How to Run a Manual Maintenance Cycle in a High Efficiency Washing Machine

In any washing machine, over time, detergent, bleach and fabric softener residues build up. If they’re not cleaned out on a regular basis, they’ll turn into mold and foul smells. High Efficiency (HE) washing machines use less water than traditional machines. They also require the use of special low-sudsing detergent. The lower water level itself makes HE machines more vulnerable to residue problems. If you use the wrong detergent, too many suds will add to that. Oil and dirt from laundry can accumulate inside your HE washer as well. Read this informative article and find out how to run a manual maintenance cycle in a high efficiency washing machine.


1. Use plain, unscented, undiluted chlorine bleach.

1. Clean your washer at least once a month; weekly if necessary. Naturally, the more you use your machine, the more you’ll need to clean it.

2. Use these instructions only if your HE washing machine doesn’t have a built-in maintenance cycle.


1. Choose “hot water” or the “Whites” setting to get the hottest water possible.

2. Set the machine to automatically run a second rinse cycle if that option is available.

3. Fill the bleach dispenser with liquid bleach; be careful not to overfill it.

4. Start the washing machine on a “normal” cycle and let it run through without any laundry in it to run a manual maintenance cycle.

5. Manually run the washer through an additional rinse cycle (without adding more liquid bleach) if there wasn’t a second rinse option.

Your high efficiency washing machine should now be fresh and clean of residues. If there was a foul odor problem before you ran the manual maintenance cycle, repeat the process. If the problem remains, refer to the owner’s manual for further instructions.


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