How to clean the washing machine with vinegar and lemon acid?

It’s not that easy to imagine life without a washing machine: handwash takes a lot of effort and time, and after a long hard day people usually have no energy for washing. But there is a safe card: your automatic washer. It would be enough to load the dirty laundry and push the button. And – voila! – an hour after your clothes are clean and fresh.

The service life of a washing machine is usually about 10 years, but if you exploit in a wrong way, this term becomes shorter. Another reason for a washer to break down are dirt, dust and hard tap water. Sometimes a washer doesn’t work for no reason, but the fact is that the reason is actually the scale. The salts of heavy metals deposit on the electric heating pipe of a washing machine, which can entail the breakage.

From this article you will get to know how to save your machine and how to clean a top and front loader washing machine. There are some advice below which you easily follow.

First of all, there are two elements in the machine, which may be exposed to scale:

  1. Electric heat pipes
  2. A drum.

First two methods are related to cleaning electric heat pipes.

Method 1: Lemon acid

clean washing machine with lemon acid

Lemon acid really helps to get rid of scale on heat pipes. The needed amount of acid depends on the degree of pollution. At an average, the automatic washer with 5 kg capacity needs 5 sachets of lemon acid. 4 of them you need to place into the detergent container and the rest one into the drum. Then set the High-Temp program (circa 90-95 C).

You will see some dark grey pieces of scale go out. Make sure later, that they didn’t stuff up the drain hose – otherwise you need to clean it by yourself. You can do that twice per month to avoid such problems.

Method 2: Vinegar

cleaning with vinegar

To clean a washer with vinegar is the cheapest and the simplest way to forget about scale forever. This method is less popular, than the previous one, but we should still keep that in mind. Vinegar contains acetic acid that is more aggressive, than lemon acid. That may damage some rubber elements of the machine. But anyway, it helps to make the process of scale removing go faster and easier.

Pour some vinegar into a detergent container (50 mL would be enough) and choose any washing cycle. It’s up to you whether to trust it or not, and to choose a proper detergent.

But the drum also can collect some dirt and limescale. Some washer models have a particular program for automatic cleaning: you just need to set that program and place the cleansing agent into the detergent compartment. The manuals usually contain information about the type of detergent you must use and also its amount. And then all your duty is to wait and watch the process.

But if your washer doesn’t have such a function, cleaning a washing machine drum is still possible. There are some options:

  • Place into the drum 100 mL of bleach and turn the cycle with 60 C temp. The drum will be clean, and all the smells will be gone.
  • Place into the drum 2 sachets of lemon acid and turn the high-temp program. If your washer has double rinse cycle, it would remove limescale deposits better.

But all hints above are about cleaning front loader washers. To clean a top-loader, there are some other hints:

  • Turn on a sanitizing cycle, if your machine has one.
  • Tune it on its hottest and the largest load setting and then add some a quart of white vinegar (or 2 cups of lemon juice) and 4 ounces of baking soda. This mixture will help not only to get rid of some dirt and grime, but also of hard-water deposits. As soon as the basket has spun enough to dissolve the baking soda, pause the machine and wait for about a half-hour. Then restart the machine and let it finish its cycle. If you have a spin-and-drain cycle,it would be easy for you to select this setting to spin out any grime that might have been loosened. When the washing machine is empty, wipe down all surfaces with a mixture of hot water and white vinegar.
  • To reach some difficult holes and nooks you can use a simple old toothbrush.
  • If your washer basket got some stains or discoloring, vinegar and baking soda may not be enough to thoroughly clean it out. Follow the same steps but using a quart of chlorine bleach instead. Remember that on this cycle you shouldn’t put any clothes inside!
  • Don’t forget about using the proper detergent for your top-loader washer. If the machine has high efficiency, run it only with high-efficiency cleanser. If you notice that after finishing the washing cycle you still have detergent left or it’s low-efficiency one, just turn on an extra rinse cycle to wash it away.

These simple steps of cleaning different types of washing machines and their different elements may be used as the solution for your problems. But remember, that prevention of problems is always the better way to keep your washer working as long as possible.

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