Step 1

I should maybe be embarrassed about how excited I was to do this post on how to clean your washing machine. Seriously, I’ve wanted to try this forever! We have a front load washer and it always smells just a little bit mildewy. Yes I made up a word there, just go with me. Anyway, I had looked up how to clean it a while ago and every DIY recipe for how to clean your washing machine involved vinegar. Fast forward to our newest partner Four Monks Cleaning Vinegar™  and I was like, Ack! I know exactly how I’m going to use this!! I really did react that strongly… which is embarrassing, but I like to deep clean guys, don’t judge me!

If your front load washing machine is smelling a little funky, here’s my DIY recipe for how to make it smell like brand new.

four monks pour

I started by mixing 1/2 a cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of water and whisking it into a paste. Then I put on my cleaning clothes and got down to business. Please note that gorgeous manicure above which is why I’m wearing rubber gloves throughout. Want to save your manicure? Rubber gloves when cleaning are key!

Step 1 detail

Start by using vinegar to clean the inside door of your washer as well as all around the outside. I was excited to discover Four Monks because it smells like citrus and mint (instead of, well, vinegar) but it’s still non-toxic and environmentally friendly.

step 5

Next I took on the gasket… it’s that rubber circle the door closes into.

step 2

I sprayed the vinegar inside the gasket and then used a cloth to wipe it out. You’ll have to hold the pliable rubber back so you can wipe in the nooks and cranny.

step 4

After the rubber is clean, I took a toothbrush to the metal rim right next to it.

Step 4a

This turned out to be one of the grossest things I’ve ever seen. Seriously, I was gagging… and then I realized that all of this smelly gunk is washing around with my clothes and towels and baby sheets. I’m so happy I took the time to clean it because I never would have realized how dirty my washing machine actually was.

step 6

Next I cleaned the filter. To the best of my knowledge, all front load washers have this. I put a sponge underneath mine when I open the little door because a little water always runs out. Next I pulled out the filter to clean.

step 6a

I sprinkled baking soda on it and used the toothbrush (that I rinsed off first) to scrub off all the scum that had accumulated. Then I put the filter back inside and it was time for the mixture I made earlier.

step 7

I poured the water/baking soda mixture into the detergent dispenser.

step 8

Then you pour 1 cup of vinegar directly into the washing machine. Close everything up and turn on the machine to wash. I used the hottest temp I could.

step 9

Once it ran through a full cycle it was so much better. Apparently, if you clean your washing machine like this once a month the mildew smell will go away completely. I want to believe I’m that dedicated but I figured as long as I don’t wait three years before the next time I’ll be doing pretty good.

The convenient 24oz Four Monks Cleaning Vinegar™ spray bottles are available at select grocery stores and mass retailers nationwide, including the vinegar aisles. Walmart Supercenters and in the natural cleaning section at HEB stores.

For more information, a coupon and some awesome cleaning tips, visit

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