Posted on

DIY Deep Cleaning of Your Top Load Washing Machine

We rely on top load washing machines to clean clothes, sheets, other fabrics, and even shoes like canvas sneakers. What if your washing machine needs cleaning?

Your washer may have collected smells or gunk over time. There may have been an accident with your new top load washing machine that may have left it with a strong smell, and you need to get it cleaned. Either way, instead of spending money to hire professionals, you could do it yourself.

Today, we will discuss a simple DIY method to deep clean your top load washing machine. It will help you get the dirt, smell, and gunk out of your washer without giving a lot of money to professional repair service.

Before we start, let’s talk about a few things that can make your washer dirty and why it needs a deep clean.

Why Your Top Load Washing Machine Needs a Deep Clean

Here are a few key reasons why occasional deep cleaning of washing machines is important.

●        Design Flaws

For the longest time, many washing machines would smell bad over time because of poor design. Manufacturers’ designs for these washing machines were flawed, and some models tended to hold water in certain parts or components for long periods.

These flaws can make your washing machine the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, mould, and mildew. Not only is this harmful to your health, but it also leaves an unpleasant smell in the air and the clothes you wash in the machine.

Newer improved models have ironed out such design flaws. However, if your washer is old, you may need to consider a regular deep clean.

●        Odours

You don’t want bad odours in your top load washing machine because they can come off on the clothes you wash in it. If you have a washing machine that is an older model, left your wet clothes in the machine for too long, or threw a diaper in there accidentally, expect foul odours that can spoil your washed clothes.

A deep clean ensures your washing machine is not the source of bad-smelling clothes.

●        Hard Water

If your home has a water supply issue and gets hard water, lime residue has probably collected inside the pipes and components of your washing machine, causing it to function badly. Not only will a deep clean remove the lime and make it work more efficiently, but it will also prolong its lifespan.

●        Other Factors

Things like humid weather can result in your washer not properly drying between loads, increasing the chances for odours, mould, and mildew to take hold of your machine. Moreover, sometimes, dirt and soap can splash around, leaving gunk or grime on parts of the wash bin, and this needs to be removed properly.

DIY Deep Cleaning of Your Top Load Washing Machine

You need to note that the following DIY deep cleaning is for top load washing machines and may not work for front load washing machines. Moreover, we have picked a non-bleach technique because bleach is toxic, bad for septic systems, and may discolour your clothing if not handled properly.

You may find plenty of DIY deep cleaning methods online that use bleach, but we highly recommend against them. The following technique is the best way to kill mould, mildew, odours, and clean your top load washing machine using natural ingredients.

That being said, let’s start your DIY deep clean with a list of household items.

You need:

  • White Vinegar – Its acidity is great for dissolving gunk, lime build-up, and any dirt residue in your washer and it’s pipes. It is also useful for removing mould and mildew and completely disinfecting your washing machine.
  • Baking Soda – It will help clean tough soap marks and residue marks and wipe out any smells and odours in your washer.
  • Clean Cloth – Use a clean cloth for cleaning the parts of your top load washing machine that require some elbow grease.

Once you have these items, follow these steps.

Step 1

You need to adjust the settings of your top load washing machine to run at the largest load with hot water. However, instead of adding clothes to the wash, add 4 cups of white vinegar to the hot water and let it run for a minute or two to spread the vinegar around.

Step 2

Now, add around ½ a cup of baking soda to the mix and let the washing machine run to mix and spread your latest ingredient. Once it’s all mixed, pause the washing machine and let the hot water solution sit in the wash bin for at least half an hour. If you want, you can let it sit for up to an hour as well.

Step 3

While your hot water solution does its magic to fight odours, grime, and build-up inside the washer, it’s time to put in a little elbow grease. Dip the clean cloth in the hot water-white vinegar-baking soda mix, and start wiping down the other visible parts of your washing machine.

Make sure to clean the knobs, buttons, and the top lid from inside and out. Next, aim for the top of the wash bin and the dispensers for detergent and softeners. If your damp cloth is not doing the trick, don’t be afraid to use an old toothbrush to get the tough spots and crevices.

Step 4

Now, you can let the washing cycle continue until the washer starts to drain your solution. If your top load washing machine has the option to spin while draining, use it. It will make pushing out loose gunk from the tiny holes in your wash bin easier for the solution.

If this is not an option, you can start another hot wash cycle and let it run to completion. Just make sure to inspect the wash bin and wipe down the top part; it may require extra attention since the water doesn’t reach this point.

Pro Tip: Let the machine air dry properly after deep cleaning and after every load. It helps to leave the top lid and dispenser lid open for an hour or two after every load to ensure that water, moisture, and odours do not take hold of your washing machine.


You have successfully deep cleaned your top load washing machine and rid it of any smells, odours, mould, mildew, and build-up. It seems like an easy DIY deep clean, and it actually is, except for the part where you have to do the cleaning physically.

Nevertheless, the results are incredible, and you can now enjoy a fresher, cleaner, safer, more efficient top load washing machine. If you use an old machine, you may need to do this every few months, whereas you may only need to do this once or twice a year with a new machine, depending on your usage.

Although unlikely, if our DIY deep clean does not work for your top load washing machine or the washer returns to its smelly, grimy condition within a month or two, it may be time to let go.

Instead of paying expensive professionals to clean your old machine, it is better to check out the top load washing machines at Gimmie. You will easily find a new machine that performs well, does not require much maintenance, and is also within your budget, considering the straightforward, flexible plans available.