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How to clean your Samsung washing machine

Someone using a cloth to clean the rubber gasket in the washer door

Keeping your Samsung washer clean is important, because it prevents odors and mold from taking hold, and keeps your washer performing the way it should. Let us show you how and when to clean your Samsung washer: cleaning surface stains, the pump filter (on front load washers), and even running Self Clean or Pure Cycle.

Clean washer surface stains whenever you see them

Surface stains are usually caused by water or detergent residue. Using a mild detergent and a damp cloth will remove most spots. If you've already tried that and the stains remain the same, use a small amount of Cerama Bryte cooktop cleaner.

Note: Clean and dry the affected area immediately. Any residual cleaner or water that is not removed will result in more stains.

To remove surface stains from the metallic finish on the door, follow the steps below:

  1. Dispense a small amount of Cerama Bryte onto a clean, damp, microfiber cloth.

  2. Clean the affected area by gently scrubbing in a repeating circular motion.

  3. When finished scrubbing, use a clean, damp, microfiber cloth to clean off the area.

  4. Use a clean, dry, microfiber cloth to dry the area.

Clean the washer pump filter once a month or every 40 washes (front load only)

Caution: If you recently ran a hot cycle (Self Clean, Pure Cycle or Sanitize), the water in the washer will be very hot. Allow one hour to elapse to allow the water to cool before performing this procedure and avoid possible injury.

The pump filter on your front load washer, also called the debris filter, helps filter lint and other debris from entering your washer's drain system. We recommend cleaning the pump filter at least once a month (or approximately 40 washes, whichever is more frequent). Keeping the pump filter clean will help prevent odors, reduce the likelihood of mold and mildew, and ensure your washer drains properly.

Note: Top load washers do not have a pump filter.

  1. Open the pump filter access panel by pressing on the cover.

  2. Locate the rubber drain hose and prepare to drain the water. You will need a towel and a container large enough for the amount of water in the washer, like an oil drain pan.

  3. Remove the cap from the drain hose by holding the hose and twisting the cap. The cap can be tough to remove because it forms an airtight seal, so make sure to use a little elbow grease. Once the cap is removed, drain the water.

  4. Once all the water is drained, remove the washer pump filter by twisting it counter-clockwise.

    Note: On some Samsung washers, the washer pump filter (A) is similar to the cap on a medicine bottle. Push in and twist to remove.

    Remove and clean the washer pump filter
  5. Using a small toothbrush or other similar soft bristle brush, wash any dirt or other materials from the pump filter. Inspect the drain pump impeller located inside the pump filter housing to make sure it is clean.

  6. Once the pump filter is clean, reinsert and twist clockwise until secured in the vertical position.

  7. Place the drain hose's cap firmly back onto the drain hose and secure the drain hose in the mounted clip before closing the access panel.

  8. Note: If these steps don't match with your front load washing machine, check out the user manual.

Run a Self Clean or Pure Cycle every 20/40 washes or once a month

Self Clean (also called Pure Cycle or Self Clean+) is a special cycle that prevents mold and is designed to clean areas of the tub where moisture and detergent residue may accumulate but a normal cycle does not reach. It takes approximately 1 hour to run Self Clean on a top load washer and 4 hours to run Self Clean on a front load washer. After the Self Clean begins, the estimated time remaining displays.

To run a Self Clean cycle, make sure the washer is empty, then press Self Clean and then Start.

If residue or suds appear during a Self Clean cycle, then we recommend to run another Self Clean cycle afterwards.

The Self Clean reminder LED will display after 20 washes on a top load model or 40 washes on a front load model. Although you do not need to run a Self Clean cycle immediately, we recommend that you run one at your earliest opportunity. It's also a good idea to run one at least once a month if you do not do many washes in a month.

Clean the washer detergent drawer when needed

Using too much detergent can gunk up the works in your detergent drawer, causing less to actually reach your clothes, causing you to feel like you need to use more to compensate, spiraling out of control. It can even contribute to odors and other issues with your washer. As long as your detergent drawer is mostly clean already, (such as by wiping it dry after every wash session), keeping it clean is pretty easy.

  1. Pull and open the washer detergent drawer until it stops.  

    Remove and clean the washer detergent drawer
  2. Remove the detergent dispensers by lifting them out and then rinsing them with warm water to remove traces of accumulated detergent residue.  

  3. You can remove the washer detergent drawer by pushing in on the ends of each side of the drawer at the same time and then pulling it out (as shown in the image).

    On a front load washer, push down on the tab between the bleach and pre-wash compartments as you pull the drawer out.

  4. Clean the washer detergent drawer opening periodically with a soft cloth to avoid detergent buildup.  

How to prevent mold, mildew, or odors in your washing machine

There's a few items of routine maintenance that you should do after every wash (or during installation) to keep mold, mildew or odors from taking up residence in your washing machine. Routinely performing the following maintenance will ensure that your washer stays clean and help prevent the growth of bacteria and mold.

Note: If you already have or suspect you may have a mold or mildew issue, see our guide for additional in-depth treatment to clean it out and get back to regular maintenance again.

  • Level the washer: Water and laundry additives do not drain properly when the washer is not leveled, leaving residue which over time causes odor. The washer should be leveled during installation, and check once or twice a year to confirm that the washer has not become unleveled.

  • Check the drain hose: A drain hose inserted more than 6 inches into the home's stand pipe can cause mold and bacteria to accumulate and even siphon back up to the washer. Make sure the drain hose is not inserted further than 6 inches, and is secured so it will not slip down.

  • Wash the right amount of laundry: If it's too full, excess moisture can remain in the washer, causing odors. If it's not full enough, detergent residue can be left over, which also causes odors.

  • Air it out: Leave the lid or door on your Samsung washer open between cycles to allow it to dry.

  • Remove loads promptly: Remove wet clothes as soon as the cycle is finished. Make sure to listen for the end of cycle notification sounds, or if you're going to be out of hearing range, use the SmartThings app to keep you posted.

  • Use HE detergent: It's required by your washer and non-HE detergent will cause soap scum buildup. Also, powdered detergent is less likely to cause this buildup than liquid detergent.

  • Use less detergent: Use the manufacturer's recommended amount of detergent for each load, and then experiment with using less until you find the minimum amount necessary to get your clothes clean.

  • Avoid fabric softener: Liquid fabric softeners often leave residue behind that contribute to mold growth. To keep clothes smelling fresh, try using distilled white vinegar instead of fabric softener. And switch to using dryer sheets and dryer balls to soften your clothes.

  • Dry the washer after each use: Take a minute or so to wipe out the detergent drawer, the tub, and especially under and around the rubber door seal (on front load washers) with a clean, dry cloth. After each cycle is best, or at least after you finish laundry for the day.

  • Run Self Clean when prompted: After each cycle, if the panel stays on and the Self Clean or Pure Cycle indicator is lit or blinking, it's a reminder that you haven't run Self Clean in awhile and should run it again soon. See the previous section about Self Clean for more information.

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