Keeping Your Washing Machine Germ-Free

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Home Improvement

Your washing machine may seem like it’s always clean, but it can harbor germs and bacteria if not sanitized properly. While it may seem counterintuitive to sanitize a machine that’s meant for cleaning, it’s important to do so, especially if you’re dealing with more than just everyday dirt and grime. Here’s how to keep your washing machine germ-free.

If you’re dealing with dirty diapers or a stomach bug, bleach is necessary to kill germs. Dilute one part bleach with 10 parts water and spray the inside of your machine. Use a mild abrasive sponge to wipe out grime and spray the lid and exterior of the machine. For front-loading machines, clean the rubber seal as well. Run a hot wash cycle with a cup of bleach and add a few rags to avoid an empty cycle.

Tips for Sanitizing Your Washing Machine

Bleach is a regulated and effective germ killer, but handle it with care. Wear gloves, work in a well-ventilated area, and wear a face mask if necessary. Remember that bleach is caustic and can burn your skin, corrode metal, and irritate eyes, airways, and mucus membranes. If you don’t need to deal with germs, you can use vinegar instead. Mix half vinegar and half water in a spray bottle for regular cleaning and use a cup of undiluted vinegar for a wash cycle. It’s a good idea to clean your washing machine once a month or at least once a season to avoid buildup.

Additional Information Available

Related Articles

  • Difference between Disinfecting and Sanitizing
  • Comparison of Professional Cleaning and DIY Cleaning
  • Recommended Cleaning Frequency
  • Steps to Clean Your Washing Machine

Sources

  • Main, Emily. “Bleach vs Vinegar: Which is Better for Disinfecting?” Rodale.com. July 9, 2012. http://www.rodale.com/natural-disinfectant
  • “How to Sanitize Your Washing Machine.” Mamaslaundrytalk.com. March 9, 2010. http://www.mamaslaundrytalk.com/2010/03/09/sanitizing-your-washing-machine/

FAQ

1. Why is it important to sanitize your washing machine?

Sanitizing your washing machine is important to prevent the buildup of bacteria, mold, and mildew. These can cause unpleasant odors and potentially harm your health. Additionally, sanitizing your washing machine can help it work more efficiently and extend its lifespan.

2. How often should you sanitize your washing machine?

It is recommended to sanitize your washing machine at least once every six months. However, if you use your washing machine frequently or notice any signs of buildup or odors, you may want to sanitize it more often.

3. What materials do you need to sanitize your washing machine?

You will need white vinegar, baking soda, and a microfiber cloth or scrub brush. You may also want to use gloves to protect your hands.

4. How do you sanitize a front-loading washing machine?

First, add two cups of white vinegar to the detergent dispenser. Run a hot water cycle on the highest level. Then, add half a cup of baking soda to the drum and run another hot water cycle on the highest level. Finally, wipe down the inside of the washing machine with a microfiber cloth or scrub brush.

5. How do you sanitize a top-loading washing machine?

First, add four cups of white vinegar to the drum. Run a hot water cycle on the highest level. Then, add half a cup of baking soda to the drum and run another hot water cycle on the highest level. Finally, wipe down the inside of the washing machine with a microfiber cloth or scrub brush.

6. Can you use bleach to sanitize your washing machine?

Yes, you can use bleach to sanitize your washing machine. However, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the appropriate amount of bleach. Bleach can be harsh and may damage certain parts of the washing machine if used improperly.

7. Should you sanitize your washing machine if you use bleach regularly?

Yes, you should still sanitize your washing machine even if you use bleach regularly. While bleach can help kill bacteria, it can also cause buildup and odors over time.

8. Can you use other cleaning products to sanitize your washing machine?

It is not recommended to use other cleaning products to sanitize your washing machine. Many cleaning products can be harsh and may damage certain parts of the washing machine. Stick to using white vinegar and baking soda for the best results.

9. How can you prevent bacteria buildup in your washing machine?

To prevent bacteria buildup, make sure to leave the washing machine door or lid open after each use to allow it to air out. Also, avoid leaving wet clothes in the washing machine for long periods of time. Finally, sanitize your washing machine regularly.

10. How do you know if your washing machine needs to be sanitized?

If you notice any unpleasant odors coming from your washing machine or see signs of mold or mildew buildup, it may be time to sanitize your washing machine. Additionally, if you or anyone in your household has been sick, it is a good idea to sanitize the washing machine to prevent the spread of bacteria.

11. Can sanitizing your washing machine help with allergies?

Yes, sanitizing your washing machine can help with allergies by removing allergens such as dust mites and pet dander. Additionally, sanitizing your washing machine can help prevent the growth of mold and mildew, which can also trigger allergies.

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