How to Sanitize and Disinfect a Washer and Dryer

How to Sanitize and Disinfect a Washer and Dryer

Keeping your washer and dryer sanitized and disinfected is essential for maintaining clean laundry and ensuring the longevity of your appliances. Regular cleaning helps prevent the buildup of mold, mildew, and bacteria, which can cause unpleasant odors and even affect your health. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you sanitize and disinfect your washer and dryer effectively
Reading How to Sanitize and Disinfect a Washer and Dryer 3 minutes

Sanitizing and Disinfecting a Washer

Step 1: Gather Supplies

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide (optional)
  • Microfiber cloths or sponges
  • Old toothbrush
  • Dish soap (optional)

Step 2: Clean the Drum

  • Front-Loading Washers:

a. Pour two cups of white vinegar into the detergent dispenser.
b. Run the washer on the hottest setting with an empty load. The vinegar helps break down residue and kill bacteria.
c. For extra disinfecting power, you can add half a cup of hydrogen peroxide to the drum.
  • Top-Loading Washers:

a. Fill the washer with hot water and add four cups of white vinegar.
b. Let it agitate for a few minutes, then stop the cycle and let it sit for an hour before finishing the cycle.
c. After the vinegar cycle, run a second hot water cycle with one cup of baking soda to deodorize and further clean the drum.

Step 3: Clean the Rubber Gasket and Door Seal

  • Use a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Soak a microfiber cloth in the solution and wipe down the rubber gasket and door seal, paying extra attention to any mold or mildew spots.
  • Use an old toothbrush to scrub any hard-to-reach areas.

Step 4: Clean the Detergent Dispenser

  • Remove the detergent dispenser (if possible) and soak it in hot, soapy water.
  • Use a brush to clean any buildup, then rinse thoroughly and dry before reinserting.

Step 5: Wipe Down the Exterior

Use a damp cloth with a mild cleaning solution to wipe down the exterior of the washer, including the control panel and door.

Sanitizing and Disinfecting a Dryer

Step 1: Gather Supplies

  • White vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide (optional)
  • Microfiber cloths or sponges
  • Old toothbrush
  • Vacuum with hose attachment

Step 2: Clean the Lint Trap

  • Remove the lint trap and clean off any lint.
  • Wash the lint trap with warm, soapy water to remove any residue from dryer sheets or fabric softener. Rinse and let it dry completely before reinserting.

Step 3: Clean the Drum

  • Dampen a microfiber cloth with white vinegar or a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide.
  • Wipe down the inside of the drum thoroughly. Pay special attention to any areas with residue or buildup.

Step 4: Clean the Exhaust Vent

  • Disconnect the dryer from the power source.
  • Use a vacuum with a hose attachment to remove lint and debris from the exhaust vent. This helps prevent fire hazards and improves dryer efficiency.
  • If the exhaust vent is particularly dirty, consider using a dryer vent cleaning kit to reach further inside the vent.

Step 5: Clean the Dryer Exterior

  • Use a damp cloth with a mild cleaning solution to wipe down the exterior of the dryer, including the control panel and door.

Step 6: Reassemble and Test

  • Once everything is clean and dry, reassemble any parts you removed.
  • Plug the dryer back in and run it for a few minutes to ensure everything is functioning correctly.

Additional Tips

  • Frequency: It’s a good practice to clean your washer and dryer every month to prevent buildup and maintain hygiene.
  • Prevent Mold and Mildew: Leave the washer door open after each use to allow it to dry out completely and prevent mold and mildew growth.