Washing Machine Cleaning Tips

Cleaning the wash basket: Top-load washers 
Over time, it is possible for odor, soil or detergent build-up to occur inside the washer tub. Using the proper detergent and the appropriate amount of detergent can help. GE Appliances recommends cleaning the washer tub once per month to keep the wash basket fresh and clean. This will also help with mold or mildew odors.

For models with a Basket Clean cycle:

  1. Remove any garments or objects from the washer and ensure the washer basket is empty.
  2. Open the washer lid and pour one cup (or 250 ml) of liquid bleach, vinegar or a washing machine cleaner into the basket.
  3. Close the lid and select the Basket Clean cycle. Push the Start button.
  4. When the Basket Clean cycle is working, the display will show the estimated cycle time remaining. Do not interrupt the cycle.

If necessary, Basket Clean may be interrupted by pressing the Start button in between cycles. A power outage in the house might also interrupt the cycle. When the power supply is back, the Basket Clean cycle resumes where it had stopped. When interrupted, be sure to run a complete Basket Clean cycle before using the washer. If the Power button is pressed during Basket Clean, the cycle will be lost.


* Run Basket Clean with 1 Cup (250 ml) of bleach once a month.

* After the completion of a Basket Clean cycle, the interior of your washer may have a bleach smell.

For models without a Basket Clean cycle that have odor in the tub: (Source)

  • To minimize the possibility of electric shock, unplug this appliance from the power supply before attempting any maintenance or cleaning.
  • Washer odors (like mildew) are usually caused by leaving the washer lid closed when not in use. This does not allow air to circulate and dry out the moisture remaining in the tub area. The air and moisture mixture becomes stagnant and creates an odor. When the washer is not in use, leaving the lid up/open for air circulation will help prevent odor.

To clean and eliminate odors inside the washer, follow one of the following methods:

  • Use Glisten Washer Magic and follow the instructions on the bottle.  You may purchase this online from GE Appliances: WX10X10208
  • Use Tide Washing Machine Cleaner and follow the directions on the package.

You can also try:

  1. Fill the washer with hot water; set at regular speed and the longest wash cycle.
  2. Add 3/4 cup of a water softening additive which can be found in the laundry detergent aisle (baking soda or vinegar can be substituted).
  3. Allow washer to complete entire wash and rinse cycle.
  4. If odor lingers, repeat entire process.

Odors may come from the drain hose if it is pushed too far into the drain-stand pipe. It can siphon drained water back into the washing machine, causing a musty odor. GE Appliances recommends clipping the hose to the side of the stand pipe to prevent this problem.