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How To Clean Your Washing Machine

how to clean a washing machine

The question of how to clean your washing machine seems like an oxymoron. It’s a washing machine, so it should clean itself, unless you are talking about the exterior. And if that’s the case, a spray bottle of an anti-bacterial cleanser and a clean cloth should do the trick? While that last sentence is true, the interiors of washing machines should be kept clean too to ensure that your laundry is “so fresh, so clean, so white” and that it does its dirty work effectively. So here is our guide on how to clean your washing machine.

In the same way that most of the mechanical products we own, from a car to a computer should be regularly maintained, the same holds true for a washing machine. For example, leading German company Miele recommends that if you want to make the most of your top-quality appliance then you should clean it from time to time.


The obvious place to start is the drum itself, that’s where a lot of the action takes place, after all.

Some recommend the use of a couple of cups of white vinegar into the detergent drawer, and running the machine through its hottest cycle, and then running it again on the same cycle with half a cup of baking soda placed directly in the drum and run the hottest cycle, following a wipe down inside after the cycle has finished.

Miele suggests to eliminate nasty niffs from the drum, you should clean it monthly by using the cotton cycle at a minimum of 75°C. If the model has the clean machine cycle you can also use this. Run it empty and without detergent.

Don’t forget to wipe the rubber ring around the drum either, where dirt, lint and other debris can collect unnoticed.

Detergent drawer

If your washing machine doesn’t have a self-cleaning detergent drawer, it’s still easy to clean every few months. Simply pull out the detergent drawer until resistance is felt, then press the release button, remove it and clean the drawer with warm water. The CapDosing compartment will need a spruce too, so use a soft brush and then replace.

The TwinDos system

Maintaining the TwinDos system is also very easy using Miele TwinDos Care. You should rinse the hoses clean with Miele TwinDos Care, so you don’t have lumpy detergent. You should also rinse the hoses when you switch from the Miele TwinDos reservoirs to refillable reservoirs to prevent system clogging. But then this is Miele and on the settings they actually have a further programmes option which makes it even simpler.


In cleaning your machine, don’t ignore the water inlet and outlet filters. Again, this is easy. Close the water inlet valve, unscrew the water supply tube from the inlet valve, take out the seal, remove the filter and clean it under running water using a small brush and then put the filter and seal back and reattach it to the valve. At the back of the machine, unscrew the plastic nut from the coupling, remove the filter – yes there’s another one – again clean it under running water using a brush and then replace. In both cases make sure they are sufficiently tightened. You should do this twice a year.

The Drain Filter

Every so often you will need to clean the drain filter in your washing machine. It seems obvious but easy to forget. Prepare for this by putting a basin and some towels underneath the hatch at the front of the machine to collect any water that may come out or you’ll get wet feet. Open the hatch door, unscrew the filter and clean the chamber of debris and dirt which might include being reunited with that long-lost earring or key. There might also be some money. Pocket that! Dry the hatch and replace the door. Clean this filter at least twice a year.

Clever Miele

Miele is a clever company and their machines are world class. A bold claim but put them up against any others and they are unlikely to be found wanting. For example, their professional range features a special dump valve that ensures trouble-free drainage even with heavy soiling. They think of everything.

They even have their own washing machine cleaner designed for easy cleaning of the interior of the appliance. Miele IntenseClean removes grease, bacteria and resulting odours, gives effective deep cleaning and optimum care for years of reliability. You simply put the whole package contents into the drum, start the cotton programme and not long after, it’s job done.

Many if not all of their machines have sanitising wash cycles and options to remove both soiling and bacteria and will reduce at least 99.9% of microorganisms in a wash. For example, the TwinDos system has been mentioned above, but how about the Miele W1 which can operate at very high temperatures. It has a maintenance wash cycle called ‘clean machine’ that stops the build up of smells and bugs. Liquid bleach can also be used in the detergent drawer of all Miele models.

So go on, give it a spin!

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