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4 Things You Should Be Cleaning In Your Washer & Dryer

We rely on our washers and dryers to clean our clothing, towels, and sheets. But have you ever thought about cleaning your washer and dryer? Yes, the appliances that handle our dirty laundry also get dirty over time – and you may not even realize it! There are, however, a few quick ways to make sure your washer & dryer are operating at their best, and 4 specific areas you will definitely want to keep clean.


The Drain Filter

Did you know that your washing machine has an area designed to catch lint and other debris just like your dryer? And you should be cleaning it a couple of times a year! The drain filter is located behind a small front-facing door near the bottom of the washer, and can easily be cleaned in just a few minutes. Start by opening the door, removing the filter, and shaking it over the trash. (You will also want to place a bowl under the filter to catch any excess water that drains out.) Using a cloth, wipe down the filter housing area and then rinse the filter with hot water, or soak it in dish soap if you notice any mold or debris. Then replace the filter, shut the door, and run a short cycle to ensure it is properly in place and your washer is effectively filtering once again.


Lint Buildup

We all know to clean the lint trap after every use of your dryer. But it’s also important to clean the area around the lint trap (since the trap itself doesn’t always catch all the debris and can lead to potential dryer issues down the road). The easiest way to do it? Create a homemade cleaning tool that’s tailor-made for the job. Wrap a small microfiber towel or rag around a long wooden spoon and secure it with a rubber band. Then remove the lint trap and run the spoon all along the inside to grab all the extra lint and debris, leaving behind a fully clean and functional dryer.


The Gasket

The inside of your washer can get surprisingly dirty. In particular, a front-loading washer’s rubber door seal (also known as the gasket) can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew. To clean it, add white vinegar to a spray bottle and apply it all along the rubber door seal. Let the solution sit for about a minute, and then wipe it off with a microfiber cloth. (If there is any visible mold, you can also use an old toothbrush to scrub it as well). Thoroughly clean the vinegar solution off and make sure the seal is completely dried, and you have a gasket that is as good as new.


The Self-Cleaning Cycle

The easiest cleaning method for your washer is actually to let the machine do the work itself. Nearly every washer has a “self-cleaning” mode that will run a short cycle and clean the entire machine. Just make sure the washer is completely empty, hit the setting, and start. The washer will do all the work! Depending on how often you are doing laundry, it’s generally a good idea to self-clean every 1-2 months to ensure it’s truly spic and span.