How Do I Clean My Washing Machine?

Updated on January 27, 2008
C.A. asks from San Antonio, TX
7 answers

I have recently noticed that my washing machine has a stuck-on film on the bottom and the agitator arm. I assume it is from my fabric softener because I switched brands. Does anyone know how to clean the film off? Short of scraping it off with my finger nail I can't seem to remove it.

Also, does anyone have a fabric softener they like?

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answers from Wichita Falls on

1/4 cup vinegar in the rinse is all I can use as a fabric softener - it gets out the leftover detergent, and doesn't leave a smell.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Like Jackie, I use an environmentally safe (no phosphates, amonia or bleach) laundry line and no longer have that problem. You can try baking soda and wipe the inside of your machine clean. Baking soda will work as an abrasive and is nontoxic. Also very inexpensive to use. You can also try running your washer with nothing in it and putting a capful of vinegar in it. That may help in getting rid of the film.

Good luck.

M. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I'm also working on a more green approach. I've found the cold rinse cycle with 1/4 cup vinegar works great!

I can also verify that the bleach and hot rinse does work too. It's just not as "environmentally friendly" as the vinegar and cold water - but both will get the job done. Also, both won't leave your washer stinky or cause any stains/spots in the next load - that was my biggest fear.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I didn't have a film, but I did have an odor... I have recently tried to GO GREEN as much as possible. (We have a 22 month old) I used vinegar and it really seemed to do the trick. I also use baking soda as an abrasive.

I got a book- cleaning for dummies, and it had alot of good stuff in it.
Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I am a clorox bleach fan. I run a hot water wash with nothing but bleach and everything looks and smells clean.

I have a Maytag front loader that I love. (It is the only Maytag product I like in my house, all others are being replaced).

I prefer to stick with name brands such as All detergent and Downey softener.

Good Luck,


answers from Killeen on

I use an environmentally friendly (i.e., non-toxic) laundry line. When I introduce new customers, I suggest they run their washer through a complete cycle with no clothes, but one ounce (that's all it takes for a load) of our product. It makes it look like new!

NOTE: Not only are these toxins stuck in your washer, they're deposited on your clothes and subsequently, deposited on your skin! YIKES!



answers from Houston on

I usually clean my washing machine by running a dry cycle, which means I use laundry detergent(and bleach if you so choose) and run the washer a full cycle. That usually cleans it.

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