When you think about your home appliances, there is probably only one you could truly not live without. I mean, dishwasher, oven, microwave, tumble drier…there have probably been times you’ve managed fine (ish) without one. But imagine your life minus your washing machine. Cold sweats? Cue images of being knee deep in laundry by the end of day one, and up to your neck by day seven…
In a household of four, it’s pretty astounding how much our washing machine gets put to the test. Most days it’s seeing to a bundle of school uniform, swimming gear, gym kit, several pairs of knickers (god bless potty training), towels, work gear, casual clobber, PJs…..it’s endless. And if we should throw caution to the wind and ignore the ever filling baskets for a day or two, it’s a military operation to get back on top of it. I mean, does the bottom of the laundry pile even exist?
And yet, being the appliance that’s keeping the family’s busy schedule together, it’s been a bit neglected of late. Like most of us, we take take take from these appliances, rarely stopping for a brew let alone thinking about whether the machine itself is needing some TLC.
Our machine is probably getting on for six, maybe seven years old. During it’s service it’s spun it’s way through all sorts of grimness (poonamis, vom bugs, you know the drill), and dealt with our chalky water area without complaint. I think I may have popped a cleaner through once (a handy christmas stocking filler from my MIL) but other than that, it’s had barely a second thought.
So when Dr Beckmann asked me to try out their home Washing Machine Cleaner ‘Service-it’ with ACTIVE CARBON, it was probably (definitely) just the nudge I needed.
Seizing a rare in between loads moment, I cleared a path to the drum in the worlds teeniest utility room ever (but hey, it has a door that closes so that’s a win right? I’m seriously thinking of redecorating this as my woman-cave…posters of David Beckham? Zebra wallpaper? Shiny disco balls?).
Following the pack instructions, I braved a peek inside the detergent drawer, and I gotta say, I’m too ashamed to post a picture of what laid behind the visible sections on this here website. I’ll just say we had a bit of a black mould issue going on in there. Gross.
So here goes.
Step 1. Using a damp cloth, rub some of the liquid around the rubber seal then rinse off. Note. I used a paintbrush to really rub the stuff in.
Step 2. Dilute 50ml in 4 litres and soak the detergent tray for 30 minutes, rinse off residue and reinstall. I have to say, I don’t think 30 minutes of soaking alone would have cut it on our drawer, so I used an old washing up brush and a paintbrush, took apart all parts and gave it a good old scrub.
Step 3. Pour the remaining liquid into the detergent drawer and run (without laundry!) a recommended wash cycle of 60ºC.
Step 4. Option a) Watch bubbles for two hours plus. Option b) Go and do something more fun – we opted for the toddler gym.
The finished result was a particularly sparkling and fresh drawer and drum. The seal still had some black marking, but in all honestly I think the too little too late rule applies here. The ground in stains were significantly faded and the actual build up on the surface was removed. As the product is reccommended for use every 2 months, perhaps given we missed the 36 periodic services, we couldn’t expect miracles.
I have to say, seeing the mould on the detergent drawer made me realise what else could be festering deep inside the machine, and suddenly my sparkling whites seemed a whole lot less clean. Knowing I’ve done a deep clean made me feel a whole load better (see what I did there?).
The Active Carbon element of this product acts as a magnet which absorbs dirt and odours leaving your machine cleaner and fresher. As I saw on the detergent drawer with my own eyes, the products used to clean laundry get pretty gunked up throughout the surfaces of the machine, and combined with the moist environment, creates the perfect place for mould and friends to throw a huge party.
Living in a particularly chalky area, the limescale build up is also a target of the product – managing the build up of limescale on the element will reduce the chance of a breakdown. Which means significantly less panicked calls the the Father in Law about broken household items.
I will definitely be following the pack advice and following up with a Dr. Beckmann deep clean to remove bacteria and fungi, given that we have made such a difference already. Perhaps at this late stage in it’s life, it’ll help it limp along until the day we have to fork out for a new machine. And, I’m totally lusting after one of those Samsung ones you can add the sock to mid wash.
God, I need to get out more.
Disclosure: This is collaborative post