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How To Get Grease Out Of A Washing Machine How To Get Grease Out Of A Washing Machine

Laundry Appliances

How To Get Grease Out Of A Washing Machine

Written by: Emma Thompson

Learn effective methods to remove grease from your washing machine with our expert tips. Keep your laundry appliances clean and efficient.

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Dealing with grease buildup in a washing machine can be a frustrating experience for many homeowners. Whether it's from greasy clothes, fabric softener, or other sources, the presence of grease can lead to unpleasant odors, stains on clothing, and even damage to the appliance itself. However, with the right knowledge and approach, it's possible to effectively tackle this issue and restore your washing machine to its optimal condition.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the causes of grease buildup in washing machines, explore the steps to effectively remove grease from the appliance, and discuss preventive measures to minimize the likelihood of future buildup. By understanding the root of the problem and implementing the appropriate solutions, you can ensure that your washing machine continues to operate efficiently and maintain the cleanliness of your laundry.

Let's embark on this journey to uncover the best practices for addressing grease accumulation in washing machines, empowering you with the knowledge and strategies needed to overcome this common household challenge.

Key Takeaways:

  • Say goodbye to grease in your washing machine! Clean with vinegar and baking soda, use liquid detergents, and perform regular maintenance to keep your machine fresh and efficient.
  • Prevent grease buildup by cleaning the detergent dispenser, adjusting water temperature, and wiping down the rubber door seal. With these simple steps, your washing machine will stay clean and reliable.

Understanding the Cause of Grease Buildup

Grease buildup in a washing machine can stem from various sources, and understanding these factors is crucial in effectively addressing the issue. One common cause of grease accumulation is the presence of oily residues on clothing items. When garments soiled with cooking oils, body oils, or greasy food stains are laundered, the residual grease can transfer onto the interior surfaces of the washing machine, gradually building up over time. Additionally, the use of fabric softeners and certain laundry detergents containing oils or fatty substances can contribute to the formation of grease deposits within the appliance.

Moreover, inadequate cleaning and maintenance practices can exacerbate the problem. Neglecting to clean the detergent dispenser, rubber door seal, and other components of the washing machine can create an environment conducive to grease buildup. Over time, these neglected areas can harbor residual oils and grime, providing a breeding ground for grease accumulation and unpleasant odors.

Furthermore, the presence of hard water can also play a role in the formation of grease deposits. Hard water contains high levels of minerals such as calcium and magnesium, which can react with soap and detergent, leading to the formation of soap scum and residue. This residue, when combined with oils and greasy substances from laundry, can contribute to the buildup of greasy deposits within the washing machine.

In some cases, mechanical issues within the washing machine, such as a malfunctioning seal or bearing, can result in the leakage of lubricants or greases into the wash drum. This unintended introduction of grease can contaminate the laundry and contribute to the accumulation of grease within the appliance.

By comprehensively understanding the diverse factors that contribute to grease buildup in washing machines, homeowners can adopt targeted strategies to address each specific cause. From modifying laundry habits to implementing regular cleaning and maintenance routines, a proactive approach can effectively mitigate the impact of grease accumulation and preserve the performance and cleanliness of the washing machine.

Steps to Remove Grease from a Washing Machine

  1. Inspect and Clean the Drum: Begin by inspecting the interior of the washing machine drum for any visible grease or grime buildup. Wearing protective gloves, use a damp cloth or sponge and a mild detergent solution to wipe down the interior surfaces of the drum. Pay close attention to areas where grease accumulation is prominent, such as near the door seal and along the drum's edges.

  2. Clean the Detergent Dispenser and Filters: Remove the detergent dispenser and any removable filters from the washing machine. Thoroughly clean these components with warm, soapy water to eliminate any residual grease or detergent buildup. Ensure that the dispenser and filters are completely dry before reinserting them into the appliance.

  3. Run a Hot Water Cycle with Vinegar: To effectively dissolve and remove grease deposits, pour two cups of white vinegar into the detergent dispenser or directly into the drum. Set the washing machine to run a hot water cycle without any laundry items. The acidic properties of the vinegar will help break down grease and eliminate lingering odors within the appliance.

  4. Perform a Maintenance Wash with Baking Soda: After the vinegar cycle, sprinkle one cup of baking soda into the drum. Baking soda is renowned for its natural cleaning and deodorizing properties, making it an excellent agent for combating grease buildup. Run another hot water cycle to allow the baking soda to penetrate and cleanse the interior surfaces of the washing machine.

  5. Wipe Down Rubber Seals and Exterior Surfaces: Use a clean cloth dampened with a vinegar solution to wipe down the rubber door seal, exterior surfaces, and control panel of the washing machine. This step helps to remove any residual grease or grime that may have accumulated on these areas.

  6. Inspect and Clean the Drain Pump Filter: Locate and inspect the drain pump filter, which is typically located at the front or bottom of the washing machine. Remove any debris, lint, or grease buildup from the filter to ensure proper drainage and prevent potential blockages.

  7. Air Out the Washing Machine: Once the cleaning process is complete, leave the washing machine door ajar for a few hours to allow proper ventilation and drying. This helps prevent the development of musty odors and inhibits the growth of mold or mildew within the appliance.

By diligently following these steps, homeowners can effectively remove grease from their washing machines, restoring cleanliness and optimal performance to the appliance. Regular maintenance and cleaning routines can significantly reduce the likelihood of future grease buildup, ensuring that the washing machine remains a reliable and hygienic asset in the household.

