Cast your mind back to primary school. Remember the awesome project where you made a volcano with your friends, painted it bright colours and then created a real-life eruption? That was vinegar and baking soda. Believe it or not, the combination has more uses than school projects - it’s perfect for cleaning.
Surprisingly, the most common items that people forget to clean, are the ones that do the cleaning themselves. It might be a vacuum cleaner, a feather duster or your washing machine. Today, we’re going to show you some of the best ways to clean a washing machine using natural products.
Why natural? Because chemicals and toxins that are used to clean washing machines aren’t filtered from our systems. Meaning the harmful water is put back into the ocean and water cycle. While it may harm our fish, it can also harm the quality of the water on our planet.
It’s important to note that mixing these two ingredients in particular, as we know, can be explosive. So be sure to keep your eyes protected while using them for cleaning, especially if it’s in a sealed area.
The ‘explosive’ element of these two ingredients mixing, is what cleans dirt. Think of it as literally blowing away the dirt and grime. While the settled combination has cleaning properties, it is the burst that lifts things away. It’s important to remember this as you can quickly find yourself using excess amounts of these products - costing you a small fortune.
How to use vinegar and baking soda on your washing machine
Step 1 - Grab your baking soda
It can depend on how large your washing machine is, but usually, 1-2 cups of baking soda will do the trick here. Pop it straight into the drum of your washing machine or into your drawer, again depending on your washing machine model.
Step 2 - Run it on a long hot wash
While this can use a lot of energy, it’s the best way to get the most from your baking soda. A hot wash for a long duration will remove all the dirt and long-term odours that are in your machine.
Step 3 - Use your vinegar
Again one or two cups, in the drawer or straight into the drum, whichever fits your washing machine model best. Add in 5-10 drops of lavender oil so that your clothes are washed in the future with a beautiful scent, instead of leaving you smelling like the local chippy.
Step 4 - Run the same cycle again
The vinegar will remove the rest of the dirt from your machine that was lifted off by the fizzing properties of the baking soda.
Note: It’s important to run these two on separate cycles. While mixing them together can have explosive properties, when mixed together and left to solidify they can create blockages in pipes. It means that when combined regularly, you could end up with plumbing issues. The hot, long cycle in the middle is essential to ensuring that your washing machine is left to drain clear of any dirt and grime.
Step 1 - Mix your mixture
Remember earlier when we said this mixture after its explosive reaction still has cleaning properties? That’s what this one is for. Grab a large bowl and make your concoction. Put on your marigolds and scrub the inside of the drum, door and drawer with a cloth.
Step 2 - Run a hot cycle
It’s perfect for removing grime that’s built up over a long time or after a wash from an incredibly muddy winter weekend. It might be washing rugby kit, cleaning cross country running socks or a messy dog walk. But an extra quick clean after a load like that can do wonders at preserving the life of your machine. However, as we mentioned previously, it’s important that these two ingredients are washed away with a long hot cycle. After you’ve had a scrub at the inside of a drum, set the cycle to go and you’ll have a quick way to clean your washing machine with vinegar and baking soda.
Remember that you can also use the ingredients in the drawer of your washing machine too. Just be sure to dry it out with a cloth afterwards to prevent mould and mildew growth. Now you realise how powerful baking soda and vinegar can be at blasting away dirt and grime, where else could you use them in your home?
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If you liked this article we have many more including cleaning with lemon, cleaning with white vinegar, zero waste cleaning, refill not landfill, how to go plastic free, how to clean dishwasher with vinegar or how to clean toilet with citric acid in our Cleaning Advice Hub.
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