Washing machine cleaner? Nah! You can save money with this simple trick

This washing machine cleaner cheat is so simple, you'll wonder why you didn't think of it before

Washing machine cleaner
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Wondering if you really need a washing machine cleaner? There are lots of products out there that are specifically marketed as washing machine cleaners, but have you ever thought about whether you really need yet another bottle of cleaning product in your kitchen? 

And presumably, if you have one of the best washing machines currently on the market (or at least one you've spent your hard earned cash on), it's safe to assume you take good care of your machine, and it's not mouldy or super dirty, right? 

Not necessarily... 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.

Still want a washing machine cleaner? Grab a deal below: