Our appliances like our dishwashers and washing machines do a great job at cleaning our clothes and dishes, allowing us to have tidy homes without doing too much hard labour ourselves. But we’re willing to bet you haven’t given much thought to actually cleaning the appliances themselves. After all, isn’t that their job?!
Unfortunately, to keep things in tip top condition, we also need to clean our appliances from time to time. In this article, we break down the easy steps you need to follow to clean your dishwasher, your washing machine and your tumble dryer.
What you’ll need to clean your home appliances
Let’s start by taking a look at the tools and supplies you’ll need to have on hand when cleaning your home appliances.
- Sustainable sponges
- Washing-up liquid
- White vinegar
- All-purpose cleaner
- A scrub brush
- Wonder Scrub for those impossible stains
- An old toothbrush for those fiddly corners
Looking to upgrade your cleaning products for something all-natural and deliciously scented? Check out our offering of UK-made, eco-friendly cleaning products here!
How to deep-clean your dishwasher
You might have seen articles or videos online that share a quick hack for cleaning your dishwasher: run an empty cycle using vinegar and baking soda. That’s definitely a great quick fix, but if you’re looking to go deep with your cleaning, there are a few more steps involved. We’ve broken them down for you here.
1. Start from the bottom, and have a look around your dishwasher’s drain. No matter how well you rinse dishes before popping them in the dishwasher, your appliance will naturally collect a lot of food debris, which over time can affect how well it functions. Have a look to see if there’s anything major that’s clogging the drain, from pieces of food to shards of glass.
2. Wash the dishwasher filter. You can usually remove it—take a look at your dishwasher manual if you need to refresh your memory. Top tip: if you think you’ve thrown away the manual, you can usually find it online if you search for your dishwasher’s brand and serial number.
3. Run an empty wash with vinegar and baking soda (like we said, it’s a great solution if you’re short on time!).
4. Now, examine the inside of your dishwasher for any stains or areas which haven’t been fully cleaned by your empty wash. Use a scrub brush and some Wonder Scrub to magic away the greasy patch. Bonus: it smells like grapefruit, so your dishwasher will be left smelling deliciously fresh.
5. Finally, don’t forget the exterior! Your dishwasher is usually situated in the kitchen next to the sink, so it’s easy to drip soap or food down the front from time to time. Finish the job by using some natural all-purpose cleaner and a sustainable cloth to keep your dishwasher exterior looking its best.
How to deep-clean your washing machine
Ever find your clothes aren’t coming out of the washing machine smelling quite as fresh as they used to? It might be time for a deep clean. Just like your dishwasher, your washing machine has lots of different fiddly parts that work in union to clean your clothes. Think about it: you’re throwing in piles of laundry every week, along with blankets covered in dog hair and muddy post-match football kits. It’s no wonder your poor machine needs some TLC. And more isn’t necessarily better, either, so don’t add double doses of laundry detergent and fabric softener hoping it’ll freshen up your clothes: you’ll likely just end up adding to the gunk that’s collecting in your washing machine.
Here’s how to deep-clean your washing machine.
1. Start with the basics: spritz some all-purpose cleaner on a cloth and run it around the inside of your washing machine. This will pick up any larger blockers, like hairballs from both human and animal members of the family. It’s an icky task, but we promise it’s worth it in the end.
2. Now for the seals. To keep your washing machine watertight, you’ll usually have rubber seals and door gaskets. Fair warning: these can create the perfect environment for mould and mildew to form, so if you aren't motivated to clean your washing machine yet, this just might do the trick.
3. Run a cycle. If you’re lucky, your washing machine will actually have a ‘cleaning’ cycle: all you have to do is add a splash of vinegar and turn it on! If it doesn’t specifically tell you there’s a cleaning cycle, don’t worry. Simply run a normal cycle on the hottest temperature available on your machine—this will help kill any bacteria and freshen things up.
4. Dry it out. Your washing machine is obviously wet a lot of the time, which can allow mildew and nasty smells to build up. Where possible, leave your washing machine open to dry once you’ve done a wash—and particularly when you’re in deep-cleaning mode. If that isn’t practical, run a tea towel around your washing machine to absorb as much excess liquid as possible, particularly around the rubber door gaskets.
How to deep-clean your tumble dryer
Finally, let’s take a look at how to deep-clean your tumble dryer. How do you know when it’s time to give this appliance some extra attention? According to Ideal Home, two tell-tale signs are your tumble dryer emitting a weird odour, and your clothes or sheets not being dry at the end of the cycle. Sound familiar? It’s time to get cleaning!
1. Cleaning the drum of your tumble dryer is very similar to cleaning your washing machine. Essentially, you’ll want to repeat step 1 from the list above, wiping inside the drum and door of your appliance to give it an initial clean.
2. Now, move onto the trickiest part: cleaning the lint filter. If you’ve run the dryer recently, make sure it’s fully cooled down before getting to work. You might need to check the manual to find the filter, especially if it’s the first time doing a deep-clean (shh, we won’t tell!). It’s usually behind a little panel, or behind the door of your machine. Use a fabric conditioner sheet (used is fine!) to pick up any stray lint, and for extra thorough cleaning, go over it with a vacuum cleaner.
3. Finally, give the outside of your tumble dryer a wipe with some natural all-purpose cleaner, and make sure to make a note in your calendar to clean your lint filter regularly. It’s not the most enjoyable of household tasks, but it really does make a difference for your clothes.
Well done! Your tasks are done—now make sure to reward yourself for all your hard work. And if you’re looking to stock up on new, beautifully scented washing up liquids and all-purpose cleaners, Colt & Willow has you covered. Take a look at our selection of natural cleaning products here.