Surprising, I know!
Our washing machine is in our bedroom, which sure is handy, but it also makes for an eyesore when it's not at it's cleanest.
We have a top-loading washing machine, so these tips are for top-loaders! Now, I know that this project will actually take more than ten minutes, but it really only takes about 10 minutes of "hands on" time, so I think it counts.
Let's get started!
First, fill your washer with hot water, to the highest level. Then add 2 cups of bleach. Let your washer go through a cycle. Some people suggest leaving the bleach to soak for an hour or so, but I don't think that's necessary, and could even be hard on your washer, so I just let the cycle start. Note: If you notice that your washer gets really sudsy during this step, it means that you've been using too much detergent.
While it's working, take a rag and some hot soapy water and give the outside of your washer a good wipe down. Make sure to get the knobs and any nooks and crannies that have been collecting dust. This doesn't need to take forever... you'll probably get done before the cycle is through. Just go work on something else while you wait for the cycle to finish.
Next, fill your washer with hot water again. Add 2 cups of white vinegar. Close the lid and let the agitator work for about a minute, then open the lid to stop the cycle. You want the vinegar to sit in there, soaking, for about an hour. While you're letting it soak, get back out that rag and wipe down the surfaces under the cover (like the dispenser areas for bleach and softener).
After an hour or so, close the lid to run the full wash cycle.
Ta Da! You have a clean and disinfected washing machine! You'll probably want to clean your washer every six months or so (but I totally forget... so I just do it when I think of it!)
Ten Minutes, happier, healthier household!