9 Best Washing Machine Cleaners

If you’re like most people, you probably hate cleaning your washing machine.

After all, It’s a tedious job, but it’s important to keep your machine clean if you want it to last.

Fortunately, there are plenty of washing machine cleaners on the market that can make this task a lot easier.

In this article, we’ll discuss nine of the best washing machine cleaners and provide detailed information on each one.

We’ll also discuss the pros and cons of each product based on our usage and reviews from various platforms so that you can make an informed decision about which one is best for your needs.

Alright!

Let’s dive into it.

Table Of Contents

How to choose the best washing cleaner?

When you choose a cleaning solution the first thing that comes to mind is the effective outcome of the product.

The outcome should always be a top priority no matter how good the advertisement is.

Apart from this, you need to understand that the preferred cleaning solution should be suitable and safe for the washer.

Furthermore, always ensure that you check the ratings and results on either Amazon OR go through the reviews online before buying any cleaners.

A bad cleaner can not only ruin your overall experience but also damage the washer.

There are hundreds of cleaners available in the market these days and you can not all are good.

It’s recommended you stick to market leaders like Affresh OR Oxiclean to get the job done. Of course, they too have pros and cons but the pros easily out-weighs the cons in any decent laundry machine cleaner.

Lastly, not every individual is the same, therefore it is always a good idea to personally use and determine the most suitable cleaning solution as per your laundry needs.

Types of Washing Machine Cleaners

There are different types of washing machine cleaners available in various forms such as; liquid gels, tablets, sprays, wipes, etc.

These cleaners not only clean the drum but also deep clean the areas that are hardly visible.

Furthermore, almost all cleaners these days have the properties to disinfect the washer.

Once a month or after every 30 wash cycles it is recommended that to clean your washing machine using a suitable cleaning solution.

Let us take a quick look at a few of the top washing machine cleaners listed below in different forms.

Liquid/gel

Liquid or gel-formed cleaners tend to dissolve quickly due to their liquid state.

It is considered to be the most quick-dissolving and effective among all the other cleaner types.

The best part is that it works with cold, warm as well as hot water during the cleaning cycle, and deep cleans the odor-causing residues.

Simply apply the gel to the affected areas of the washer and leave it for a few hours and wipe them off or discharge them by running the clean cycle.

Tablets

When it comes to washing machine cleaners, tablets are the most popular among all the other types.

In every single-use, 1 tablet is adequate to clean the wash drum.

These tablets work by slowly dissolving in water during the clean cycle.

Using hot water with these tablets gives a boost to the cleaning process.

Sprays

As the term indicates these cleaners come in a liquid form and has a hand sprayer attached to the bottle.

You can manually sprinkle the solution on the corners of the washer’s inner and outer parts and you may either wipe it off using a cloth or run a wash cycle for inside cleaning.

Wipes

Cleaning wipes for the washer are made up of strong and thick micro-grab fibers that visibly lift and lock in residue and dirt around the washer.

These types of cleaners are useful to wipe off the inner and outer parts of the washer.

Now that you know the types of cleaners available in the market, let’s take a look at some of the best-rated washing machine cleaners based on our usage, online reviews, and the current sentiments of the users.

9 Best Washing Machine cleaners

Here are our top picks…

1. Affresh Washing Machine Cleaner

affresh washing machine cleaner

Specification

It is manufactured by Whirlpool and it is quite effective in deep cleaning the washer’s tub, valves, and other inner components that come in daily contact with the mixture of water, detergents, and garments.

Below are useful pointers explained in brief.

  • Driven with U.S. EPA Safer Choice Certified ingredients and are septic tank safe
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – It contains safe ingredients for human health and the environment.

Key Ingredients

  • Sodium Percarbonate.
  • Sodium Carbonate.

Type: Tablets (Available in tablet form)

Can be used in High-Efficiency Washers: Yes.

