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DIY: Eash Washing Machine Cleaner

014Just last week, I ran out of Vinegar in my house – and everything came to a halt. We use it to clean everything from floors to our frying pans (bet you didn’t know that did you?!)  Picked some up just two days ago on my trip into Fry’s, though it wasn’t on sale so I got the smallest one.

Every month, I clean my washing machine – usually try to do it at some point the last week of each month. Today is the day for that job – in fact, vinegar is “sitting” in there right now.

I’m guessing most people would run out and buy Tide Washing Machine cleaner  — which I have used once (it was free on Facebook early last year) but I see no point in purchasing something so pricey when Vinegar & Tea Tree Oil work just as well.

Cleaning your washer with Vinegar is the easiest thing you could every do, & believe it or not, your washing machine NEEDS to be cleaned.  The dirt that is washed out of your clothes (and in my case, cloth diapers) will produce bacteria in the machine, even with a stainless steel drum – bacteria can accumulate in the hoses also, which also need to be taken off and cleaned regularly too. Cleaning your washer will lengthen the life of your machine… and save you money down the road.

Believe it or not, cleaning does not require you spend oodles of money on expensive name-brand products – it’s as easy as grabbing a few cups of Vinegar from your pantry:

  1. Pour 2 C. Vinegar into the machine, add a drop or two of Tea Tree Oil as well (if you have some)
  2. Run it for 3 minutes on hot
  3. Then stop the machine – however you do that – I have to push the button in.
  4. Let it sit over night
  5. The next morning, pull out the knob, let it finish, and then run a rinse cycle on cold

By doing it at the same time every month, you will remember a little easier. End of month in our house reminds us to check the smoke detectors, clean the washer, and usually the burner pans on the stove as well. And other oddities around the house.

Tea Tree Oil is not required to clean your washer, I just use it because I have it.  Those of you who aren’t familiar with Tea Tree Oil can head HERE to read more – I think I have about 5 bottles of various oils right now that I use around the house to do everything from scent laundry detergent to make air mist.

Please see my disclosure policy.

  • Laura

    I will try that thanks. Do you know how to clean the dishwasher?

    • Michelle L.

      Running Lemonade Kool-aid through a wash cycle (run the dishwasher empty) can clean a dishwasher. I originally read to use one packet, but I found two packets seems to work better with the build up we get with our city water.

  • Tracy

    Can I use this on a front loader as well? I just bought this washer and I am unsure about alot of things when dealing with this machine.

    • Sheryl

      Yes – my machine is a front loader

  • Nancy

    Do you let it fill up with water and then let it run for 3 minutes after adding the vinegar?

    • Sheryl

      You can do that if you want – I add mine at the very beginning – but you can do it after a few minutes too :)

  • heather

    ok, so you do a LARGE load of hot water? or can you get away with doing a SMALL load of hot water?

  • negry naomi

    I’ve never washed my machine as follows: X, but I hope to soon thanks. A home remedy that has worked for me in hard water of the toilet is rubbed with sandpaper of the most slender of that they sell at home depot or walmart. It works super well, without using chemicals. : D

    • stacey

      We use a dry wall screen to get the hard water ring out of our toilets.

      • Eve

        TY both I’ve been trying everything from chemicals on the market to home remedies to get those darn hard water rings out of my toilet. I never thought of sandpaper or dry wall screen.
        Thx!! again :).

        Sheryl thx soo much for your match ups :). Gonna miss all of the deals here in AZ that’s for sure. U rock chica bonita :)

      • Michelle

        Pumice stone works too.

        • Chryste

          I have heard of people doing this and from what I know from personal experience is that it scratches the toilet and makes the ring/stains come back worse and more often. They are then harder than ever to clean because the “Stuff/dirt” is now in the scratches and it doesn’t come off easily. Just be careful if you are planning on trying this method.

          • Sheryl

            Not the case, been doing it for the last few years.

            • Haydn

              It is the case Sheryl, sandpaper will scratch the glaze, no matter how fine it is – just try the sandpaper on a ceramic tileand you will see. Sandpaper is made to do that after all, although at its very finest it may not be noticeable.

  • Liz

    Do you add it where you add the detergent or right into the washer? I’m a bit confused. Thank you.

    • Abigail

      I was wondering the same thing. In the drum or where the detergent goes?

  • Deb

    Sheryl, I have been wanting to try tea tree oil. Where do you purchase yours?

    • Sheryl

      At botanic choice online, if you search my site for botanic choice it’ll pop right up. Awesome place to get them and very inexpensive too ;)

  • Bethany

    I use a pumice stone for the hard water ring in my toilet. Same idea as the sandpaper I guess. It doesn’t appear to scratch the bowl either. I never thought to put tea tree oil in with the vinegar but that makes sense since it is an antibacterial as well.