Cleaning your washing machine is an important way to help keep your family’s clothes smelling fresh and looking clean. Repeat the following steps every thirty days to prevent soils and detergent from building up in your washer.

Step 1: Clean washer with affresh® tablets

Step 2: Clean washing machine dispensers

Step 3: Clean in and around door

Step 4: Clean outside of washer

Step 5: Keep fresh between cleanings

Step 1: Clean washer with affresh® tablets

  • Remove any items left in the tub.
  • Add an affresh® Washing Machine Cleaner tablet to the bottom of the tub to break up dirt and residue. If you don’t have affresh® tablets you may be able to use liquid chlorine bleach, but check your use and care guide first.
  • Close the door and select your washer's cleaning cycle or a normal cycle with hot water setting.
  • For top load washers, run a rinse and spin cycle to clear away any excess cleansers after your cleaning cycle ends. 
  • Leave your washer door open to let the tub dry.
A Whirlpool® washing machine dispenser

Step 2: Clean washing machine dispensers

  • Your washer may or may not have a dispenser drawer. If it does, it needs to be cleaned every thirty days.
  • Pull out the dispenser drawer until you feel resistance. Depending on your washer, the drawer may or may not be completely removable. Note that dispensers are not dishwasher safe.
  • Use a machine cleaning wipe to wipe down all surfaces. If you don't have wipes, use a damp cloth or an all-purpose cleaner as needed. Finish by towel drying your dispenser.

Care Tip: Looking to clean up a tricky mess? Affresh® Machine Cleaning Wipes are the strongest and thickest washing machine cleaning wipe available.

How to clean washer door

Step 3: Clean in and around door

  • Remove any clothing or items from the washer.
  • On top and front load washers, open the washer door or lid and wipe down the inside glass or metal with machine cleaning wipes.
  • On front load washers, use the textured side of the wipe to clean the inside and outside of the rubber door seal. You can also clean with a damp cloth.

Step 4: Clean outside of washer

  • Clean residues, dirt and dust from your machine's surface with an affresh® Machine Cleaning Wipe
  • You can also use a soft, damp cloth or sponge to wipe away any spills, but be sure to use only mild soaps or cleaners when cleaning outside surfaces.
A Whirlpool® top load washing machine

Step 5: Keep fresh between cleanings

  • If you normally wash with cold water, run a cycle with warm or hot water occasionally to help slow down soil and detergent buildup.
  • Leave your washer's door or lid open between washes to dry out the inside and help prevent odors.

Learn more about clothing care

What is involved in cleaning your dryer?

How to clean dryers inside and out

Keep your drying times shorter and your clothes in good shape.

What is the benefit of sorting and separating out your laundry?

How to sort and separate laundry

Why is sorting laundry so important?

Which laundry cycles will work best for your family's laundry?

How to choose laundry cycles

Do you know which settings you should be using to wash and dry your family’s clothes? Find answers to all your questions.

Appliance IQ

Want more answers to your kitchen and laundry questions?

Was this article helpful? Pass it on