How to Clean Your Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda (Front Load and Top Loading) (2023)

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This is my guide on cleaning your washing machine and most importantly, how to clean your washing machine using vinegar and baking soda – without toxic chemicals.

My how to clean washing machines demonstration includes an easy way to get rid of washing machine odor and smells, cleaning front-loading washing machines,and washing machine cleaner to keep your washer clean.

How to Clean Your Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda (Front Load and Top Loading) (1)
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Table of Contents

How to Clean Your Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda (Front Load and Top Loading)

We have had our LG front-loading washing machine for a few years now. We love them (thanks, Mom and Dad!). Although, there was one thing we did not like,washing machine odor and smells. You know, the moldy smell coming from our washing machine.

I try to be more careful about the number of chemicals we are putting in, on, and around our bodies. I like finding ways to clean naturally, with few harsh chemicals.

How to Get Rid of Washing Machine Odor and Washing Machine Smells

According to some sites, to get rid of washing machine odor you should keep your washing machine door open to let it air out after each cycle.

I have tried leaving the door ajar with a piece of masking tape connecting the door and the edge of the machine. Although, I often forget to do this.

Time to Bite the Bullet and Figure Out How to Clean Washing Machine

Alas, it was time to clean the washing machine. I had been putting this task off for a while. This afternoon, I finally decided to bite the bullet and just get it done. I searched for how to clean washing machines with vinegar and baking soda. Surprisingly, it was quite easy to clean the LG washing machine and it took very little time.

How to Clean Your Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda (Front Load and Top Loading) (2)

Clean Your Washing Machine Using Vinegar and Baking Soda

How do you clean a washing machine? I did some research. I used Pinterest (of course), some Google searching, andtheLG Caring For Your LG Front Load Washer cleaning manual.

(Video) How to DEEP CLEAN your Top Loading WASHING MACHINE Naturally (Vinegar & Baking Soda)

How to Use the LG Washer Tub Clean Cycle

If you have an LG washing machine or some other brands, then check to see if you have a special cycle mode called “Tub Clean”, or “LG Tub Clean” or something like that. On my front-loading washing machine, this option is in the upper right corner.

The tub clean LG washer feature removes detergent buildup and other residues.

Before running the tub clean cycle, follow these steps.

  1. Remove all attachments, including the dispenser.
  2. Use a solution of 3/4 cups bleach to 1 gallon of water to clean gaskets, and inside the door. Note: Instead of bleach, you could try using vinegar, but don’t use both.
  3. For front loading washers, manually drain and clean the drain pump filter.

Once the above steps have been completed, start the Tub Clean cycle using a washing machine tub cleaner. For tablets, add them directly to the drum. Powders can be poured into the main wash compartment in the dispenser. Liquid cleaners go in the main wash compartment.

LG recommends running this Tub Clean cycle monthly in order to remove detergent buildup and other residues.

How to Clean Your Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda (Front Load and Top Loading) (3)

7 Reasons Why LG Washer Not Draining

  1. Improper drain height: If your washing machine isn’t installed correctly, water won’t drain out of it.
  2. The drain hose is clogged, pinched, or kinked.
  3. Wrong detergent, or excessive detergent. Believe it or not but detergent can create cleaning problems. Similar to dishwashers, detergent can cause clogs. That is one of the many reasons we use Earth Breeze Laundry Sheets.
  4. Poor Load Distribution: Unbalanced loads are one of the main causes of a vibrating front-load washer.
  5. Clogged Drain Pump Filter: Many times, especially after the wash cycle is complete, LG washers drain very slowly or not at all. Generally, this is because of a blockage in the drain pump filter. If you hear the drain pump operating but no water is draining from the tub, then there is a clog.
  6. The Lid Switch Is Broke
  7. The Drain Pump Is Broke

How To Clean LG Washing Machine Filter

  1. Locate the washing machine’s filter and set up a towel and shallow pan to catch the water. To find the filter, search for your manufacturer and filter.
  2. Remove the filter and wipe with a cloth to remove debris.
  3. Soak the filter in a solution of warm soapy water for 10 minutes.
  4. Scrub the filter with a soft-bristled brush.

How to cleanwashing machine tub

Ifyou have a smelly washer and you want toremove odors from the washing machine, then here are instructions for cleaning the washing machine tub.

  1. First, be sure the wash drum is empty (no clothes, towels, etc.).
  2. Then, pour bleach, tub cleaner, or vinegar into the dispenser, but do not add any additional detergent or fabric softener. If you are using a powdered cleaner, remove the liquid detergent cup and add the powder to the main wash compartment.
  3. After closing the drawer and door, select the tub clean mode and then start.
  4. Then, after the cycle is complete, open the door and use a towel or cloth to wipe the various parts of the door (opening, door seal, glass door) and wipe inside the rubber seal as well.