Fragrance Type: Fresh fragrance

Quantity: 3, 5, and 6 tablets per pack. (1 tablet can be used for each cycle)

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Suitable for all washer types, front, and top loaders.Dissolves at a slower pace which takes a longer time in the cleaning process.
Gives the best results in the cleaning process when used with hotter water.Less effective with warm or cold water.
#1 Recommended by the Giants such as Whirlpool, Maytag, and Amana.Few users have shown unsatisfactory reviews for the product’s performance for leaving behind a powder-like residue.
Flexibility in choosing a pack with the desired number of tablets in specific packs.Does not have an expiry date printed on the pack. Works best up to 2 years from the date of manufacture.

What We Like

It is one of the best washing machine cleaners preferred by leading brands.

Suitable for all the types of washers i.e. both top and front load washers, including HE (high efficiency).

Deep cleans any odor-causing residues inside the pump, valve, tub, drum, agitator, filter, and hose which keeps the washer fresh.

What We Don’t Like

The only thing that we don’t like is that it takes a lot of time in the cleaning process as it takes ages for the tablets to dissolve and mix well.

If the washer does not have a cleaning cycle, then you may have to fill the wash drum to the maximum level which utilizes excessive water.

Current Sentiment of users: Positive (Rated by 35,000+ users – Currently at 4.5 out of 5 stars).

Top Reviews

It has an outstanding rating from the users on Amazon which shows that this product is extremely effective when it comes to cleaning.

The rate graph demonstrates that it is an ideal pick by a large section of users.

Critic Reviews

Perhaps affresh can work with Amazon and other retail channels to improve product delivery. There are lots of reviews and negative sentiments expressed by users about the delivery. A lot of them have complained that they got the tablet in a broken state.

And we feel affresh can work on the fragrance to make the cleaner more attractive.

Results from Using it

After trying multiple solutions and home remedies such as Vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, and bleaching compounds we were actually surprised to see the results post using affresh.

We tried affresh on a 2 years old uncleaned and muggy washer and it did manage to clean the mildew and stains in just a couple of cleaning cycles.

Furthermore, it retained the washer’s original polished looks and the freshness it had on day one.

Overall, we had a great experience as far as cleaning is concerned.

However, the time it took to completely dissolve the tablets and for completing the washing process, did make this experience a little boring though.

Also Read: How to use Affresh Washing Machine Cleaner?

2. Oxiclean washing machine cleaner

oxiclean washing machine cleaner

Specification

OxiClean Washing Machine Cleaner comes with odor Blasters that help to remove odor-causing residues from your washer.

Usually, after several wash cycles, you may notice a foul smell caused due to leftover residues, molds, mildews, and bacteria formation. This is where the odor blasters help to terminate the odor-producing remnants from the washer.

USP of this product:

  • It is septic tank safe
  • It can be used for all types of Washers.
  • It is also labeled as Phosphate free.

Key Ingredients

  • Disodium carbonate
  • Sodium percarbonate

Type: Powder.

Can be used in High-Efficiency Washers: Yes (suitable for all washer types)

Fragrance Type: Odor blaster.

Quantity: Usually available with 4 counts in 1 pack.

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
It is cost-effective (Inexpensive) if compared to other cleaners.Specific usage as per washers capacity is a must.
Cleans well and dissolves with hot water contact.If not mixed well, the chances of leaving behind the powdered residue are high
Suitable for all washer types, top, and front-load including HE washers.Can be challenging if the clean cycle is not available in the washer.

What We Like

Usage of one pouch a month sounds adequate and is cost-effective.

Enhances your wash experience by deep cleaning the washer and blasting away the odor-causing residues.

It is easy to use, you just need to pour one pouch into the wash drum and simply add hot water and run the clean washer cycle.

If your washer does not have a clean washer cycle then simply run the normal cycle.

Make sure you wipe away any surplus residue with a towel, including the drum, door, rubber gaskets, and seals after the clean cycle is complete.

Lastly, it is tagged as septic tank safe.

What We Don’t Like

If the accumulated residues in the form of molds and mildews are kept uncleaned for a longer period in the washer, you may have to run multiple cleaning cycles using this product to obtain desired results.

