Between sweaty workout clothes, grimy gardening togs, and smelly socks, your washer keeps everything you wear clean. But sooner or later, you might notice your clothes aren’t smelling as fresh as they should. You might also start smelling a musty odor coming from the machine itself. That means it’s time to give your washer a thorough cleaning. All it takes is running the right cleaning product through a cycle or two. Here are three things to keep in mind when you’re shopping for the best solution.

Drop these septic-safe packets into your appliance once a month to keep it mold and bacteria-free. Affresh

There are three types of washing machine cleaners—liquids, tablets, and sheets. If you have sensitive skin or you’re allergic to some cleaning products, check the labels of all three carefully. If allergies are a concern, a cleaning product made with natural ingredients can do the same job as other cleaners without the potential for itchy skin.

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These tablets clean away residues and deposits from inside your washer. Tide

Most manufacturers recommend cleaning a washer once a month, but you may want to clean it more frequently if you wash a lot of heavily soiled clothing. Start with an empty machine and set the selector dial to run a normal wash cycle. Clean out any hair or debris from the drum, drop in your cleaner, and run the washer cleaning cycle. That’s all it takes. If you have a front-loading machine, you’ll also want to clean and dry the rubber seal on the front to prevent mold from growing.


These tablets eliminate mildew and odors without heavy fragrances. Eco-Gals

Check the cleaning strength of any product you’re considering. Sometimes small packages have more cleaning power than larger products. It’s also a good idea to avoid leaving damp loads of laundry in your washer for extended periods, particularly during warm months when dampness anywhere is a welcome invitation to mold.