I get my natural cleaning products from Amazon. If you do too, be sure to read my tips for finding Amazon coupons.

If your washing machine does not have a tub clean mode or it needs a more thorough cleaning, then continue on to the next part to clean your washer tub by hand.

How to Clean Your Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda (Front Load and Top Loading) (4)

How to Clean Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda – Front Loader Washing Machine Cleaning

I have become more cautious about the chemicals we use in our house. It is impossible to eliminate all chemicals, but if I can, I try to substitute gentler cleaning products in exchange for harsh chemicals.

This method of cleaning a front-loading washing machine involves using water, vinegar, and baking soda. I try to stay away from bleach. I clean almost everything with vinegar.

If your washing machine is super dirty and has lots of mildew, then you might need to use something stronger than the water, vinegar, and baking soda combination. Remember, if you choose to use bleach, make sure the room is well-ventilated (open doors and windows), wear gloves, and do not use vinegar or ammonia at the same time as bleach.

(Video) how to clean washing machine with vinegar and baking soda

Steps to Clean a Front Loading Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda

First, prepare a spray bottle with a mixture of half vinegar and half water. Get discounted spray bottles here.

How to Clean Your Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda (Front Load and Top Loading) (5)

Then, thoroughly spray the inside of the washing machine. Be sure to pull back the rubber gasket/s, where there will most likely be mold and spray there too.

How to Clean Your Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda (Front Load and Top Loading) (6)
How to Clean Your Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda (Front Load and Top Loading) (7)

Next, using a clothor paper towels wipe down the entire inside of the washing machine. Be sure to wipe down the area underneath and behind the pulled-back rubber gasket. In addition, you may even want to use a toothbrush to get in between the tight spaces. You will pull out all kinds of fun (gross) stuff.

How to Clean Your Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda (Front Load and Top Loading) (8)
How to Clean Your Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda (Front Load and Top Loading) (9)

If there is still mold remaining, then soak a rag in the vinegar and water solution, squeeze it in between the rubber gasket, and let it sit for an hour.

How to Clean Your Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda (Front Load and Top Loading) (10)

Or, add some baking soda to extra grimy or moldy parts. Then, let it sit and then clean off the baking soda with the water/vinegar.

How to Clean Your Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda (Front Load and Top Loading) (11)

After that, using a clean cloth wipe down the inside of the washer until everything is dry and the grime is removed.


Next, open the washing machine detergent dispenser and wipe down the inside with a cloth,water, and vinegar.

How to Clean Your Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda (Front Load and Top Loading) (12)

Now, add 2 cups of vinegar to either the tub or dispenser and run your washing machine on the hottest setting possible. Note – If you used bleach to clean the inside of the tub, run a hot wash cycle without vinegar first, before running the vinegar cycle.

After the cycle is done, use a rag with water and vinegar to clean the inside of the door and outside of the washing machine.

How to Clean Your Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda (Front Load and Top Loading) (13)

Now you have a clean washing machine! That wasn’t bad, was it?

How to Keep It Clean

Consider getting a washing machine dust cover.

Look Closely

Did you notice anything about the picture? I just realized my legs are in the photo in the reflection on the door. Oh well. That must mean the washing machine door is sparkling clean, right?

How to Clean Your Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda (Front Load and Top Loading) (14)

How to Use Washing Machine Cleaning Tablets

In order to keep your machine clean and not have a smelly washer, you’ll want to keep up with your cleaning.

One method to keeping your washing machine clean is to wipe it down after each use and keep the door ajar, if possible. You can clean your washer with a dry rag or spray a mixture of water and vinegar first.

These washer machinecleaning tablets are designed to penetrate, dissolve and remove odor-causing residue that can occur in washing machines. They got great reviews on Amazon and is Amazon’s choice for “washing machine cleaner”.

How to Clean Your Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda (Front Load and Top Loading) (15)
(Video) HOW TO DEEP CLEAN A WACHING MACHINE | using baking soda and vinegar | cleaning motivation

Did you know you can also use vinegar to clean your Keurig, clean your oven, and steam clean your microwave?


Website | + posts

Erin is the mother of identical twin girls and their slightly older brother. She is a domestic engineer, and previously had a career leading customer service teams for a major HVAC company. Cleaning without harsh chemicals, and cooking easy and usually healthy meals are part of Erin's daily life. She volunteers with youth leaders, and genuinely wants to help others win. Erin has a degree in Communications, with a focus on Broadcast Journalism.