Current Sentiment of users: Positive (Amazon ratings – 4.6 out of 5, rated by 37,000+ users)

Top Reviews

There are multiple happy users on Amazon & other online retail portals who have been using this product for years, this indicates that it has performed desirably well.

Users have satisfactorily and positively rated this product with 4.5+ ratings on almost all the sites that we saw.

Critic Reviews

Few users have disliked the product, due to the strong scent/smell that it leaves inside the washer after the cleaning cycle.

Results from Using it

This product gives the desired cleaning experience but does not have a great fragrance, hence the manufacturer needs to add some good fragrance.

3. Glisten washing machine cleaner

glisten washing machine cleaner

Specification

Glisten washing machine cleaner is manufactured by Summit brands. It is one of the renowned brands in the United States.

Glisten washing machine cleaner comes in liquid form and it is highly recommended for deep cleaning your washer in the quickest time.

It easily removes limescale, detergent residues, iron & mineral pigments from your washer and reduces abrasive formation that is unhealthy for laundry.

Using this solution once a month is recommended to prevent the build-up of mold, bacteria, and odor-causing residues. Furthermore, it is suitable for all washer types.

Key Ingredients: Isopropanol, Fragrance

Type: Liquid

Can be used in High-Efficiency Washers: Yes

Fragrance Type: Fresh

Quantity: 12 fl oz (also available in 24 fl oz twin pack)

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
A cost-effective solution as it is much easier on pocketNon-returnable product.
Suitable for all types of washers, top loaders as well as front loaders (HE washers).Fragrance needs improvement.
The liquid formula leaves no powder residue behind unlike few other washing machine cleaners.Easy to overuse the liquid thereby making it inefficient at times
It removes hard water buildup from the washtub.

What We Like

  • It cleans the washer in a short time frame.
  • The powerful formula cleans and sanitizes even the hidden, and unreachable areas.
  • Removes the tough stains from the tub that are settled for a very long-time.

What We Don’t Like

The instructions on the pack are a bit confusing, need to have more clarity on instructions in a layman’s terms.

Current Sentiment of users: Positive (Amazon rating – 4.4 out of 5 stars)

Top reviews

Highly rated due to its liquid formula which reacts in quick time and further reduces extra manual scrubbing after the wash cycle.

Critics: The scent of this product seems to be like the beach, and soap constraints require multiple washes to get rid of.

Results from Using it

When we first used this product, the liquid formula worked great.

It was able to dissolve quickly into the water and it did clean the deepest areas of our LG Top Load washer.

4. Clorox Washing Machine Cleaner

clorox washing machine cleaner

Specification

Clorox washing machine cleaner reduces debris buildup in your washer and its deodorizing cleaning formula eliminates the foul odor.

Being in liquid form and the quick-dissolving formula makes it easy to use.

You can use it on the maintenance cycle or manual cycle at least once a month to keep your laundry machine fresh.

Key Ingredients: Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Hypochlorite, Surfactants, and Silicate.

Type: Liquid

Can be used in High-Efficiency Washers: Yes

Fragrance Type: Smells like bleach.

Quantity: Usually available with 30 Ounce bottle packed for 5 uses. This indicates that 6 ounces can be used in every cycle.

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Works with all washer types, top load, front load, and HE washers.Harmful to eyes, nose, and mouth if in contact
It is affordable

What We Like

Clorox washing machine cleaner with liquid formula is easy to use, simply pour it into the empty washtub and run the normal wash cycle with hot water.

It works great at eliminating the foul odors and the pack of chemicals inside helps to soften the dirt, soil, and other buildups.

What We Don’t Like

Although it cleans better and removes the smell from the washer, at times you will notice a strong bleach smell after every use.

And there isn’t much to say about when it comes to disliking this product. You may run on an empty cycle after the usage to remove the excess smell.

Current Sentiment of users: Positive (Amazon ratings – currently 4.4 out of 5 stars)

Top Reviews

Top ratings show that it’s more than capable of cleaning adamant stains and dirt and it’s also suitable for all the washer types.

