2023 Cleaning Army Calendar in stock | BUY NOW

Laundry Room

How to Get the Stink out of Your Washing Machine! Moldy Seals and Stinky Drums.

October 24, 2022

Washing machines deal with filth on a daily basis. Dirt, grime, sweat, germs, oil, and bodily fluids all get tossed into the washer without regard for the machine itself. Ironically, this means the very appliances we use to clean other things tend to be the dirtiest. 

When it comes to cleaning the home, washing machines are one of the most neglected appliances in the house. They are often the nastiest thing we clean at @gocleanco. (Probably 80% of the washing machines we clean have mold and stink to high heaven.) Today we’re going to focus on how to get them sparkling so that your clothes aren’t soaking in a barrel of filth.

Please note that some of these products are affiliate links. Consider these brands our friends with benefits. When you buy from these links, we make a small commission at no extra cost to you. We use this commission to pay our staff, produce content, and of course, buy our cleaning supplies. Pretty neat, huh?

Washing Machines

Front Loaders

Front-loading washing machines are often the worst offenders when it comes to their level of filth. Besides some machines just omitting an unpleasant odor, we often find mold. Before you start cleaning, grab some gloves and a mask. We’re using bleach, so you need to be extra cautious. Opening a window or turning on a fan is recommended. Also, be careful not to let bleach splash on your clothing or anything else nearby (wear crappy clothes just to be safe).

Rubber seal

Front-loaders have a rubber seal at the front of the drum that gathers hair, coins, socks and any other grime and debris that goes through the washing machine. It often collects a gross, slimy build-up of hair and dirt, and about half the time, there’s mold. To put it simply, front seals are usually freaking nasty. 

Step 1: Before you begin, put down an old towel to protect the floor. 

Step 2: Open the machine door and pull open the seal to really see what’s going on in there. Start by pulling out as much gunk as possible with a paper towel. 

Step 3: Grab some bleach (Canada) (USA) and a scrub brush (Canada) (USA) small enough to fit into the seal of your machine. Make sure your washing machine is empty, and pour about half a cup of bleach straight into the seal. Grab your scrub brush and begin scrubbing the inside. Scrub all around the seal, working your way around the circumference of the drum. (Make sure you pull the seal away from the drum, and you should see a plastic piece where more sludge is usually hiding. Hold back the seal while you scrub in there.) 

Step 4: Once you’ve lifted as much mold and staining as possible, use a paper towel to wipe out the seal. Sadly, sometimes the mold will stain the rubber when left too long, but the bleach will disinfect and kill any active mold.

Detergent Drawer

After the seal, detergent drawers are the second most offensive part of a washing machine. Pull your drawer out, and you should see a little push tab near the back. Push down on the tab and pull the drawer out at the same time. Look into the slot where the drawer came out and scan for any mold or detergent buildup. The top is usually where we find the most mold. Grab your scrub brush with some bleach and water again and get scrubbing. Use a paper towel to wipe away the excess after you’ve lifted the mold. 

The drawer you just removed can also accumulate mold, hard water deposits, and detergent build up. Take apart the inserts of the drawer in your sink and use bleach and a scrub brush to clean off any mold or filth. Rinse well. If it has hard water deposits, let it soak in vinegar for about a half-hour or as long as needed, then scrub with a brush. Make sure you thoroughly rinse and dry it off before putting the drawer back together and into its slot. If there are rust stains, you can use Iron Out on a cloth to remove them. Always leave your detergent drawer slightly open in between washes to allow airflow; this helps prevent mold growth.

Drum/Door

Once you’ve cleaned the seal and the detergent drawer, it’s time to clean the drum and door. 

Some doors will build up with limescale or soap residue, leaving a white coating. Gently scrub inside the glass door with bleach and water. If this doesn’t lift everything, wipe off the bleach, grab powdered Tide® (Canada) (USA) and water on a microfiber cloth (Canada) (USA) and wipe to remove any remnants. If it’s still not entirely off, then the bleach cycle you’re about to do should leave it sparkling. 

Fill the bleach dispenser in the drawer with bleach to the top line. Close the door, and set your machine to the longest and hottest cycle possible. The bleach cycle will clean not only the drum but also the glass and seal. Once the cycle is finished, your machine should be sparkling and smell clean. To keep up with the cleanliness of your machine, use Tide® washing machine cleaner (Canada) (USA) and follow the instructions on the packaging. You typically use it once a month, but if your machine is horrible, use it every week for three weeks. 
Pro tips: To maintain the clean smell and make sure the mold doesn’t come back, leave the door and detergent drawer slightly ajar between washes. We love the Door Doc (Canada) (USA) for this!

