How to clean a washing machine properly

Washing machines need a little loving too. How long has it been since you cleaned yours?

How to clean a washing machine properly

We expect washing machines to pump out clean, crisp clothes at the flick of a switch or the press of a button. But when your washing machine resembles something out of a Stephen King movie, you can’t blame the machine for undesirable results.

Dirty filters, clogged inlets and outlets, pipes that have seen better days – regular maintenance keeps a machine working at its best.

If your machine is leaving stains, detergent residue, or sudden patches of colour on your clothes, it is probably screaming for a good clean.

Washing machine clothes

Cleaning a washing machine is not complicated. With a few basic steps your machine will be churning out awesome results again, which will save you money on unnecessary washing machine repairs.

These cleaning tips are chemical-free, inexpensive and won’t have any detrimental effects on your appliance.

How to clean a top loading washing machine

  1. Mix ½ cup of bicarbonate (bicarb) soda with 2 cups of white vinegar.
  2. Run a washing cycle with hot water on the maximum water level setting.
  3. Once the machine is at least half full with water, add the vinegar mixture.
  4. Let the filled water sit in the machine for about 30 minutes then allow your machine to run through its usual cycle.
  5. Before all of the water drains out, use a toothbrush to scrub the holes in the washing machine barrel. The grime will come away easy after being soaked and you will be surprised at what comes out!
  6. The vinegar, bicarb and hot water will break down any grease or dirty patches and clean the hoses.
  7. Remove and clean any parts that can be washed separately, such as the fabric softener basket and lint catcher.
  8. Once the inside is squeaky clean give the outside a once over with some washing liquid and wipe away any accumulated dust.

    When scrubbing with the toothbrush, let the machine empty the water in stages so you don’t need to have your hands in hot water.

How to clean a front loading washing machine

  1. Add 2 tablespoons of bicarb soda into the detergent draw and ½ cup of white vinegar into the washing machine drum.
  2. Run a standard cycle with hot water.
  3. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines on how to clean the filter. Filters are usually a contributing factor to poor washing results in a front loader.
  4. If applicable, remove and clean the soap and fabric softener dispensers in hot soapy water and dry them out in the sun. This will prevent mould from forming and growing.
  5. Leave the machine door ajar between washes to dry out properly and eliminate mould.
    The machine might produce suds during the wash cycle due to the build up of residue. This will happen less if you clean your machine more frequently.

How to tackle detergent residue on clothes

If you find that detergent residue is left on your clothes after a wash:

  • Do not overload your washing machine.
  • Try using less detergent in your washes.
  • Dissolve any powered detergent in hot water before adding it into the machine if you usually wash your items in cold water.
  • Store powdered detergent in an airtight container to prevent it getting clumpy. Clumps can be part of the problem with residual.
  • If you have a clothes dryer you can put the effected items into a quick cool cycle for 5 minutes. This will help to shake off the excess residue.

How to eliminate washing marks on your clothes

Blotchy, or smoky-looking marks that appear on your clothes during a wash can be created by scrud. This is a waxy build-up of fabric softener or detergents that are left behind in the drum. Scrud is more common in cold washes and when there is not enough detergent added to the wash. This can cause problems with the washing machine mechanics as well as your clothes.

To avoid getting a scrud build-up:

  • Run an empty hot machine cycle with quality detergent, letting it sit overnight.
  • If you prefer to wash in cold water, run a hot cycle wash occasionally.
  • Be cautious of over-using fabric softener. White vinegar is a good substitute.
  • Increase the amount of detergent you use.
  • Clean your washing machine regularly using our tips above.
    Whites washed in hot water will retain their brightness and help to keep scrud away.

If a machine clean does not make your clothes sparkle again – just arrange a washing machine repair with Airtasker.

Your guide to house maintenance

If you want to keep your home in good condition, a diligent house maintenance routine is essential. Investing time, money "Your guide to house maintenance"

Your guide to house maintenance

If you want to keep your home in good condition, a diligent house maintenance routine is essential. Investing time, money and effort in regular maintenance and odd jobs is a much better option than having to deal with costly, unexpected repairs. To help you stay on track, we’ve put together a guide to house maintenance.

house maintenance gutterImage credit: Suzanne Tucker via Safe Bee

Regular house maintenance

Keeping up with regular cleaning and house maintenance will put you a step ahead.

