Can You Wash Your Washing Machine with Bleach?



Can You Wash Your Washing Machine With Bleach

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The answer is yes, you can wash your washing machine with bleach. Bleach is a powerful disinfectant and can effectively kill mold, mildew, and bacteria that may reside in your machine.

This article will guide you through the appropriate ways to clean your washing machine using bleach.

Dos and don’ts of Wash Your Washing Machine with Bleach


  • Use Regular Bleach: Regular, unscented bleach is the best choice for cleaning your washing machine. It will help disinfect and clean without leaving behind unwanted fragrances.
  • Perform Regular Cleanings: To keep your washing machine in top shape, schedule regular cleanings every month or two.
  • Protect Yourself: Always wear gloves and ventilate your area when working with bleach to avoid irritation or breathing difficulties.
  • Dilute Properly: Always dilute the bleach with water before adding it to the washing machine.


  • Avoid Overuse: Don’t use too much bleach, as it can be corrosive. One cup should suffice for a cleaning cycle.
  • Never Mix Cleaning Agents: Never mix bleach with other cleaning agents, especially vinegar or ammonia, as this can create toxic gases.
  • Don’t Ignore the Exterior: While the interior of the machine is important, don’t forget to wipe down the exterior as well.

Steps to Clean Your Washing Machine with Bleach

Step 1: Empty the Machine

Ensure your washing machine is completely empty before you start the cleaning process.

Step 2: Add Bleach

Pour one cup of bleach into the detergent dispenser, or directly into the drum if your machine doesn’t have a dispenser.

Step 3: Run a Cleaning Cycle

Set your washing machine to run on its highest and hottest setting. This will help the bleach to effectively kill any mold, mildew, and bacteria present.

Step 4: Rinse Cycle

After the bleach cycle is complete, run another cycle with just water to rinse out any leftover bleach residue.

Step 5: Clean Accessible Parts

Once the rinse cycle is finished, manually clean other areas like the rubber gasket, lid, and exterior of the machine. Use a solution of bleach and water, and a soft cloth to do this.


Is it safe to clean all types of washing machines with bleach?

Answer: While bleach is safe for most washing machines, it’s always best to consult your user manual or the manufacturer’s guidelines before using bleach to clean your specific model.

How often should I clean my washing machine with bleach?

Answer: Most experts recommend cleaning your washing machine with bleach once a month to keep it fresh and high-functioning. However, if you notice a persistent bad odor or visible mold, you may need to clean it more frequently.

Are there alternatives to using bleach to clean my washing machine?

Answer: Yes, you can use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda, commercial washing machine cleaners, or even dish soap and warm water to clean your washing machine if you prefer not to use bleach.

Can bleach damage my washing machine?

Answer: Used properly and in moderation, bleach should not damage your washing machine. However, excessive or improper use of bleach could lead to discoloration or damage to certain parts of the machine. Always follow the guidelines in your user manual.

Can I use bleach to clean my washing machine if I have a septic system?

Answer: While a small amount of bleach shouldn’t harm a septic system, regular or heavy use of bleach can disrupt the balance of bacteria in your septic tank. Consider using septic-safe alternatives like vinegar or commercial washing machine cleaners instead.


In conclusion, cleaning your washing machine with bleach is an effective method for removing unwanted grime, mold, and bacteria. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your washing machine stays clean and operates optimally. Not only does a clean washing machine function better, but it also provides fresher, cleaner clothes – a win-win for everyone!

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