How to Clean the Washing Machine Filter in a Top Loader

How to Clean the Washing Machine Filter in a Top Loader

Ever pulled out your favorite shirt from the washing machine, only to find it plagued by a musty smell or clinging lint? Or perhaps you've noticed your top loader taking longer than usual to drain? These are telltale signs that your washing machine filter needs cleaning. Neglecting this essential maintenance task can lead to clogs, stinky clothes, and poor drainage, disrupting your laundry routine and potentially damaging your appliance.

Fear not, this article is your laundry lifesaver!

Key Takeaways:

  1. Clean the washing machine filter top loader every 1-2 months. Not doing so can yield unpleasant odors and lint on your clothes, affecting your washer's performance and the cleanliness of your garments.

  2. Identify the type of filter in your top loader-- it could be a water inlet hose filter, a lint filter, or a drain filter. Their locations vary, so refer to your user manual.

  3. Cleaning methods differ based on the filter type: some are detachable and can be soaked in a cleaning solution, others are non-detachable and require a scrub with a soft-bristled brush or a toothbrush. Home remedies like baking soda or distilled vinegar can also prove effective.

Varieties of Filters and Their Positioning

When it comes to cleaning the washing machine filter in a top loader, it's important to understand the different types of filters and where they are positioned in your machine. These filters play a crucial role in maintaining the performance and cleanliness of your washer, so it's essential to give them proper attention.

Filters in Water Inlet Hoses

Water inlet hose filters are located inside the valves of the water inlet hose. Their primary function is to prevent debris and sediments from entering the washing machine. These filters are particularly important if you live in an area with hard water or if you notice sediment in your water supply.

To clean the filters in water inlet hoses, you can follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the water supply to the washing machine.
  2. Unscrew the water inlet hoses from the back of the machine.
  3. Check the filters inside the valves of the hoses for any debris or buildup.
  4. If the filters are removable, take them out and rinse them under running water to remove any dirt or sediment.
  5. If the filters are not removable, use a soft brush or toothbrush to gently scrub away any debris.
  6. Once the filters are clean, reattach the hoses to the machine and turn on the water supply.
  7. ![](https://washnowdry.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/planetcare-symELidEVhs-unsplash.jpg)

Lint Filters

Lint filters are usually located below the agitators in agitator-based top loaders. These filters are designed to catch lint and other small particles that may come off your clothes during the wash cycle. Cleaning the lint filter is essential to prevent lint from clinging to your clothes and to maintain optimal cleaning performance.

To clean the lint filter in your top loader washing machine, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the lint filter, which is typically positioned near the agitator or at the bottom of the wash drum.
  2. Remove the lint filter from its position. In some models, you may need to unscrew it, while in others, it may simply lift out.
  3. Once the filter is removed, soak it in warm soapy water for about 10 minutes. This will help loosen any lint or debris stuck to the filter.
  4. After soaking, use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush to gently scrub away any remaining lint or residue.
  5. Rinse the filter thoroughly under running water to remove any soap residue.
  6. Check the area where the lint filter is positioned for any remaining lint or debris. Use a damp cloth to wipe away any buildup.
  7. Once the filter and the surrounding area are clean, place the filter back into its position and secure it properly.

The Drainage Filter

In modern top loader washing machines, self-cleaning pump filters are often used instead of traditional filters. These filters are fixed at the bottom backside of the washer and are responsible for catching hair, lint, and other foreign objects that may have made their way into the machine.

To clean the drainage filter in your top loader washing machine, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the drainage filter, which is typically positioned at the bottom backside of the washing machine.
  2. Check if the filter is removable. If it is, carefully remove it from its position.
  3. Inspect the filter for any debris or buildup and rinse it under running water to remove any dirt or lint.
  4. If the filter is not removable, you can use a soft brush or toothbrush to gently scrub away any debris.
  5. Once the filter is clean, check the area where the filter is positioned for any remaining lint or debris. Use a damp cloth to wipe it clean.
  6. If the filter is removable, place it back into its position securely. If it is not removable, ensure that it is fitted properly.
  7. ![](https://washnowdry.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/ants-in-machine.jpg)

Steps for Cleaning the Filter of a Top Loader Washing Machine

Now that we have covered the different types of filters and their positioning in a top loader washing machine, let's dive into the steps for cleaning these filters.