Every week or fortnight:

  • Vacuum, sweep and mop floors
  • Clean and dust all surfaces
  • Scrub kitchen sink
  • Clean insinkerator
  • Clean microwave
  • Wipe down rangehood
  • Scrub bathrooms and toilets
  • Whipper snip and mow (you can do this less often in winter)
  • Clear dead leaves and branches
  • Remove debris from the pool and check the filter

At least once a month:

  • Clean dishwasher
  • Test smoke detectors
  • Clean oven
  • Scrub cooktop
  • Clean rangehood filter
  • Clean wheelie bins
  • Weed garden beds

house maintenance rangehood filter
The rangehood filter can get very greasy if left unattended. Use some baking soda and dish soap to clean it yourself, or hire an Airtasker house cleaner to help you out.
Source: one good thing BY JILLEE

Every few months

In addition to your regular house maintenance tasks, every few months you should:

  • Wash windows and screens
  • Clean drains (use a drain cleaner and be careful to follow the safety instructions)
  • Gerni driveways and patios
  • Trim hedges
  • Check and clear roof gutters
  • Check hot water system and drain any sediment
  • Test electricity box safety switch
  • Check and clean garage door (including the rolling mechanism)
  • Check water meter is working and clear it of roots and debris
  • Clean fireplace and chimney
  • Clean air conditioner filter
  • Clean washing machine and dryer
  • Completely clean out refrigerator and cupboards

house maintenance hot water system
Source: The Family Handyman

The big spring clean

Every six months is the perfect time to round the whole family up and do a big spring clean. As winter is coming in to spring, or summer is moving in to autumn, scrub the house top to bottom, rotate your wardrobe, and do a big clean out of things you don’t use or need anymore. If you have clothes, cooking utensils, and other household items in good, working condition, post them on gumtree, or donate them to your local charity.


house maintenance DIY blinds cleanerSource: one crazy house

Odd jobs

On top of all of the above-mentioned house maintenance tasks, there are a number of odd jobs you’ll need to take care of:

  • Clean blinds and curtains
  • Clean window and door runners
  • Fix leaking taps and shower heads
  • Re-grout shower and bathroom tiles
  • Replace fly screen
  • Fix blown light bulbs
  • Fix dodgy door knobs
  • Clean mailbox
  • Check and repair roof tiles

If you’re in to home improvement and making things more efficient, you could also add these tasks to your ‘to do’ list:

  • Install power saving LED bulbs
  • Set up water efficient irrigation system
  • Fit water saving taps and shower heads
  • Install mesh gutter guards

house maintenance water efficient faucet
Source: Pinterest

If you’re looking for any assistance with your house maintenance or home improvement jobs, check out Airtasker’s handyman services, available seven days a week.

Prepare Your House For Christmas

Christmas time is the busiest time of year with present shopping, cooking and all of the parties. Some people can "Prepare Your House For Christmas"

Prepare Your House For Christmas

Christmas time is the busiest time of year with present shopping, cooking and all of the parties. Some people can find it overwhelming, especially if you have family coming to stay for the holidays or even just a lunch.

But don’t worry I’ve put together the perfect cheat sheet to save you time on unnecessary Christmas cleaning.

Source: No Time 4 Cleaning

Speed cleans
Cleaning for guests is different to your weekly clean or spring cleaning because you only need to focus on certain areas which are used by people, such as the kitchen and bathroom.

Organisation is the key to success, so make sure you have all your products ready to go on the morning of guests arriving. Leaving it last minute might not seem like a good idea, but this way no child or pet is likely to mess it up before.

Need a list? Use this spring cleaning checklist but concentrate on the hallways, dining areas, kitchen, bathroom and guest rooms.

Bonus tip: A microfiber cloth can quickly clean the dust off surfaces such as fireplaces, window sills and bookcases.

Make an entrance
The first thing a guest will see is the entrance to your home and I hate to say it, but good or bad memories will be made. Good news is that it’s easy to make a good impression.

Start with cleaning up the garden of leaves, mowing the lawn and a general tidy up.

