If you cleaned and organized your Family Room already this month, next up on my Deep Cleaning Schedule for August is cleaning the Laundry Room. This has the potential to be overlooked. We don’t really think to clean that room, because it’s not a room that most people see when they visit your home. However, it is important to especially give the washing machine a good cleaning at least once a year. It can get pretty grimy!
What You’ll Need:
- Microfiber Cloths
- Multipurpose Cleaner – I make mine using Borax, Washing Soda, Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap (I love it – it’s SO versatile), water, and essential oils. Method All Purpose Cleaner is a great store-bough cleaner that I’ve used as well. Method has some great smelling products, like this clementine-scented cleaner.
- Baking Soda
- White Distilled Vinegar
Cleaning and Organizing the Laundry Room:
1. Clean the Washing Machine
The first thing I do when cleaning the washing machine, is run a cleaning cycle. I sprinkle a few teaspoons of baking soda in the drum.
Then I put about 1 Cup white distilled vinegar in the laundry detergent dispenser.
I run the load on my washing machine’s Pure Cycle. If you don’t have this feature on your washing machine, just run it with hot water on the low spin setting.
The hot water, vinegar, and baking soda will work together to help release the dirt and grime in the washing machine, which can especially build up around the edge.
You can move on to cleaning another section of your laundry room while you wait for the washing cycle to finish.
After it’s done, it’s time to wipe away all that gross stuff. Spray a few squirts of your multipurpose spray in the drum and wipe clean with your microfiber cloth. Then comes the harder part – cleaning out the gasket (that rubber part around the edge.)
You’ll need to pull back each section, spray a few squirts of multipurpose spray, and wipe until clean. This is where there can be lots of mold, if you don’t clean it often enough. You can help prevent mold from growing in your washing machine by always leaving the door OPEN after you wash a load of clothes. Keep it open until it is totally dry in there (I just keep it open all day.)
Next, you’ll need to clean out the filter. BTW – these pictures were taken a day or two AFTER my husband had already cleaned the filter out (He was looking for the source of some leaking our machine’s been doing. And he found it! The gasket has a small tear in it.)
Before you do this, you will need a towel and possibly a bowl (if your washing machine or the filter is up higher off the ground and you can fit a bowl under it). Position the bowl or towel under the filter. Unscrew the filter. When you do that, dirty water WILL come spilling out, hence why the towel or bowl are needed.
Run your filter under water and wipe away all the grime.
Before you replace the filter, take an end of the towel and wipe in the filter’s opening to get all that gross slime out.
Then use your multipurpose cleaner and microfiber cloth to clean the door and the entire outside of the washing machine.
2. Clean the Dryer
To clean the dryer, start by getting all the lint out of the lint trap. This should be done after every few cycles. If it is not emptied often enough, it can start a fire. According to U.S. Fire Administration (and reminders from my firefighter husband), dryer fires are one of the leading causes of home fires. They cause 2900 fires and about 5 deaths a year. So don’t forget to empty them!
Dump all the lint into the trashcan. Then run the filter under water and use your cloth to wipe away any excess lint.
Before you replace the filter, clean any other dirt or lint that is in the lint trap. I used my vacuum cleaner’s skinny hose attachment to get most of it in there. Then I sprayed some of my multipurpose spray and wiped away as much lint as I could reach.
Then spray and wipe inside the drum of the dryer.
Clean the door and the outside of the dryer as well. I used this brush to clean inside those little cracks.
Make sure you wipe off the top of the washing machine and dryer and arrange anything that you keep on them nice and neatly. I just keep my laundry detergent, homemade dryer sheets, and cloths for cleaning in a little basket on top of the dryer.
3. Clean the Cabinets
Next up is to clean any cabinets you have in your laundry room. Start by cleaning the outside of the cabinets. Spray some multipurpose cleaner on them and rub until all marks are off and they are clean. Make sure you get in all the grooves.
Then, we’re going to clean out the inside of the cabinets and drawers. Mine definitely needed some straightening up!
