$11.95 ($1.99 / Count)
Did you know that you need to clean your washing machine? Well if you’re here looking for the best washing machine cleaner then you’re probably aware. Over time, dirt and grime can build up inside the washer. That’s not all, soap residue can also accumulate; this is especially true if you use a significant amount of detergent per load.
Combine that with warm temperatures and soil and you can easily end up with a stinky, moldy washer. Not only will the mold get on your clothes, which can lead to itching or skin rashes, but it can also cause a variety of respiratory issues such as coughing, sneezing, and wheezing. That’s not all, the mold can also spread around your home every time you do the laundry!
That’s why it’s so important to clean your washer regularly- ideally once every week (or bi-weekly, depending on how often you’re using the machine).
In terms of how to actually clean the washer, you’ll be happy to know that there are a variety of options. For instance, if there’s just a little bit of mildew, you can use bleach or even vinegar. Anything more, however, and you may want to get a product that’s specifically designed to do the job. That’s right, washing machine cleaners are a thing. In fact, there are many different kinds to choose from such as gels, liquids, and tablets.
How are they different? Which washing machine cleaners should you get? What’s the best option? Are washing machine cleaners necessary? Do they work with HE and traditional machines? Well look no further, our 2023 best washing machine cleaner guide has got your covered!
The Best Washing Machine Cleaners – Our Top Picks For 2023
Here are some of our favorite washing machine cleaners ranked in terms of efficiency and performance.
- ACTIVE Washing Machine Cleaner Tablets - 24 Pack
- Free of fragrances
- Eco-friendly formula that's safe for the environment
- Works with all washing machines
- Great for removing odors, limescale, mildew, and bacteria
- Each pack contains a year's supply
- Customers outside of the U.S. will have to pay extra for shipping
- OxiClean Washing Machine Cleaner
- Individual easy-tear pouches are easy and convenient to use
- Can be used with both standard and HE washing machines
- Septic-safe and phosphate-free
- May not be ideal for scent-sensitive individuals
- Can be costly as one box only comes with 4 pouches
- Affresh Washing Machine Cleaner
- Works with most washing machines
- Helps fight grime build-up and odors
- Made with septic-safe ingredients
- Can be costly as one box only comes with 6 tablets
- Not the best option for those who are sensitive to smells
- Tide Washing Machine Cleaner
- Contains Oxi and TAED for extra cleaning power
- Designed to activate 50 percent faster than cleaning tablets
- Individual packages are convenient and easy to use
- Some may find the fresh, clean scent to be offputting
- Can be a bit pricey
- Glisten Washing Machine Cleaner Liquid
- Does not contain any harsh or abrasive ingredients
- Can be used with all washing machines
- Made in the U.S.A.
- Liquid can lead to spills and messes
- Fresh scent can be off-putting to some
- Eco-Gals Eco Swirlz Washing Machine Cleaner
- Tablets are eco-friendly and scent-free
- One box comes with a year's supply
- The product comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee
- A bit on the expensive side
- Each individual tablet is wrapped in plastic
- Oh Yuk Liquid Washing Machine Cleaner
- The liquid formula works on all washing machines
- Owned by a family-owned company
- Effective for removing mildew stains
- Expensive as one bottle is only good for up to four cleanings
- Potential spills and messes
- The citrus scent may be offputting to some
- Takes a long time to use as it requires soaking
- Lemi Shine Appliance Cleaner
- Can also be used to clean dishwashers and other kitchen appliances
- Made in the U.S.A.
- Unscented, bleach-free, ammonia-free, and formaldehyde free
- Not designed to remove limescale deposits
- Only 9 pouches per box
- Maravello Washing Machine Cleaning Tablets
- Cleaning tablets are easy and convenient to use
- The product comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee
- Designed to remove odor-causing chemicals and descale
- Clearly not a US-based brand
- Unverified performance claims
- Can be costly as you need to use two tablets per cleaning
- Taffy's Washing Machine Cleaner
- Tablets are fragrance-free
- One box comes with 32 tablets
- Can be used with all washing machines
- You can use up to 3 tablets depending on how dirty the washer is
- Not septic-safe
- Requires soaking the machine for three hours
ACTIVE Washing Machine Cleaner is specifically designed to clean the internal parts of a washing machine like inside the drum where odor-causing grime builds up. It is formulated to work with all types of washers including top-load, front-load, and HE. The enzyme formula removes residue from dirt, detergent, softeners and more.