Handling Non-Removable Filters

Some filters in top loader washing machines are not designed to be removed. In such cases, cleaning the filters requires a slightly different approach. Here's what you can do:

  1. Prepare a cleaning solution by mixing warm water with a mild detergent or a designated washing machine cleaner.
  2. Dip a soft brush or toothbrush into the cleaning solution and gently scrub the filter to remove any dirt or debris.
  3. Pay extra attention to any areas where lint or residue may accumulate.
  4. After scrubbing, use a clean cloth or sponge to wipe away any remaining cleaning solution.
  5. Rinse the filter thoroughly under running water to remove any soap residue.
  6. Once the filter is clean, use a damp cloth to wipe the surrounding area, ensuring there is no lint or debris left behind.

Cleaning Methods for Detachable Filters

Detachable filters can be easily removed from the washing machine, making the cleaning process more convenient. Here are two cleaning methods you can use for detachable filters:

Utilizing Store-bought Cleaning Solutions

  1. Purchase a store-bought washing machine cleaner or a designated filter cleaning solution.
  2. Follow the instructions on the packaging to prepare the cleaning solution.
  3. Remove the filter from its position in the washing machine.
  4. Place the filter in a container or sink and pour the cleaning solution over it, ensuring that it is fully submerged.
  5. Let the filter soak in the cleaning solution for the recommended amount of time.
  6. After soaking, use a soft brush or toothbrush to gently scrub the filter, paying attention to any areas with stubborn dirt or residue.
  7. Rinse the filter thoroughly under running water to remove any cleaning solution residue.
  8. Wipe the surrounding area clean with a damp cloth to ensure there is no lint or debris left behind.
  9. Once the filter and the surrounding area are clean, place the filter back into its position in the washing machine.

Employing Homemade Cleaning Mixtures

  1. Create a homemade cleaning mixture using common household ingredients like baking soda or distilled vinegar.
  2. Mix baking soda or distilled vinegar with warm water to form a paste or solution.
  3. Remove the filter from the washing machine.
  4. Apply the homemade cleaning mixture to the filter, ensuring that it covers all areas.
  5. Use a soft brush or toothbrush to scrub the filter, focusing on any stubborn dirt or residue.
  6. Rinse the filter thoroughly under running water to remove any cleaning mixture residue.
  7. Wipe the surrounding area clean with a damp cloth to ensure there is no lint or debris left behind.
  8. Once the filter and the surrounding area are clean, place the filter back into its position in the washing machine.

Guidelines for Filter Maintenance

Cleaning the washing machine filter in a top loader is not a one-time task. Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure optimal performance and longevity of your machine. Here are some guidelines to help you maintain your filters:

  1. Run clean cycles: Periodically run clean cycles in your washing machine to flush out any residue or buildup that may accumulate in the filters.
  2. Use water softeners: If you live in an area with hard water, consider using water softeners to reduce mineral deposits and prolong the life of your filters.
  3. Use suitable detergents and softeners: Choose detergents and fabric softeners that are suitable for your washing machine and the type of fabrics you are washing. Using the right products will help prevent residue buildup in the filters.
  4. Prewash heavily soiled fabrics: If you frequently wash heavily soiled fabrics, consider prewashing them separately to minimize the amount of dirt and debris that enters the filters.
  5. Replace worn-out filters: Over time, filters may become heavily clogged or worn out. If you notice a significant decrease in your washing machine's performance or if the filters are damaged, it's time to replace them. Refer to your user manual or consult an expert for guidance on the replacement process.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning the washing machine filter in a top loader is an essential part of appliance maintenance. Neglecting this task can lead to clogs, smelly clothes, and poor drainage.

FAQ

Is it necessary to regularly clean my washing machine filter?

Yes, it is necessary to regularly clean your washing machine filter to ensure optimal performance and prevent issues such as clogs, smelly clothes, and poor drainage. Cleaning the filter helps maintain the cleanliness of your fabrics and the efficiency of your machine.

What are the negative effects of not cleaning my washer filter?

Not cleaning your washer filter can lead to various negative effects. Accumulated debris and lint can clog the filter, causing poor drainage and potential damage to the washing machine. It can also result in lint clinging to your clothes, leaving them less clean and fresh-smelling.

When is the right time to change my washer's filter?

The right time to change your washer's filter depends on its condition. If the filter is heavily clogged, damaged, or worn out, it's time for a replacement.

What is the process to replace my washer's filter?

The process to replace your washer's filter may vary depending on the model. Refer to your user manual for specific instructions. In general, you may need to remove the old filter by unscrewing or lifting it out, then replace it with a new filter that is compatible with your washing machine model.

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