A complete guide on how to clean a washing machine

Clothestip | 5 minute read |

You run water and washing detergent in your washing machine regularly. Does it mean it’s clean? Not necessarily. Like any other home appliances, your washing machine needs a deep clean so it performs at its best for longer. Otherwise, mould and mildew may grow in its damp crevices, causing both your machine and laundry to smell.

As a rule of thumb, thoroughly clean it at least once a month depending on your washing habits. Don’t worry, this is easy with Electrolux washing machines. Whether for a front-loader or a top-loader, refer to this step-by-step guide on how to clean a washing machine:

Preparation before cleaning




The process, on average, will take about three hours, but most of it is just waiting for the cycles to finish. Here are the materials you need:

  • Microfibre cloth
  • Warm soapy water
  • Small brush
  • Spray bottle
  • Washing machine cleaner. This is your best option since it’s specially formulated to do the job without causing damage to your appliance.

You may also love to read How to use washing machine correctly to get the best laundry result.

How to clean a front load washing machine

For each step, focus on one area.

1. Clean the Drum 

Make sure no clothes are left inside before you start. Follow the instructions of the washing machine cleaner you have. This may come in a form of a tablet, powder, or liquid that you’ll have to load directly in your drum or detergent dispenser.

If you don’t want to use the dedicated washing machine cleaner, you can make one yourself with vinegar and baking soda: mix warm water with 2-3 cups of vinegar and 250gram baking soda, pour this liquid into the drum and then soak for 30 minutes.

You can then run your washing machine on a normal cycle with hot water. Some Electrolux washing machines also have dedicated cleaning programmes like Tub Clean or Clean Washer. When the cycle ends, wipe the drum so no residue is left.

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2. Clean the Pump 


Water may be collecting in your drain and filter, potentially harbouring germs. When the cycle is finished, unplug your machine, then look for a small panel on its lower front portion. Ready towels or a tray underneath to contain the water. Open the panel and unscrew the dial slowly to control water as it flows out.


3. Clean the Pump Filter


Completely unscrew the cap, inspect both the filter and drain, then remove any foreign objects clogging them such as lint or forgotten objects from pockets. If left unchecked, this could cause excessive vibrations and long cycle times. Run the filter through warm water and scrub with a small brush.

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4. Clean the Gasket and Door 

Soap and water residue in the rubber gasket combined with the warm environment inside your machine, is the perfect breeding ground for mould and odours.

While the washing machine cleaner should have cleaned this, it’s best to check again. For a more thorough clean, spray hot soapy water on the gasket, gently pulling back the folds to really get in there, then wipe with a clean cloth. Include the inside of the door too.

5. Clean the Detergent Dispenser 

Overtime, detergent can build up in the crevices of your dispenser, causing blockage. To clean it, gently remove the drawer. One long tray should easily slide off. Separate all the removable inserts, and soak them in warm soapy water. Scrub off all residue to make sure they’re squeaky clean, and then wipe dry. Before returning it, use a brush or cloth to make sure the drawer cavity is free of any powder residue.

6. Clean the Washer Exterior

Finish off by wiping down the machine exterior and controls using a damp cloth. Now your machine is spotless inside and out.

How to clean a top load washing machine

For each step, focus on one area.

Clean the Tub 

Check if there are any forgotten items left inside. Simply follow the instructions of the washing machine cleaner. Most likely, you’ll have to load it directly into the tub. You can then set your machine to a normal cycle with hot water. On the EliteCare 700 Top Load Washing Machine, use the dedicated Tub Clean programme instead. It rapidly spins the drum to form a high-pressure water jet, effectively removing all residue.

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You may notice the water getting dirty. That’s because of the buildup of gunk underneath the inner drum. Let it drain and wipe the tub to make sure no residue remains.

2. Clean the Detergent dispenser 

Gently slide off the detergent dispenser then soak in warm soapy water. Give it a good scrub so no residue remains. Brush the inside of the drawer compartment too.

3. Clean the Washer Door

Using warm soapy water, scrub around the edge and the inside of the machine door. If your washing machine has an agitator, wipe its top too. These areas will have less grime because water usually drips down. Rinse with water afterwards.

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4. Clean the Exterior

Don’t forget the outside of your machine. Wipe its controls and the rest of its body using a damp microfibre cloth to remove dust, grime, and drips of laundry products. Take care not to use any harsh chemicals or any abrasive material to maintain its coat.

Clean machine = clean clothes

Now you know how to clean a washing machine. The key is to choose a washing machine with a self-cleaning feature like the Electrolux UltimateCare Washing Machine with Tub Clean.

Other machines also add an extra layer of hygiene like Electrolux Front Load Washing Machine the with HygienicCare that removes 99.9% of germs in clothes.

So, remember to choose a washing machine with features that support your cleaning more easily.

Additional tips on keeping your washing machine fresh-smelling for longer

  1. Before every wash, give your clothes a thorough going over before putting them in to remove loose coins, tissue or paper from pockets. Shake off excess dirt from heavily soiled garments.
  2. After the cycle finishes, immediately take the clothes out.
  3. After washing, immediately wipe the rubber gasket, and keep the door and drawer ajar to dry out the interior and prevent moulds and odours.
  4. Occasionally use water softening powder to slow limescale buildup.
  5. Use only the correct amount of detergent and softener for your load. Otherwise, you risk damaging your clothes and leaving more residue in the drum. Electrolux washing machines 900 have an AutoDose feature that helps to measure for you based on your load so you get it right every time. 

By following our instruction on how to clean washing machine, your laundry will surely be more effective. Also, remember to care for the delicate like masks with some tips here  to give them longer life.

Discover more Electrolux washing machines here:


19.790.000 VND 20.990.000 VND

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3.298.333 VND/month For 6 months
  • SensorWash with AI removes 49 different visible stains*.
    • No more visible detergent residue with UltraMix*.
    • HygienicCare removes 99.9% allergens and germs*.
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Interest rate
3.298.333 VND/month For 6 months

19.790.000 VND 20.990.000 VND

RCP: 10.490.000 VND

  • No more visible detergent residue with UltraMix*.
    • HygienicCare removes 99.9% allergens and germs*.
    • EcoInverter motor uses 50% less energy*.
See more

RCP: 10.490.000 VND

RCP: 10.490.000 VND

  • No more visible detergent residue with UltraMix*.
    • HygienicCare removes 99.9% allergens and germs*.
    • EcoInverter motor uses 50% less energy*.
See more

RCP: 10.490.000 VND


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