Not only that but they’re also eco-friendly and safe for the environment. For one thing, they’re septic-safe. They also use less packaging compared to other washing machine cleaners. The fact that they’re tablets also eliminates unnecessary messes and waste. During our testing they weren’t only our top pick overall but they also came in as our best front load, top load, and our best eco friendly washing machine cleaner!
OxiClean Washing Machine Cleaner targets residue leftover from detergents and fabric softeners. It removes this odor causing grime and is safe for use in all machines.
OxiClean Washing Machine Cleaner will help keep your washer looking clean and smelling fresh by removing odor-causing residues. Septic-safe, each box contains four easy-tear pouches, which can be used with both standard and HE washers. The powder itself is phosphate-free, making it better for the environment. However, it does have a slight scent that some people may find irritating.
Affresh Washing Machine Cleaner tablets are designed to remove odor-causing grime and residues. They will also deep clean areas that you can't see such as behind the valve, pump, agitator, filter, and hose.
The tablets feature a time-release formula, which means they will slowly dissolve throughout the wash cycle. The product also has a slight citrus scent, for those who prefer a scented product. Tablets are compatible with both top and front-load washing machines, including HE washers.
Tide Washing Machine Cleaner is a powder cleaner that comes in pouches for easy use. This scented washer cleaner targets odors and residue inside of the machine. It's compatible with all front-loading, top-loading, and HE washing machines.
Tide laundry detergent is a staple in many households but their washing machine cleaner might not be as much of a necessity. At a cost of over $2 per pouch and with better performing options available, we recommend trying out some of the other options on this list before Tide.
Glisten Washing Machine Cleaner features an easy-to-use liquid formula that's designed to remove odor-causing residue and mineral build-up from all washers, including HE machines. No scrubbing is necessary; the cleaner will automatically work its magic during the wash cycle.
Eco-Gals Eco Swirlz Washing Machine Cleaner features an eco-friendly formula that's designed to remove grime and odorous build-up from the washer, including the inner parts of the tub and drainage system. The tablets are also scent-free and compatible with all washing machines including standard and HE washers.
Oh Yuk Washing Machine Cleaner is a liquid cleaner that's scientifically formulated to keep your washing machine clean and fresh by removing contaminants such as oils, dirt, and leftover detergent. It's also safe to use on all washing machines including top load, front load, standard, and HE washers.
Lemi Shine Appliance Cleaner is a multi-purpose cleaner that can be used to clean washing machines, in addition to dishwashers, and other stainless steel appliances.
It features biodegradable, non-toxic ingredients that are effective at removing hard water buildup as well as grime and other gunk.
Maravello Washing Machine Cleaner is made to clean washers and remove limescale deposits. It features a high-efficiency formula that's designed to remove odors and residues from front-loading and top-loading washers.
Taffy's Washing Machine Cleaner tablets contain active oxygen, which helps to remove dirt, odor, and stains. The product is also fragrance-free and can be used with all types of washers.
After reviewing all of the best washing machine cleaner tablets on the market we’re confident you can’t go wrong with any of the above options. That said, for the best value and best performing washing machine cleaners in 2023 we recommend you give the ACTIVE tablets a shot!
Different Types of Washing Machine Cleaners
As mentioned earlier, there are four main types of washing machine cleaners: liquids, gels, tablets, and sprays. And they can be used for both front-loading and top-loading washers; you’re not restricted to a specific type based on the type of machine that you have.
Having said that, they do work in different ways, which we’ll be going over below so you can find the best washing machine cleaner for your washer.
Liquid Washing Machine Cleaners
Liquid cleaners are great in that they’re super easy to use. All you have to do is add it to the dispenser tray (or washer drum) and run a hot-water cycle; the cleaner will automatically reach all of the nooks and crannies inside the washer that are otherwise hard to clean.
What’s more, is that they wash away super easy so you won’t have to worry about there being any residues.
Tablet Washing Machine Cleaners
Washing machine cleaner tablets are different from liquids and gels in that they’re designed to dissolve during the cleaning cycle. The ingredients will then break down any residue and grime that’s inside the washer.
They also have the added benefit of being convenient to store (one package typically comes with months’ worth of tablets). You also won’t have to worry about any messes or spills.
Washing Machine Cleaner Sprays
Washing machine cleaner sprays are exactly what they sound like. Simply spray the product onto the washer and wipe with a cloth; there’s no need to run a wash cycle. What’s more, is that they can be used on a variety of surfaces.
