How can I clean the liquid fabric softener scummy "deposit" off my washing machine agitator?
By grandma2speedy from Monroe, MI
Try vinegar. Fill the washer with hot water, add 2 cups vinegar and let it soak an hour or more. Run it through a full wash without loading it. This is how you remove soap scum from your washer. This is something you should do as soon as you see any build up and remove it then.
I opt for the vinegar solution. Vinegar is the best cleaner, etc of all otc cleaning products. good luck. And it is very 'green' to use.
For the outside of the dispenser and around the rim of the drum, use a dry fabric softener sheet. It wipes off like magic! I first used this tip for chewing gum on the inside of the dryer. Works great!
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.
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)
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)
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.
By Jo B.
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)
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.
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)
Its best not to use vinegar, it can harm the inside of your washer. (06/18/2006)
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) healthyhomeworld.com (06/18/2006)
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)