Yuck. I didn't realize that your washing machine needs a washing every now and again until I was confused about whether some clothes were coming out dirtier than when they went in! Typically our whites, or lighter colored clothes were coming out dingy and I blamed them on the fact that the hubs is a mechanic and I must have mistakenly washed his clothes with the rest of ours. (I wash his seperately!)
But after doing a little research I learned that yup, you should be washing your machine 1-2x a year!
And it's pretty straight forward.
Use your hottest, largest and longest setting on your washing machine.
Let your washer fill with the hot water and add bleach. I came across as little as 2 cups and as much as 4 cups. I guess it depends on how grundgy you think your wash is!
Let the machine agitate for a little bit then open it back up and let it sit for an hour or so.
Then, let it complete it's cycle.
Then repeat the process but instead use white vinegar.
Now, (as usual) I made some adjustments. I used a brush to scrub the sides making sure to get into the "holes" as I think this is the culprit in my washer. (I've had dots on some of my clothes that match up with the pattern in the washer) Plus I used a "magic eraser" sponge to wipe down the center agitator.
Also, I read that some agitators come apart. Check your manual. My top came off but nothing came out, so I ran some of the bleach water through it and used my brush to clean it.
Once your run the vinegar cycle through your done!
Not bad! As the washer does most of the work!
I'm marking my calendar so I can remember to do it again in July!
I never realized they needed to be maintained, but it makes sense!