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How to Clean Your Washer & Dryer

Besides your home itself, the largest household investment you will likely make is in large appliances such as a refrigerator, dishwasher, oven and washer and dryer. But do you know how to protect that investment by properly taking care of pricey appliances?

My Cleaning Lady is a domestic referral agency which works with only the best housekeepers in the business. Based in LaVerne, California, we offer professional housecleaning services all along the 210 corridor in the San Gabriel Valley and the Inland Empire. And we’d love to share some expert hints about how to clean and care for your large home appliances. This week, we’ll focus on two of the most important appliances in your home…the washer and dryer.

To work properly, efficiently and for the long haul, washing machines and dryers should be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. And since they fulfill very different roles in your laundry room, you need to employ completely different methods to clean them. Thoroughly cleaning your machines will keep them in good working condition and will protect a very important, fragile investment—your clothes.

Cleaning Your Washer

  1. After you’ve washed your clothes, run an empty load sans detergent.
  2. Clean unwanted debris from the filter. Rinse the filter and set it aside.
  3. Dust or vacuum the area immediately around the machine.
  4. Mix ½ cup of lemon juice with ½ cup of vinegar. Remember your eighth grade science volcano project? Be prepared because the concoction will fizz. Dip a clean sponge or toothbrush into the mixture to loosen dirt inside the tub.
  5. Wipe the outside of the machine with a non-abrasive cleanser.
  6. Scrub the fabric softener dispenser with a damp sponge.
  7. Run a final cycle with vinegar and color safe bleach.

How to Clean Your Dryer:

  1. Remove the lint trap and wipe the area where you stow the filter. Dispose of all excess lint. Remove and clean the lint filter in a solution made with soapy dishwater.
  2. Pull the dryer away from the wall, being careful not to dislodge hose in the process.
  3. Carefully remove the dryer hose from the back of your machine. It is most likely attached by a plastic flange that slips into the dryer. If it is screwed on with a clamp, use a screwdriver to remove it. Once it has been loosened, the hose can be pulled off.
  4. Remove the hose from the outside vent connection. Again, they can usually be pulled off, but if there is a clamp, remove it with a screwdriver.
  5. Run a rag mop through the vent hose to clean out all of the built up lint. Be careful not to push the mop too hard and damage the hose. Once cleaned, remount the hose onto the dryer in exactly the same way that it came off.

Tips & Hints

  • Small items like coins, clips, pens and lighters can get stuck in the dryer mechanism. To improve the lifespan of your dryer, make sure everyone in your household gets in the habit of removing loose items from pockets before tossing into the laundry bin. To be safe, check every pocket before tossing clothes into the washer or dryer.
  • If your clothes are taking longer to dry than when you first bought the machine, check filters and vents. Blockages can drain energy, which will result in higher natural gas bills.
  • Clean the lint trap after every time you run the dryer.

For more information about keeping everything in your laundry room clean, check out the My Cleaning Lady blog post: How to Clean Your Laundry Room. If your commitment to keeping a clean home extends beyond your household mirrors, you could benefit from professional housecleaning services. My Cleaning Lady is a domestic referral agency.  The house cleaners we refer offer complete home cleaning services including thorough dusting at reasonable prices. My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency proudly serves Arcadia, Chino, Chino Hills, Duarte, Ontario, Pomona, LaVerne, Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Montclair, Claremont, Phillips Ranch, Upland, West Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, and Sierra Madre. Visit call (909) 593-6690 for information or to arrange a free estimate.