How to Clean a Top Load Washer?

How to Clean a Top Load Washer

Maintaining your top load washer is essential for ensuring your clothes come out clean and fresh with every wash. Over time, washers can accumulate detergent residue, fabric softener, and mineral deposits from hard water. This buildup can lead to unpleasant odors, reduced efficiency, and even damage to your machine. Fortunately, cleaning your top load washer is a straightforward process that can keep it running smoothly. Here’s how to clean a top load washer in a few simple steps.

Step 1: Choose Your Cleaning Agent

You can use a commercial washer cleaner, which is specifically formulated to remove residue and buildup, or you can opt for a natural solution like white vinegar and baking soda, which are effective and environmentally friendly alternatives.

Step 2: Fill the Washer with Hot Water

Start by setting your washer to its highest load size and hottest water setting. If your washer has a self-cleaning cycle, you can use that setting instead.

Step 3: Add the Cleaning Agent

If you’re using a commercial cleaner, follow the instructions on the package. For a natural cleaning solution, add four cups of white vinegar to the hot water, then allow the machine to agitate for a few minutes to mix the vinegar with the water.

Step 4: Pause the Cycle

After the washer has agitated for a few minutes with the vinegar solution, pause the cycle and let it sit for an hour. This allows the cleaning solution to soak in and break down the buildup.

Step 5: Complete the Cycle

After an hour, resume the cycle and let it finish. The vinegar’s natural acidity helps to dissolve soap scum, mineral deposits, and any other debris.

Step 6: Clean the Fabric Softener and Bleach Dispensers

Remove the dispensers from the washer if possible and clean them in the sink with hot water and a brush. If they cannot be removed, you can clean them with a cloth or a brush dipped in hot water and vinegar.

Step 7: Wipe Down the Washer

Once the cycle is complete, dip a cloth or sponge in a mixture of hot water and vinegar, and wipe down the entire interior of the washer, including the agitator, the lid, and any other nooks and crannies. Don’t forget to wipe down the rubber seal around the lid, as this area can harbor mildew and odors.

Step 8: Leave the Lid Open

After cleaning, leave the washer lid open to air out and dry completely. This helps prevent mold and mildew growth by ensuring any remaining moisture evaporates.


Regularly cleaning your top load washer is key to its performance and longevity. By following these simple steps, you can keep your machine clean, efficient, and odor-free. Companies like Double Clean emphasize the importance of maintaining appliances in top condition to ensure their efficiency and extend their lifespan. Ideally, aim to clean your washer every one to two months, depending on usage. This routine maintenance, as recommended by professional cleaning services like Double Clean, can make a significant difference in the quality of your wash and the lifespan of your washer.

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