Your washing machine washes your clothes so does it really need cleaning? Yes it does.
Many people believe that because washing machines are constantly in contact with detergent and water, that they will always be clean. That is not true. In fact these machines are prone to dirt and germs because they are exposed to moisture and have many crevices which often trap and accumulate dirt.
Moisture which doesn’t dry properly causes mildew or mold which could be behind the unpleasant smell coming out of your washing machine.
There are many washing machine cleaners which can be used to clean and care for your washing machine. In this article we look at 7 best washing machine cleaners to help you find an ideal product for your machine.
We recommend Weiman washing machine cleaner because you don’t have to run a washing cycle when you use it.
Benefits of Using the Best Washing Machine Cleaner
To get rid of odors
Low temperature or economy washes help to save money but they create a perfect environment for bacteria to breed. These cause a musty smell in the machine and if left long enough, the same odor is transferred to your laundry.
Proper machine operation
There is a lot going on in a typical wash. There are a host of chemicals in detergent, dirt from dirty clothes and fabric softener.
Residues from all these can get caught in different parts of the machine. When this happens they form a thin film which traps bacteria. These bacteria can then grow and clog the inner mechanisms of the machine so water doesn’t get as hot as it should. Bacteria could also interfere with detergent action so that it is not as strong as it should be.
Products Tackle Specific Problems
Washing machine cleaning products can be pricey. As a cost effective alternative, many people use baking soda and vinegar or bleach.
While these are effective in achieving a deep, general clean and getting rid of odors, they cannot match up to store bought cleaning products.
Apart from a thorough clean, these products allow you to tackle specific individual problems which homemade solutions cannot do.
If you live in a hard water area for instance, you can select a cleaning product which gives a thorough clean but is also specifically formulated to deal with limescale.
If you have many pets and are constantly dealing with pet hair in your machine, you can get a product which cleans but is specifically made to tackle hair in machines.
Most homemade washing machine cleaning solutions are time consuming or require more water.
When using bleach for instance, it is recommended that you leave the bleach in water in the drum for an hour before proceeding with the process. Homemade solutions also require you to run a few cycles for a satisfactory clean.
Store bought cleaners are often packed in convenient forms such as tablets and only need a single cycle for a complete and thorough clean. This saves you time, water and electricity if your multiple cycles are done with hot water.
- COST EFFECTIVE - No rinse cycle required - saves water, time and money
- DEODORIZE - Long term odor control with regular use
- COMPATIBLE - Can be used with all septic systems and washable fabrics
- PROTECT - Bleach free, neutral pH that contains no VOC's
- USE ON - All washing machines
You only need to spray and go. You don’t even have to wipe. This not only saves you time but also saves you water as well as electricity if you usually clean using hot water. It removes residue and deodorizes to control odors.
Another advantage of a spray cleaner is that you get to reach all problem areas, including the door seal and gasket which often harbors a lot of residue. A wash cycle will not reach these hidden parts.
It is bleach free, has neutral PH and contains no VOCs. It doesn’t matter what kind of machine you have. This spray can be used on front load, top load and high efficiency machines. It is also compatible with all septic systems.
One demerit is that this spray cleaner needs to be used quite frequently in order to enjoy the intended results. While other forms of cleaners are used anywhere between once a month and once every few months, recommended frequency for this one is after the last load of the day.
- Convenient use – spray and go
- Saves time and water
- Reaches all problem areas
- Can be used on any machine
- Requires frequent use
- #1 selling washing machine cleaner* (*Nielsen Scantrack; Total US Extended All Outlet Combined dollar sales, 52WK period ending August 2021)
- Helps remove odor-causing residues and grime
- #1 Recommended by* Whirlpool, Maytag and Amana brands (*affresh brand products and the recommending brands' products are all owned and distributed by Whirlpool Corporation)
- Cleans deep inside pump, valve, tub, drum, agitator, filter and hose
- Works with top and front load washers, including HE (high efficiency)
It works by getting under residue and grime left after regular washes, breaking it up and washing it off. This leaves the machine clean and smelling fresh.
It is conveniently packed such that one tablet is sufficient for one cleaning cycle. Simply place the tablet in the empty wash basket and run a normal cycle with hot water. Alternatively, select the clean washer cycle.