Critic Reviews

Few users have been disappointed with the packaging that needs improvement. Perhaps the makers of Clorox can work with the Amazon delivery team to get this area improved.

Results from Using it

Since we prefer using a liquid solution over a tablet or powder this already matches our frequency. It takes less time to clean.

Having said that, we did notice that, the inside of the drum still had stains and it required 2 wash cycles to get the desired results.

We also liked the fragrance post washing.

Note: We used an LG top loader washer that was unclean for more than 30 days. So the results may vary depending on how old your washer is.

5. Tide Washing Machine Cleaner

tide washing machine cleaner

Specification

Tide washing machine cleaner cleans the washing machine with its specially designed surface active ingredients and the cleaning power of oxi.

Key Ingredients: Sodium Sulfate, Sodium Carbonate, Sodium Carbonate Peroxide, TAED, Water, Zeolite, Dodecylbenzene Sulfonic Acid, Polyacrylic Acid Sodium Bisulfite Terminated, Sodium Silicate, Sodium C12-18 Alkyl Sulfate, Laureth-10, Cellulose Gum, C10-16 Alkylbenzene Sulfonic Acid deriv, Fragrance, Pigment Blue 15. 

It also Contains Fragrance Allergens.

Type: Tablets & Powder packs.

Can be used in High-Efficiency Washers: Yes

Fragrance Type: Fresh Clean Scent.

Quantity: Tablet and powder packs.

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Suitable with all washer types top and frontloaders including Hi-Efficiency washers.Prolonging strong aroma after every use.
Safe for septic tanks.Can be irritating to the nose and eyes if contacted accidentally.
Premeasured pouches are available in the box for every single use.

What We Like

This is very effective due to its active ingredients and the cleaning power of oxi.

Removes the prolonged residues and odor out of the washer in just a single wash.

In the box, you will have the packs available in ample quantity for each use, you don’t need to manually measure the required quantity.

What We Don’t Like

It does a fabulous job of cleaning the adamant stains and is suitable for all types of washers.

Furthermore, it doesn’t smell like bleach after running the clean cycle on the contrary it leaves a very strong fragrance that lasts for a longer period of time.

Current Sentiment of users: Positive (Amazon ratings – Currently 4.6 out of 5 stars)

Top Reviews

As per the ratings available on Amazon and other online stores, users have displayed their best experiences using this cleaner.

Being a powdered cleaner, it leaves a very limited amount of residue behind. In fact, it leaves almost no residues behind if mixed thoroughly.

Critics

The only drawback displayed by multiple users is the strong scent left behind after the clean cycle, which lasts for several days.

Results from Using it

Tide cleaner has worked just as expected and it was able to get rid of a musty smell with ease.

It did a splendid job of driving off the bad smell due to dirt and residues

To get the best results, use one pack every week.

6. Lemi Shine Washing Machine Cleaner

Lemi shine washing machine cleaner

Specification

Formulated with powerful citric acid it easily removes the foul odor from the washer and the biodegradable formula helps in optimizing the performance of the washer.

It is safe to use as it is EPA certified and well-known for removing the hard water stains along with harmful bacteria.

Key Ingredients: Citric acid, sodium bicarbonate, fragrance (includes geraniol, linalool, citral, d-limonene) & silica.

Type: Powder

Can be used in High-Efficiency Washers: Yes

Fragrance Type: Fresh Lemon smell.

Quantity: Premeasured pouches.

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Can be used with all types of washers.Expensive as compared to other washing machine cleaners.
EPA safe and Climate Pledge FriendlyLess effective on Gasket seals.
Bleach, Ammonia, and Quat free.

What We Like

Made with real fruit acids, it reacts quickly with the mixture and helps remove bad smells and tough water stains. Also, works well with hard water.

What We Don’t Like

For $8.00 we expected more in quantity and received just 1 single pack, on the other hand, it is suggested to use twice for better results.

