cleaning the cleaning machine

This weekend I noticed a trickle of water coming from underneath the washing machine. I wasn’t sure if it was from an actual leak or water that I had spilled while cleaning the top inside of the machine (while the water is running, I often try to tidy up the inside of the lid and other surfaces – we got the machine with the house and the machine is definitely not anything close to new, so it has years of ick built up that I’ve been working away at), so I looked up online for information on how to take it apart to check for leaks.

As it turns out, it was really easy. There are a bunch of videos online with instructions for unhooking the cover of Whirlpool washing machines, so we took that off within a matter of minutes.

Washing machine cleaning project

After we had the cover off, omg gross.

Washing machine cleaning project

The entire rim was covered in a disgusting, sticky, pet-hair and grime-filled paste of leftover fabric softener and who knows what else. UGH. We were also able to see the workings of the machine, though, and didn’t see any obvious leaks.

We ran a small load (without anything actually in it) to see if any leaks appeared, and while we waited for it to run its course, we cleaned.

Washing machine cleaning project


There’s still a ton of dirt and whatnot inside the inner and outer lining of the tub, but we weren’t up for taking it completely apart and felt we could live with it. We usually run it on smaller loads, anyway, so it doesn’t get up to the part where it seems to be dirty anyway (it’s a large capacity washer and we don’t often do large capacity loads).

I was pretty unsure of how this project would go before we started, but we managed not to break anything during the process and there weren’t any leaks we could find. Basically I just need not to slosh water around the bleach dispenser area as it doesn’t have a tight seal. I do feel better about having all that gunk removed from the inside.