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Cleaning Fabric Softener Build Up From Washer

I would like to know how to clean the inside of my clothes washer. It has a gummy build-up from all of the Downey that I have used over the years. It is especially in the fabric softener dispenser, but also around the rim of the washer. I have tried soaking then running vinegar through, but it didn't touch it.



Cleaning Fabric Softener Build Up From Washer

Fill your fabric softener holder with vinegar and run it through the wash. It clears it out and won't hurt the washer. (02/26/2005)

By Denise

Cleaning Fabric Softener Build Up From Washer

I'd start with the cheapest, going to the more expensive ideas. I'd try baking soda with hot water. I'd put some rags in the washer to "scrub" the inside of the tub. If that doesn't work, I'd try bleach. I'd try it directly on the tub first, with a rag, to see if it works. If not, I'd try Iron-Out or some other washer-safe acid. Once I got it clean, I'd run some vinegar through a cycle with hot water about once a week. Hope I've given you something that works or sparks your imagination as to what might. (02/26/2005)


By terdralynn

Cleaning Fabric Softener Build Up From Washer

As you've tried washing it out I'd try a green pot scrubber, like a Scotch Brite pad, and just use water with it. Regards.

Jo (02/26/2005)

By Jo B.

Cleaning Fabric Softener Build Up From Washer

I had the same problem and had to clean it all of by hand. I now use washing soda it is so much better. (02/27/2005)

By marsbar

Cleaning Fabric Softener Build Up From Washer

I have a tip for possibly preventing that fabric softener buildup in your washer in the future. My washer is almost 18 years old, and I have never had a buildup of fabric softener in my washing machine. I only use about 1/4 cup of fabric softener in each load, which is half the amount of what the bottle cap line "recommends" I use. Maybe using a much smaller amount of fabric softener may help to prevent a buildup because the fabric softener is more diluted. By the way, I normally only run a load of clothes when I have enough for a large load, which in my machine uses 17.3 gallons of water. If I run a smaller load, I cut back even more on that 1/4 cup of softener.

Tori (02/27/2005)

By truerblue

Cleaning Fabric Softener Build Up From Washer

Go to Wal-Mart, and pick up some CLR. It's great for cleaning the gunk out of a washer. I had this same mess, too. CLR is also a great all-purpose cleaner. It will even clean coffee pots, and will take out rust stains.


It's really a good idea to let your washer go through the entire cycle, periodically, with just CLR, and water. It keeps the inside of the washer nice, and clean. (02/28/2005)

By Darla

Cleaning Fabric Softener Build Up From Washer

It's best not to use vinegar, it can harm the inside of your washer. (06/18/2006)

By Jenn

Cleaning Fabric Softener Build Up From Washer

Washing soda or a detergent based with washing soda works best (and a microfiber or scrubbie) I don't use fabric softener anymore because the laundry detergent I use softens my clothes enough, without the toxins. You can check it out (under Home Care) (06/18/2006)

By camo_angels

Cleaning Fabric Softener Build Up From Washer

I used hot water and dish detergent on the removable pieces. That worked pretty well, but only after I let it soak 1/2 hour. I used Lysol wipes on the non-removable part which was after I scooped huge handfuls of gunk out (using gloves) and then I flushed it with hot water. (01/18/2008)


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