Where’s my washing machine filter & do I really need to clean it?

Most of us use our washing machine several times a week at least, but how often do you clean your washing machine?

What is a washing machine filter?

You may have become accustomed to regularly emptying the tumble dryer’s lint trap and regularly giving the drum a wipe-out. But did you know that your washing machine also has a filter which, according to the experts, should be cleaned every few months? Cleaning the filter enables your washing machine to run more efficiently, function correctly and avoid future washing machine repairs.

As with the dryer lint trap, your washing machine filter gets clogged up with lint, dirt, grime and hair, not to mention the stray coin.

debris removed from washing machine filter

Why should you clean your washing machine filter?

So, we’ve mentioned that the build-up of detergent, lint, hair etc in your washing machine filter can affect its ability to perform its duty, but how do you know that it needs cleaning?

If you do not already clean your washing machine filter then the following indications mean it is overdue:

  • Deposits or residue on your clothes
  • The unusual smell from your clothes or machine
  • Build up of leftover laundry detergent
  • Mould or mildew around the lid or door
  • The water doesn’t drain fully from the machine

Where is my washing machine filter?

With so many brands and machine types available on the market, we recommend you search for your model online to check precisely where your filter is and how to open it. But, generally speaking, most are located in one of the following places:

  • In the drum, along the rim at the top – top loaders
  • In the middle of the drum, underneath the agitator, under a cover – top loaders
  • On either the front or back of the machine, behind a hatch – front loaders
  • Situated near the drainage hose – front loaders

How to clean your washing machine filter

Preparations: Before removing the filter, ensure that your washing machine is switched off, turn the power off at the socket, and unplug the cord from the power point. Place a towel or a dish below the area you are removing the filter from to collect any water that may spill out.

#1 – Brush off the debris

Use a toothbrush or something similar which isn’t too abrasive, to scrub the surface of the filter and remove lint, hair etc.

#2 – Soak the filter

When you remove your filter, start by soaking it in hot water for at least 10 minutes. Use a small amount of soap to help remove any grime from the casing, wash off any minor stains and remove any residue but be gentle so as not to damage the filter.

#3 – Canal clean

The canal that the filter sits in can also be dirty and clogged up similarly to the filter. Use the toothbrush or cloth to clean inside the canal as this will make sure that your filter doesn’t get dirty again when you place it back in.

#4 – Replace the filter

When all the components of the filter and canal are clean, replace the filter back in place and replace the cover or close the hatch.

#5 – Clean the Gasket

This is mainly for front-loading machines as the gasket, or rubber seal, around the door of the machine, is where mould and mildew love to grow. Spray around the door with distilled white vinegar and let it sit for a minute then wipe it off to clean off the grime around the door.

If you do need help with repairs to your broken, faulty, or damaged appliances, the Fallon Solutions appliance repair team is on call 24/7 in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Logan, and Sunshine Coast.