How to Clean Your Washing Machine

Washing Machine

Dirty clothes go in and clean clothes come out; it’s like magic! Only this magic is limited to how well you take care of your washing machine. Did you know you should clean your washing machine once a month? Dirt and grime that gets removed from your laundry during a washing cycle winds up trapped within the machine, and over time clothes may not come out as clean and fresh smelling as they once did. If you want to keep your washer running at its best and avoid buildup of mold, mildew, and scum that contribute to odor, you need to clean your machine. Here’s how:

Things you should know:

Don’t let wet clothes sit. Remove wet clothes promptly after washing cycle. Leaving wet clothes, even for a few hours, can lead to mold and mildew growth. This will affect the smell of your clothes as well as the performance of your washing machine.

Give it some air. Once a washing cycle is complete and wet clothes have been removed, don’t close the door… keep it open instead. Closing the door to your washer after you’re done traps in moisture, creating the perfect environment for mold and mildew growth. By leaving the door open you give the remaining water a chance to evaporate.

Keep the soap and softener dispenser clean. If your machine has a soap and softener drawer that gets wet during the process, take it out, clean, and dry it after every cycle.

Deep clean once a month. Keeping up with everyday maintenance helps to prevent mildew, but it’s still important to do a deep clean every month.

How to Deep Clean a Front-Loading Washing Machine

  • Fill the washing machine with hot water. If you own a newer model it likely has a self-cleaning cycle option; if so, fill with hot water on this setting. If you do not have a self-cleaning option, use a hot wash cycle.
  • If the inside of your machine is stained, add a quart of bleach through the dispenser so that it mixes with the hot water, then let the machine finish the cycle.
  • Once the cycle has ended, you can clean the rubber seal on the door. This area is prone to mold growth because water can get trapped between the machine and seal. To clean the rubber seal, use an all-purpose cleaner and a sponge and dry with a paper towel.
  • Don’t forget the soap dispensers! Use an all-purpose cleaner or a vinegar and water solution. Use a sponge to remove all traces of detergent, dirt and any other possible debris that could clog your dispenser.

How to Deep Clean a Top-Loading Washing Machine

  • Fill the washing machine with hot water. The easiest way to do this is to turn on the hot wash cycle and interrupt it after the water has been filled.
  • Add a quart of bleach and turn the washing cycle back on for a few seconds to mix the bleach and water. Once mixed, shut it back off and let the chlorine mixture sit for at least an hour. As it sits it will start lifting the mildew, grime and other unwanted substances within your machine.
  • After an hour, turn back on the washing cycle and let it finish. Once the cycle is finished the machine will be sanitized. If your machine smells like bleach once the cycle is complete, fill with hot water and pour in a quart of vinegar. Let that sit for an hour and then run the washing cycle once more.
  • Clean the soap dispensers. Use a vinegar water solution and a scrubber to remove detergent, dirt and any other debris that tends to get caught in there. Cleaning the dispenser clean is an important part to keeping the inside of your machine clean.

Don’t Forget

When you do your deep clean, no matter if you have a front or top-loading washing machine there are 3 things you should not overlook:

  • Clean the exterior. Use a soft damp cloth to wipe up spills; never use an abrasive cleanser or solvent it may scratch and damage the surface.
  • Check and clean the inlet hose filters. You will find them inside the water inlet connections. Their purpose is to prevent dirt and debris from getting inside the washer, but when they are clogged water will not flow adequately into the machine for a wash cycle.
  • Does pet hair find its way into your washer? The easiest way to remove it is to leave the door open until the pet hair and drum are thoroughly dry. Once dry, use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment to remove the hair.


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Spring Cleaning Tips for Allergy Sufferers

spring cleaning

For allergy sufferers, spring cleaning is a great opportunity to clean many over looked items that could be harboring allergens and help reduce symptoms. On the other hand, the cleaning itself may set off fits of sneezing, watery eyes, and congestion. Whether you dread this process or find it strangely satisfying, it’s got to be done especially if you suffer from allergies.

