When was the last time you cleaned your washing machine? How about your dyer? If you can't remember, you're not alone. But taking the time every month or two to deep-clean your laundry room ceiling, floors, appliances, and more will keep your laundry room working harder for longer. This go-to guide will walk you through eight simple steps for cleaning a laundry room. It's easy, we promise.
Step 1: Clean the Washer
Cleaning your washing machine isn't just for appearance's sake—the process helps eliminate buildup in hoses and pipes, too. Start by running an empty, regular cycle on hot, using two cups of vinegar instead of detergent. Then combine vinegar and water and use this mixture to scrub down the inside of the machine. Finish by running one more empty, regular cycle on hot with just water. For the machine's exterior, wipe down the top and sides with an all-purpose cleaning wipe. Then use the hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner to gently pick up any dust and debris living behind the machine.
Step 2: Clean the Dryer
Even if you clean out the screen on your dryer every time you do a load, you're still missing pieces of lint. These tiny fuzz balls not only inhibit your clothes from drying properly, but they also are a major fire hazard. Keep yourself safe by cleaning the lint trap every month. To clean the trap, use a dryer lint brush to clean the opening. Vacuum the brush clean and repeat the process until there's no more lint to remove. Also look for stains inside your dryer. Crayons, ink, dye, and more work their way into your machine, then become a pain to remove. The exact process varies depending on the stain, but you can learn how to remove common stains from your dryer here. Finally, just like when you clean your washing machine, wipe down the exterior with a cleaning cloth and vacuum behind the dryer.
Editor's Tip: Consider hiring a professional once a year to clean the dryer's vent hose and pipe. This task helps keep the machine running efficiently.
Step 3: Sanitize Other Appliances
Even though they're not the stars of the show, irons, steamers, and other small laundry room appliances still deserve a little care. Once a month, clean your iron with dish detergent, vinegar, baking soda, or salt. Then fill the reservoir with distilled water, set the iron on high, and let steam naturally clean the iron's vents. For a steamer, use vinegar and the high-heat setting to remove any gunk. Discard the vinegar, then heat distilled water in the steamer. Wipe down any other appliances with sanitizing rags or all-purpose wipes to remove any germs.
Step 4: Wipe Down Counters and Cabinets
Just like in the kitchen, use all-purpose wipes to clean any cabinets, countertops, and hardware in your laundry room. This tip is essential for keeping bacteria at bay and removes any scuffs or stains before they have a chance to permanently set in. Aim to wipe down your laundry room every week or two, depending on use.
Step 5: Freshen Laundry Baskets
It may seem counterintuitive to clean laundry baskets and hampers. After all, they only hold dirty items, so what's the point of keeping them clean? After awhile, these items can start to smell, but regular cleaning keeps them fresh. Wipe down plastic laundry baskets and hampers with a damp rag and all-purpose cleaner. Let dry before using. For wooden hampers, remove the contents, vacuum the inside, and apply a little bit of baking soda to the interior. If possible, take it outside to air out for a few hours. Toss fabric hampers in the washing machine according to the item's care tag.
Step 6: Restock Supplies
Few things are more frustrating than rushing to do an emergency load of laundry, only to discover that you're all out of detergent. When cleaning your laundry room, make a habit of checking your supply levels. Take inventory of detergent, fabric softeners, bleach, dryer sheets, and more. Then add any items you're running low on to your grocery list.
Step 7: Scare Away Dust Bunnies
Stop sneezing and start dusting instead. Use a vacuum hose attachment to dust ceilings and crown molding, then work around the room with a feather duster. Pay special attention to nooks, crannies, and any open-shelving units. If you have a ceiling fan in your laundry room, use an old sock to dust each slat of the fan.
Step 8: Mop the Floor
Finish cleaning your laundry room with a classic: mopping the floor. Saving this step for last ensures that any dust bunnies, dirt particles, etc., that made their way down to the floor will get swept away. Move any trash cans, hampers, or other easy-to-move objects out of the way. Start in one corner of your laundry room, then mop in sections until the entire floor is clean. Let dry before walking on it.