What led to my desire to “strip” my washing machine of gunk and buildup?
For some time now when I take my freshly washed laundry out of the washer to put into the dryer I'd find little hard chunks of brown, waxy debris. It didn't smell horrible, in other words…it wasn't poop! It felt like soap and crumbled easily in my hand. There weren't huge quantities of it but it was enough to definitely notice. I knew it was buildup coming from somewhere inside the washer.
The above happens off and on over time and I finally decide to see if I can find where the brown gunk is coming from.
Step 1 (for me): This depends on your washing machine.
I took the top off of my agitator. It is a two part thing that I never use. Inside the agitator I can tell it fills with water as the washer is used and drains when the washer drains. I look down inside and can see hard brown AND slimy brown gunk. Gross!
Step 2: With the help of my trusty shish kabob stick and a flashlight I dig down inside, break off and scrape off as much gunk as I can and wiping it off with a towel. (I am pretty disgusted at this point, to know that my laundry has been washing in water that moves through this slimy gunked up thing!
If yours isn't an old school top loader like mine you won't have to do this. But you still have some scrubbing to do. Use a one to one mixture of water and vinegar to make a cleaning solution (or use a disinfectant spray if you have one) and wipe out the gasket. Pull back and wipe behind it as much as you can. Spray and wipe any other surfaces in the washer you can get to.
Step 3: Get some LemiShine Washing Machine Cleaner.
As far as I am concerned that stuff is pure magic. It has worked better for me than other homemade or store bought washing machine cleaner I've tried. All you have to do is run a normal wash with HOT water. Besides that it just works, Lemishine is made in the USA and uses natural citrus exptracts to clean instead of harsh chemicals. Seriously try the Lemishine.
I'd say to do this thorough clean every three months or so and you should be golden. ALL of your laundry might get cleaner now, not just the cloth diapers!
So…when is the last time you inspected your washer with a shish kabob stick and flashlight?
I'm Julie, a former cloth diaper retailer who discovered a passion for the industry. Now, instead of selling cloth diapers, I advocate them and promote small businesses I love who sell and manufacture them.
I'm the wife of a fireman and mother of three. I have a daughter and identical twin sons.