For example, you can also use them to clean the dials and rubber door seals, areas that you typically can’t clean with liquid cleaners.
Washing Machine Cleaner Wipes
Wipes are similar to sprays in that they can be used on almost all surfaces including the door, washer drum, agitator mechanism, as well as the exterior of the machine. You also don’t need to run a washer cycle.
Compared to the other options, however, they tend to be more costly as the wipes are single-use and you’ll typically need to use more than one at a time.
Things to Look for When Choosing a Washing Machine Cleaner
Not all washing machine cleaners are made equal. For example, some liquid cleaners may be better than others at removing dirt, soap, and fabric softener residue. At the end of the day, it all depends on their ingredients and formulation.
If you’re looking for the best eco friendly washing machine cleaner, packaging materials may also be a factor in your decision.
Here are a few things that you want to consider when you’re looking for the best washing machine cleaner for your needs.
A funky odor is a tell-tale sign that your washing machine needs cleaning. More often than not, it’s caused by a buildup of bacteria, mildew, and mold, all of which will only get worse, unless you do something about it.
If that’s an issue, you want to get the best washing machine cleaner that’s specifically formulated to remove odors (it should say on the packaging whether or not it has odor-neutralizing ingredients).
Limescale is a white, chalky substance that can build up inside the washing machine. It usually happens if you live in a hard water area as hard water is high in minerals such as magnesium and calcium.
If you don’t remove limescale buildup, it can easily shorten the life of your washing machine. This is because it acts as an insulator, which will cause the heating element to get hotter than it should. Mineral deposits can also clog up the washing machine filter, further decreasing performance.
Not only will this increase your electricity bills, but it’ll also make it harder for you to wash your clothes effectively. Over time, it can also cause your washing machine to break down prematurely.
For those who are dealing with limescale build-up, it’s best to get a washing machine cleaner that comes with descaling ingredients, if you don’t are you really getting the best washing machine cleaner for limescale?
HE Washer Compatibility
Not all washing machine cleaners are suitable for high-efficiency (HE) washers. Using the wrong type of product can easily cause problems that can affect the machine’s performance and efficiency. That’s why it’s so important to select the right type of cleaner for your washer. It doesn’t really matter if your choice is the best washing machine cleaner for top loader washers if you have an HE washer and they don’t meet that pre-requisite first!
Top Washing Machine Cleaners – Video Review
Washing Machine Cleaner – Q&A
What is the best product to clean a washing machine with?
The best product for cleaning a washing machine is dependent on a variety of factors ranging from the type of washing machine (front load, top load, traditional, HE) to how dirty the machine is in it's current state. Overall our top recommendation is using a washing machine cleaning tablet like ACTIVE if it suits your specific needs.
Are washing machine cleaners necessary?
Yes, washing machine cleaners are necessary to maintain the effectiveness and longevity of your washer. While it may seem like a washing machine doesn't need to be cleaned since it's constantly "cleaning" this couldn't be further from the truth. The internal parts of washing machines build up contaminants, limescale, bacteria, and odors that reek havoc on not only your machine but the clothes you wash in them as well.
Is bleach or vinegar better to clean washing machine?
While bleach and vinegar are both options for cleaning a washing machine neither is a great choice. We recommend using products that are specifically formulated to break down the contaminants that build up over time in your washing machine. These include cleaning tablets like ACTIVE washer tablets or liquids such as Lysol's washing machine cleaner liquid.
How Often Should You Use Washing Machine Cleaner?
Generally it's recommended to clean your washing machine every 2-4 weeks to maintain your machines effectiveness and longevity.
Is Washing Machine Cleaner Worth It?
Washing machine cleaners are generally a great value and return on your investment. The cost to repair or replace a washing machine is far more expensive than simple maintenance with cleaning products.
What are the most popular Washing Machine Cleaner brands?
Some of the most popular brands of washing machine cleaners are ACTIVE, OxiClean, Tide, and Affresh.
What Is A Washing Machine Cleaner
Washing machine cleaners are cleaning products specifically formulated to break down the dirt, grime, bacteria, and odors that build up overtime in washing machines. The most popular formats of washing machine cleaners are concentrated cleaning tablets and liquids.
Where to Buy Washing Machine Cleaners
Washing machine cleaners are sold in most places where common household cleaning products are sold. These include popular online websites like Amazon.com and also traditional brick and mortar retailers like Walmart or Target.
Interested in the rest of our cleaning product reviews? Check out our latest product round up and review articles below!