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How To Clean Washing Machine Drawer

Dirty Moldy Washing Machine Detergent And Fabric Conditioner Dispenser Drawer Compartment Close Up

You would expect your clothes to come out of your washing machine clean and pristine. But if the machine itself were dirty, you could have some secondhand filth creeping into your fresh load.

Although your washing machine might have a self-wash function, these rare features never clean the nooks and crannies. That’s why your washing machine drawer might have a thick wall of discolored sludge clinging to its surfaces.

So how do you clean a washing machine drawer? Here’s a quick yet complete guide on how to do exactly that.

  • Routine cleaning of your washing machine drawer guarantees hygienic performance.
  • Every washing machine is different. Before cleaning, make sure to check the user manual.
  • Use mild cleaners to get rid of built-up detergent and fabric conditioner.
  • Remember how all the different parts click together to ensure you can reassemble the drawer properly after cleaning.
  • Clean the drawer regularly to avoid any performance issues and wear and tear.

Ready to get started? Although that little detergent compartment is often hard to reach, there are ways to clean it. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on cleaning that little drawer sans the fuss.

6 Steps To Clean a Washing Machine Drawer

What You’ll Need

Here’s a short list of all of the things you’ll need to properly clean your washing machine drawer:

  • Clean water
  • A small, soft bristle brush
  • Two clean rags
  • Mild soap

1. Read the Machine’s Manual

She Is Checking The Instructions On The Manual

Before anything else, make sure to check the washing machine’s manual. More often than not, you’ll find all of the answers you’re looking for by reading through the manufacturer’s instructions.

Moreover, every washing machine is built differently. The methods for cleaning all of its parts may vary from model to model.

If you find that there aren’t any instructions about cleaning the drawer, or if you lost the manual altogether, then you can go on with the next steps.

2. Remove the Drawer

A Person Cleaning Dirty Moldy Washing Machine Detergent And Fabric Conditioner Dispenser Drawer Compartment

Again, every washing machine is different. Depending on your model, the drawer might use a different mechanism.

The most common design, however, uses a simple locking mechanism that you can remove by tilting the drawer upwards and then pulling it out simultaneously.

Remember how the drawer fits back into its housing so you can put it back properly once you’re done.

3. Disassemble the Drawer

Dirty Moldy Washing Machine Detergent And Fabric Conditioner Dispenser Drawer

Sometimes, your washing machine drawer might have other parts and inlays that you can remove. To achieve a thorough clean, piece the drawer apart.

Then run each piece under warm water, gently rubbing away any leftover detergent.

Again, it’s important to remember how all the different pieces fit together. If you think you might forget, take a picture of the assembly before taking it apart.

4. Wash the Individual Parts

Plastic Empty Drawer Container Macro Close Up View

Now that everything has been disassembled and rinsed, you can wash it. Cleaning the drawer with mild soap (like dish soap or even baby detergent) can help guarantee a thorough clean.

This process also helps prevent debris and detergent from building up quickly versus rinsing with water.

If some parts are too small for your fingers to reach, you can use a soft bristle brush or even an old toothbrush to clean hard-to-reach areas after all the parts have been cleaned and rinsed, set them aside on a clean, dry rag or towel.

5. Clean the Drawer’s Housing

Cleaning Washing Machines Especially In Detergent Drawer Using Toothbrush

There’s more to cleaning than just the drawer itself. At the same time, you wait for the parts to air-dry, head back to your washing machine, and inspect the drawer compartment.

If it’s been a while since you last cleaned it, you’ll find it also probably has a layer of dirt and sludge pasted all over its surfaces.

  • Use a clean and damp rag.
  • Wipe the drawer housing.
  • Use your brush to reach areas too small.
  • Take a dry rag and wipe away any residual moisture.

6. Reassemble and Restore the Parts

Open Empty Detergent Drawer Of Modern Washing Machine Standing On Wooden Floor At Home Close View

Once everything is dried, you can start reassembling the washing machine drawer. Click all the parts back together, ensuring everything is snug. Then, head back to your washing machine and replace the drawer in its original housing.

To maintain a clean, sanitary washing machine, clean the drawer at least once every month.


A washing machine drawer can easily accumulate a mixture of dirt and detergent because it’s so out of reach and out of sight.

A good wash and rinse with clean water and mild soap should do the trick. But if you still have your washing machine’s manual on hand, it might help to skim its pages to find specific instructions for the make and model you have.

Keeping your washing machine’s drawer clean ensures safe, hygienic, and hitch-free performance. So before you load up your next wash, make sure to check that little drawer compartment to see if it’s clean.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Remove Mold From a Washing Machine Drawer?

It’s not impossible to find mold growing in your washing machine drawer. Moist, dark conditions tend to invite this sort of invasive growth.

To clean it:

  • Combine equal parts water and vinegar.
  • Add a few drops of lemon.
  • Use a clean sponge to wipe all surfaces.
  • Leave the drawer assembly under the sun to dry.

Why Is There Mineral Build-Up in My Washing Machine Drawer?

It’s normal for parts of your washing machine to develop mineral build-up depending on the quality of water you use.

This build-up can look like a white crusty material accumulating on the drawer’s edges and other parts’ edges and borders.

Removing the build-up may take time, but you can usually clean it out by soaking it in vinegar and baking soda. Work gently to remove the hardened mineral deposits to prevent damaging the drawer.

In most cases, you may have to perform multiple soaks over a week.

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