Cleaning your Washer?


Cleaning your washer.  Hmmm….seems like an oxymoron to me, but I see people talking about it on the internet.  Obviously, my machine takes a lot of wear and tear and some weeks it cleans upward of 20 loads of laundry! Because it works so hard, and it’s an expensive piece of machinery, I want to do my best to take care of it and keep it in tip, top shape.

When we purchased our washer, it came with a few samples of laundry detergent and something called Affresh.  Affresh claims to “Clean washers better than bleach!”


My goodness, I had never even heard of cleaning your washer because it’s exposed to soap and the cleaning process each time it ran.  My hubby doesn’t give this product much credit.  His advice is to just add some bleach to our whites and it will kill any bacteria and mold that might grow.

To tell you the truth, I’m totally afraid of bleach.  Bleach scares me from the moment I pour it into the “bleach well” of our washer (it might splash up onto my clothes)  to the fact that some may be retained  and released accidentally during the next load of darks and ruin the clothes.  I also think about the fact that we have a septic tank and bleach will kill the useful bacteria in there too!

So, at this point I try to run one of these Affresh tablets through my washer on the “clean washer” cycle once a month (if I remember! ha!)  I’m not sure if it does anything or if it’s a waste of money, but it makes “my head ” feel better!

I would love to get your opinion!  Do you “clean” your washer?  What do you use? or is it even necessary??  Leave a comment and let me know!!  Thanks!


  1. Hi Jill!
    I’ve used non-toxic products for 20 years that don’t leave gunky soap residue in the washer. A lot of store brands (Tide, ect.) are known to contain carcinogens and leave a lot of residue both in your washer and on your clothes. Not a happy thought. So no, I’ve never had to “clean” my washer. As for bleach, you should be afraid of it and not just for the reasons you stated. Bleach can be extremely harmful if inhaled and you definitely don’t want it on your skin. I know it has it’s uses so we still keep some around, but use it very sparingly.
    My two cents worth 🙂
    Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!

  2. Jill,
    After years of struggling with that musty smell in our towels and dark clothing, I finally connected it to the gunk in our washer from using liquid tide and liquid downy. When we pulled the drum out of the machine it was just plain disgusting. New washer, and no more liquid soaps or fabric softeners, and problem solved. (powdered detergent only). We add 1/2 cup of white vinegar as a rinse in every load, and no more mold. And no more need to run bleach or anything else in the machine.

    • Hi Bonnie! I would probably be surprised if we pulled out the drum because I use liquid Tide and Downy! The vinegar is a great idea too!

  3. danette daliege says:

    I use vinegar for many things I will try it in my rinse cycle. Thanks for the tip.

  4. Jan Boehlke says:

    My septic guy told me that ONE CUP of bleach will kill your whole septic tank ! Be careful if you have septic systems. I get thst “smell” from the washer too and use the store brands but will now try the powder snd occational vinegar . Thanks!