If you want to know How to Clean a Top Loader Washing Machine, we’ve got you covered.

A top-loader washing machine is a convenient household appliance that simplifies the chore of laundry. However, many people overlook the fact that these machines also need regular cleaning to maintain their efficiency and longevity. Over time, soap scum, dirt, and bacteria can accumulate in various parts of the washing machine, affecting its performance and the cleanliness of your clothes. In this article, we will guide you through a step-by-step process on how to clean a top-loader washing machine effectively.

Why Cleaning Your Top-Loader Washing Machine is Important

Cleaning your top-loader washing machine is essential for several reasons. Firstly, it ensures your clothes come out fresh and clean after each wash. A dirty washing machine can transfer grime onto your clothes, making them look and smell less than pleasant. Secondly, regular cleaning prevents the buildup of mold, mildew, and bacteria, which can cause foul odors and affect your machine’s internal components. Lastly, a clean washing machine operates more efficiently, saving you money on energy bills and potential repair costs.

How to Clean a Top Loader Washing Machine

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Before you start cleaning your top-loader washing machine, gather the necessary supplies:

  1. White vinegar: Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and helps dissolve mineral deposits and soap scum.
  2. Baking soda: Baking soda is excellent for removing odors and stains.
  3. Microfiber cloth or sponge: For wiping down the exterior and interior of the washing machine.
  4. Toothbrush or small brush: To clean hard-to-reach areas.
  5. Hot water: To flush out debris and cleaning agents.
  6. Essential oils (optional): For a fresh scent after cleaning.
  7. Rubber gloves: To protect your hands from cleaning agents.

Step 2: Clean the Detergent Dispenser and Filters

  1. Remove the detergent dispenser: Check your washing machine’s manual to see how it’s done. Usually, it can be easily pulled out or released with a button.
  2. Soak in warm, soapy water: Fill a basin with warm water and mild soap. Soak the detergent dispenser in the soapy water to remove detergent residues.
  3. Clean the filters: Some top-loader washing machines have lint filters or coin traps. Check your manual to locate them, remove, and clean. Use a toothbrush to scrub away dirt and lint. Rinse thoroughly and reassemble.

Step 3: Clean the Drum

  1. Run a hot water cycle: Set your washing machine to the hottest water setting and let it run empty. This helps loosen any debris or soap scum inside the drum.
  2. Add vinegar and baking soda: While the machine is filling with hot water, add one cup of vinegar and half a cup of baking soda directly into the drum. These ingredients help break down grime and neutralize odors.
  3. Pause the cycle: After a few minutes of agitation, pause the washing machine and let the mixture sit for about an hour. During this time, use a microfiber cloth or sponge dipped in the vinegar-water solution to wipe down the exterior of the machine, including the control panel and lid.
  4. Resume the cycle: After an hour, resume the cycle and let it complete. The combination of hot water, vinegar, and baking soda will clean and disinfect the drum.

Step 4: Clean the Agitator and Inner Components

  1. Turn off the washing machine: Unplug your machine to ensure your safety while cleaning the inner components.
  2. Access the agitator: Depending on your washing machine model, the agitator may be easily removable or have a cap that can be lifted. Check your manual for specific instructions.
  3. Clean the agitator: Scrub the agitator with a sponge or brush soaked in vinegar or soapy water. For stubborn stains or residues, use an old toothbrush to reach crevices.
  4. Check and clean other components: Use a flashlight to inspect other parts inside the washing machine, such as the drum fins and water inlet. Clean these areas with a damp cloth or sponge.

Step 5: Run a Rinse Cycle

  1. Run a hot water rinse cycle: After cleaning the drum and components, run an additional hot water cycle to ensure all cleaning agents are thoroughly rinsed away. This step helps prevent any lingering odors from cleaning agents.
  2. Optional: Add essential oils: If you prefer a fresh scent, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil (such as lavender or lemon) to the rinse cycle. Essential oils not only add fragrance but also have antibacterial properties.

Step 6: Clean the Exterior and Lid

  1. Wipe down the exterior: Use a microfiber cloth or sponge dampened with water and mild soap to clean the exterior of the washing machine. Pay attention to any control panels or buttons.
  2. Clean the lid and rubber gasket: If your top-loader washing machine has a rubber gasket around the lid, clean it thoroughly. This area is prone to mold growth. Use a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar to scrub the gasket and the underside of the lid. Dry the area with a clean cloth afterward.

Step 7: Maintain Regular Cleaning Habits

To keep your top-loader washing machine in top condition, follow these maintenance tips:

  1. Leave the lid open: After each wash, leave the lid open to allow air circulation. This prevents mold and mildew growth.
  2. Wipe down spills immediately: If detergent or fabric softener spills occur, clean them promptly to prevent buildup.
  3. Clean the machine monthly: Aim to clean your top-loader washing machine at least once a month, especially if you do a lot of laundry. Regular cleaning prevents grime from accumulating.
  4. Use HE detergent: If your washing machine requires high-efficiency (HE) detergent, make sure to use it. Using the right detergent reduces soap scum buildup.
  5. Check pockets before washing: Remind family members to check their pockets for items like coins, keys, and tissues. These items can cause damage and clog filters.


Regularly cleaning your top-loader washing machine not only ensures clean and fresh laundry but also prolongs the life of your appliance. By following these simple steps and incorporating regular maintenance habits, you can keep your washing machine running efficiently and effectively. A little effort goes a long way in maintaining the hygiene of your washing machine and the cleanliness of your clothes. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your supplies, and give your top-loader washing machine the cleaning it deserves today!

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