How to clean the inside of a washing machine and keep it that way

That's very good. Some people say you don't need to do tub cleans if most of the time you wash at those temps. There will never be any smell regardless of the detergent you use.


Could it be after you started using the percarbonate?

You posted you got it in August and then after two months you posted in October that these deposits were showing up in the filter.

This means the percarbonate is doing something for you :woot:

How often have you used it since August?


Do you notice any residue coming out after the percarbonate tub clean cycle when it drains?


If your hardness is truly 100ppm which is pretty damn sweet for well water then you don't need to use a descaler more than twice a year.

If your hot water geezer heating element lasts ten years and there is no scale on it when you replace it then you don't need to use a descaler more than twice a year.

Do you notice any colour stains, red or orange on the clothes? That will be due to iron & manganese which are common in well water.


I think this is residue coming off your drum that has accumulated over the past two years due to the recent percarbonate use.

I cannot explain why it's there to start with given you do mostly hot washes. But these are important clues that regular use of percarbonate is needed even if you do hot washes.

Keep using the percarbonate it seems to be doing something. Vanish is only 30% percarbonate whereas the Labogens is pure so you get three times more per shot.

Keep using it until you don't see any more residue. Then switch to Surf and stick with it for a few months.

Then see whether the problem returns.
Maybe that is true. I've used percarbonate twice now and recently last week. The second time after I used the percarbonate the residue was there but not as much the first time.

I had used Racold brand geyser which lasted thirteen years. I did change the heating element as it had become rusted but if I remember I did not notice any scaling but the water was not as hot as it used to be so instead exchanged it with Elac brand 3 years back.

I did not notice any stains on the clothes but let me check that closely again.

I will use the percarbonate and check once again if more residue comes out and update. Thanks for your suggestions.
 
After this experience, I have to make a slight change to my first post.

If your machine is more than two years old then run the percarbonate every month for six months.

Check the filter each month for any buildup. If any shows up then continue. If none shows up after two tries keep trying.

If none is seen after a few months of this process you can fall back to using it once every three or four months.

Checking the filter every month is a good way to discover if things are ok. An easy way to avoid a mess on the floor is to use a plastic bottle. Put the tube into the bottle and let the water from the machine drain into the bottle. I use an old 750ml soft drink bottle. Then you can open the screw and there won't be a mess on the floor.
 
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I have been following this thread from beginning and see people putting up their queries and @blr_p clarifying them and asking another set of questions. @blr_p Your posts are quite informative and I mean, they are too technical for somebody who just wants to clean his washing machine ;)
I am intrigued whether you are from related industry domain ? or having relevant education/work exp or casual study for own purpose .

All said, thanks for starting this thread. Household appliances like WM, Refrigerator, Air conditioner, Stove etc has to be kept clean and one should know basic stuff about their working and servicing if need arises.

How did you maintain the machine during those eight years? how many hot washes did you do? maintenance washes and what products you used.

Did you use powder or liquid detergent? What about fabric softener?

Do you leave the door open after every wash or close it? for some people leaving the door open is not an option because of small children or lack of space.
Usually, we do quick wash (wash time 15min- 1 wash, 2 rise, 2 dry, normal temp water).
Very less time, Normal wash (wash time 60min, water temp set at 40 or 60 sometimes) is done. Its like 2 times per month.
Always powder - white colored (mostly surf easy wash, sometimes tide), avoided blue color powder as I read somewhere they are not good for machine.
Comfort fabric conditioner - it gives nice smell to clothes
Leave door near to close position, but not wide open (leaving door open is also done for only 20% of times after wash)

Coming to smell, we never felt any bad smell from the drum. Our clothes are not that soiled as we do "quick wash" regularly (clothes worn only once or max twice)

The drum has limescale on it. But not much on the heater element so your water hardness is borderline medium-hard. How often did you descale it?
I have used the machine in different locations , but, yes, water hardness is relatively less.
Descaling is also done very less times, may be once in an year.
But, Eco drum clean is used to be done may be once in 4 months - its around 90min "wash rinse and dry cycle" with high temp setting

Eight years is on the short side, it's not bad but I'm hoping to get people to reach 12 years before spider failure. To do that we have to delay spider corrosion which you can see is completely eaten up, starting from the centre.


