How to Clean Your Washing Machine with Vinegar: A Step-by-Step Guide


Everyone wants clean clothes, but have you ever thought about how to keep the machine that washes them clean? A dirty washing machine can lead to unpleasant odors, fabric damage, and even machine breakdowns. Fortunately, cleaning your washing machine with vinegar is a simple and effective solution to this common problem.

Step-by-Step Guide

To clean your washing machine with vinegar, start by gathering the following supplies:

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • A clean sponge or cloth

Once you have your supplies, empty the washing machine of any clothes, towels, or debris. Measure out a full cup of white vinegar and pour it into the washing machine. Then, select the longest cycle with hot water and a large load capacity. If your machine has an extra rinse option, select that as well.

Once the cycle has finished, open the lid or door and allow the machine to air dry. If there are any remaining vinegar odors, run the cycle again with plain water. For stubborn buildup, add a cup of baking soda to the vinegar solution for additional cleaning power.

When measuring the vinegar, be careful to avoid over-filling the machine. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cycle selection as some washing machines require different cleaning cycles than others. Finally, avoid using too much vinegar which can cause the machine to malfunction.

Comparison with Other Cleaning Methods

While there are other methods for cleaning washing machines, such as using bleach or baking soda, vinegar offers multiple benefits. Bleach can damage clothes and rubber components of the machine, while baking soda is less effective than vinegar at removing odors and bacteria. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and can help to remove mineral buildup and odors from the machine. It also dissolves soap scum and can clean hard-to-reach areas of the machine.

Emphasizing the Importance of Cleaning

Cleaning your washing machine on a regular basis is essential to its performance and longevity. Neglecting to clean it can lead to residue buildup and result in musty smells, stains on clothes, and even mold growth. By cleaning with vinegar, you can help prevent these issues, keep your machine running smoothly, and extend its lifespan.

Tips and Tricks Beyond Vinegar

In addition to cleaning with vinegar, there are several other things you can do to maintain your washing machine. For example, always leave the lid or door open between washes to allow the machine to dry out and prevent mold growth. Use a washing machine cleaner every few months to remove any buildup that can’t be removed with vinegar. Lastly, use the right amount of detergent for the size of the load and avoid overloading the machine to prevent damage and residue buildup.

Personal Experience

I have been cleaning my washing machine with vinegar for several years and have always been pleased with the results. Before cleaning, my machine had a musty odor and left stains on my clothes. However, after cleaning with vinegar, the smell disappeared, and the stains were gone. I typically clean my machine every six months and have found that this is sufficient to keep it clean and functioning properly.


Cleaning your washing machine with vinegar is an easy and effective way to maintain its performance and prevent damage to your clothes. By following the simple steps outlined in this article, you can keep your machine smelling fresh and ensure that it continues to operate smoothly for years to come.

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