Ultimate Guide: How to Clean Your Washer with Bleach for Odor-Free Laundry

Tired of funky smells coming from your washing machine? Ever wondered how to keep it fresh and clean? Picture this: you throw a load of laundry in, only to have it come out smelling musty. Fret not, as we’ve got you covered!

Did you know that a simple solution of bleach can work wonders in cleaning your washer? In this article, you’ll discover the magic of using bleach to banish odors and keep your machine spick and span. Say goodbye to that unpleasant smell lingering on your clothes!

Importance of Cleaning Your Washer Machine

Regular cleaning of your washer machine is essential to maintain its performance and prolong its lifespan. Let’s dive into why it’s so crucial:

  • Prevents Build-Up: Regular cleaning with bleach helps prevent the build-up of residues from detergent, dirt, and fabric softeners, ensuring optimal washing results.
  • Eliminates Odors: Over time, your washer can develop unpleasant odors due to trapped residues and moisture. Cleaning with bleach effectively eliminates these odors, leaving your machine smelling fresh.
  • Maintains Hygiene: Cleaning your washer machine with bleach helps eliminate bacteria and mold that can thrive in the damp environment of the machine, ensuring your laundry stays clean and hygienic.
  • Improves Efficiency: A clean washer operates more efficiently, resulting in cleaner clothes and potentially saving you money on energy bills by running more effectively.

Materials Needed for Cleaning with Bleach

To effectively clean your washing machine with bleach, you’ll need a few essential materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Bleach: Ensure to use liquid bleach and not a color-safe variety for this cleaning task. Bleach is a powerful disinfectant that will help eliminate bacteria and mold in your machine.
  • Gloves: Rubber gloves will protect your hands from the potential harsh effects of bleach.
  • Water: Have water on hand to dilute the bleach and for rinsing the machine afterward.
  • Cloth: Use a cloth or sponge to wipe down surfaces and reach areas that need cleaning.
  • Old Towel: Place an old towel in the washing machine to protect it and soak up any excess bleach.

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These materials are essential for effectively cleaning your washing machine with bleach. Be sure to gather them before you begin the cleaning process.

Step-by-Step Guide to Clean Washing Machine with Bleach

To effectively clean your washing machine with bleach and maintain its optimal functionality, follow these simple steps:

  • Prepare Materials: Gather your liquid bleach, gloves, cloth or sponge, old towel, and water for dilution and rinsing.
  • Empty the Machine: Make sure the machine is empty. Remove any clothes, detergent, and other items.
  • Dilute Bleach: Mix 1/2 cup of bleach with 1 gallon of water in a container.
  • Wipe Down Surfaces: Using a cloth or sponge, dip it into the bleach solution and wipe down the entire inside of the washing machine, paying special attention to seals and dispensers.
  • Soak Removable Parts: Remove the detergent dispenser, fabric softener dispenser, and any other removable parts. Soak them in a bleach solution for a thorough clean.
  • Run a Cleaning Cycle: If your machine has a cleaning cycle, run it with hot water and bleach. Otherwise, select the hottest and longest cycle.
  • Rinse Thoroughly: After the cycle is complete, run another cycle with clean water only to rinse away any remaining bleach residue.
  • Dry and Air Out: Wipe the inside of the machine with a clean, damp cloth and let it air dry with the door open. Use the old towel to absorb any excess bleach that may remain.

Tips for Maintaining a Fresh-Smelling Washer

To keep your washer smelling fresh, here are some simple but effective tips:

  • Leave the door or lid open after each use to allow air circulation and prevent mildew growth.
  • Wipe down the door seal regularly to remove any moisture or residue that may cause unpleasant odors.
  • Use the right detergent and measure it correctly to avoid build-up inside the machine.
  • Clean the detergent drawer regularly to prevent mold and mildew from forming.
  • Run a cleaning cycle with hot water and bleach once a month to kill bacteria and remove odors.
  • Avoid overloading the washer as it can lead to trapped moisture and musty smells.
  • Inspect and clean the drain pump filter every few months to ensure proper drainage and prevent clogs.

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Statistic Data
Washer odor complaints 65% increase in the last year
Mold growth in washers 29% of households report mold growth

Remember, a fresh-smelling washer not only enhances your laundry experience but also ensures that your clothes come out clean and odor-free.

Benefits of Using Bleach for Washer Cleaning

If you’re wondering why bleach is a go-to for cleaning your washer machine, here are the benefits it offers:

  • Effective disinfection: Bleach is a powerful disinfectant that kills bacteria and mold in your washer, keeping it clean and odor-free.
  • Removal of stains: Stubborn stains and mildew buildup can be tackled effectively with the help of bleach, restoring your washer’s cleanliness.
  • Prevention of mold and mildew: Regular use of bleach can help prevent the growth of mold and mildew in your washer, ensuring a hygienic environment for your laundry.
  • Deodorizing properties: Bleach not only cleans but also deodorizes your washer, leaving it smelling fresh and clean after each wash cycle.
  • Affordability: Bleach is an affordable cleaning solution that can help maintain your washer’s cleanliness without breaking the bank.

To reap these benefits, using bleach as part of your washer cleaning routine can go a long way in preserving the performance and longevity of your machine.


Now that you’ve learned the ins and outs of cleaning your washer machine with bleach, you’re equipped with the knowledge to keep your laundry routine fresh and efficient. By following the suggested steps and maintenance tips, you can ensure a pleasant laundry experience and extend the lifespan of your washer. Remember, a clean washer not only eliminates odors and mold but also keeps your clothes smelling and looking their best. Incorporating bleach into your cleaning routine is a simple yet effective way to maintain a hygienic and odor-free washing machine. So, roll up your sleeves, grab that bleach, and give your washer the TLC it deserves. Your future self will thank you for it!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I clean my washing machine with bleach?

It is recommended to clean your washing machine with bleach once a month to prevent odor and mold growth.

What are some tips for maintaining a fresh-smelling washer?

Maintaining a fresh-smelling washer includes leaving the door open, wiping down the door seal, using the right detergent, cleaning the detergent drawer, running a cleaning cycle with hot water and bleach monthly, avoiding overloading, and inspecting/cleaning the drain pump filter.

Why is using bleach effective for cleaning a washing machine?

Bleach is effective for cleaning a washing machine because it disinfects, removes stains, prevents mold and mildew, deodorizes, and is affordable.

How can a fresh-smelling washer enhance the laundry experience?

A fresh-smelling washer enhances the laundry experience by ensuring clean, odor-free clothes and maintaining the cleanliness and performance of the washer.

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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