Next buy a new welcome mat (it doesn’t have to be expensive) and you could even get something special for the holidays.

Source: Looking Forward To Christmas

Finally light up the house with a few fairy lights, you can go all out like in the image below or just put a few lights around the front door.

Source: Techjost

Bonus tip: Make sure Christmas decorations you put outside are weather proof.

Here’s where you can use a bit of a smoke and mirror effect to trick guests into thinking your house is spectacular. For instance if you use dim lighting or candles, it can hide certain areas, while highlighting focal points such as the Christmas tree.

In everyday life it’s easy to gather a pile of magazines or other unnecessary items. Keep in mind areas of the house where people will gather, such as the lounge and dining room, and remove items that aren’t needed.

Remember people like to sit, so try to make it as comfortable as possible with additional seating but remove side tables and kids toys which take up extra room.

Source: Kidspot

Christmas time means lots of extra food to feed the masses; so you’ll need more room in the fridge. Make sure you get rid of any expired food or stuff you haven’t used in a while.

Bonus tip: Clean out the fridge and declutter a couple of weeks in advance so the bins are as empty as possible for Christmas week.

Guest essentials
People don’t like to travel with a lot, namely just hand luggage these days, so it’s important to make sure you have a couple of extra essentials for them in the guest bedroom and bathroom. Here’s a quick list:
– New soap
– Towels on the bed
– Shampoo/conditioner (hotel samples are perfect for this)
– Fresh flowers in the bedroom and bathroom

Bonus tip: Make sure you clean an area in the bathroom cabinet for guests who are staying a while longer so they don’t have to live out of a toiletries bag.

If there are kids running around the house, you certainly don’t want them annoying you in the kitchen. Make sure you have some planned activities to keep them entertained and out of your hair. Trips to the local park for games, bike riding or if you have a pool, they will have plenty of fun playing in it.

Source: Swimways

With a pool make sure you prepare it a week or two in advance in terms of making sure the chemicals are correct. It’s also worth buying some new toys for the kids so they have fun.

Got any more tips to prepare your house for Christmas? Share with us in the comments below.

15 Ways To Clean with Coca-Cola

It may come as a surprise to you (or not) that Coca-Cola is highly acidic and while some of you "15 Ways To Clean with Coca-Cola"

15 Ways To Clean with Coca-Cola

how to clean with coca cola

It may come as a surprise to you (or not) that Coca-Cola is highly acidic and while some of you drink it, did you know you can also clean with it?

Why? Because of its phosphoric acidity at a pH level of 2.8, it makes Coca-Cola comparable to fresh lemon juice, vinegar and wine. This means that instead of ingesting the sweet liquid you could use it as a cost-effective means for house cleaning.

Here are the 15 ways Coca-Cola can be used for to clean your home*:

1. Oil cleaner
Got a bit of oil on the garage floor? It so, for a ‘no scrubbing required’ approach, pour Coca-Cola on the oil mark, leave for a couple of hours and then hose off.

2. Marker stains
Pen marks on the carpet can be a real pain. To remove with Coke apply a small amount of the soft drink on the stain and scrub. Then use soapy water on the coke an voila it’s back to normal.

3. Clean the toilet
It’s been well documented with videos (see below) and images that Coke can clean the toilet bowl. To clean it, pour coke around the inside of the toilet bowl and leave for an hour or so. Then flush and use the toilet brush to remove.

4. Rust
For small objects you can let them soak in a glass of Coke overnight and just give a scrub in the morning as the Coke will makes the rust easier to clean.

using coke to clean coins

5. Blackened pots
Buildup on pots and pans can take hours of scrubbing. So to make it easier on your hands and nails, pour a can of Coke in the pot and put it on the stove over low heat. After an hour, remove and wash the pot as normal.

6. Nuts & bolts
Tight or rusted nuts and bolts? Loosen them by pouring a bit of Coca-Cola on the bolt and let it sit for a short while. Rinse with water and try to remove again.

7. Grout mold
Pour Coke on the affect area or use a Coke soaked towel and place on top of the grout. Let it sit for a few moments and wipe clean. Scrubbing might be required on some of the mold.

8. Car windshield
Cleaning off bugs and other buildup on the car windscreen can be removed by pouring a can of the soft drink over the screen and then using a hose to wash off the Coke.