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How do I clean my top load washer with vinegar and baking soda? ›

When the cycle has finished, sprinkle half a cup of baking soda directly into the drum of the washing machine and run it on the same settings (highest and hottest). For a top-loading washing machine, a hot setting cycle with white vinegar will do the trick.

Can I clean my front load washer with vinegar and baking soda? ›

Make sure the drum is empty. Then, sprinkle a half-cup of baking soda inside the drum. Next, pour one cup of distilled white vinegar into the detergent dispenser. Finally, run the washer on the hot water setting.

How do I clean my top load washer with baking soda? ›

All you need to do is add 2 cups of baking soda to your empty washing machine and run a long, hot washing cycle. Once the cycle has finished, add 2 cups of white vinegar and about 10 drops of an essential oil like lavender to the detergent tray of your washing machine. Again, set it to a long, hot washing cycle.

How do you clean a top loading washing machine with vinegar? ›

The best way to clean your top loading washer is simple:
  1. Select the hot water setting. ...
  2. Select the “extra rinse” option if your washer has that choice.
  3. Add ¾ cup of white vinegar to the bleach dispenser or fill to its max level.
  4. Allow the cycle to run until it has completed.

Can you put vinegar and baking soda in washing machine at the same time? ›

There's one very important caveat, she notes: “Both vinegar and baking soda can be used to clean your washing machine and clothing, but they should not be mixed together because they neutralize each other.”

Does vinegar damage front load washer? ›

Washing Machines

“With continual use, vinegar can literally melt hoses, causing leaks and thereby possibly all kinds of additional damage to the house,” says Grayson. In his experience, front-load washers are especially susceptible to vinegar-related damage.

Does baking soda damage front load washer? ›

Baking soda acts as a natural brightener and deodorizer. If you have particularly smelly clothes, using a full cup of baking soda will not harm your washer. You'll get better results if you allow the clothes to soak in the baking soda and water for at least 30 minutes before completing the wash cycle.

What can I put in my front load washing machine to clean it? ›

How to Clean Washing Machine Drum
  1. Sprinkle 1/3 cup baking soda in an empty washer drum.
  2. Pour 2 cups white vinegar in the detergent tray.
  3. Run a cleaning cycle or regular wash with hot water.
  4. For persistent mildew, pour 2cups bleach in the bleach dispenser and run a second wash cycle.
Feb 1, 2020

Where do you put vinegar and baking soda in a washing machine? ›

How to clean your washing machine with baking soda and vinegar
  1. Turn on the hottest possible water your washing machine allows.
  2. Add one cup of baking soda to the washing machine drum.
  3. Add one cup of vinegar to the fabric softener compartment.
  4. Run the machine's washing cycle.
Feb 7, 2022

How do you clean a smelly top loader washing machine? ›

Baking Soda & Vinegar Wash
  1. Mix ¼ cup of baking soda with ¼ cup of water and add it to your machine's detergent container.
  2. Use four cups of plain white (not apple cider) vinegar to a top-load machine or two cups to a front-load model.
  3. Pour the vinegar into the drum.
  4. Run a high-temperature cycle.
Oct 22, 2021

How do you clean the rubber seal on a front loader washing machine? ›

Open the door to your washing machine and find the rubber seal. Once you've located the seal, spray a solution of half apple cider vinegar and half water directly on it. Let the solution sit for 2-3 minutes, at which point you can scrub it off with a washcloth or dish scrub brush.

Where do you put white vinegar in a top load washer? ›

Clean clothes without harsh chemicals

To clean your clothes with vinegar, put 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar in your washing machine's detergent compartment. You don't need to add any other detergents.

Where do you put baking soda in a washing machine? ›

For Extra-Clean Clothes

“It will help lift dirt and grime from clothing,” says Reichert. Don't put baking soda in your washer's detergent dispenser, however. Instead, sprinkle it into the empty drum of your washer, then add clothes and whatever detergent and fabric softeners you'd normally use.

What is the best combination of vinegar and baking soda? ›

If you're planning to use baking soda and vinegar together, Morris suggests using the mixture while it's still bubbling – and ideally, directly on the surface you're cleaning. For example, one useful method Morris suggests is to dump a bit of baking soda down a garbage disposal, followed by a couple glugs of vinegar.

Is it better to wash produce with vinegar or baking soda? ›

Baking soda, whose alkalinity helps to neutralize many common acidic pesticides, is generally thought to be the most effective produce wash.

What happens if you put vinegar and baking soda together? ›

When baking soda is mixed with vinegar, something new is formed. The mixture quickly foams up with carbon dioxide gas. If enough vinegar is used, all of the baking soda can be made to react and disappear into the vinegar solution.