Here are some cleaning tips to keep in mind as you spring clean your home. These cleaning tips will help both you and your family breathe easier.

Replace Filters

Clean or replace filters on humidifiers, dehumidifiers, air purifiers, air conditioning units and furnaces. If you are replacing your filters, try replacing them with HEPA filters which are ideal for allergy suffers.

Clean Vents

Vents can be easily overlooked, but particles can build up in them. Unscrew vents for the heat or air system, put them in the sink and rinse with soap and water.

Clean Any Damp Areas

Monitor areas that are likely to produce mold, such as closets, inside cabinets near sinks, the bathroom floor, areas under appliances and areas around pipes. Wiping walls, floors or ceilings around these areas with a solution of vinegar is a safe effective mold deterrent.

Clean The Inside AND Outside of Windows

Use bleach to clean your window sill.Then you can either hose off your window screens in the backyard, or use a vacuum to suck up the dirt and dust embedded in the screen.

Get Under Things

If you haven’t moved your furniture while cleaning to get under or around things, now is the time to do so. A thorough cleaning is what you need! Just because you can’t see the dust or dirt does not mean it’s not affecting your breathing.

Vacuum Mattresses and Furniture

If you have any upholstered furniture, vacuuming and steam cleaning are great ways to reduce the amount of allergens in your home.

Wash Your Bedding

Using hot water and special laundry detergent that help kill dust mites and eliminate other allergens. If you have not already encased your bedding in allergy relief bedding, take this opportunity to do so. Check your pillows as well. Replace them every 2-3 years and cover them with hypoallergenic encasings.

Clean Your Curtains

This should be done periodically since they are huge allergen collectors. Make sure you read the care instructions before cleaning your curtains. Some may be ok to throw in the wash, while others may have to be steamed cleaned or even taken to the dry cleaners.

Get Your Carpets and Rugs Cleaned Professionally

If you have smaller rugs, like a bathroom rug, throw it in the wash. If your smaller rugs are not washable, you should consider replacing them with rugs that are.


Don’t dust with cotton cloths though, they just spread particles around on surfaces and send them back into the air. Instead, use electrostatic or microfiber cloths which trap dust or a vacuum attachment designed specifically for dusting.

In addition to the tips above, the following tips are some cleaning principles to stick to in order to minimize allergy attacks while cleaning.

  • Wear a dust mask.
  • Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Click here to browse vacuums that have HEPA air filtration.
  • If you have pets, clean off their fur when they come in from the outside to avoid bringing pollen into your home.
  • Keep the humidity in your home below 50% to prevent growth of dust mites. You may want to consider purchasing a dehumidifier.
  • Clean “top to bottom” so that any stirred-up dust and other debris that settles on the floor will be sure to be cleaned up.
  •  Avoid harsh cleaning chemicals, which can aggravate sensitive nasal passages and airways.
  • Invest in a HEPA air purifier. HEPA air purifiers are very effective at controlling particles and allergens such as pollen, dust, and dander.


We hope you find these tips helpful and please check back on our blog for more spring cleaning tips!



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Prepare Your Oven for Thanksgiving with These Cleaning and Maintenance Tips


Thanksgiving is right around the corner and many of us are preparing for opening our home to friends and family. We are going are over our grocery lists, pulling out the table settings, and cleaning and decorating our home in preparation for this holiday. However, there’s one important thing we all may overlook… our oven. We put a lot of faith in our ovens that day, so it’s smart to get it prepared as well.

Here are a few Tips:

Clean your oven now.  If you have a self cleaning oven do not use this feature the day before or day of a big holiday, as your oven could overheat and damage a key component such as a fuse or control board. Sometimes ovens can get stuck in self-clean mode. If this happens turn off the circuit breaker or unplug your oven for one minute to reset the power.

Check all burners to make sure everything is working properly. Use your oven a couple of days before hand to rule out any irregularities in temperature or uneven cooking.  If you find your oven is not heating properly, below are the most common things to check. Remember, to avoid personal injury (or death!), always unplug the appliance or disconnect the power before attempting any repairs yourself. Always turn off the gas at the source before repairing any gas appliance.

