While the vast majority of us rely on our washing machines to keep our clothes fresh and clean, very few actually remember to regularly clean it.

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Incorrect maintenance can result in poor clothes cleaning results, leaking and even breakage.

So how do you clean your washing machine?

Yvonne Manomano, cleaning operations manager at Handy, shares her tips on how to properly clean and maintain your washing machine.

And remember, you should always read your machine’s instruction manual first and follow any given instructions. 

1. Detergent drawer

For a front-loading washing machine, first separate the detergent drawer (you should have instructions detailing how to do this).

[Read more: The washing machine that cleans two loads of laundry at once]

The detergent drawer can collect some excess detergent, which can prevent your clothes from being properly cleaned, as well as cause your drains to clog up over time. Once you’ve taken out the detergent drawer, soak it in warm water and remove any residue with an old toothbrush. Once you are done, spray with an anti-bacterial spray to get rid of any germs. 

2. Rubber gasket

Before you start cleaning the drum, make sure to thoroughly clean behind the rubber bands that run around the drum. A lot of fluff from your clothes can collect behind these bands and they can even become mouldy over time, which is why it is important you clean them regularly. Simply scrub out any debris and spray with an anti-bacterial spray.

3. Clean the drum

In order to clean the drum of your machine, set it to wash on a hot water cycle and add a cup of vinegar, which will disinfect the machine and remove any unpleasant odours. Once the cycle is done, leave the drum to dry by keeping the washing machine’s door open. Once this is done, your machine should be clean and free of any nasty smells.

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4. Filter

Most washing machines will have a filter – you can find it at the front of the washing machine, behind a small hatch. It is essential that you regularly clean this filter, as it will collect everything from lint to hair, coins, tissues and more. In order to clean the filter, simply open the hatch and rid the filter of everything that might be sticking to it.

However, remember that sometimes filters can be so blocked that they might have a waterlog behind them, so prepare with old kitchen towels and a bowl to collect any extra water there may be.

5. After every wash

While you don’t need to do a thorough clean after every single wash, there are small measures you can take to make your washing machine run smoothly in between uses. After every wash, leave the door of the machine open, in order to let in air and prevent germs from breeding. You can also give the rubber gasket a quick wipe down, to prevent any unpleasant smells from developing.

Have you ever cleaned your washing machine? Did you notice a difference? Tell us about it in the Comments section below.