Spinning around: How to disinfect the washing machine

Answering all your washing machine cleaning questions, read our guide for how to disinfect your washing machine from filter to seal and everything in between.

Updated 2 October 2023


AuthorBy Cleanipedia Team

Reading Time5 minutes

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When it comes to cleaning and disinfecting your washing machine, there are many questions that need to be answered. These can range from, “can I put bleach in my washing machine” to “what temperature should I clean my washing machine at?”

Fret not, because with our simple how-to guide we will show you what you need and how to clean and disinfect your washing machine with ease.

Before you get started...

Here’s a few items you’re going to need before putting bleach in the washing machine.

  • Bleach

  • Water

  • A clean towel

  • A soft, lint-free cloth (or two!)

  • Washing-up liquid

How to clean a washing machine with bleach: A step-by-step guide

Read on for our easy guide to how to use bleach in washing machine cycles to clean and disinfect it.

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  • Easy steps for cleaning a washing machine with bleach

    1. 1

      To disinfect your washing machine, make up a diluted bleach solution. To mix your solution, you need:

      3.5L water and 1/2 cup bleach

    2. 2

      First, you need to know where to put bleach in washing machine.

      There are two places to add your diluted bleach solution to your washing machine. Start by filling the washer compartment. With any leftover solution, pour it directly into the washing-machine drum.

    3. 3

      Put your machine onto a hot wash with an extra rinse cycle.

      Hot water helps disinfect the machine, and the extra rinse cycle will ensure all remnants of bleach from the machine.

    4. 4

      If you clean your machine regularly (we recommend every 6-8 weeks) a normal wash will be enough to disinfect your machine.

      If it’s been a while since its last clean, use a longer cycle instead.

    5. 5

      After you have completed the clean cycle, run the machine on a final, empty wash cycle to ensure all remnants of bleach have been removed.

      Some modern machines have a cleaning or maintenance cycle, which is designed to effectively clean your machine. If you have this setting, it is best to use it.

  • How to clean a washing machine seal, drawers and more

    Whilst adding bleach to the washing machine will help to clean and disinfect the inside of your machine and the drum, there are other parts you will need to clean too.

    1. 1

      First, create a bleach solution,

      as you would to clean the machine.

    2. 2

      Next, dip a soft cloth into the solution.

      Use it to wipe the inside of the door and any areas that show signs of dirt and mildew.

    3. 3

      Remove any drawers and compartments and soak them in your bleach solution.

      You can use a soft brush such as a toothbrush to remove any stubborn mould or mildew marks.

    4. 4

      Use a cloth to wipe all the parts you can see in and around where you put the drawers and compartments,

      before replacing them.

    5. 5

      Take care to rinse any areas you have cleaned with bleach.

      Rinse the drawers and compartments under a warm tap. Use a clean cloth in warm water to wipe down any other areas you have cleaned. This will help to reduce the risk of any bleaching happening next time you put in a load of laundry.

  • How to clean the filter

    1. 1

      Remove the filter.

      This is often found via a hatch on the front of your machine. Be aware that it will often release a pool of water so have a towel or bowl at the ready.

    2. 2

      Loosen any fluff, coins, hair grips,

      or other items which may have become trapped in the filter.

    3. 3

      For any particularly stubborn grime,

      soak the filter in hot water.

    4. 4

      Give the filter a final rinse under the tap,

      before putting it back.

  • How to clean washing machine rubber

    There is a few simple tips and tricks you should learn for how to clean washing machine rubber seal. To achieve the best results, you should only follow the below steps how to clean washing machine rubber door seal after you have run the cycles to clean the inside of your washing machine.

    1. 1

      Mix a cleaning solution using:

      2-3 drops of washing-up liquid and warm water.

    2. 2

      Dip a soft, lint-free cloth into your cleaning solution.

      Use the cloth to wipe down the interior of the rubber door seal.

    3. 3

      Don’t forget.

      Wipe underneath and around the seal as well.

How to make a washing machine mould cleaner

If you’ve been failing to clean your washing machine, you might notice that some mould has built up. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to learn how to make a washing machine mould cleaner. Here are a few options: • Mix 2 cups of water, ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide and ¼ cup lemon juice • Mix 2 cups of water, ½ cup distilled white vinegar, and ¼ cup lemon juice • Mix 4 parts water and 1 part vinegar – works if the mould in your washing machine is only sparse • Mix 4 parts water and 1 part bleach – bleach can be used as a backup if the above options don’t seem to be working.

Answers to all your questions regarding using bleach in a washing machine

Can you put bleach in washing machine?

If you’ve ever asked “can you use bleach in washing machine” then the simple answer is “yes”! Bleach can be used inside your washing machine for cleaning it as well as working well as a washing machine disinfectant. The most important thing to remember is that you must run at least one empty cycle after cleaning, to remove all remaining bleach and help prevent bleaching next time you do a load of laundry.

What temperature kills bacteria in washing machine?

For the best results when using bleach to disinfect your washing machine is to run the cycle at 90°C.

How can you prevent mould and mildew build-up in your washing machine?

There are a few easy steps to help keep your machine seal mould, mildew, and odour-free:

So, now you know the answer to questions like, will bleach damage my washing machine, and have all the tips and tricks you need for how to clean washing machine seal and other parts. For more washing advice, check out our guide to how to use oxygen bleach powder in your laundry.

Key steps:

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