After the cleaning cycle is complete, check to see if the entire tablet dissolved. If there is any left, the manufacturer recommends that you discard it rather than leave it in with your next load.
The recommended frequency of use for Affresh washing machine cleaner is once a month or every 30 cycles.
It is safe for all washing machine components and is septic tank friendly. Affresh cleaner can be used on both top loader and front loader washing machines as well as high efficiency machines.
- Convenient tablet – one per use
- Slow dissolving
- Safe for front load, top load and HE machines
- Component and septic tank friendly
- May need to use repeatedly
- LAUNDRY MACHINE CLEANER: Reduce build up and debris in your machine with this Clorox Washing Machine cleaner for all washers
- DEODORIZING CLEANER: Say goodbye to your smelly washer with this cleaning formula that fights odor
- EASY TO USE: Simply pour the liquid into an empty washer as you would a detergent and let the cleaning power of Clorox take over
- CLOROX CLEANER: This clothes washer cleaner can be used on the maintenance cycle or manual cycle at least once a month to keep your machine fresh
- WASHER CLEANER: Clorox Washing Machine Cleaner can be used in standard and high efficiency washing machines to clean and eliminate odors
If you have an exceptionally stinky washing machine, this is a good option for you. Being a liquid, no residues are left after a cleaning. Simply pour half a cup into the bleach dispenser and start a washing cycle. All odor causing bacteria is eliminated and unpleasant smells removed for good.
Recommended frequency is once month though you may vary this slightly depending on your needs.
This product contains bleach. This may be a merit or demerit depending on who you ask. Some people like the strong chlorine smell while others cannot stand it. It doesn’t contain any fragrances and this works in its favor for people who suffer from allergies.
You can use Clorox with top loaders, front loaders or high efficiency machines.
If you don’t like the smell of bleach, you may not be a happy with the strong chlorine smell which lingers for a few days.
- Gets rid of all odors
- Effectively cleans dirt and grime build ups
- Suitable for all washing machines
- No residues after use
- Contains bleach
- Leaves a strong chlorine smell
- Includes: One 4 count box of OxiClean Washing Machine Cleaner with Odor Blasters to supercharge your washing machine cleaning
- Washing Machine Cleaner: Helps remove odor causing residues in any washer
- Easy to Use: Pour one pouch into the drum of your washer without any other items and run using hot water, wiping away any leftover residue with a towel after the cycle is complete
- For All Washing Machines: For use with both standard and HE washing machines, not intended to be used with clothing or other laundry
- Septic-Safe: Won't harm septic tanks so you can keep your peace of mind
It has what the manufacturer calls odor blasters to deal with bad smell no matter how strong.
OxiClean comes in a pack of four pouches of the cleaning powder. You use one pouch each time you clean the washer, therefore making it easy and convenient to use. The manufacturer recommends one clean per month to maintain a clean and fresh washer.
Tear open one pouch of the cleaner and pour the contents into the washer drum. Select the ‘Clean Washer Cycle.’ If your machine doesn’t have this option run a normal cycle using hot water. After the cycle is complete use a clean towel to wipe off any residue on the door, rubber gaskets or the drum.
- Effective dirt and residue removal
- Effective removal of odors
- Comes in convenient pouches for single use
- Doesn’t remove water stains well
- 【Recently produced 1Year supply】：The MFG Date (manufacturing date) was stamped on the package, shelf life is 2 years. The washing machine cleaner is suitable for front-loading washing machines, top-loading washing machines, conventional washing machines, makes your machine in a safe and clean environment. Can also be used to clean the bathroom floor and toilet bowl. Safe for septic system.
- 【Triple decontamination】Highly efficient active oxygen, biological enzyme ingredients, triple decontamination ability, remove harmful and stagnant dirt, penetrate and dissolve and remove all odor residues that may be generated in washing machines. New generation natural biological formula, not hurt your hand, smaller thinner 1“ x 1” x 0.47“
- 【Easy to use】 Just empty the washing machine. Add 1-3 washing machine cleaning tablets. Then start the complete washing cycle, no need to disassemble the washing machine. Its unique foaming effect allows you to make the housework more convenient and simple while the washing machine cleans by itself.
- 【Continuous cleaning】It is recommended to use it once a month to ensure that your machine is fresh and clean, protect your washing machine, avoid secondary pollution to clothes, and protect the health of your family.
