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Most people believe that their washing machines are self-cleaning and don’t need any outside assistance. Of course, that thought changes the day they open their machine, and the scent of mildew and grime hits them. Just like anything else, washing machines need occasional cleaning. Grime, mold, excess detergent, dirt, and mineral deposits all accumulate in the washer over time. They can lead to foul smells and a less effective washing machine. Cleaning a washing machine is straightforward, though it does take a bit of time.

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1. Cycle One

To begin cleaning a washing machine, turn the washer to its hottest setting, longest cycle, and the largest load. Fill the washer’s dispenser or drum with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. The most popular ratio is ½ cup of baking soda with 4 cups of vinegar. Some people choose to use bleach instead of baking soda and vinegar, but this is much harsher. Additionally, never combine vinegar and bleach. Let the washer run for a little over a minute before adding a mixture. Once you’ve added it, let it run for a few more minutes to agitate the mixture. Stop the cycle and let the mixture and water soak for an hour. After the hour ends, let the washing cycle complete.

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