How To Disinfect Washing Machine

How To Disinfect Washing Machine

Learning how to disinfect washing machine has become essential because of the COVID-19 virus.

When we do our laundry, there is a ton of dirt and detergent residual after each wash. With continued use, the residual will build up, which causes a foul odor. Your washer may stain your clothes with lint residual in the drum.

Deep cleaning your washing machine will get rid of bacteria, fungi, and other contaminants. In this article, I will give you a complete guide on how to sanitize washing machine.

Items You Will Need To Clean Your Washer

If it has been a while since you deep cleaned your washer, it is about time. The process will depend on the type of washing machine you have. However, below is a list of some essentials you will need to clean and sanitize your washer:

  • A pair of rubber gloves
  • A disinfectant of your choice or Bleach
  • A soft brush
  • Dry towels
  • A bucket
  • Water

Can I Disinfect My Washing Machine Using Bleach?

Yes, you can use chlorine bleach to deep clean and disinfect your washing machine. You will need to deep clean your washer at least twice a year. However, if you are continually washing contaminated clothes, you must disinfect your washer more frequently.

How To Disinfect Washer With Chlorine Bleach

How to Disinfect Washing Machine With Chlorine Bleach

Chlorine bleach is a vital home essential, thanks to its cleaning and disinfectant properties. It will get rid of bacteria and germs from the washing machine. Well, this is a simple process that will leave your washer clean and smelling fresh. This is how to sanitize your washing machine:

Step 1: Use the Hottest Water Settings

Before you add the chlorine bleach, set your washer to the hottest water. Add 1 cup of chlorine bleach to the drum. Do this for both the front load and top load washing machines.

Step 2: Run the Full Cycle

Run the full cycle with the washer drum empty. Once the process is complete, please put on your gloves, it’s time to scrub your washer. Use a soft brush or bathing towel to clean your washer drum. It should get rid of the residue with ease after a full cycle with chlorine bleach.

Step 3: Clean the Interior

It is called deep cleaning for a reason. When scrubbing your washer, check to see if there is any mold build-up in the rubber seal, especially for the front-load washing machines. You might have to use a towel to scrub the detergent and dirt residue from the interior of the washer.

Scrub the detergent and fabric softener dispensers to remove any residues.

Run the rinse cycle to flush out the build-up. Your washing machine interior should now smell fresh and free of germs.

If you are using a washer-dryer machine, then you also need to sanitize the dryer tub. Below, I will guide you to disinfect your dryer.

How to Disinfect a Dryer

How To Disinfect Washing Machine

Just as with the washer, you will need to disinfect your dryer. Washing and drying contaminated loads can also contaminate the dryer. This means that each load will come out possibly with the bacteria and germs. Well, this simple process should help you disinfect your dryer:

Step 1: Remove Lint From the Dryer Tub

The lint screen on your dryer has likely contaminated residues. During the spin cycle, the wash cycle’s residue water will drain through the lint filter/screen. Dirt particles and the detergent residue are trapped here, including the contaminants.

Start by removing the lint while wearing gloves. Note that some of the lint can irritate your skin and therefore you must take precautions.

Step 2: Mix Chlorine Bleach with Water

As with the washer tub, you will need to mix ¼ cup of chlorine bleach with ¼ cup water. In this case, you can use an alternative disinfectant.

Step 3: Use a Brush or Towel to Clean the Dryer Interior

Using a brush, clean the dryer rubber seal and the lint screen. Scrub gently and make sure there are no lint or stains on the door and dryer tub. Dip a cloth in clean water and rinse the interior of the dryer. Once you finish wiping the dryer clean, put some towels or rags and run the dryer at the highest setting.

This should wipe out the entire residue from the dryer tub. It is essential to make sure that there is no contamination when you do your next load.

Use a wet cloth to wipe the dryer clean to disinfect your washer and dryer machines.

How do You Disinfect Laundry Without Chlorine Bleach?

If you have been working around contaminants, your clothes may be contaminated. The contaminated clothes will leave chemical residues in your washer. But, you can disinfect your laundry during the wash cycle.

While you may use chlorine bleach for this task, other cleaning agents are suitable to disinfect your laundry. These include:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • White vinegar
  • Borax
  • Pine oil and other essential oils
  • Hanging lines
  • Hot water wash cycles

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a cleaning and bleaching agent. It is a perfect agent to use as a disinfectant for your white load. Use one cup of hydrogen peroxide for the wash cycle and it will get rid of all contaminants, including germs and viruses.

White Vinegar

White Vinegar

White vinegar can also help you disinfect contaminated clothes. Thanks to the acetic acid, white vinegar will kill bacteria, viruses, and other germs in your clothes. Besides, you will not need to use fabric softener since white vinegar will leave your clothes soft. You can also use white vinegar on both colored and white fabrics.



Use ½ a cup of Borax in the washer drum and run the full cycle. Use a hot water setting for the cycle to break down Borax and power the cleaning properties. It is an excellent solution for people who dislike using chlorine bleach.

Pine Oil and Other Essential Oils

Pine Oil and Other Essential Oils

Pine oil has excellent cleaning properties. It will not only clean your clothes, but you can use pine oil to disinfect your washing machine.

Use disinfectants with at least 80% pine oil to disinfect your laundry during the wash cycle. However, be careful not to use pine oil on silk and woolen fabrics. It could ruin the material.

Tea tree oil is an excellent option. Most disinfectants will have lavender and thyme oil as well. However, you must read the user instructions before using your preferred disinfectant.

Hanging Lines

Well, if you can, hanging your clothes to dry by sunlight is an effective way to disinfect your laundry. Unfortunately, most of us living in urbanized cities do not have the luxury to dry clothes on the hanging lines. Here, you can run hot water wash cycles to kill the germs and bacteria in your loads.


Washing machines need cleaning. Otherwise, you might notice that your clothes come out with a foul odor or are covered in lint residue. In such a case, your washing machine will need deep cleaning. The steps above will guide you on how to disinfect your washing machine effectively.

1 thought on “How To Disinfect Washing Machine”

  1. Great post! The quote by Mary Elizabeth Williams is absolutely the truth and I could not agree more. Mab Wolfie Friday

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