With every wash, you get water and detergent into and out of the washing machine, so it must be clean right? Why would it need cleaning? The washing machine just like any other appliance in the home requires regular cleaning. Here are four key reasons why.

Woman adjusting control on front load washer

Keep Bacteria and Germs Away

The dirt that comes from the wash cycles can build up in the washing machine and transfer back to your clothes during the subsequent wash cycles. The amount of dirt and bacteria trapped in your washing machine is more when there are detergent residues trapped on the surfaces of your machine. Therefore, you should make a habit of cleaning your washing machine regularly to get rid of residue, dirt, and germs. While not many homeowners have reported infections from washing machines, the fact that lack of regular cleaning can cause bacterial growth shows that there is some risk in using a dirty machine.

Keep Your Clothes Smelling Fresh

Residue and bacteria build-up can result in washing machine odour. If your clothes no longer come out smelling fresh, that could be a clear sign that you need to clean your washing machine. Scrubbing the residue can help in getting rid of the odour. According to Service Force, a company in the UK offering appliance maintenance and repair services, their tips for a clean washing machine state that after cleaning the residue, you should open the door of the washing machine to allow the interior air to dry. If the smell doesn’t go away, you should repeat the cleaning process again. However, note that the bad odour can also be as a result of poor drainage.

Avoid Stains

Another consequence of dirt and residue build-up is stains on clothes even after following the correct washing procedure. This too, just like the above, will go away after you clean your washing machine. However, note that some stains on clothes are detergent stains. These come about when you use too much detergent, when you don’t rinse your clothes well or where the detergent fails to dissolve in water.  Thus, check your detergent type and usage especially if the stains are white and blue.

Keep the Machine Functioning Optimally

Cleaning your washing machine regularly is one of the steps you should take to keep it at optimal performance, prevent regular breakdowns, and ensure that it lasts for the longest time. It is a preventive measure that will save you money in the long term and thus do it often.

Other than cleaning, there are another six key measures you should take when using a washing machine. One, avoid overloading your washing machine. When you overload, you may not get the best wash and you will also be straining the appliance and this can cause some issues. Two, avoid using excess detergent when washing your clothes. There is a common myth that when you use more detergent your clothes will be cleaner. This is not true and it only leads to damage on your clothes and on the appliance parts.

Three, ensure that the washing machine is stable on the ground. If the machine is not level, it could be damaged with continual use. Four, understand the settings on your machine and use them correctly. These are clearly defined in your manual. Five, take your clothes out of the washing machine immediately you are done washing. Damp clothes provide an ideal environment for bacteria and other microorganisms to thrive. Finally, get repairs done by the right professional and as soon as you notice any damage. Noise, leakage and poor drainage are some of the key signs that your washing machine needs repair.