How to Clean a Maytag Washer | Affresh Cycle and By Hand

Like any other household appliance, your Maytag washer needs regular maintenance and cleaning to keep it working like new. When your washer is clean, you’ll have fresh-smelling and squeaky-clean clothes that you’ll feel comfortable wearing.

Plus, it can prevent malfunctions due to grime, dirt, and lint accumulating over however long. Most people know how to clean the lint from the lint trap on your dryer, but what about cleaning your washer? If you want to give your Maytag washer the cleaning it needs, here’s how.

Understanding Your Maytag Washer

Before I start talking about cleaning a Maytag washer, it’s essential to understand the product. Learning about the different parts, like the drum and rubber gasket, will help you clean everything thoroughly and not damage anything in the process.

The Detergent Dispenser

The detergent dispenser is where you put your laundry detergent before running your washer. This part of the washing machine can quickly develop a build-up of detergent residue, requiring extra cleaning.

The Drum

The drum is where your clothes get washed. This whole area is covered by your dirty clothes and fabrics so that it can develop a build-up of soap residue, mineral deposits, and mildew. All of these things can affect the performance of your Maytag washer.

The Door Gaskets or Seal

The door to your washer has a name. It’s called the rubber gasket or seal by manufacturers. No matter what you call it, it can accumulate mould and mildew thanks to the moisture from the washer, which can smell.

The Self-Cleaning Cycle in Maytag Washers

Nowadays, many washers have a self-cleaning cycle, and Maytag washers are no different. The only difference is that they affectionately call this self-cleaning cycle the “Affresh cycle.”

Understanding the Affresh Cycle

The Affresh cycle is a feature unique to Maytag that many of their appliances have. As a self-cleaning feature, it’s designed to remove residue, grime, and unpleasant odours that build up over time. It’s perfect to use in those hard-to-reach spaces.

The cycle combines a large volume of water and Affresh cleaning tablets. Once you add the tablet and run the self-cleaning process, it’ll dissolve to create a cleaning solution to penetrate every inch of the drum, including the basket pump and drainage system.

Using the Affresh Cycle

The best thing about the Affresh cleaning cycle is its easy use. If you want clear-cut instructions, here’s how to run the cycle step by step:

  1. Purchase Affresh cleaning tablets
  2. Place one tablet inside the washing machine’s tub
  3. Choose which cycle you wish to use (the “clean washer” or “Affresh cycle)
  4. Press the start button to begin the cycle

Suppose you happen to have a Maytag washing machine that doesn’t have a self-cleaning cycle or the Affresh option. You can still use an Affresh tablet to clean your washing machine by choosing the highest temperature, enormous water volume, and extended wash duration.

After you run the cleaning cycle for your Maytag washing machine, you’ll want to take a good look inside the appliance’s drum. You’re checking for any residue that the tablet might not have removed because the last thing you want is to start using a less-than-clean washing machine.

How often you’ll want to clean your Maytag washer will depend on a few things. We recommend running it at least monthly as part of your regular cleaning to ensure it stays in the best condition possible for as long as possible. When your washing machine is clean, your clothes will also be clean.

Cleaning Your Washer Manually

If you prefer to clean things the “old-fashioned” way, you can still do that with your Maytag washer. Instead of buying Affresh tablets, you can get your washing machine squeaky clean with things you probably already have lying around the house, like:

  1. White vinegar
  2. Baking soda
  3. A soft cloth
  4. A soft bristle brush

Cleaning the Washer Drum

First, you’ll start with cleaning the drum by:

  1. Setting your washing machine to the hottest temperature
  2. Adding one quart of white vinegar and one cup of baking soda to the drum
  3. Running the cycle

You’ll let the cycle run for about an hour so the combination of the baking soda and white vinegar can break down all the residue inside the washer. You’ll then take a slightly damp soft cloth to wipe down the drum to remove any leftover residue.

Cleaning the Detergent Dispenser

Just because you clean the washer’s drum doesn’t mean you’re done. Next up is the detergent dispenser:

  1. Remove the detergent dispenser carefully
  2. Immerse the detergent dispenser in warm water
  3. Use a soft bristle brush to clean the detergent dispenser
  4. Rinse the dispenser in clean water
  5. Dry the dispenser thoroughly
  6. Replace the dispenser in your washing machine

Cleaning the Rubber Gasket or Seal

Lastly, you need to tackle the rubber gasket or seal. You don’t want mould and mildew to accumulate on this part of the washer, so you don’t want to forget this step in the cleaning process. To clean the rubber gasket:

  1. Pull the seal back to expose areas you don’t usually see in your machine
  2. Create a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and hot water
  3. Submerge a soft cloth in the mixture
  4. Wipe the seal of the washing machine with the cloth to remove any visible or invisible residue that might be there.
  5. Take a dry cloth, ensure the seal is completely dry, and leave the door open to ensure no moisture sticks around.

If you’re dealing with stubborn mould and mildew, you can use your soft bristle brush instead of a soft cloth to scrub the residue away.

Post-Cleaning Maintenance

Once you’re finished cleaning your Maytag washing machine, remember that post-cleaning maintenance can keep it clean and working correctly. Some helpful post-cleaning tips are:

  1. Remove clothes as soon as possible to prevent extra moisture from causing mold and mildew to form
  2. Keep the seal open to allow the interior of the washing machine to dry fully


Not many washing machines keep your clothes as pristine as a Maytag. Its job is to keep your clothes clean, and your job is to make sure it stays clean so it can do its job.

By following the above steps to keep your Maytag washing machine clean, you’ll keep it performing at its best while always keeping your clothes fresh and clean. It’ll extend the lifespan of your washer if you clean it at least once a month, too. Whether you use the Affresh tablets or manually clean your Maytag washer, you’ll be happy you did.

A Guide to Samsung Washer Self-Clean Function

Appliance Service Technician | Website | + posts

Andy has over 8 years of experience working on residential household appliances, performing diagnostics, and repairs across most major brands. He graduated from the Denver Institute of Technology, is NASTeC certified, and has worked for Mr. Appliance. Andy has contributed to features on major publications including Better Home & Gardens, Family Handyman, and