Clean the washing machine

Depending on how many people live in a household with what requirements (children, old people, professionals who are rarely home, etc.), the washing machine is used accordingly often. Cleaning a washing machine may seem a bit strange for one or the other reader, after all the washing machine is operated with detergent. But in fact it makes sense to clean the washing machine regularly. Afterwards we explain why.

Clean the washing machine when it smells?

If the washing machine smells musty, for most people this is still the first reason to clean the washing machine. But just an unpleasant odor from the washing machine usually has other causes. In principle, it can be an interaction of different causes.

Many bacteria are not killed by hot water

Often it is stated, for example, that we no longer wash hot enough. This is a good foundation on which bacteria multiply. That's basically true, of course. Nevertheless, as a reason rather secondary. Many bacteria can not even be killed by boiling them down. The tip to run the washing machine once a month in a program with hot water is therefore not exclusively helpful.

To avoid a growing bacterial population

Mostly the washing machine is completely closed after washing or shortly thereafter. Then the washing machine creates a humid and warm climate in which bacteria can reproduce very well. However, if the washing machine is always ventilated between the wash cycles, ie if the loading flap is kept ajar, moisture and heat escape - the bacteria can only multiply moderately or not at all. This also prevents odor.

Nevertheless, many reasons speak in favor of cleaning a washing machine

Nevertheless, it makes sense to clean the washing machine regularly, because it can lead to different deposits:

  • calcium deposits
  • dirt
  • Textile residues (lint)
  • detergent residue
  • Water that starts to rot when the washing machine is rarely used

Various means of cleaning

Especially in regions with very hard water limescale is a big issue. Descale the washing machine is therefore part of the regular duty. Especially on the hot heating rods, limescale deposits are particularly strong. In a jiffy, the energy requirement then rises by up to 30 percent, as consumer protection associations have calculated. There are several options for decalcifying:

  • acetic acid
  • citric acid
  • Descaler from the shop

Take care when using citric acid

Decalcifiers have the same ingredients (acids) as the acids themselves. However, attention should be paid to citric acid in particular. This acid is often powdery. Especially in combination with hot water, citric acid is highly efficient. However, the acid tends to clump if the mixing ratio is too low (too little citric acid).

Vinegar Essence is a good alternative to cleansers

Optimal is therefore the use of acetic acid or Essigessenz. You can maintain the mixing ratio as you would when descaling other equipment and sanitary facilities (ie around 1: 2). Then let the washing machine run at 95 degrees. Shortly before pumping, turn off the washing machine and allow the water-acetic acid mixture to work for several hours.

Clean regularly and depending on the frequency of use

Finally, you can start again with pure water for a short wash. Acetic acid kills bacteria, decalcifies and has an odor-neutral effect, meaning that new, unpleasant odors can no longer develop. Depending on how often you use your washing machine, adjust the intervals for cleaning it. The machines tend to smell just then, if only very rarely washed.

Tips & Tricks

In addition to the water-bearing system of your washing machine, you should also clean the lint filter regularly. In the base area of ​​your washing machine you will find a large screw cap. Turn it up like a mother. Then you can pull out the lint filter behind it. But you must set up a container or spreading rags on the ground, since now all the residual water escapes in the machine. Some lint filters are different to open. How, see the user manual for the washing machine.

In addition, you should also clean the detergent compartment with an agent that dissolves the detergent residues. If the acids do not help, you can also use dishwasher tablets. Some electrical companies that repair washing machines even recommend adding washing powder and fabric softener directly to the drum for dirty washing - instead of using the designated detergent compartments. Because it just comes to so strong detergent deposits.