9. Garden
Pouring on some pants and also in the compost with strengthen the growth of micro-organisms that will make your lawn and garden healthier.

10. Kettle
Descaling your kettle of limescale has never been easier thanks to Coca-Cola. Just boil a kettle full of Coke and leave to stand for 30 minutes.

11. Clothing stains
Whether it’s blood or grease, apparently Coke is the fix for getting those tough stains removed. Just empty a can into your wash with your normal detergent/powder and run through a regular cycle.

12. Paint remover
Need to get some old paint off some metal objects? Soak a towel in coke and cover the paint, then you’ll be able to rub or scrape it off with soapy water.

13. Pool rust
Rust in the pool can make it look old and dated but by pouring in 2 litres of Coca-Cola into the pool and the rust will clear up.

14. Car battery terminals
If you need to clear up the car battery terminals it’s as easy as pouring a little Coke into the terminals and they should clear right up.

15. Chrome polish
Use some aluminium dipped in Coca-Cola to give it a lovely, well-polished shine.

*Please note that we haven’t tried these cleaning methods and if your dare to try, then you’re doing so at your own risk. But we’d love to see the results so please let us know below how you go in the comments below.

10 Ways to Clean with Baking Soda

You’re guaranteed to find baking soda in any pantry, often reserved for cooking, but there are plenty of other uses "10 Ways to Clean with Baking Soda"

10 Ways to Clean with Baking Soda

You’re guaranteed to find baking soda in any pantry, often reserved for cooking, but there are plenty of other uses for this natural mineral including home cleaning and medicinal purposes.

It’s common to find baking soda tips for cleaning your kitchen and bathroom, but I’ve looked into some other uses around the house. This way you can get more bang for your buck and make more areas of your home naturally clean.


They can get mighty woofy sometimes even if you do give your pet a good wash regularly. However by adding baking soda to kitty litter or sprinkling it on a wet dog and brushing out, it can reduce those not-so-nice odors in a flash.

Cigarette and cigar smoke is never nice for non-smokers. To make it a more pleasant social setting, place some baking soda in the bottom of the ashtray.

Carpet and rugs
Got a funny smell you just can’t get rid of? Sprinkle a little bit of baking soda on top and leave it for 15 minutes. Then give it a vacuum and if it’s not better, repeat.

Source: A Single Sunbeam

Find out how to remove pesky stains by reading Stain Removal – Myths vs Facts

Kid’s items

Baby furniture
Harsh chemicals should be kept away from the baby’s room, however using a ¼ cup of baking soda to 1 cup of water to wash the bassinet, change table and other items will do the trick.

Pool toys
Inflatable pools and pool toys can be cleaned from mildew by washing with a baking soda and warm water solution.

With illness easily spread among children, after play dates make sure you clean the toys to kill any bacteria. To do this, place a ¼ cup baking soda and ¼ warm water in a bucket. Put in the toys (or just wipe with a cloth), and then rinse with clean water and leave to dry.



Fabric softener
To make your towels all soft and fluffy add ½ cup baking soda to the rinse cycle.

Boost bleach
Too much bleach can be bad for your health and the environment, but by combining baking soda with bleach you can cut down your usage and make it more environmentally friendly. Just add ½ cup of baking soda for each ½ cup of bleach.



With outside furniture battling the elements, a quick wipe down with a 1 cup of baking soda added to some warm water will leave them sparkling. Just don’t forget to rinse thoroughly with some clean water and leave in the sun to dry.

Fly screens
Screens on windows and doors can collect dust, dirt and cobwebs but they are easy to clean with a damp cloth dipped into baking soda and a bit of elbow grease. Rinse with a damp cloth or if you can remove them, wash with a hose.

Looking for more natural cleaning products? Here are 4 natural kitchen cleaning products that will clean your house.

Guide To Hiring A House Cleaner

Just the thought of spending all your precious free time on the weekend cleaning the house is enough to make "Guide To Hiring A House Cleaner"

Guide To Hiring A House Cleaner

Just the thought of spending all your precious free time on the weekend cleaning the house is enough to make you want to not get out of bed on a weekend at all.

But that’s no attidue to have, and besides, who said you have to clean your house anyway?

