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How do clean a decidedly gross washing machine drawer?

(43 Posts)
AngeloMysterioso Wed 15-May-19 17:43:21

I’ve gone on a bit of a cleaning spree in the last few days, and have put two cleaning treatments through the washing machine. However, even though the drum of the machine is now sparkling, the drawer (and the gap it goes into) are still pretty manky. I ended up scooping loads of congealed detergent gunge out of the gap 🤢 and just wiped as much as I could, as far back as I could, but the drawer has loads of nooks and crannies that no sponge or brush is going to get into.

Any suggestions for how I can get it properly clean?

Ivegotthree Wed 15-May-19 17:44:06

Put it in the dishwasher

7salmonswimming Wed 15-May-19 17:44:16

Take it out and put it though the dishwasher

sleepwhenidie Wed 15-May-19 17:44:44

Dishwasher, on its own, on hot setting?

Disclaimer: never tried it, don’t blame me if it melts!

IncognitaIgnorama Wed 15-May-19 17:44:47

Pull it all the way out until you can jiggle it so that you can remove it completely. Then wash in the sink/dishwasher.

sleepwhenidie Wed 15-May-19 17:44:59

Great minds smile

greenelephantscarf Wed 15-May-19 17:46:16

dishwasher if you have one.
bucket of water, bio powder & bottle brush if you don't.
for the drawer compartment bath/kitchen cleaning spray and bottle brush.

MitziK Wed 15-May-19 17:48:39

Stick it in the dishwasher. Or the hottest, soapy water you can bear (with rubber gloves on).

Then, after getting the gunge out (and make a note to reduce the amount of powder you use/thin out the liquid with warm water), you need an old toothbrush, cocktail sticks and pipecleaners to get in the ridiculous nooks and crannies for the softener section.

DontTouchMyCurls Wed 15-May-19 17:52:14

I have the same problem but I don't have a dishwasher and also my drawer doesn't just come out, it has little hidden screws that no normal screwdriver can get to and I don't have a bendy one. Why make it so difficult to clean confused

GlamGiraffe Wed 15-May-19 17:52:38

There's a tab on mine you depress to get The drawer right out.i then use a wooden skewer and old toothbrush to poke and scrape every little book i can and vigorously scrub with washing up liquid. I thendo the inside of the compartmentwithca brush and again poke the skewer in the littlecwater holes that are blocked to loosen them. Such funwink

SpoonBlender Wed 15-May-19 17:58:55

As above, dishwasher. Then put powder or liquid into the drum (unless you actually do prewash things) rather than in the drawer.

dementedpixie Wed 15-May-19 18:03:07

I don't put it in the dishwasher I just wash it in the sink. Toothbrushes and sponges are good for cleaning it. Also clean out the aperture it fits into as that gets manky too

FiremanKing Wed 15-May-19 18:03:55

Learnt the hard way many years ago never to put detergent in the drawer to prevent this happening!

Only ever place in the back of the drum now.

I think I managed to clean my old one with a toothbrush and a pink cleaning paste followed by copious spraying of bleach as the drawer wouldn’t come out.

That was about thirty years ago though! grin

AngeloMysterioso Wed 15-May-19 18:06:29

Problem with the dishwasher suggestion is that for any water to get in the tricky bits I’d have to put it in upright, and it won’t fit.

I’ll try the soak/pipe cleaner suggestion- I don’t actually have a pipe cleaner but I’ve got this thing that came with my metal straws that should probably do the trick.

AngeloMysterioso Wed 15-May-19 18:09:04

We only use liquid detergents and they’re not especially thick (once in a blue moon I might use vanish powder) so I don’t understand how so much of it got stuck!

I know how to get the drawer out and I’ve cleaned the space as much as I can (you wouldn’t believe how much detergent goop was stuck in there) although I can’t reach where the detergent goes down at the back.

toomuchfaster Wed 15-May-19 18:10:06

I put mine in the dishwasher last week and it didn't really make any difference. Will give it another go with toothbrush in a deep bowl of water.

AlyssasBackRolls Wed 15-May-19 18:11:01

Just get inventive and use some elbow grease. They are fiddly and I don't have a dishwasher but I think last time I did it it was soapy bowl of water and toothbrush, Jey cloth twisted up etc.

dementedpixie Wed 15-May-19 18:13:56

Liquids aren't the best at keeping things clean. Powders contain bleaches and keep the machine itself cleaner

BallyHockeySticks Wed 15-May-19 18:17:54

Gunge builds up more with liquid, I find.

How big is it if it won't fit in the dishwasher?? Can you do it twice, once each side? You know you can often take the top rack off?

I just attack ours with a washing up brush and toothbrush, them soak in Milton.

thenightsky Wed 15-May-19 18:18:14

My drawer goes through the dishwasher and comes out lovely and clean, whichever way up I put it in. The cavity it lives in in the machine gets the jet attachment of the steam cleaner.

QuitMoaning Wed 15-May-19 18:21:10

I mix laundry powder with soda crystals (about 50/50) and it is definitely better for the drawer

And pretty much everything else.

