Do It Yourself » How to Deep Clean a Washing Machine – What works & What Doesn’t!

How to Deep Clean a Washing Machine – What works & What Doesn’t!

Dirt, grime and residue can build up inside the washing machine, potentially leaving streaks or stains on clothing if it’s not cleaned on a regular basis. So today we’re going to tackle how to deep clean a washing machine- What works, and more importantly, what doesn’t!

How to Deep Clean a Washing Machine

This might seem a little strange, but we have two washing machines in our house. Since my other half is a contractor, he uses a lot of rags that get rather greasy from working on equipment. We don’t wash those in our regular household washing machine, for obvious reasons. I also don’t like to take them to the laundromat because I don’t want other peoples clothing to get stained or ruined.

With all of that in mind, we have a garage washing machine and a household washing machine. So, our test is double duty!

b101 testing washing machine cleaner

What Works & What Doesn’t

I was more than delighted when I discovered a particular cleaner, called Affresh washing machine cleaner. The reviews on amazon raved about it’s effectiveness. So I thought I’d give it a try for myself to see. Hang tight before you make a purchase, you’ll want to see the results for yourself.b101 affresh washing machine cleaner

The Affresh washing machine cleaner ad claims that it’s designed to remove odor-causing residue and grime that daily loads leave behind. That the time-release tablets are designed to clean inside all types of machines.

b101 deep clean dirty washing machine step 1

That’s precisely what I am looking for, because our washing machine certainly had some grime build-up from washing all of his greasy work-rags and work clothes!

b101 deep clean dirty washing machine step 2

The directions on the box state to use the “cleaning” setting on the washing machine. Well, folks, I don’t have a fancy washing machine. I have functional washing machine, so I opted to use the longest wash cycle option available.

b101 deep clean dirty washing machine step 3

Drop the tablet into the machine, make sure the water setting is on HOT, then choose the longest cycle.

b101 deep clean dirty washing machine step 4

(and here’s machine #2)

b101 clean washer step 2

About half an hour into the cleaning process, I got curious. I opened the machine to see how it was going. Well… it’s foamy, that’s a good sign, right??

b101 affresh cleaner washing machine

Finally, nearly an hour has passed, time to see how it came out.

b101 affresh cleaner after

Well shit, that was a complete waste of money, wasn’t it. In fact, not only is the machine not clean, now it feels “gritty” as well.

b101 affresh cleaner after close up

The inside of the second washing machine looked the exact same as the before photo, with the exception that now it has a gritty feel to it, like there’s a nasty coating on the inside of the machine.

Now What?!


I grabbed some Kaboom Bathroom cleaner. I figure, if it’s safe enough to use in the bathtub and then bathe later, it’s safe enough to use in my washing machine. I spritzed the entire inside of the machine with the cleaner.

b101 clean washer using kaboom step 1

Within moments, the grime started to run down the insides of the machine and pool at the bottom.

b101 clean washer using kaboom step 2

I let it set for about 5 minutes in all, then set the machine to hot water, and ran through a normal cycle.

b101 clean washer using kaboom step 3

Here are the results:

b101 clean washer using kaboom results

To help lift and remove grease and grime from clothes, try our homemade super laundry sauce.

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