Why not invest in a house cleaner? They can do all the hard work while you enjoy your weekend. Of course. the difficult part is finding a house cleaner who is reliable and will leave your house looking spick and span. Luckily there are plenty of Airtaskers with an abundance of positive reviews and experience.

airtasker vacuuming house cleaning

This makes hiring a cleaner simple and fast, however there are a few things to consider before you post a house cleaning task. Here’s our guide to hiring a house cleaner.

Size does matter

The amount of time it takes to clean your house will change dramatically depending on the size of your home. For example, if you have a 5-bedroom, 2-bathroom house it will cost you more for cleaning than a one bedroom apartment..

Before booking an Airtasker, describe the general size of the house in the task description so they are prepared.

Cleaning products

If you can supply the Airtasker with your own cleaning products then it makes it a lot easier (and cheaper) for the work to be completed. That said, many Airtaskers can bring their own cleaning products and tools, just make sure you specifically tell the Airtasker what they need to bring. You can even add additional expenses to the task so it is clear what the Airtasker will need to budget for.

Set your standards

Communicate how you would like your house to look at the end of the task, you could even write down a checklist for them.

airtasker cleaning task

First meet-up
On the first time they come over to tidy up your place, allow for a bit of extra time to show them around, where they should and shouldn’t clean, and where everything is kept. Making them feel comfortable is key.

Meet some of your Top Airtasker Cleaners

Price guide
Here is an example of pricing that is from the Airtasker Pricing Guide.

Routine clean: $20/hr
– Weekly clean e.g. vacuum house and wipe surfaces
– Supplies provided

Deeper clean: $22/hr
– Thorough clean e.g. skirting boards and windows
– Most supplied provided

Spring clean: $30/hr
– Major clean e.g. sorting wardrobes and pantries
– Specialist tools required

airtasker dusting house cleaning

Just remember that at the end of the day what it all comes down to is communication – be clear and upfront in the cleaning task description and you’ll have your place looking fantastic in no time.

Want more on cleaning? Read our Top 5 Cleaning Tips and Stain Removal – Myths vs Facts

Bathroom Cleaning Tips

Bathroom cleaning is a chore that no one wants to do, but unfortunately it must be done and regularly. There’s "Bathroom Cleaning Tips"

Alternative cleaning products

Bathroom cleaning is a chore that no one wants to do, but unfortunately it must be done and regularly. There’s a lot of advice and tips available however there are a few alternative solutions that caught our eye. Some are chemical-free cleaning solutions and others pure genius with a pinch of wacky.

We’ve complied the best for you to consider when you do your bathroom in your next home clean:

It’s something you’ll find in every household kitchen and also one of the most popular alternatives as a chemical-free based cleaning product. It can be used by itself or mixed with other products, meaning less products you need to buy for your home to sparkle. To create a simple multi-purpose cleaner, in a spray bottle mix some white vinegar and a nice eucalyptus oil (to make it smell amazing) and voila you have a cheap product that can use on most surfaces throughout the house.

In the bathroom other than cleaning the surfaces, you can also clean your shower curtains with vinegar and no scrubbing or spraying of water involved. Just put the curtains in the washing machine, along with a bath towel and add a cup of vinegar in the rinse cycle.

Let’s get fruity
Fruit is not just for eating; you’ll regularly see it in homemade beauty regimes but we didn’t realise you can clean a bathroom too. It turns out citrus fruit can be used for a whole bunch of things.

Grapefruit: Along with some salt, cut a grapefruit in half and you have the perfect acidic bath tub scrub.
Lemon: Using the lemon juice it can get rid of difficult water stains on glass, tiles and taps.

And finally….

Coke toilet cleaner
Yes you read that correctly, you can use cocoa-cola to clean the toilet. Just pour it around the rim, let it sit for a good hour (or overnight), then brush and flush. Seems pretty simple, but be wary you could be left with a sugary sticky toilet so maybe just stick to the regular run-of-the-mill cleaning products instead.

So what did you think? Which one are you going to try next time?

Better yet, got another tip? Comment below and we’ll add it to the list.

Want some more cleaning tips? Check out our Top 5 Cleaning Tips or if you have a pesky stain, find out the myths and facts behind stain removal.