Go one cabinet or drawer at a time. Take everything out. Wipe the bottom and sides until clean.
Then replace your things neatly. In this drawer I keep our lightbulbs and flashlights. I checked each flashlight to make sure it worked. If not, I went ahead and added whatever batteries were needed into my Amazon cart. If I don’t do that right away, I will definitely forget to get them.
In the drawer below I had a bunch of random stuff. I went through and got rid of several things – like our old baby proofing supplies. These plastic containers came in handy to store extra cabinet and furniture hardware.
I had a lot of tidying up to do in my candle and hand soap cabinet. As you can see, it was about to overflow! This is from years of accumulating candles and soap faster than I can use them. I used to be a Bath & Body Works junkie, before I started moving towards using more natural products.
So I took everything out and wiped the cabinet down. I threw away some candles that were almost all used up. I also set aside several things to give away. The plastic containers were filled with Bath & Body Works Wallflowers and refills. I don’t even use those anymore. If I want my house scented, I use my diffuser with essential oils or light one of the many candles I have.
I lined up all my soaps and grouped them by season – summer, fall, winter, and then spring. Then I did the same with the candles. I got rid of everything that WAS in the plastic containers and wiped the containers down (some of the Wallflowers had leaked.) I put tea candles in one and votive candles in another. All the candle holders also went on the top shelf.
4. Throw Away Unmatched Socks
How is it that there’s SO many single socks that you can never find the match to? I keep unmatched socks in a jar on the counter. I keep them in there waiting and waiting until I find the other matches. But load after load goes by, and they never show up. So I went ahead and just threw all those single socks away.
5. Organize the Cleaning Supplies
I keep all of our cleaning supplies (except for the kitchen ones-those are under the kitchen sink) in baskets above the washing machine and dryer. One contains dusting spray, wood cleaner, a feather duster, glass cleaner, bathroom cleaner, toilet cleaner, and sponges.
The other basket has spot removers, the iron, pads for the Shark Steam Mop, and extra cleaning clothes.
I straightened the things up a bit and got rid of a few products that I don’t use anymore.
6. Clean the Trashcan
Take the trash bag out of the trashcan and give the trashcan a good cleaning. Use water and dish soap, wipe it down, and dump the water out in your sink or outside if you need to. Ours wasn’t super dirty. I just sprayed some multipurpose spray all in the trashcan and wiped it clean.
Be sure to clean the inside and the outside of your trashcan. To help prevent odors, you can sprinkle a little bit of baking soda in the bottom. Then put a fresh trash bag in.
7. Clean the Floor
We cleaned the walls and baseboards already this year, but it wouldn’t hurt to give the baseboards another wipe-down, especially if you see any dust building up. I took everything out that was in this corner, wiped all the baseboards down, and then cleaned the floors.
Sweep and mop really well. Then replace anything that was on the floor neatly.
I had all the vacuum cleaner attachments in this corner, along with the ironing board, broom, steam mop, vacuum, and trashcan. However, they got very dusty and I didn’t use all the attachments very often. So, I moved those to a top shelf.
8. Clean the Countertop and Sink
Finally, use the multipurpose cleaner and microfiber cloth (make sure it’s a clean one- switch them out as needed) to clean the entire countertop. Clear any clutter on the countertop- anything that’s just taking up space and you don’t need it or love it.
Spray and clean the faucet and sink as well. We use our laundry room sink for washing out paintbrushes after we do a painting project. Some paint has stained the sink and did not come off after cleaning. But I was able to pick off some dried on paint spots.
9. Laundry Baskets
If you have the space in your laundry, I highly recommend having two or three laundry baskets or other containers to separate clothes. One simple thing to make life a little easier! We use the bottom basket for colors and the middle one for whites that need to be washed. The top basket is used for clean clothes that need to be folded and put away.
That’s it for your laundry room deep cleaning and organizing. How gross was cleaning out the washing machine? And the trash can? Let me know how it goes for you and if you have any other tips to share!