Is the laundry not the only dirty thing piling up in your laundry room? Very few of us clean our laundry rooms on a regular basis and definitely not when we are doing the “company is coming over” cleaning blitz.
The laundry room is usually unseen by others or can quietly be hidden away behind a closed door. But; and you aren’t going to want to hear this, it still needs to be cleaned.
Walls and Ceiling:
Like any other cleaning project start with the top and work your way down. Clean out any cobwebs or lint that may be stuck to your ceiling and walls first. If you are looking for simplicity, a slightly damp towel on the top of a broomstick will work also.
Washer and Dryer:
The heart of the laundry room is naturally what creates most of the mess.
The lint trap on the dryer needs to be cleaned out after each use, but can use a good scrub down every now and then for the little lint and dirt that sticks inside even after you scoop out the contents. This will also help your dryer run more efficiently and safely.
To clean the inside of the dryer use warm soapy water. Just a few drops of mild dish soap added to a large mixing bowl of water will do the trick. Wet and wring out a cleaning rag to clean the interior of the dryer, then take another rag with just warm water and wipe down the inside to remove any soapy residue.
After washing load after load of clothes your machine is bound to get a residue buildup of detergent, fabric softeners, hard water, etc. To keep your clothes there cleanest, at least once a month the inside of the washer needs to be cleaned.
To clean the inside of the washing machine, set the machine to a full load on regular wash cycle (warm or hot water) and the second rinse option (if available). Fill the washer with water and dump in a gallon of vinegar and let it run. Check the inside of the machine when the wash cycle has completed for any remaining residue or spots. If you see any, pour some vinegar on a cleaning cloth and wipe down.
Run another wash cycle as you did above only don’t use vinegar this time. Although the vinegar smell won’t last long this will help to eliminate some of the smell. You can also wash a load of old towels or rugs before washing your regular laundry.
Cleaning the Outside of the Machines:
Gunk is really the only word that can describe the film of gross that develops on the top of washers and dryers. It is a mixture of lint, dust, dirt and whatever else that may have landed on top all mixed together with a little bit of laundry detergent.
Use a wash cloth (NOT a paper towel) and run it under hot water.
Take the wash cloth and from the back of the machine wipe to the front of the machine in a straight line. Rinse cloth when needed and repeat until the top of the machines are cleaned. Do not try to just wipe it down back and forth quickly, all you will accomplish is getting it wet and spreading the mess around.
Clean around all knobs getting your rag behind the knobs also.
Wipe down the sides of the machine as you did the top of the machine.
Cleaning the Floor:
After everything else is cleaned sweep or vacuum then mop the floor, concentrating on the dust and lint in between the machines and the wall. Once the floor is done, you now have a nice clean laundry room where you won’t have to worry about your clean clothes getting dirty right after they come out of the dryer.
Safety Tip: If the laundry room hasn’t had a good cleaning in a while, use a simple breathing mask or a piece of cloth tied around your mouth and nose when you are cleaning laundry room. This will prevent any breathing problems that may be caused from the lint and dust that will be stirred up when you clean.
Keeping The Laundry Room Clean:
If you don’t want to spend a good amount of time cleaning your laundry room, there are little things that you can do to help keep it clean.
Put a small garbage can in the laundry room for the used dryer sheets, dryer lint and all of the interesting garbage that you find in pockets and in the machine if you don’t find them in the pockets first. This will prevent garbage from piling up on top of the machines and spilling over the sides of the machines, where it will be a lot harder to clean up.
Vacuum the floor when on your regular vacuuming day.
Clean vents regularly.
On the day you wash towels, take a towel and wipe down the washer and dryer then wash the towel with the rest of the load.
Image Credits: Kerri Torrey Photography