So it is a bit expensive and the results are similar to the ones that we discussed above.

Had this been slightly cheaper, it would have certainly made it to the top 3.

Current Sentiment of users: Positive (Amazon rating – Currently 4.5 out of 5 stars)

Top reviews

Easy to use with good fragrance and also effective in cleaning tough stains.

Critics

At this price point, there are better options available. 

Results from Using it

No doubt it works well, but we had to manually scrub a few corners inside the washer using cleaning wipes including the gasket areas.

7. Dettol Washing Machine Cleaner

dettol washing machine cleaner

Specification

This powerful washing machine cleaner helps in eliminating the bacteria, foul odor, invisible dirt, limescale, and mold from the washer.

It is recommended to use Dettol washing machine cleaner every 2 months.

Dettol claims to kill 99.9% of germs and gets rid of hidden dirt.

With the powerful cleaning formula and antibacterial properties, this liquid cleaner sanitizes even the hidden areas of your washer.

Key Ingredients

  • Benzalkonium Chloride, Lactic Acid, BIS (3-Aminopropyl) Dodecylamine, Citric Acid, Alcohol C8-18 ethoxylated propoxylated.
  • Water, Sodium Hydroxide, and Acrylamide Cationic Polymer

Type: Liquid

Can be used in High-Efficiency Washers: Yes

Fragrance Type: Fresh fragrance.

Quantity: Usually available in 5 packs per box.

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
It’s affordableIt May cause damage to the eyes if it comes in contact.
Good and long-lasting fragranceHarmful to aquatic life with long-lasting effects.
Suitable for all washer types including HE washersMaybe corrosive to metals

What We Like

Not only smells great but also cleans the washer better than expected. It also managed to clean the gasket areas of the front loaders. 

What We Don’t Like

It takes multiple cycles to clean the residues that are accumulated for a long time. 

Current Sentiment of users: Positive (Amazon ratings – Currently 4.6 out of 5  stars)

Results from Using it

Overall we were very pleased with the results after the first use. There are high chances that you will be using this cleaner twice to clean the washer that has not been cleaned for a very long time.

8. Calgon Washing Machine Cleaner

calgon washing machine cleaner

Specification

Calgon Washing Machine Cleaner helps to protect the wash drum and plastic components from dirt and mold infestation.

It safeguards the rubber pipe surfaces from deterioration and rinses of the dirt and detergent residues effectively leaving the washer clean and fresh.

Key Ingredients: Polycarboxylates, Zeolites, Non-ionic surfactants, Perfume.

Type: Tablets (Also available in Gel and powder forms)

Can be used in High-Efficiency Washers: Yes

Fragrance Type: Fresh

Quantity: Calgon Tablets are usually available in four packs: 15, 30, 45, and 75 Tablet packs.

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Minimizes the energy consumption by cleaning the washer heating elementSlightly expensive compared to other cleaners.
Can be used along with fabrics in the wash cycle.Injurious to health if swallowed.
Recommended by giants such as AEG, Bosch, Candy, Siemens, and Whirlpool.

What We Like

Was effective in removing limescale from the washer and left a pleasant fragrance post-wash.

What We Don’t Like

The availability of this product is a challenge at times.

Current Sentiment of users: Positive (Amazon ratings – Current rating 4.6 stars out of 5) 

Top Reviews

Highly rated due to water softening properties, and extremely useful if you have a hard water supply. The positive sentiments about Clagon are purely due to its quality performance.

Critics

There are several concerns raised when it is used with cold water, the tablets do not tend to dissolve properly which further hampers the expected results. 

Results from Using it

It may sound a bit expensive but that doesn’t matter as the outcome was flawless.

Water softening does wonder for the fabrics and washers.

It got rid of the limescale in a single wash. It’s just a disgusting fact that it is less effective with cold/warm water, you need to use hotter water for desired results.

Note: We had used hot water and that’s the primary reason why the results were way better.

