How do you clean the washing machine agitator?

Agitators are an extremely important component of any Top-Load washing machine, and also one of the most over-worked parts.

The better the agitator performs, the better will be the washing quality.

Since agitators are used frequently, it’s prone to wear and tear and needs regular maintenance, just like any other electrical components.

While we can’t control the workload as hygiene is a priority for everyone, what we can control is regular cleaning and maintenance of the agitator so that it stays efficient for a long time.

In the article you will learn:

  • What is an Agitator (in Non-Technical Terms)?
  • How to clean agitator?
  • Tips to maintain agitator
  • And More…

Let us understand what a washing machine agitator is? How does it work? And how to maintain it? in simple non-technical terms.

What is an Agitator in Non-Technical terms?

An agitator is a device located at the center of a top-load washing machine. It is responsible for rotating the clothes back and forth at high speeds.

The high rotation of the agitator helps in mixing the detergent with water, which further applies to the clothes and other fabrics.

At times after several washes, you may notice a bad smell from the washing machine and even from the garments. This is caused mainly due to mixture of dirt and detergent residues that settle at the bottom of the basket, where the agitator is attached.

Let’s take a quick look at how you can clean the agitator?

READ: How to Clean Mold from Washing Machine?

How to clean the agitator?

Here are a few simple ways to clean the washing machine agitator:

  • Most modern-day washing machines already have a self-cleaning feature available. All you need to do is just press the cleaning option and you are done. This cleaning method is one of the recommended ways to keep the agitator clean.
  • Another easy way to clean the agitator is by removing it. You can twist and remove the agitator to clean it (Follow proper instructions from the manual guide).
  • Depending on the washing machine type, if the agitator is not detachable OR if there is any difficulty removing it, you should stop and avoid removing the agitator.

There are multiple cleaning products or solutions available in regards to washing machine (Agitator) cleaner. These products are easily available online or you can buy them locally.

READ: How to Clean a Portable Washing Machine?

Home Remedies to clean Agitator

You can simply use Baking Soda OR Vinegar to clean the agitator by following the below steps.

In order to make a solution you will need the below items:

  • Vinegar OR Baking Soda
  • A microfiber cloth
  • A Towel
  • Tooth Brush OR Cleaning brush

Once you have the above items handy, simply follow the below steps:

  • Start by removing the fabric softener dispenser from the washing machine.
  • Take a spare bowl and mix half a cup of Distilled White Vinegar OR Baking Soda with 1 cup of water.
  • Dip the cloth in the solution.
  • Start scrubbing and cleaning the agitator. Toothbrushes or cleaning brushes can also be used to clean the tiny holes and deep corners.
  • Now pour the Vinegar OR Baking Soda solution into the detergent compartment.
  • Close the Washing machine Lid and start the washing cycle.
  • Remember, to run the wash cycle in hot water.

Apart from the above-mentioned process, you may also use bleach to clean the agitator and the washtub.

READ: Is it Necessary to have a stand for Washing Machine?

Final Thoughts

It’s always advisable to clean your washer once a week OR once every two weeks to avoid the build-up of dirt and residues.

Once the dirt and waste start accumulating, it will surely reach a point where regular cleaning won’t help, and you may need to detach the agitator in order to clean it thoroughly. This can be a pain, especially if your washing machine does not have the feature to detach the agitator.

If you still question related to the washing machines, refer to our dedicated FAQ section, there are chances that we may have already answered them.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)