Front Load Washer Cleaner


Standing behind a long line at the check- out counter in the grocery store is not necessarily a bad thing.  It gives you time to peruse the items in your shopping cart and consider any purchases you may want to leave behind which seemed like absolute necessities when you saw them on the shelf. I recently experienced this very thing and in the end saved myself some money which made me very happy!

If you own a front load washing machine you have to admit that at some point it develops very unpleasant bad breath. With all the detergent and sweet smelling fabric softener flowing through it you would think that it wouldn’t have such a problem.  Unfortunately, the build- up of deposits and lingering little pools of water in the machine contribute to this problem in a front loader.

The fact remains that I’m not happy spending money on an appliance that can clean my clothes but not clean itself!

Back to the long check-out line…I had finally broken down my resolve not to spend money on commercially made cleaner tabs and while placing the item in my cart I cringed at the thought of paying over twenty dollars for them.

However, while at a stand- still in the line I began wondering if there could be another solution other than making the manufacturer of this product a little richer.

When my turn to check out was up I politely told the cashier I had changed my mind about the item and could I please leave it behind. Nice lady, she smiled and said it was perfectly okay!

A little research that day led me to what seemed to have very good potential in solving the problem at a fraction of the cost.  Three very inexpensive ingredients, staples in most homes, water, baking soda and vinegar!  You know you have at least two of these in your home right now and if you do any baking at all you will also have the baking soda on hand!

I quickly changed my kitchen apron for a lab coat and tried the experiment (just kidding) hoping to confirm that it actually worked before passing the recipe along.

The instructions on the box of tabs indicated to use the first three of the six tabs consecutively for three days then repeat once a month.

I realized there was probably a buildup in my machine since not taking any steps to clean it before, even if there is a special setting for use of their advertised product close to the start button!  Don’t know how I could have ignored it for so long.


I repeated the home remedy three times over a two week period and noted considerable improvement. I have now penned a special date each month on the calendar which hangs in my laundry room to remember when to repeat the process for sweet smelling breath in my machine.

Wish my calendar looked more like Martha Stewart’s but it works just the same!


Front Load Washing Machine Cleaner

2 cups white vinegar

¼ cup water

¼ cup baking soda

  1. In a small cup mix together water and baking soda and pour into washer’s detergent container.
  2. Measure out the vinegar and pour it directly into the drum of the machine.
  3. Set the machine to normal cycle and water temperature to hot.
  4. Turn the washer on and let the cycle run to the end.

Each time the regular washing cycle is over I’ve made it a habit to wipe down the inside of the door and rubber washer that’s around the opening of the machine. I place a clean paper towel between the washer itself and the rubber, this absorbs any residual water that may pool in this area and leave it there until the next wash. Leaving the door open for as long as possible also helps some of the moisture evaporate.


I’m so glad this experiment worked out well and super glad that I can pass this information along to all who will find it helpful!


6 thoughts on “Front Load Washer Cleaner

  1. domenicamanafo says:

    I know there are many uses for distilled white vinegar but these are some of the ways that have worked well for me over the years.

    Wash hardwood floors (about 1 part vinegar to 4 parts warm water.)
    Clean automatic coffee maker(add a pot full of vinegar and run coffee maker as usual)
    Clean windows streak free.
    Add to milk to substitute for buttermilk.
    Spray full strength between interlocks to kill moss and weeds.
    Dissolve mineral deposits and lime buildup to allow faucets to move freely.
    One place I don’t use white vinegar is on my salad, it gets the red wine vinegar treatment!

    Check out this web site for so many other interesting uses.


  2. domenicamanafo says:

    I’m happy to report that I checked my washing machine this morning, practically stuck my head into it and cannot detect any foul smell! It works!!


  3. Sarah says:

    I love the new blog look! And what a wondeful idea (my front loader can get pretty smelly! :)) I will be trying this in the near future!!


  4. Marianne says:

    just a comment on smelly front loaders, when I purchased my new one the instruction manual said to leave the door slightly open and there will never be any odor, my machine even has a magnet to hold the door slightly ajar


    • domenicamanafo says:

      I don’t have a magnet to keep my door ajar, it’s either open or closed!
      So is it correct to say that this keeps your machine from developing a bad smell?
      If so, you’re lucky!
      The vinegar baking soda solution may help to dissolve any buildup internally
      My guess is that an open door may not resolve that.
      Thanks for commenting Marianne.


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