bleach or vinegar for cleaning the washing machine

Is Bleach or Vinegar Better for Cleaning a Washing Machine?

Both vinegar and bleach can be effective washing machine cleaning options, but it’s very important to never try to use them both at the same time!

Vinegar and bleach will have a chemical reaction when mixed together and will release toxic fumes.

Washing machines are often wet, dark and in enclosed spaces. This can sometimes cause the inside of your machine to develop some mould or mildew and start to give off an unpleasant smell.

If it’s a quick, deep clean that you’re looking for then sticking to bleach is the most effective choice when it comes to cleaning your washing machine! However, vinegar is more environmentally friendly.


Benefits of Using Bleach to Clean Your Washing Machine

putting bleach to clean washing machine

Bleach is a strong, highly reliable cleaning agent that is swift to eradicate germs, mould, stains and smells. If you feel that your machine needs a very deep clean, then bleach may be the best choice for you.

Add half a cup of bleach to your detergent drawer and then run your machine on one of the hottest cycle options, but without any clothes in the drum. This cycle will remove any germs and lingering odours.

If you’re worried about any bleach leftover in the machine after the cycle, try running a spin cycle without anything in the detergent drawer and any lingering bleach will rinse away.


Benefits of Using Vinegar to Clean Your Washing Machine

why use white vinegar

If you’re looking for the most environmentally friendly option, then the clear winner is white vinegar. It is also the most cost-effective as it’s a common household ingredient and is cheap to buy in all supermarkets.

Vinegar is a powerful cleaning agent that efficiently dissolves soap scum and mineral deposits. It is also capable of destroying particularly unpleasant smells.

To use vinegar in your washing machine cleaning process, pour two cups of vinegar right into the detergent drawer of your machine and run the hottest cycle you can with an empty drum.



For the best possible cleaning outcome, you could start with the vinegar in a hot wash cycle, and then run a second cycle with the bleach. The bleach will kill all remaining germs.

Just remember to NEVER mix the two together or even use them at the same time, as this will cause a dangerous reaction and release chlorine gas.

If you only have one of the options you will still have an excellent cleaning experience, simply follow the guidelines and your machine will be successfully rid of any germs and odours.