How to make a washing machine cleaner? (Step by Step)

No matter how careful you are when washing your clothes, there’s always a chance that some dirt or debris will make its way into your washing machine.

Over time, this dirt and debris can accumulate and cause problems with your washing machine.

Cleaning the washer with a good washing machine cleaner is the best way to ensure the smooth functioning of your laundry machine.

In this post you will learn:

  • How to make a washing machine cleaning solution at home?
  • Tips to use the washing machine cleaner
  • Commonly asked questions
  • And More…

Let’s dive right into it.

Table Of Content

What is a washing machine cleaner and why do you need one?

A washing machine cleaner is a cleaning solution that is designed specifically for cleaning Washing Machines. These cleaners help to remove dirt, debris, and other build-ups from the laundry machine, which can eventually lead to problems if it’s not cleaned on a regular basis.

A good washing machine cleaner will not only help to clean the washer but also restore the performance of your washer.

While you can use a general all-purpose cleaner or even white vinegar to clean your washing machine, using a cleaner that is specifically designed for the job is always best.

Having said that, if you want something that is natural and has limited to no side effects, then making a washing machine cleaner at home makes a lot of sense.

Let’s look into different ways to make a washing machine cleaner at home.

How to make a washing machine cleaner with common household ingredients?

There are a number of ways to make a washing machine cleaner at home using common household ingredients.

Some of the most popular methods include using white vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice.

Let’s take a look at each of these methods in detail.

What you will need

In order to make a washing machine cleaner at home, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Baking soda
  • White or distilled vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Bleach (liquid bleach preferred)
  • Essential oil (tea tree or lavender oil)
  • Warm or hot water
  • Bowl (or a bucket as per requirements)
  • Spray bottle
  • A soft brush or a toothbrush
  • Soft cloth (and a damp cloth)


There are four ways to prepare a cleansing solution and you can use either one of them.

1.  Liquid Spray

Make a mixture of distilled vinegar and lemon juice in equal quantities and pour it into a bowl. Add the mixture in a ⅓ ratio to a spray bottle and rest filled with warm or hot water.

Let the solution dilute for 5 minutes and now the spray cleaner is ready.

(Note – You may add 2 drops of essential oil to the mixture).

2.  Paste

Add 2 cups of baking soda to a bowl and add sufficient water to make a paste.

3 . Liquid solution

Unlike a spray, you will be applying the solution directly to the affected areas of your washer. 

You can mix 1 cup of vinegar or 2 spoons of baking soda directly with three cups of water. This application can be directly poured into the washtub filled with hot water.

4. Only Using Distilled White Vinegar

One of the most effective and affordable ways to clean your washing machine is by using white vinegar.

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that can help to remove dirt, debris, and other build-ups from your machine.

It is also very effective at getting rid of bad odors. 

Also Read: Can you use Baking Soda as a laundry detergent?

How to clean your washing machine with your new cleaner?

Once you have prepared the cleaner, it’s time to start cleaning your washing machine.

Start by giving the machine a good visual inspection. Look for any areas that seem to be particularly dirty or gritty.

If you notice any limescale OR residue build-up, make a note of them so you can focus your cleaning efforts there.

Follow the below instructions to clean the washer effectively.

Start by cleaning the washtub

There are three ways to clean the washtub.

By Using Vinegar Only Solution

To clean the washtub and connected areas you can simply add 1 cup of distilled vinegar diluted with water into the washtub and run a clean or empty cycle with the hottest water temperature for about 45 minutes.

By Using Baking Soda

Alternately you can use a paste made up of baking soda and apply it to all the corners of the washtub by using a soft brush, let the application settle for around 15 minutes, and then run the clean or empty cycle using hot water.

By Using Homemade Spray Solution

Another approach is to use the spray solution (lemon juice, vinegar, and water) in the washtub areas covering all the corners, and leaving the application for about 30 minutes. And then finally running the hot water cycle.

Wipe the Exterior

Use a soft cloth dipped in the vinegar solution and wipe all the accessible areas of the washing machine exterior.

You may use a toothbrush to reach the difficult areas.

You can also use this same solution to clean the washing machine’s detergent dispenser drawer.

Just be sure to give it a good scrub and then rinse it well with hot water before putting it back in place.

Cleaning the Drain Pump and Filter

It’s a good idea to clean your washing machine’s drain pump and filter on a monthly basis to help prevent buildup and ensure that your machine is draining properly.

To clean the drain pump, simply remove it from the machine and give it a good rinse with hot water.

Once the Washtub and exterior are clean use a damp cloth and wipe the washer.

The above process deep cleans the washtub and its connected parts by withdrawing the detergent and dirt residues along with clogging caused by various factors such as lint accumulation, mold, mildews, bacteria formation, and limescale patches due to hard water contact.

Also Read: How to clean towel in the washing machine?

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to make a washing machine cleaner, it’s time to get started! The process is simple and affordable, and it will help keep your machine running smoothly.

If you have any questions about using the DIY homemade washing machine cleaner, or about washing machines in general, be sure to check our FAQ Section.

Also Read: Is it Safe to put a tennis ball inside a washing machine?

Frequently Asked Questions

Some common questions that get asked quite frequently.

What washer parts can you clean using homemade cleaners?

By using the homemade washing machine cleaning solution you can clean the Washtub, Drain, Filters, Gasket rubber seals, agitator, Hoses and pipes, Outer body, Detergent, fabric-softener or bleach dispensers, etc.

What does the homemade washing machine cleaner clean?

The homemade solution effectively cleans the formation of Mold, mildews, bacterias, limescale, lint, detergent, and dirt residues.

Is it safe to use a homemade cleaner for my washer?

Yes, using homemade cleaning solutions made up of vinegar or baking soda is considered to be safe. It is always recommended to dilute the solutions before you apply them to the washer. However, using excessive quantities and undiluted solutions may damage your washer in long run, hence it is advised to use the solution once a month with the appropriate quantity.

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)