Spring Clean Your Washing Machine
Spring Has Sprung, The Grass Is Riz, I Wonder What The Source Of That Mouldy Smell In My Laundry Is?
It’s Easter time – the verges are covered in daffodils, the pond is covered in frog spawn and my children are currently covered in chocolate. I love the arrival of spring – it makes me want to clean my home from top to bottom! Not.
I don’t get why a lovely day after a long, grey winter, would inspire you to stay indoors cleaning, but then, nothing other than the imminent outbreak of dysentry actually inspires me to clean. Spring weather does inspire me to do laundry though, because, after a winter of washing on radiators, I love the fresh smell of line-dried laundry.
My laundry has not always been fresh, I am embarrassed to say. We used to regularly throw out nearly new clothes and very nearly a washing machine in a bid to get rid of the fusty smell that afflicted our laundry.
Washing machines don’t come cheap so I am happy to say we found a (free!) solution to the problem. If your clean washing has ever smelled less than line-fresh, read on – I’ll tell you how we fixed it.
How I Banished Fusty Towels From Tartan Towers Forever
We thought for a while that something was wrong with the speed at which we dried our laundry. But whether we dried it by radiator, line, or drier, everything still smelt vaguely mouldy. In desperation I consulted my mother who told me (with perhaps more smugness than is entirely forgiveable…) that her laundry always smelled fresher than a rosebud in May. It was something I was doing with my laundry that she did not do.
My mum still washed her washing The Old Way, at as high a temperature as it could bear, using bio-powder. I, on the other hand, used eco-friendly liquid at a low temperature. And this, it turns out, was our problem. My washing was clean – but not my washing machine. It turns out, machines rely on high temperatures and chemicals to stop the build-up of mould in their warm, damp interiors. My low temperature, no bleach routine was simply not killing off the mould or stopping other gunk from building up inside the machine. And a mouldy washing machine produces mouldy washing. Lovely.
So now I take A Thrifty Mum’s advice and clean my washing machine once or twice a year to clear it of mould and other gunk that might clog it up and stink out my washing. I can still use eco-liquid and low temperature washes but without the Tartan Family smelling like old shower curtains. I reckon cleaning the machine once a year is a small price to pay compared to the cost of replacing the machine. And any cleaning task that saves me money , is cleaning I can get behind.