7salmonswimming Wed 15-May-19 18:30:27

Liquids are the worst for this. Powder is the drawer is better. Liquid tab in the drum is better still. Powder in a top loader is best.

Always leave the door and drawer slightly open between washes.

firstimemamma Wed 15-May-19 18:31:50

Soak the drawer bits on hot bleachy water then rinse and if need be wash / scrub clean.

Alternatively I think there is a good washing machine clean on Mrs hinch's insta stories. I'm not sure if it's still there.

Shadow1234 Wed 15-May-19 18:35:18

I just use hot water and fairy liquid on mine and it comes up lovely and clean. For the inside of the drawer where there are lots of nooks and crannies, i use a wet toothbrush with some washing powder on it
(because its grittier and does a good job)) - always comes up lovely and clean.

PicsInRed Wed 15-May-19 19:50:38

Washing machine cleaner fluid on long hot cycle?

Jarstastic Wed 15-May-19 23:19:55

Bottle brushes!

1vandal2 Wed 15-May-19 23:26:56

You are not meant to put liquid detergent in the drawer it is meant to be put in the drum in the measuring cup.

SecretRed Wed 15-May-19 23:34:53

I've used mould & mildew remover with good results. Take the drawer out and spray and spray the cavity too. Leave it 10 minutes and scrub with a toothbrush and it should all come away. Run it on an empty cycle at 90 degrees after.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Thu 16-May-19 01:08:50

We moved to an area with soft water, and brought the washing machine indoors. We use Fairy non-bio liquid in half recommended amounts, and a little Oxy. Clean as a whistle.

DangerMouse17 Thu 16-May-19 01:32:04

I simply pulled out the drawer and washed with vinegar and hot water. Twas sparkling!

Alicewond Thu 16-May-19 01:35:25

I put mine in a sink full of bleach and water

CurriedCarbs Thu 16-May-19 01:38:00

Have just recently done ours and mould remover seemed to work really well. For those saying put the powder in the machine, what do you do about fabric softener?

WhereDoesThisToiletGo Thu 16-May-19 02:00:42

Drawer in floor mop bucket.
Take it outside.
Blast with hosepipe.

Go back inside and change out of soaking wet clothes.

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Thu 16-May-19 08:48:10

Take it out, wash thoroughly with hot water/washing up liquid and a narrow brush (e.g.for babies' bottles) to get all the gunk out of the nooks and crannies. My previous WM drawer had so many nooks and crannies, it was the only way.

manicmij Thu 16-May-19 12:28:52

Take it out, spray drawer and inside area with a well known mould remover ( and then rinse. Get some interdental brushes and use to clean jets on top of area just to make sure the mould has managed to clear them. Good luck.

manicmij Thu 16-May-19 12:30:36

Sorry, forgot to add, make sure you run the machine through empty to clear the mould remover.

BendyLikeBeckham Thu 16-May-19 12:39:28

a washing machine repairman once told me NEVER to use liquid detergent at all. He said it causes 90% of his callouts because it doesn't dissolve properly and it gunks up the machine.

Imagine what the inside of the other bits are like in your machine OP if the drawer is that gunked up.

bellinisurge Thu 16-May-19 12:41:24

Trouble is, this is just the tip of the iceberg. I know from personal experience. Luckily hmmmy washer made the decision for me and packed in. I never use liquid in the new one. Never conditioner.

TreacherousPissFlap Thu 16-May-19 12:45:03

I put mine in the dishwasher once and it came out all yellowed.

I've no idea why when everyone on this thread seems to manage it perfectly well and I have form for putting EVERYTHING in the dishwasher

Daffydillo Thu 16-May-19 13:06:13

I spray mine with dettol mould remover and leave in the sink. It’s like a miracle all the gunk then rinse off under a hot tap!

ChopinIn10Minuets Thu 16-May-19 14:46:47

We only use liquid detergents and they’re not especially thick (once in a blue moon I might use vanish powder) so I don’t understand how so much of it got stuck!

Hard water (the scale blocks the water spray outlets) and mould. You'll need to squirt the spray outlets above the drawer with some sort of descaling treatment. I've used Viakal - probably not advised, so hope you're out of guarantee. In future, add Calgon or washing soda to your whites and the machine won't get so bad.

bananasandwicheseveryday Thu 16-May-19 16:27:02


I was told this too. This was when I had the technician out to investigate the disgusting smell coming from the machine. He explained that the liquid is renowned for gunking up the pipes etc and that it then begins to smell. He cleaned it out for me - took him over an hour - and I've since gone back to using powder. No more smells and the washing machine stays much cleaner.

AngeloMysterioso Fri 17-May-19 11:11:07

I soaked it in hot water & bleach in the sink and then had a good go with a scrubbing brush/toothbrush/pipe cleaner type thingy. Seemed to do the trick, and I seemed to get the drawer slot pretty clean as far back as I could reach.

We’re moving house soon and the white goods are part of the sale of our flat so it’s about to become the next owner’s problem grin

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