Aluminium die-cast alloy 3 or AC3 as it is known in the industry. It's a one piece mould and is supposed to resist harsh chemical environments. But there is a limit.
Yes, the tech guy said its aluminum alloy
Does the new spider look like this? that Kochi repair shop offers five year warranty on their custom spiders. The trick is the weld at the centre has to be exceptionally good as that is where the maximum stress is and likely failure point. This is why the stock spider is one piece, instead of welded.

What about the bearings? weren't those changed too? and bearing seal which is a rubber cover over them.
Nope, I dont think so bearings or rather any parts were changed.
Only spider, and dampers were new ones
Did the machine sound much louder before failure?

People coat the spider with all manner of things but at most that will extend life by a year or two. You can remove salt and muck yourself with regular drum cleans. The Vanish for instance will remove a lot of that brown stuff that coats the inner tub.

Repair guys say you cannot prevent it. True but there is a difference between losing it at 6-7 years or less and 12-13 years. I know someone who is on his third spider in six years. So what changes is the rate of corrosion of the spider. For some, it is accelerated and for others slower. The trick is understanding what the latter are doing that the former are not or cannot do.

Delaying corrosion can be done with regular hot temperature maintenance washes. Hot water alone at max temps will help remove soap residue. On LG' enable the 'intensive' setting as this will prolong the wash cycle by 15 minutes so you get more benefit. I don't know what the Samsung or other brand equivalent of intensive is. But you want the longest wash at the hottest temperature. Maintenance washes use a higher water level than regular washes but don't get as hot. So compliment them with boil washes during months you don't run a maintenance wash. Put half kilo clean fabric in the machine so it acts as a sponge and sprays the water everywhere inside the tub.

The corrosion is caused by detergent which is alkaline. If aluminium is coated with detergent for a long time it will corrode. If the door is closed that coating remains wet and causes faster corrosion. If the door is open then whatever is there dries and the corrosion rate is slower. Always leave the door open after a wash. This is the simplest thing you can do to prolong the life of the spider.

If there was a way to speed up the drying it's even better. One model by GE, the GE GFW850 has an ultra vent system. It spins the drum slowly for 15 minutes every hour for a few hours to speed up the drying. See attached. A feature to look for with other brands in future if it is successful. Even has a mould resistant gasket though that will not prevent mould buildup inside the machine.

The way to remove the soap is to run citric acid or descale maintenance washes. How many per year? two or four. If you have hard water you need to do it more often. If you don't have hard water you need to do it just to reduce detergent deposits.

Some people think liquid detergent is better as it will not corrode the spider as much as powder detergent but I've seen spider failure in a similar time frame using just liquid detergents but maintenance washes were not being done regularly. The door was not left open after washes. You definitely do not want to be doing cold washes with powder as the powder will not completely dissolve. The minimum wash temperature I use is 40 degrees for everything. If the powder detergent dissolves it does not coat the spider as much. If you use liquid then the Vanish or percarbonate will help to reduce the residue caused by liquid detergent.
The take away from this is -
- You can remove salt and muck yourself with regular drum cleans.
- The Vanish for instance will remove a lot of that brown stuff that coats the inner tub.
- Delaying corrosion can be done with regular hot temperature maintenance washes.
- Put half kilo clean fabric in the machine so it acts as a sponge and sprays the water everywhere inside the tub.
- If the door is open then whatever is there dries and the corrosion rate is slower. Always leave the door open after a wash.
- The way to remove the soap is to run citric acid or descale maintenance washes.

Now, I have another query to ask -
How to remove salt deposits that were created coz of water being stagnant like in tanks
 
Now, I have another query to ask -
How to remove salt deposits that were created coz of water being stagnant like in tanks
I don't understand the question. What 'salt' deposits?

My overhead tank has stagnant water in it. No salt deposits.

Always powder - white colored (mostly surf easy wash, sometimes tide), avoided blue color powder as I read somewhere they are not good for machine.
I thought surf easy wash is blue in colour. It's not meant for a front loader. Just top loader or handwash.

I would use SurfExcel Matic for FL instead of Tide or Easy wash

A front loader detergent creates less foam so less chance of affecting bearing seals. Since you did not notice the machine getting louder your bearing seals are fine.

I am intrigued whether you are from related industry domain ? or having relevant education/work exp or casual study for own purpose .
How to make a spider last 10-12 years instead of replacing it in 7. You only got seven years of use from your machine. Which is the median. I think it is possible to get more.

I suspect this spider problem has arisen because detergents no longer contain phosphates. When they did these spider problems were less. A spider would last 15-20 years. A friend had a 20 year old IFB FL whose bearings gave way and couldn't be replaced. The spider I think was ok. No wobble when you turned the drum.

