Certainly no one would dispute the fact that washing machines have made basic life much easier for most of us. In the past, washing clothes was a tiring job that required a significant time investment and quite a lot of physical strife. Luckily for us, those days have long since passed, now virtually everyone has access to machines that do all the work for us automatically. However, it might surprise many to learn that washing machines actually require regular cleaning if they are to remain both effective and efficient in their duties. Cleaning your washing machine not only ensures that your clothes remain tidy; it also reinforces the health and wellness of you and your family. Given that your washer is constantly coming into contact with dirty clothes, it only makes sense that some of this grime, dirt and mildew will build up over time and need to be dealt with. First off, we’ll begin by adding 2 or 3 cups of plain white vinegar to the tub of your washer and letting it fill up with water and run through a hot cycle. Vinegar is a natural cleansing agent that’s both completely safe (non-toxic) and extremely effective at removing dirt and grime. You can also use a more abrasive cleaning agent, like bleach, if you prefer, but vinegar is really just as effective as harsh chemicals. While the machine is going through its cycle you can take the time to clean the exterior with vinegar or whatever bleach-based cleaner that you normally use around the kitchen. If you don’t have any old rags lying around that you can use to clean your machine with, heavy duty paper towels are also acceptable. Once the cycle has completed and the water has drained out, you’re going to want to use your cleaning agent of choice to clean around the inside of the door and along the ridges or the underside of the loading area. Also, be sure to remove any bleach, detergent or fabric softener dispensers which might be integrated into the washer and give them a thorough cleaning as well. In the future, you should consider leaving the door or hatch of your washing machine open in order to allow it to fully dry after each use. Failure to do this can lead to a build-up of mold and/or mildew in either the tub portion of the machine or perhaps in a water/drainage line.