Washing the washing machine

We were rather pleased to inherit a washing machine with the house as it was a make we were familiar with and had never had one let us down. It also saved us a couple of hundred pounds on our diminishing budget for purchase, so we were glad of it.

First order of the day before use was to take out the detergent drawer to clean inside and out and dispose of any build up of residue. Past experience in the cottage taught us never to rely on pipes being clear or clean. When we replaced the kitchen in the cottage, we were glad we’d put in new washing machine connections and drainage as theirs was solid with a rainbow soap amoeba, which when flushed through the drainage pipe on its way to the cess pit measured at least a foot across, four inches thick and six inches long. And the smell? Yuk. Even Pepi here couldn’t compete.
This machine is extremely economical as it has a daily cycle for lightly soiled items, and also an extra individual spin which makes a lot of difference when we put the washing out on the line or take it up to the launderette if we can’t dry it outside. We discovered today we have a choice of 1200 or 1400 sin speeds. Bonus!!
We did have a tumble dryer years ago, and it wasn’t that expensive to run, but for a weekly wash it was too small and we needed to have it running for over two hours per load. When we moved into the cottage, we decided against one and if necessary could string up a line in the conservatory.
When we had the boat, we had no choice, and to be honest, a lot of our clothes had a shortened life because they weren’t intended to be tumble dried but we had no alternative.

Our problem is common…….. a smelly washing machine despite wiping out the seal and drum after each wash. It’s that clinging stale damp smell that can be overpowering if the kitchen door’s been shut.

Hubby got proactive and looked on the internet in the hope of finding some product we could spray into the machine or use alone to get rid of the unwanted whiff.
There were some personal suggestions, all saying to use a hot wash of 90º,  some using vinegar, which I don’t buy, and some used bleach, which I do, so we had a go.

One cup of bleach was put into the dispenser, and the hot wash selected.
We sat down to do something else, having set the timer for half an hour, because we didn’t see the need for a full two and a half hour wash in an empty machine. We have a separate rinse setting, so thought that was what we’d do after thirty minutes.

It was an education.

The timer went off and I went into the kitchen to be confronted by a machine spewing bubbles all over the floor. My first thought, other than annoyance and fear that we’d damaged the damn thing and would have to get a replacement, was that the bleach had melted the seal and it was all leaking out of the door.
Image: google, not our washer, but pretty close!

Hubby saved the day by donning gloves and armed with kitchen roll, began Operation Mop-up. Our seal, and door, were intact even though the drum was full of white candyfloss, but the suds had effervesced up and out via the dispenser tray.

It wasn’t as bad as it looked though, but it’s taken the two of us almost two hours to get things back to normal.
In hindsight (such a wonderful thing), there are several things we should have checked before we started, like the dispenser tray, which still had an accumulation of old soap powders behind it despite our efforts almost a year ago. We use a liquid that goes in the drum and no fabric conditioner due to Hubby’s skin sensitivity.
Hubby also decided to check the filter which is easily accessible at the bottom and front of the machine, but I have no dish shallow enough to slip underneath and there is no room to lift it under the work top to use something, so the floor got another intermittent, though controlled, wash and the muck that was in there…………. e-ew!

In short though, the bleach has worked. The drum is sparkly clean, and the smell has gone.
We’ve used a descaling product on the dispenser tray to get rid of the horrendous limescale, and apart from a little bit of rust on the front of the machine that needs to be addressed but was nothing to do with our cleaning today, the machine looks and smells practically new!

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! We have recently lost our beloved dog Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney, and now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of my GSD so had hers done too. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
This entry was posted in current events, diary, Just a thought, maintenance, miscellaneous, My life, observations, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Washing the washing machine

  1. jenanita01 says:

    We have this problem too, so it’s good to know something works!

    • The key apparently is having a very hot wash once a month or so as it dissolves any build up of soap residue. MY only concerns with using bleach is if it is transferred to our next normal wash and possibly bleaching our clothes.

Comments are closed.