Cleaning Your Washer and Dryer for Optimal Performance

As milder weather arrives here in Phoenix, the winter clothing will be coming out of storage, which means the washer and dryer loads will be more substantial.   With this in mind, the fall season is an excellent time to give the washer and dryer a good cleaning to be prepared for this influx of heavier clothing.


A dirty washing machine is not only unpleasant to use, but it can emit a foul odor. A dirty dryer can catch on fire. It just takes a few simple steps to return these appliances to a pristine state. If you have the instructional booklets, they will probably have a section on cleaning the machine. However, if you don’t, here is a handy run-down on the necessary steps. Adjust these to your situation.

Washing machine

The outside of a washing machine can get pretty funky in the ordinary course of operations. Soap spills become a gummy magnet for lint and germs. The washer is the launch pad for cleaning the filthiest clothing and cleaning materials. 

Wipe out the tub and lid and inner components of the washing machine with a damp cloth. Then use a cup of bleach (or vinegar if you have a hard water problem), along with the regular measure of detergent. Using the hottest and longest setting possible, turn the machine on and allow it to agitate for a bit. Then stop the device and let the water/soap mixture to soak in the washer for a minimum of twenty minutes. Then, turn the machine on and allow it to finish the cycle. 

The trays for laundry soap and clothes softener can be scrubbed with a small brush and dish soap. An old toothbrush will work nicely.  If you have a top-loading washer, it’s best not to do this during the ‘soak’ portion of the cleaning, as bleach or vinegar in hot water can create unpleasant fumes.  Use hot water and meticulously brush all of the little corners and crevices, including those on the underside of the lid.

The outside of the machine can be cleaned using a damp rag and some dish soap. Buff it dry with a lint-free cloth for a beautiful shine!



The dryer can be cleaned by starting with the same damp-cloth process on the inside and outside of the unit.  The lint trap should be removed, washed and the meshed gently scrubbed (using the same small brush used for the washing machine). Make sure the mesh part of the trap is completely dry before returning it to its rightful place. 

The vent hose should also be cleaned. There are vent hose brushes designed for this exact purpose. If you have the old accordion type of vent hose, or if your vent hose is plastic, these are a fire hazard! Replace them with the new flexible aluminum variety. Also, make sure that you don’t damage or crush the vent hose if you move the dryer.

If you wipe down the dryer vent flaps, make sure they are not blocked and will open when someone turns on the dryer.

Zimmerman Electric is here to serve your residential and commercial electrical needs throughout the Phoenix Valley metro area. Call us today if you need electrical work performed 602-497-3365