How to Clean Sludge From Top Loader Washing Machine

If you have a top loader washing machine, then you definitely had to deal with weird gunks and sludge stain. While mud can make a stubborn mess, it is that troublesome to clean as it seems. As long as you do not get any of that mess on your newly washed set clothes, it’s safe to say you shouldn’t have much to worry about. Here are a few easy steps, to help you clean the sludgy mess from your top loader washing machine in less than 20 minutes.

The best advice for removing and preventing sludge build-up is to routinely clean and maintain your top loader—preferably a quick wipe down after every use can go along and make the deep cleaning process easier.

Before You Start

The standard method for caring for top load washing machines should be followed by the manufacturer’s user guide product directions. Be sure to check the manual compatible with your machine.

To start the cleaning procedure, unplug the washing machine. Because, the washing machine is powered by electricity you run the risk of an electric shock, fire and/or fatality when connected, be sure to disconnect the washing machine.

Things You’ll Need


  1. Mix the Solution
    Combine the mild dish soap with the lemon juice and baking soda, add warm water and pour it into a spray bottle. Let is sit for 5 minutes and shake well.
  2. Clean the Exterior
    Spray the outside of the washing machine with the solution. Using a sponge, rub thoroughly to remove sludge or dirt build-up. Wipe dry with a soft or microfiber cloth.
  3. Check the Dispenser
    Although the sludge may not have found its way to the dispenser, there can still be detergent and residue build up in the dispenser drawer. Check the dispenser on the top load washing machine by removing the drawer at least once every two weeks. If the build-up is present, using a damp white cloth wipe the drawer and inserts with the solution. Rinse with cool water.
  4. Clean Sludge with Vinegar and Rub
    Rub the white distilled vinegar onto the sludge stain and allow it to rest for 10 minutes or until the sludge has diluted. Lightly rub the area with a microfiber cloth and rinse with warm water.
  5. Use a washing machine cleaner for top loader
    Washing machine cleaners can be quite effective with the proper following of the care label instructions. Optimally, you can use them twice a month to keep your washing machine clean.
  6. Tub Clean
    Routine cleaning of the inside the washing machine is the best way to ensure your clothes remain stain and sludge free. Take out any clothing or items, and pour the solution into the dispenser drawer. Set the washing machine to tub clean and press start. After cleaning, leaving the door open to allow air circulation and ventilation.

Helpful Tip

If you need to remove sludge stains from clothing, oxygenated bleach is the best weapon to combat stains, but keep in mind that overusing bleach, can cause damage to delicate fabrics. Make sure you read the care and instructions of the clothing label before washing with bleach.