Top Loader Washing Machines

At GoCleanCo, we LOVE top loaders. They are much easier to clean and don’t grow mold or hold onto dirt as easily as front loaders. 

To clean a top loader, start by pouring some bleach into a bowl and grab a scrub brush. Dip your brush into the bleach, then scrub the seal around the top and the softener dispenser in the middle of the machine. Sometimes the dispenser comes apart so you can scrub them in the sink. Don’t forget to scrub or wipe the inside of the door and where the door rests. Pull out any grime with a paper towel, then pour one cup of bleach into the washer tub. Set your machine to the hottest, longest cycle and hit start. Top loaders don’t stink up as quickly as front loaders, so you shouldn’t have to do a bleach cycle often. Use Tide Washing Machine Cleaner monthly to keep your machine fresh and clean! 

Outside of Washer

Before you wipe down the machine, make sure to vacuum behind and under. (Pull it away from the wall if you can, but watch your floors!) If you can’t move your machines, grab a Swiffer (Canada) (USA) and glide it under them to pull out any lint and debris. Now, grab your Tide and water mixture with a clean rag. Wipe the sides, front and top of the machine thoroughly. For the finishing touch, use Windex (Canada) (USA) to polish both sides of the glass door and, of course, the machine’s exterior.

After your machine is clean, you will feel so much better knowing your clothes are genuinely getting clean! Now click here for all things dryers.

Clean Your Entire Home the GoCleanCo Way

At GoCleanCo, our team spends thousands of hours per year professionally deep cleaning every square inch of homes. If you’d like to learn the same tricks, methods, and recipes that we use to deliver pristine results, look no further than Basic Training.

The GoCleanCo Basic Training course is a 75-minute interactive resource that shows you how to clean every room in your house from top to bottom. Click here to enroll today!

  • Georgia @ GoCleanCo

Recent Posts

Thank you! A confirmation email will be sent to your email

Clean up your inbox.

News, ideas, and recommendations delivered to your inbox. Absolutely zero trash piling up in the corner.

We're big on Instagram.

Follow @GoCleanCo for seriously satisfying videos and top-secret tips. Don’t be shy, come say hi.

gocleanco
Nov 30
3433

After the Fall Cleaning Challenge my team and I had a lot of stuff to purge! So we called 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and the fellas got to work. Did you know that they are a full service Junk Removal company that actually comes into your basement, garage, attic and you can just stand there and point out what needs to go and they’ll remove it right from where it’s located? ? They price based on volume so you only pay for how much room your items take up in the truck. Plus they then take the items to their warehouse and sort through what can be donated, reused and recycled! You can save money and space before the Holidays with my code: SARAH47 for $47 off your next Junk Removal. Create some space to breathe for yourself before the big guy comes! 🎅🏻 #sponsored @1800gotjunk Cannot be combined with other offers. Offer ends Dec 2, 2022. Offer not valid on standard item pricing or minimum loads.

gocleanco
Nov 23
26029

Is your refrigerator running? 😆 Probably not very well if this is how the vents look! Reminder that your fridge has air vents that can get clogged up with pet hair and dust, when they are clogged, it hinders its efficiency. Before you load it up with food this weekend, pull it out (watch your floors!) and take a peek 👀

gocleanco
Oct 24
14293

Cleaning is such a scary job I don’t even bother asking him to help anymore. #happyhalloween

gocleanco
Oct 21
9148

Not me using Catch Up Week to answer emails and clean my suckers out. 😵‍💫 Reminder that if you have fallen behind that’s OKAY and you are only human and can only do so many things in a day. What did you use Catch Up Week for? Lemme know ⤵️

gocleanco
Oct 18
3359

The 2023 Cleaning Army Calendar is here! This is a limited print run so get it while it’s 🔥. Who snagged one this morning? #cleaningarmy

gocleanco
Oct 13
3304

Not gonna lie I was nervous about this one. I mean cowhide? Faux or not, it’s still hairy and how was that going to stand up to chocolate?! It was touch and go at first but as per usual @ruggable does NOT disappoint. Even in the aftermath of a candy bar this rug is soft and just as gorgeous as when it came out of the box. 👏 Bravo @ruggable. As always @ruggable has a code for the #cleaningarmy GOCLEAN10. #ruggablepartner

gocleanco
Sep 28
11144

Kitchen week is a really BIG one, but I've taught you #dirtybastards well. You've got this, greasy light fixtures and all! Start with one cupboard like I did today, it gives you motivation and the satisfaction to move onto the next. What's the dirtiest thing in your kitchen right now? Mine is my pantry…it’s time to take inventory on all these cans of tuna…Let us know in the comments below...