Somehow those phosphates delayed the spider corrosion. I doubt people did tub cleans that often back in the day, only if there were smells. I've seen people restore older machines that were filthy, the owner threw them out because of the smell but otherwise worked perfectly well.

I don't think the spider material has changed. It's always been aluminium alloy except for a few companies that used stainless steel.
 
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I don't understand the question. What 'salt' deposits?

My overhead tank has stagnant water in it. No salt deposits.
I stay in Chennai, due to ocean proximity, all things which are in contact with water (like taps, mugs/buckets, even bathroom floor becomes skiddy, flush mechanism got blocked once coz of this salt build up) needs some regular cleaning. I want to know some chemical which I can add it to the water and drain out the water, all these deposits gets dissolved and flows out along with water. Hope you got my query ?

I thought surf easy wash is blue in colour. It's not meant for a front loader. Just top loader or handwash.

I would use SurfExcel Matic for FL instead of Tide or Easy wash

A front loader detergent creates less foam so less chance of affecting bearing seals. Since you did not notice the machine getting louder your bearing seals are fine.
hmm.. i thought its surf easy wash, or I forgot the branding, sorry, but I use it as its cheaper than other variants and its white is color :tongueout:
Now-a-days, After wash and taking out clothes, I put some water again in the drum and on the rubber seal, clean it so that no residue of soap water is left, and drain out the water, also keeping my front lid and detergent drawer open now for air circulation

How to make a spider last 10-12 years instead of replacing it in 7. You only got seven years of use from your machine. Which is the median. I think it is possible to get more.

I suspect this spider problem has arisen because detergents no longer contain phosphates. When they did these spider problems were less. A spider would last 15-20 years. A friend had a 20 year old IFB FL whose bearings gave way and couldn't be replaced. The spider I think was ok. No wobble when you turned the drum.

Somehow those phosphates delayed the spider corrosion. I doubt people did tub cleans that often back in the day, only if there were smells. I've seen people restore older machines that were filthy, the owner threw them out because of the smell but otherwise worked perfectly well.

I don't think the spider material has changed. It's always been aluminium alloy except for a few companies that used stainless steel.
Yep, now my spider is SS ( kochi repair shop type )

And, you mean, if I use phosphate chemicals, corrosion can be delayed and spider life would increase. So, which detergents (or machine powder ) contain correct amount in it, or separate cleaning with phosphate chemicals is preferable I guess ?
 
I don't understand the question. What 'salt' deposits?

My overhead tank has stagnant water in it. No salt deposits
I stay in Chennai, due to ocean proximity, all things which are in contact with water (like taps, mugs/buckets, even bathroom floor becomes skiddy, flush mechanism got blocked once coz of this salt build up) needs some regular cleaning. I want to know some chemical which I can add it to the water and drain out the water, all these deposits gets dissolved and flows out along with water. Hope you got my query ?
I think he has scaling build up. It's common for hard water. You don't use water out of the ocean right? Ocean has nothing to do with it. It can cause anywhere.
 
I think he has scaling build up. It's common for hard water. You don't use water out of the ocean right? Ocean has nothing to do with it. It can cause anywhere.
yes.. its scaling build up , but its due to salts only.. no ? and its really bad in case like taps, they get 90% clogged if not cleaned for 2 months.

we don't use directly the ocean water :D but, areas here (coastal areas in general) has more content of salt in ground water , i guess
 
yes.. its scaling build up , but its due to salts only.. no ? and its really bad in case like taps, they get 90% clogged if not cleaned for 2 months.

we don't use directly the ocean water :D but, areas here (coastal areas in general) has more content of salt in ground water , i guess
Salts increase hardness of the water. It's one and the same thing. Not all salts are NaCl though, that's what I meant.

You may want to install something like this for all household water needs: https://www.amazon.in/Kent-Bathroom-Water-Softener-5-5-Litre/dp/B07HLZ6NNQ/
 
The descaler are on offer on Amazon. If required can be purchased at 50% discount
Keep checking the coupons section for 50% off coupon.
 

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I think he has scaling build up. It's common for hard water. You don't use water out of the ocean right? Ocean has nothing to do with it. It can cause anywhere.
I don't know because earlier he said this

I have used the machine in different locations , but, yes, water hardness is relatively less.
Descaling is also done very less times, may be once in an year.
His heating element has only a little build-up. It was not replaced. Hard water unaddressed would have taken out the heating element sooner but he does not use it much so that could explain why it lasted this long.

yes.. its scaling build up , but its due to salts only.. no ? and its really bad in case like taps, they get 90% clogged if not cleaned for 2 months.
How hard is your water ? How long does your geezer heating element last? did you ever change it within five years.