Does baking soda ruin washing machine? ›

Safe to use in both standard and high-efficiency washers, baking soda is one of the top two best products (along with distilled white vinegar) for making your laundry greener by reducing your dependence on harsh chemicals.

Will vinegar damage rubber gaskets? ›

Vinegar is safe to use on machines made using natural rubber seals and parts constructed from ethylene-propylene, silicone, fluorocarbon, virgin Teflon, and butyl synthetic rubber seals.

What not to mix with vinegar? ›

Bleach And Vinegar

This is because vinegar is a great cleaning agent for crockery and utensils because of its acidic nature. However, you should never mix it with bleach for cleaning purposes or in any other situation. It can be extremely dangerous as it produces chlorine gas when mixed even at low levels.

How do I clean my LG front load washer with vinegar? ›

Add one cup of Epsom Salts to half a cup of vinegar, or even water, and add directly to the drum. Run the machine on its hottest cycle, pausing at the beginning to let the saline solution soak. Once the cycle is over the machine should be clean and good for use.

How much baking soda do you put in a front loader? ›

Add ½ cup of baking soda to your washer. Add detergent, like ARM & HAMMER™ Plus OxiClean™ Odor Blasters. Run the wash cycle. Add another ½ cup of baking soda in the rinse cycle.

How do I get my front load washer to stop smelling? ›

Run an empty wash cycle with baking soda.

Just add a half-cup right in the drum (NOT in the detergent dispenser as it will clump) and run an empty wash cycle with warm water. A cleaning cycle with baking soda works like magic to eliminate unpleasant odors.

Why does my front loading washer smell like sewer? ›

Mould, bacteria and tint can accumulate in the seal of the washing machine. The seal is located close to the door. You should clean the seal regularly to prevent the smell that comes from your washing machine.

Why does my front load washer still stink after cleaning? ›

If your washing machine smells like sewage even after you clean it, the issue might be a clog in your drain standpipe. If you've completed all the steps above and your washer stinks still, it may indicate that the drain standpipe is clogged. Sewage smells often point to a clogged drain standpipe.

Do all front load washers have mold problems? ›

Mold problems in front-load washing machines are very common, but not inevitable! The key culprit for this problem is the front-load washer's sealing door. Unlike Top Load Washers , a front-loader has a door surrounded by a rubber gasket that creates an airtight seal when shut.

What is the black gunk in my washing machine seal? ›

If you reach under the washing machine door seal and run your hand across the rubber, it is possible to feel the black sludge that has developed there. This is indicative of mould or mildew. An issue of concern here is the material used in the construction of the door seal.

What is the best way to deep clean a washing machine? ›

Run an empty, regular cycle on hot, using two cups of white vinegar instead of detergent. Add the vinegar to the detergent dispenser. (Don't worry about harming your machine, as white vinegar will not damage clothes.) The hot water-vinegar combo removes and prevents bacteria growth.

How do you clean sludge out of a top loader washing machine? ›

Clean the Washing Machine with Vinegar Again fill the washer with HOT water but this time add one quart of white vinegar. Same routine-set on the longest cycle and let it agitate a few minutes then sit for one hour. After the hour complete the wash and rinse cycle.

Where do you put baking soda in a front load washer? ›

Since baking soda is dry, it should not be placed in the automatic detergent dispenser with your regular detergent. The baking soda can cause clumping and clog the dispenser. Instead, sprinkle 1/2 cup baking soda into the empty washer tub before you load the clothes.

What happens when you put baking soda in the washing machine? ›

Baking soda helps to regulate the pH level in the washer's water by keeping it from being too acidic or alkaline. By adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to each laundry load, detergents can work more effectively and reduce bacteria.

What dissolves gunk in washer? ›

Pour a quart of white vinegar into the wash drum with a cup of baking soda. Use a stiff nylon brush and vinegar to scrub the interior of the wash drum. At the hottest temperature setting, run a wash cycle with this cleaning solution in an empty washer; select the heavy-duty wash cycle if available.

How do I get rid of black sludge in my washing machine? ›

To remove black particles, follow these steps to clean the Washing Machine:
  1. 1 Fill the Washing Machine with 3/4 of water.
  2. 2 Add 1 to 2 litres of Clorox/Bleach.
  3. 3 Leave it overnight.
  4. 4 On the next day, do a clean tub or quick wash to wash away the molds (do not put in any clothing).
Jul 14, 2022

Why does my washing machine smell like mildew top load? ›

Washer odors (like mildew) are usually caused by leaving the washer lid closed when the washer is not in use. This does not allow air to circulate and dry out the moisture remaining in the tub area. The air and moisture mixture becomes stagnant and creates an odor.


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