- 【Buy with Confidence】There is a sufficient quantity, Each is individually packaged for your long-term storage. We value customers. In order to prove this, we have a 60-days- Guarantee. can be shared with friends as a gift. Choose kaitse, choose health!
Using it is quite simple since you only need to remove any clothes in the machine then put one or two tablets in it. You can now begin the full wash cycle. Once you do this, you can continue with the rest of your chores as the machine cleans itself. One of the reasons they are effective is that they contain biological enzyme ingredients. These tablets can keep areas such as the gasket seal clean for a long time. This washing machine cleaner also has a shelf life of up to 2 years.
- Take care of any odor and residue in a washing machine
- They are easy to use
- Contain effective ingredients
- Once the tablets have softened the residue, you may have to wipe it.
- Penetrates & lifts away - with its specially designed surface active ingredients, Tide washing machine cleaner cleans away residues and deposits from the surfaces in your washer.
- Freshens washer leaving behind a fresh, clean scent.
- Works on both high efficiency and non-high efficiency machines.
- Not for use with clothes.
It has surface-active ingredients which help to remove residues as well as grime and mold accumulated in hidden areas. This is a pocket friendly option considering it comes in a pack of 5 pouches. You need one pouch per use which the manufacturer recommends should be done at least once a month.
Tide cleaner can be used for both standard and high efficiency machines. It does an exceptionally good job in high efficiency machines which tend to have more dirt because they use less water and have tight seals.
One downside to Tide cleaner is the strong ‘clean’ scent it leaves after a clean. For some people it is exactly what they need to feel like the washer is completely clean. For others it can be overpowering.
- Works well with both standard and high efficiency machines
- Surface active ingredients
- Convenient, easy to use pouches
- Strong ‘clean; smell after cleaning
- Removes hard water stains and lime scale build up.
- Powers away grease and freshens your machine.
- Cleans the hidden and vital parts of your dishwasher .
If you choose this washing machine cleaner, you should consider using it alongside other products such as Affresh. When you use this cleaner during the regular cycle, it can help you save water and electricity. Many users also like the vinegar smell of this cleaner. It not only reaches the deep parts of the washing machine but also eliminates odor easily.
- It is both a washing machine and dishwasher cleaner
- You can utilize it during the regular washing cycle
- You should use it together with other solutions.
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Washing Machine Cleaner
Your Specific Need
Just about any cleaner you come across is made to meet certain standard needs such as kill germs, get rid of mildew and odors.
With these needs taken care of no matter what you pick, you can then look for a brand which specifically mentions a need which is specific to you.
Limescale and hair are some specifics.
Does it remove limescale?
Limescale is that whitish scaly deposit you notice in your machine after a few months of use. It is a side effect of hard water.
Every time this kind of water passes through your washing machine, deposits are left in the drum, seals, hoses and other parts of the machine.
If you live in a hard water area, it is more likely to be a problem for you. Select a washing machine cleaner which mentions limescale as one of the problems it tackles.
Does it remove hair?
Pet hair in your clothes can be a stubborn problem in washing machines. When mixed with water it forms clumps which can prevent proper draining. If you have several cats for instance, you will need a washing machine cleaner which tackles pet hair.
Form of cleaner
Washing machine cleaners come in different forms. They could be in tablet, powder or liquid form. It is up to you to pick what works best for you.
Tablets are convenient because they are pre-measured quantities. You only need to throw one into the drum and start the machine.
Powders are often packed in pre-measured sachets so you just snip and empty the contents into the drum. Liquids are more soluble than tablets and powders so they work faster.
Method and frequency of use
Each manufacturer indicates a recommended frequency. Some are best for regular monthly maintenance and others provide a deep clean which is necessary every few months.
It doesn’t hurt to have a good quality, effective cleaner which can be used for other cleaning.
Most washing machine cleaners are made for that and that alone. Others like Ecozone washing machine and dishwasher cleaner can be used for both of these purposes.
If you come across a cleaner which can serve another need for which you ordinarily purchase a separate product, it becomes more convenient and probably ends up being cheaper.
If you thought there is no need to wash a washing machine, now you know different. Finding a good cleaning product can be confusing because there are so many to choose from.
Look for a product which meets your individual needs and performs well in terms of the standard expected outcomes of thorough cleaning and odor removal.