9. Lysol Washing Machine Cleaner

lysol washing machine cleaner

Specification

Manufactured by‎ Reckitt, Lysol Washing Machine Cleaner with the Sanitizing formula can be used for ​Front Load and Top Load washers to sanitize and clean the washing machine.

This cleaning solution guarantees to remove buildup and kills 99.9% of bacteria from the washer.

USP: Kills 99.9% of Enterobacter aerogenes and Staphylococcus

Key Ingredients: Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride (0,960%), Octyl Decyl Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride (0,720%), Dioctyl Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride (0,288%), Didecyl Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride (0,432%)

Type: Liquid

Can be used in High-Efficiency Washers: Yes

Fragrance Type: Crisp Linen Scent.

Quantity: Usually available in 1 Count, 36 oz.

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Suitable for all the washer types top and front loader, including Hi-Efficiency washers.Prolonged or frequent contact with skin may cause allergic reactions.
Suitable for whites and colored fabrics.
Long-lasting fragrance.
Cleans and sanitizes the washer.

What We Like

This solution is bleach-free and deep cleans hidden dirt build-up, limescale, detergent residue, and soap scum. Also, leaves a long-lasting fragrance in the washer.

What We Don’t Like

  • The long-time left residues need extra effort or multiple cycles to get rid of the washer.
  • The stock availability from the manufacturer becomes a challenge at times.

Current Sentiment of users: Positive (Amazon ratings – Currently above 4.5 stars out of 5)

Results from Using it

After the first use, it dissolved quickly like any other liquid solution.

The cleaning results were amazing with a long-lasting scented fragrance, and the sanitizing formula was an added benefit.

What do we look into when selecting washing machine cleaners?

Selecting a washing machine cleaner should be easy and seamless, the more you think the more difficult it will get to make an ideal choice.

Here are a few criteria that may be helpful.

Easy to use: Yes, it should be easy to use, with clear instructions.

Cost-effective: Cleaning solutions may hit your pockets at times, a cost-effective cleaner is what you should look out for. The process should be repeatable and easy in your pocket.

Suitable to your washer: Using a cleaner not suitable for your washer may end up with negative results. Hence choosing a cleaner that suits your washer is a must.

Note: All the cleaners mentioned above work with all types of washing machines including the HE ones.

Delivers desired results: It should clean the washer effectively and leave a fresh smell after every single use. Always do research online and read the reviews before buying any cleaners.

Safety: It should be environment and user friendly, also safe for your washer type. Here EPA safer certification and septic tank safe features should be considered.

How to use Washing Machine cleaners?

Washing machine cleaners do have the instructions on the product labels. Most cleaning solutions can be added directly to the washtub, and hot water is recommended in the cleaning process for better results.

How to Make a Home Made Washing Cleaner?

White Vinegar, Baking Soda, and lemon are the most common home remedies that are used to clean your washer. These solutions are easily available in households and are the most cost-effective options.

You can add a cup of white vinegar, and half a cup of baking soda and you may also add half a cup of lemon juice mixed with hot water to the washtub. Run a normal cycle and your job is done.

Final Thoughts

All the above-mentioned cleaners are safe and deliver great results based on our tests.

Having said that some take a lot of time to dissolve but deliver stellar performance and on the other hand some dissolve quickly and may need two wash cycles to get the desired results.

So both tablets and liquids have their pros and cons, therefore it purely depends on what fits your requirement.

Tip: If you regularly clean your washing machine, then liquid cleaners will be the best fit. On the other hand, if you clean your washer once a month or every two months, then it will be a wise idea to use tablets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions asked frequently.

What’s the best Washing Machine cleaner for LG?

Regardless of the brand of washer, there are various washing machine cleaners available. So the first thing that should come to mind is to have a suitable cleaner for your washer. We have listed 9 top washing machine cleaners and you may choose any of these.

What’s the best Washing Machine Cleaner for Samsung?

As discussed in the above question that there is ample choice available between the cleaning solutions. One may also use the home remedy for cleaning the washer using white Vinegar, Baking Soda, and lemon with hot water by running a hot water cycle.