Need a washing machine cleaner NOW? You can save £££s and make your machine smell nicer with this trick

This washing machine cleaner hack is easy and cheap – and it'll do the job of making a smelly washing machine nicer, too

Smelly washing machine
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Really need a washing machine cleaner right now but no time to go to the shops? There are lots of products out there that are specifically marketed as washing machine cleaners, and they do a good job... but there is a hack you can use to freshen up a smelly washing machine with little effort and no extra expense.  

So if your washing machine is a little smelly (presumably, if you have one of the best washing machines on the market, it's safe to assume you take good care of it, and it's not mouldy or super dirty, right), here's the hack: give it a weekly hot maintenance wash.

Hardly any of us do the weekly hot maintenance wash that we should all be doing with an empty drum, especially those of us who mostly stick to cooler or quick washes. Why? Well, you can't see it but you might smell it: bacteria lurks aplenty in your washing machine's drum in particular.

So, if you're using washing machine cleaner, what product should you use? Liquid cleaner? Tablets? Just add some vinegar? All of those methods for maintenance cleaning your washing machine are perfectly fine, with one caveat: they won't necessarily leave your washing machine smelling lovely. It'll be clean, but that's about it. And, apart from vinegar, which many of us already have in our homes, they require you to purchase an extra bottle of product (extra spend, extra plastic waste).

We'll tell you a secret: it's perfectly fine to run a maintenance clean (aka hot wash) with laundry detergent rather than a specialised washing machine cleaner. You can use your regular detergent – although we find that what works best is a natural, plant-based detergent marked as 'concentrated'. 

These are typically stronger, so you don't need to use a lot of it, and they leave your washing machine sparkling clean. Our favourite is the Method Concentrated Laundry Detergent in Wild Lavender. It's 95 per cent plant based and contains powerful enzymes that are up to the task of deep cleaning your machine, as well as your clothes. And it smells so, so good. It also comes in refillable, recycled packaging. And it's only £6 on Amazon, with free delivery. Why buy a separate product when you can just have one?  

For more clever cleaning tips, visit our cleaning hub page.

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