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The condition of your washer and dryer has a significant impact on the cleanliness of your laundry. Routine upkeep typically includes removing the lint after every load, as well as periodic checks and cleanings (at least every few months) of dryer vents. But some situations require more extensive cleaning to ensure that the laundry appliances are sanitary and safe to use. Some situations that should lead you to sanitize your washer and dryer include after washing the clothes of someone who is ill (some pathogens can survive normal washings), as well as after washing clothes contaminated with bodily fluids, poison oak or poison ivy, pesticides, or petroleum chemicals.

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how to sanitize and disinfect a washer and dryer

The buildup of contaminants, residual detergent, and fabric softener can trap bacteria and other debris in a washing machine. This can transfer back to your clothes, causing odor and potentially spreading disease. But you can get rid of it with a special cleaning using chlorine bleach.

When the cycle is complete, inspect the interior of the washer. Carefully check the rubber seals and gaskets and the inside of the appliance door or lid for signs of residue buildup or mold. Also, check any detergent or fabric softener dispensers. Mix a solution of 1/4 cup chlorine bleach and 1 quart of water. Dip a cloth or soft-bristled brush in the solution, and scrub these areas to remove any buildup.

If you don't want to use chlorine bleach, you can use pine oil, phenolic disinfectants, or quaternary disinfectants to clean your washer. Note that oxygen-based bleaches do not provide disinfectant qualities. Pay attention to the usage directions on product labels, and follow the same steps for cleaning with chlorine bleach as listed above.

how to sanitize and disinfect a washer and dryer

If contaminated laundry has been placed in a clothes dryer on the low heat or air-only cycle, there is the possibility of cross-contamination with the next load of laundry. Plus, if certain chemicals or petroleum products were involved, there is even the possibility of fire. The dryer should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

To clean a dryer drum, mix a solution of 1/4 cup of chlorine bleach and 1 quart of water. If you don't wish to use chlorine bleach, mix a solution of pine oil, phenolic disinfectant, or quaternary disinfectant, following label instructions.

It is very important to rinse all surfaces with a clean cloth dipped in plain water. Then, toss in a few old towels or rags, set the dryer to high, and allow it to run for 10 minutes to remove any residual cleaning solution.

how to sanitize and disinfect a washer and dryer

washing machine and dryer cleaning tips: a guide from

This article was co-authored by Chris Willatt. Chris Willatt is the owner and founder of Alpine Maids, a cleaning agency in Denver, Colorado started in 2015. Alpine Maids has received Angie's List Super Service Award for three years in a row since 2016 and has been awarded Colorado's "Top Rated Local House Cleaning" Award in 2018. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 92% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 425,999 times.

High-efficiency (HE), front load washing machines are easy to love because they require less water and detergent. However, these models require special procedures to clean and air out the components. If you find your front load washer smelling like a locker room, it’s time to clean it thoroughly and start using special maintenance procedures. Regularly clean the gasket and drum of the washer so that mildew doesn't grow. You should also learn how to keep your washing machine dry and clean between loads.

Clean the filter when you clean the gasket. Chris Willatt, the owner of Alpine Maids, says: "In a front loader, the filter is usually in the bottom left corner of the machine. Once a month, clean out that filter to remove lint and old laundry detergent."

washing machine and dryer cleaning tips: a guide from

Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it's keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being. Amid the current public health and economic crises, when the world is shifting dramatically and we are all learning and adapting to changes in daily life, people need wikiHow more than ever. Your support helps wikiHow to create more in-depth illustrated articles and videos and to share our trusted brand of instructional content with millions of people all over the world. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today

If you need to clean your front load washer, start by grabbing the door’s gasket, which is the ring of rubber that goes between the door and washer. Pull the gasket open a little and remove any foreign objects like coins or nails. Then, use a rag to clean the dust and hair out of the gasket. To clean the drum, pour 1/3 cup of baking soda into the machine, and put 2 cups of white vinegar in the detergent tray. Run the machine on a cleaning cycle and the two agents will react and clean your machine. Read more to learn how to use bleach to clean the machine

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washing machine and dryer cleaning tips: a guide from

how to clean your washer & dryer

Your washer and dryer are likely the last appliances on your cleaning radar. However, like all household appliances, they need a deep clean at least once a year. Take a look below to see how to clean your laundry appliances with ease and efficiency

1) Empty your washing machine and put 2 cups of baking soda in. Let your washer run at the hottest setting on the longest cycle. After your baking soda load is complete, do the exact same thing, except with 2 cups of vinegar.

3) Now it’s time for the outside of your washing machine. Using a bristled brush, clean the nooks and crannies of your machine, making sure to get around the corners of the door. Feel free to use a multi-purpose cleaner and a microfiber cloth for the rest of the exterior

how to clean your washer & dryer

Now that you know why it’s important to clean your dryer, how do you do it? Since all dryers are made differently, it’s wise to consult your owner’s manual before getting started. If you’re still nervous, schedule a service appointment to have a technician do it for you

2) Remove the lint screen, throw away any lint and vacuum the screen. Make sure you’re cleaning out your lint screen after every load of laundry, too. Put a narrow vacuum attachment in the actual lint trap to suck up any loose debris

5) It is recommend to get a dryer brush/kit to clean the inside of your dryer. You can do a more extensive clean by unscrewing the back panel and vacuuming; however, this is extensive and not necessary if you have the right equipment. Where the discharge hose was, gently move the brush through the back of your dryer, making sure to get into corners

how to clean your washer & dryer

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