·         Bake Element.  The bake element is a black tube near the bottom of the oven about as thick as a pencil.  You can tell there’s a problem if the element glows only a little, only in certain areas along the element or not at all. If this is the case it will need to be replaced.


·         Broil Element.  The broil element is a black tube near the top of the oven, also about as thick as a pencil. When it is operating normally, the broil element will glow red hot. In most ovens the broil element comes on during pre-heat. If the oven doesn’t bake evenly, the broil element may have burned out. It is often obvious to see where the broil element has burned out because there will be a hole in the element or blisters on the outside of the element. If this is the case, it can’t be repaired and will need to be replaced.


·         Oven Igniter. If the oven won’t heat and the oven igniter glows for more than 90 seconds without igniting the gas flame, the oven igniter should be replaced.


·         Oven Thermostat. Some ovens have a thermostat bulb that can come loose, in which case you would find it lying on the bottom of the oven or resting against the heating element. If the thermostat sensing bulb is still in place, it could still be defective and may need to be replaced.

With some oven models, you can calibrate the temperature on a keypad. On other models there’s a thermostat knob that can be adjusted. Check your owner’s manual for complete instructions. If the thermostat isn’t calibrated correctly it may be that you have to replace a gasket. If this is the case, then you should contact a professional repairman.


·         Oven Control Board. An electronic oven control panel controls the oven when its buttons are used to set the oven’s temperature. Diagnostic codes, also known as fault codes, are shown on its display when there is a problem with the oven. If the display on your oven shows a code beginning with an “F,” there is a problem with a component in the control board or oven. Troubleshoot the control board to determine if it requires replacement.


·         Convection Element. If the oven doesn’t bake evenly during convection bake, the convection element might be burned out. The convection element is located near the convection fan and helps to heat the air circulating inside the oven. The convection element can be tested for continuity by using an Ohm meter. If the convection element is burned out it will need to be replaced.


·         Convection Motor. If the oven doesn’t bake evenly during convection bake and you’ve checked the convection element, the convection motor might be defective instead. The convection motor drives the convection fan and circulates the air inside the oven. The convection motor can also be tested for continuity by using an Ohm meter. If the motor shaft doesn’t turn freely, the motor bearings are probably bad and will have to be replaced.


·         Oven Sensor. The oven sensor works in conjunction with the oven control board – or clock – to regulate the temperature. The oven sensor is a simple electronic device which varies its resistance to electrical current as the temperature varies. If the oven doesn’t bake evenly, this oven sensor resistance might be incorrect. For small variations, often there is a calibration feature at the control board. On many models there is a certain pattern of pushing buttons in order to calibrate the control board to the oven sensor resistance. Check the owners’ manual for more information.

If your oven is not working at all, check to see if the oven’s wall plug is plugged in all the way first. A partially removed plug may be the reason your oven won’t turn on. If that’s not the case check your fuse box first to see if the oven blew a fuse. Older ovens have their own fuses. To check if one is blown unplug your oven first, then pull it out from behind the wall. The fuse is located under the range top on the back of the oven.  If you have checked the plug, fuse box, and all the above parts and still can’t locate the problem, it may be time to call a repairman.

If you wish to keep your range, stove, or oven operating safely and efficiently, you will need to make sure they are kept clean. Both the control panel and cook-top can be cleaned with non- abrasive cleaners. Always apply the cleaner to the rag other than the surface you wish to clean. The burner drip holes are usually not cleanable once they have been stained, so it’s often a better idea to replace them altogether. If the oven is not a self-cleaning model, you can use oven cleaner to maintain the interior. If your oven is self cleaning, simply follow the manufacturer’s instruction for the self cleaning setting. You may also need to replace your ovens light bulb from time to time if it burns out. Most ovens use a universal 40 watt bulb. Simply unscrew the old bulb and install the new one. Follow these simple steps and your appliance should continue to run great for many Thanksgivings to come!


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