gocleanco
Sep 22
24880

If you're going to clean any room in your home, clean your damn bathroom. The Fall Cleaning Challenge is underway and we kick off with bathrooms. Know a #dirtybastard who should join along? Tag them in the comments below ⬇️ We're giving away some of my favourite things every single week and the grand prize is a house clean from us! Good luck! #gocleanco #fallcleaningchallenge2022

gocleanco
Sep 14
16288

Have you heard we finally made a @youtube channel? Click the link in my bio to subscribe and clean up your act. #cleaningtips

gocleanco
Jul 20
37816

Pesto anyone? 🤢 #cleaningmotivation

gocleanco
Jul 9
59544

Small Patio Clean Up: What I used: Floors: water, bleach and powdered Tide Siding: powdered Tide and hot water Windows: water and Blue Dawn and my trusty Aquablade Windows Screens: wiped them with powdered tide a few times (they were not removable) Patio tracks: my Dupray Steamer And a healthy dose elbow grease (shit doesn’t clean itself folks, you still need to do some work) The rest is coming shortly! I just bit off more than I could chew (as usual) and it’s gonna take more than a day to finish. #summervibes

gocleanco
Jun 27
7015

Roll call of some of our favourite caddy staples! We carry an arsenal of products at work so we are never empty-handed when we meet a scary mess. Check out my stories for quick tutorials on where, when and how we use these products in the field at @gocleanco #sponsored @mrclean @febreze @microban24 @dawndishwash @swiffer

gocleanco
Jun 26
6017

Pet odours can get really bad in the summer! Use @febreze Fabric Pet Odour Eliminator to keep your furniture smelling fresh. Lots of people think @febreze masks the smell but it actually removes bad odours. You just spray it on your couch and let it air dry. Be sure to spray until the fabric is damp to touch - this lets the product get deep down into the fibres of the upholstery, in order to eliminate the source of the odour. @febreze works best on lingering odours when you cover the entire area well. #sponsored

gocleanco
Jun 21
11492

Over packer or under packer? TRUTH: I have never *carried on* in my life. I’ll wait 40 mins for my checked bag if means I can bring 5 pairs of shoes for a 4 day trip. I will live with my choices thankyouverymuch Off to the Big 🍎 for a few days with the @amazoninfluencerprogram All my outfits are linked up in my Amazon store and on my LTK. Link in bio. P.S. thanks for cute reel inspo @lauren_lally #hosted

gocleanco
May 30
7625

Our little blog on bleachpraylove.com is getting so much traction and we are living for it. The blog has a search bar function so y’all can go directly there and search alllllll the things you need to clean. We are building it to include everything from blenders to car mats! Y’all are our built in focus group and the blog post ideas come directly from the questions in our comments and DM’s so let us know what you need us to show ya below! ⤵️ #bleachpraylove

gocleanco
May 19
9009

The winner of the Spring Cleaning Challenge full-blown-top-to-bottom house clean from @gocleanco is 🥁 @sherilg4 !!!! We will be heading to Ontario to clean her house this fall and y’all get to come along in my pocket. 📱 Thank you to everyone who joined in on the Spring Cleaning Challenge! We have another one under our belt. It’s over. Now go take a nap. 📸 cred @substanceyyc 💕 #cleaningarmy

gocleanco
May 13
15161

Washable chair covers. The thing we didn’t know we needed until it existed. Make sure you check out my stories where I put them to the test. 😈 @levityhome has living room and dining chairs and dozens of different covers to choose from, you can change up the vibe of your living room and swap out the covers whenever you want without having to buy new furniture. 💡 👏🏻 Use my code: GOCLEAN10 #levitypartner

©2022 Bleach Pray Love | Designed by Canned Spinach | Built by Oracast