Use this to measure hardness. TDS meters are less reliable as they measure total dissolved salts. If your water has other salts it will indicate a high TDS but hardness might be lower.

What do you use to clean your taps?

Taps clogging is due to hardness. salts as in the ocean-atmosphere causes rusting of any metal that is exposed.

Salt water in your water supply will also do that. Is your water salty? that would make cooking difficult.

also keeping my front lid and detergent drawer open now for air circulation
ok, now you will leave it open for every wash as opposed to earlier.
Leave door near to close position, but not wide open (leaving door open is also done for only 20% of times after wash)
The descaler are on offer on Amazon. If required can be purchased at 50% discount
Keep checking the coupons section for 50% off coupon.
If you're going to buy descalers in bulk I'd recommend a pH test to be on the safe side
Now, I have another query to ask -
How to remove salt deposits that were created coz of water being stagnant like in tanks
Could this be what you need ?


What confuses me is he refers to it as a 'saltwater' filter. It looks like just a regular sediment filter.

I don't know what that white stuff he is taking out of it is. I can see how it clogs pipes. But what 'salt' is it?

In my case it is silt and the 150 micron filter it has like the one shown is useless to block the mud from the river water I get.

I've lived in hard water areas and I've never seen stuff like that come out the tap but the kettle heating element would be caked solid within a few months.

This thing requires maintenance. Every month or so you will have to empty it out depending on your water quality.
 
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What confuses is me is he refers to it as a 'saltwater' filter. It looks like just a regular sediment filter to me.

But i don't know what that white stuff he is taking out of it is. I can see how it clogs pipes. But what is it ?
I'm pretty sure that's some white beach sand.

If it could desalinate water as per the description, it would solve all the water problems of this world. We wouldn't need to build any dams or canals for fresh water.
 
I'm pretty sure that's some white beach sand.
Ah, sand. It's granular but damn its really white.

A sediment filter would help with that. I would need a sub 40 micron one to deal with silt
 

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What confuses me is he refers to it as a 'saltwater' filter. It looks like just a regular sediment filter.
I've installed that filter at my house. It's just a plain sediment filter. It reduces the amount of dirt coming into the house loft tank. Reduces only. I've seen muddy water from taps when there was too much mud in the building tank coming through the pipes after the tank was cleaned. It requires weekly maintenance.

I take anything our Indian youtubers say or claim with a bag of salt. They claim anything to get views and misrepresentation is rampant.
 
I've installed that filter at my house. It's just a plain sediment filter. It reduces the amount of dirt coming into the house loft tank. Reduces only. I've seen muddy water from taps when there was too much mud in the building tank coming through the pipes after the tank was cleaned. It requires weekly maintenance.
Too much work


Bag or cartridge. Less work but you have consumables to replace


Here the filter can be washed but it is pricey
 
I think he has scaling build up. It's common for hard water.
If he has hard water I would see it as a compounding factor. The problem essentially lies with his use of the machine. Detergents chosen and operating style. Let's see the photos

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This is detergent buildup. That white stuff is the detergent used. Let's see what he said.
Always powder - white colored (mostly surf easy wash, sometimes tide), avoided blue color powder as I read somewhere they are not good for machine.
I mentioned not to use blue coloured detergent here, only two months back.
hmm.. i thought its surf easy wash, or I forgot the branding, sorry, but I use it as its cheaper than other variants and its white is color :tongueout:
He's not using a detergent specifically for front loader. He's using a cheaper detergent. I mentioned earlier the problem with cheaper detergents, especially unbranded could have high pH. If he used Surf easy wash then pH won't be the problem. Rather the problem is Surf Easy Wash does not dissolve quickly. There is less water used in a front loader so the detergent dissolving quickly is essential. So the second issue with cheap detergents after pH is how fast they dissolve.

He says sometimes he used Tide. I mentioned why I don't like Tide here which is P&G recommend this particular detergent for both top and front load instead of offering specialised variants as they do with Ariel or H-Unilever with Surf.

One difference between top load and front load detergents if you compare visually is the granules will be larger for top load than front load. Top load powder detergents will dissolve slower in a given volume of water than powders formulated for front loaders. Not a problem in top loaders as there is close to 7-10 times more water.