Preventing Future Grease Buildup

Preventing future grease buildup in a washing machine is essential for maintaining its efficiency and prolonging its lifespan. By implementing proactive measures and adopting best practices, homeowners can effectively minimize the recurrence of grease accumulation, ensuring that the appliance continues to deliver optimal cleaning results and preserves the quality of laundered items.

Use Liquid Detergents

Opting for liquid detergents instead of powdered ones can help reduce the likelihood of grease buildup in the washing machine. Liquid detergents are less prone to leaving residue and can effectively dissolve oils and greasy substances from clothing, minimizing the transfer of grease into the appliance's interior.

Clean the Detergent Dispenser Regularly

Regularly cleaning the detergent dispenser is crucial for preventing the buildup of residual detergents and oils. Remove the dispenser from the washing machine and wash it with warm, soapy water to eliminate any accumulated grime. Ensure that the dispenser is completely dry before reinserting it into the appliance.

Select the Appropriate Water Temperature

Adjusting the water temperature settings based on the type of laundry being washed can contribute to preventing grease buildup. Hot water is effective for dissolving oils and greasy residues, making it ideal for washing heavily soiled items. However, for less soiled garments, using cooler water temperatures can help minimize the likelihood of grease accumulation.

Perform Regular Maintenance Washes

Conducting periodic maintenance washes with natural cleaning agents such as vinegar and baking soda can help prevent the buildup of grease and grime within the washing machine. These natural cleaners effectively break down oils and eliminate odors, maintaining the cleanliness of the appliance's interior components.

Wipe Down the Rubber Door Seal

Regularly inspecting and wiping down the rubber door seal of the washing machine is essential for preventing the accumulation of grease and grime. Use a cloth dampened with a vinegar solution to clean the seal, ensuring that any residual oils or detergent residues are effectively removed.

Clean the Drain Pump Filter

Regularly checking and cleaning the drain pump filter is crucial for preventing potential blockages and the buildup of greasy residues. Clearing the filter of lint, debris, and accumulated grease ensures proper drainage and prevents the transfer of greasy substances onto laundered items.

By incorporating these preventive measures into your laundry routine and maintenance practices, you can effectively minimize the occurrence of grease buildup in your washing machine. Proactive care and attention to detail not only preserve the appliance's performance but also contribute to the longevity of your investment, ensuring that your washing machine remains a reliable and efficient asset in your household.


In conclusion, addressing grease buildup in a washing machine requires a multifaceted approach that encompasses thorough cleaning, preventive measures, and regular maintenance. By understanding the diverse sources of grease accumulation, homeowners can implement targeted strategies to effectively remove grease from the appliance and minimize the likelihood of future buildup.

The comprehensive steps outlined in this guide provide a practical framework for tackling grease accumulation in washing machines. From inspecting and cleaning the interior surfaces of the drum to performing maintenance washes with natural cleaning agents, each step is designed to restore cleanliness and optimal performance to the appliance. Additionally, the emphasis on preventive measures, such as using liquid detergents, cleaning the detergent dispenser, and conducting regular maintenance washes, underscores the proactive approach needed to mitigate the impact of grease buildup.

By integrating these strategies into their laundry routines and appliance maintenance practices, homeowners can ensure that their washing machines remain free from grease accumulation, delivering consistently clean and fresh laundry results. Furthermore, the adoption of preventive measures not only minimizes the risk of grease buildup but also contributes to the longevity of the washing machine, preserving its efficiency and functionality over time.

Ultimately, by equipping themselves with the knowledge and strategies presented in this guide, homeowners can effectively address grease buildup in their washing machines, fostering a hygienic and reliable laundry environment. With a proactive mindset and a commitment to regular maintenance, the impact of grease accumulation can be significantly reduced, allowing the washing machine to fulfill its essential role in maintaining the cleanliness and freshness of laundered items.

In essence, the journey to combat grease buildup in washing machines is one that empowers homeowners to take proactive control of their appliance's cleanliness and performance. By embracing the insights and strategies outlined in this guide, individuals can navigate this common household challenge with confidence, ensuring that their washing machines continue to operate at their best, free from the burden of grease accumulation.

Frequently Asked Questions about How To Get Grease Out Of A Washing Machine

What are the common causes of grease in a washing machine?

Grease in a washing machine can come from a variety of sources such as oily clothes, fabric softener residue, or even a buildup of detergent. Over time, these substances can leave a greasy residue in the machine, causing stains on your clothes.
Can grease in a washing machine damage my clothes?

Yes, grease in a washing machine can definitely damage your clothes. When the machine is not properly cleaned and grease builds up, it can transfer onto your clothes during the wash cycle, leaving unsightly stains that are difficult to remove.
How can I remove grease from the drum of my washing machine?

To remove grease from the drum of your washing machine, you can mix a solution of hot water and white vinegar, then use a cloth to wipe down the inside of the drum. You can also run a hot water cycle with vinegar to help break down and remove the grease buildup.
Is it safe to use bleach to remove grease from a washing machine?

While bleach can be effective in removing grease from a washing machine, it’s important to use it with caution. Make sure to dilute the bleach properly and avoid using it on stainless steel drums, as it can cause damage. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for using bleach in your machine.
How often should I clean my washing machine to prevent grease buildup?

It’s recommended to clean your washing machine at least once a month to prevent grease buildup. Regular cleaning can help maintain the machine’s performance and keep your clothes free from grease stains.

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