanitize the washer.
  • Wipe down the inside of the washer, including the door seal, drum, and detergent compartments.

Step 3: Main Cleaning

  • Mix bleach with water according to the washer’s manual instructions.
  • Pour the bleach mixture into the detergent dispenser.
  • Run a complete wash cycle on the hottest setting.

Step 4: Post-Cleaning

  • Leave the door open after the cycle to allow the washer to air dry.
  • Wipe down any remaining residue with a clean cloth.
  • Repeat the cleaning process every 1-3 months to prevent mold growth and odors.
  • Invest in a washer cleaner for deep cleaning periodically.

By following these steps, you can maintain a fresh and clean clothes washer that keeps your laundry smelling clean and looking its best.

Maintaining a Clean Clothes Washer

Cleaning your clothes washer with bleach is essential to prevent odors, mold, and ensure fresh-smelling laundry. Here are some practical tips for maintaining a clean washer:

  • Regular Cleaning: Clean your washer every 1-3 months to keep it running efficiently.
  • Sanitizing: Use bleach to sanitize the washer and kill any bacteria or mold present.
  • Preventing Build-Up: Regular cleaning prevents grime build-up, ensuring clean clothes with each wash.
  • Air Drying: Allow your washer to air dry after cleaning to prevent mold growth.

Remember, a clean washer not only extends its lifespan but also ensures your laundry comes out fresh and clean every time.


You’ve learned the key steps to keep your clothes washer clean and fresh using bleach. Regular maintenance is essential to prevent odors and mold, ensuring your laundry smells great every time. By incorporating these simple tips into your routine, you’ll not only extend the lifespan of your washer but also enjoy clean and fresh laundry with each wash. Happy washing!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I clean my clothes washer?

It is recommended to clean your clothes washer every 1-3 months to prevent odors and mold growth.

Why should I sanitize my washer with bleach?

Sanitizing your washer with bleach helps to kill bacteria and mold, keeping your laundry fresh and clean.

How can I prevent grime build-up in my washer?

To prevent grime build-up, ensure to clean your washer regularly and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for maintenance.

Should I air dry my washer after cleaning?

Yes, air drying your washer after cleaning helps to prevent mold growth and maintain a fresh-smelling laundry.

Charlie Thomson is Appliance Mastery's expert on laundry appliances. With a degree in mechanical engineering and over 8 years of experience in the appliance repair industry, Charlie is a go-to resource for homeowners who want to tackle common issues with their washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers.

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