Now, see what he says next

Usually, we do quick wash (wash time 15min- 1 wash, 2 rise, 2 dry, normal temp water).

Very less time, Normal wash (wash time 60min, water temp set at 40 or 60 sometimes) is done. Its like 2 times per month.
He does quick washes and Sammy's quick washes are half as long as LG's. A mere 15 minutes :oops: I assume normal temp means tap temperature ie. cold washes.

This is the second problem. Quick washes are not long enough to get clothes clean because quick washes don't give the detergent enough time to dissolve. In addition, washing cold will further impede dissolving. If the detergent does not fully dissolve how well can it clean? If it does not fully dissolve then you expect it to flush out but some of it lingers and builds up over time.

People coming from top loaders expect front loader wash cycles to be as quick forgetting much less water is used. They find the standard cycles too long, figure it isn't necessary and go with quick washes. But quick washes are for a handful of items only when you don't want to run a full load. They are not a substitute for a longer regular cycle. A lot of work has gone into designing those cycles and their duration. If you bypass them then you are the loser.

Avoid quick washes and stick to proper wash cycles like Cottons or similar depending on the fabric, don't wash cold but stick to warm or 40 degrees at a minimum for every wash. Long enough cycle and enough temperature. But he only did 40 degree washes twice a month.

Use a detergent formulated for front loaders and not some random cheap detergent and the buildup that accumulates from regular washing will be less.

I don't know if Surf Easy wash or whatever detergent he used has enzymes or not. If there are no enzymes then it uses more chemicals. This also means more buildup than otherwise. The matic detergents all have enzymes.

Our clothes are not that soiled as we do "quick wash" regularly (clothes worn only once or max twice)
My clothes are the same too. Medium soil sometimes there will be heavily stained items but I always stick to Cottons 40 for every cycle. I use 60 for sheets and towels and that happens at least once a week

The next is dosing

IMG_20221020_153332.jpg


It's counterintuitive, but I suspect he's underdosing that's why the dirt on the tub is there. If the water was hard then underdosing will lead to more scale build-up. Or it could be the water temperature and short duration wash cycles weren't enough to clean much, to begin with, which means there could be overdosing over time to compensate. Leading to more buildup in the machine over time.

The reason my machine developed a smell is because i was underdosing. I used 20 grams for years. The smell was not strong but noticeable, like mildew, like old wet clothes. I've since upped it to 30 grams.

Two tablespoons or 30 grams is all you need for a full load. Same with liquids. Assuming you don't have hard water. The wash action on a front loader with a proper cycle, as opposed to a quick cycle, is so good that most fresh food stains will come out without any detergent.


Leave door near to close position, but not wide open (leaving door open is also done for only 20% of times after wash)

Descaling is also done very less times, may be once in an year.
But, Eco drum clean is used to be done may be once in 4 months - its around 90min "wash rinse and dry cycle" with high temp setting
The door was not left open after every wash.

In spite of 3 tub cleans per year still the residue is there. They bought you a couple more years of use otherwise this could have happened after five years. To me, it looks like this tub did not see too many hot washes. So a boil wash every month should be done. Just some fabric and max temps. Descaling once a year isn't enough. I would do it at least every 2-3 months.

The general rule with descaling of washing machines as well as dishwashers depends on water hardness
For hard water or hardness over 250ppm, descale every month
For medium water or hardness between 150-250ppm, descale every two months
For water hardness under 150ppm descale every three months

I use ppm to indicate the total hardness CaCO3 measured by that aquasol kit and not some TDS number.

Finally, he replaced the shocks as well. So paying attention to out-of-balance spins past the five year mark is important. If the shocks are giving way they will put additional stress on the spider as well as the bearing seal. If you find the machine a little more noisier than it should be on a full load spin then it might be time to replace the shocks.

My machine will be seven years old next month. I do on occasion hear a louder than usual spin but I can't tell if that is the sign of weakening shocks or just the odd unbalanced load. Something to watch in the coming months.

You see that black powder near the heating element. There will be aluminium oxide in it. It's very hard and is used for making sandpaper. A sure sign that a spider is failing is you discover some hard rough powder in the drain filter a year or so before failure.

I hear people using their washing machines more than 10 years and it sounds very magical to me.
He has a Sammy, He got seven years with his use. With proper use, why not 10 years or beyond without a spider ie. catastrophic failure?

Shocks will need to be replaced, possibly a bearings change. Issues with the console can occur within that time frame.
 
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