What is a maintenance wash?


Running a regular 'maintenance wash' can help keep your washing machine running at its best. This guide will show you why it needs to be done – and the best way to do it.


What is it?


A maintenance wash is essentially a deep-cleaning cycle for your machine. There are even specialist cleaning products which can help – just make sure the one you choose has bleach in it.

The maintenance wash gets rid of any bacteria, stains or mould that have built up inside the washing machine, and also clears out any murky water that might be stuck in the drum.


Why do it?


After your washer has been used for a while, you might start to notice some of these symptoms. A maintenance wash can help stop them.

  • Whites coming out looking a bit grey.
  • Coloured washes soaking up dark residue left in the machine.
  • Detergent and water building up in the door seal and drum.
  • Mould growing around the door seal.
  • Smells coming from the drum, especially if the door's kept closed.


How to do it


The majority of washing machines will have their own maintenance cycle that you can run just like any other. But if yours doesn't, just run the longest, hottest cycle instead. Make sure you've set it to the highest spin cycle – and of course, make sure there's no laundry in it!

You should use some sort of detergent during the wash. As mentioned above, you can get products made especially for a maintenance wash – just make sure yours has bleach for a thorough clean, and that it's suitable for your washing machine. You should also check your machine's user manual to find out where to put the detergent, because some machines will need it to be in the drum instead of the drawer.

Finally, make sure you don't run a pre-wash cycle, because you'll need to run the full cleaning cycle at the maximum temperature.


How often to do it


If you mainly use liquid detergents to clean your clothes, we recommend you run a maintenance wash once a month.

If you use a powder detergent which has bleach in it, and run your cycles at higher temperatures, then you might not need to run a maintenance wash as often.


If you've got any other problems with your washing machine, you can get in touch with a Team Knowhow Expert here.

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