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How to clean a top loading washing machine

Clean a top loading washing machine and keep your clothes smelling fresh with our simple guide.


how to wash clothes in a washing machine

Key steps to clean a washing machine inside and out:

  1. Clean the exterior with white vinegar and water, using a non-abrasive sponge.

  2. Use Domestos Thick Bleach to disinfect the inside by adding it to the drum with hot water, leaving for 1 hour, then selecting a hot wash.

  3. Remove and scrub the filter with warm soapy water. Make sure you put it back in properly before using the machine again.

From muddy kids’ clothes to large bed sheets, we load our washing machines up with all sorts of dirty laundry on a weekly basis but how often do we clean the machine itself? If you can't remember the last time yours got some TLC then here's how to clean a top loading washing machine, inside and out.

White vinegar is the ultimate solution so always have a bottle in your cleaning cupboard!

How to clean a top loader washing machine (exterior)

The exterior of your washing machine shouldn't need much care. Just follow these 4 steps to keep it looking it's best:

  1. Mix white vinegar with water in equal parts and apply to your washing machine.

  2. Scrub using a non-abrasive sponge.

  3. Wipe down with a microfiber cloth to dry and remove streaks.

  4. Use an old toothbrush to help you get into little spaces.

How to clean a top loader washing machine (interior)

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It’s important you clean top loading washing machines on the inside too as this can help the machine last longer (and ensure a clean wash for your clothes). There are 3 main steps:

  1. Add plenty of hot water to the drum before adding up to 1 litre of Domestos Thick Bleach.

  2. Leave the mixture for an hour before running a hot wash cycle.

  3. If you’re wondering how to get the mildew smell out of a top load washer, run a second cycle adding half a cup of vinegar to the machine’s drum before wiping down the inside with a microfiber cloth - find out more of our tips to keep your machine smelling fresh.

For more general tips on how to clean any type of washing machine, please refer to our three-step guide to washing machine cleaning.

How to clean the filter in a top loader washing machine

Finally, don't forget to clean your washing machine's filter or all hard work could be wasted:

  1. Turn off the machine and disconnect the power. 

  2. Locate the filter by checking the user manual, before carefully taking it out.

  3. Mix warm water and a mild soap together in a bowl.

  4. Scrub the filter with the mixture using an old, but clean, toothbrush. Do not scrub too hard.

  5. Rinse with clean water and dry before replacing in the machine and plugging it back in.

Learning how to clean a smelly top load washing machine isn’t hard and can give you much fresher, cleaner clothes. Once your washing machine is sparkling, wget the most out of it with our clothes washing guide.

Originally published