How To Deep Clean a Top Loading Washing Machine with an Agitator

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 There are so many things we need to learn how to clean, so when it comes to house cleaning tips it’s always nice to have a plan detailed for you. When I am doing my weekly zone cleaning in the laundry room, cleaning the washing machine is something that always needs to be done. In today’s post, I’m going to show you how to deep clean a top loading washing machine with an agitator. My Maytag washing machine is almost 13 years old now and still going strong, but it gets pretty gunked up when I neglect to give it a good deep clean. Let’s learn how to clean a washing machine!

Learn how to deep clean your old top loading washing machine.

Do you need to clean your washing machine?

Let’s start with the obvious question. Yes, you need to clean your washing machine. I know you’re probably thinking that you wash things in the washing machine all of the time, why would you need to wash your washing machine by itself? Well, washing machines can get gunky and funky. There are lots of parts in a washing machine that aren’t washed all of the time and you need to get in there and clean the gunky dirt off. So, yes, periodically deep clean your washing machine!

Types of washing machine cleaners

Today I am going to show you how to clean your washing machine naturally, but you can also use store bought washing machine cleaners. I’ve personally used the Plink washer and dishwasher tablets and they work pretty well. I’ve also heard really good things about Affresh and Tide washing machine cleaners. Each of these washing machine cleaning tablets can be used with top loading or front loading washing machines.

How do I deep clean my washing machine naturally?

If you’re not into using chemicals to deep clean, you can easily deep clean your washing machine with baking soda and vinegar. I am using white distilled vinegar today, but if you can get your hands on some cleaning vinegar, that will work even better.

How to clean your washing machine with baking soda and vinegar?

I use about 1 cup of baking soda and 2 cups of vinegar. The first step to clean a top loading washing machine with an agitator is to remove the fabric softener dispenser. Wash the fabric softener dispenser in the sink with warm water and dish soap.  

Fill the tub of the washing machine about 1/4 full of hot water. Stop the water and pour in the baking soda and the vinegar.

It’s always fun to watch the chemical reaction between the baking soda and the water!

Use a cleaning rag to swish around in the water and baking soda/vinegar mixture and begin cleaning off the top of the washing machine. Clean around the lid and anywhere you see visible grime. You’ll also want to look in all of the nooks and crannies at the top of the tub. A lot of dirt and grime hides there, so be sure to wipe it all away.

Next, use some Q-tips, a pipe cleaner, or a toothbrush and scrub all of the areas you cannot reach with a cloth. For me that was under the lid and around the underside of the lid.

You’ll also want to scrub out the inside of the agitator. Once everything is clean, let the tub fill up with hot water and run a full cycle. Put the fabric softener dispenser back and clean the outside of your washing machine with an all purpose cleaner and cleaning cloth.

A clean top loading washing machine.

And that’s it! Now you have a nice, clean washing machine.

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How To Deep Clean a Washing Machine with an Agitator

Cleaning a washing machine with baking soda.

Learn how to deep clean your top loading washing machine with agitator using baking soda and vinegar.


  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 2 cups white distilled vinegar or cleaning vinegar


  • Cleaning cloth
  • Pipe cleaners, Q-tips, or toothbrush


  1. Remove fabric softener dispenser from washing machine.
  2. Fill drum of washer with hot water about 1/4 of the way full.
  3. Turn off water, add in baking soda and vinegar.
  4. Dip cleaning cloth in water/baking soda/vinegar mixture, and clean all around the inside and top of the washer.
  5. Use Q-tips, a pipe cleaner, or toothbrush to reach the nooks and crannies and remove all the built up gunk.
  6. Rinse and scrub the inside of the agitator.
  7. Close the lid on the washing machine and allow the the wash cycle to complete.
  8. While the washing machine is running, clean the softener dispenser in a sink with hot water and dish soap.
  9. When washing machine is done running, put softener dispenser back in place.
  10. Clean the outside of the washing machine with an all-purpose cleaner and cloth.

Did you make this project?

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