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Why Is There Dirt in My Washing Machine? (Explained)

Can’t figure out why your washing machine is clogging up so quickly? Your clothes might not be the only dirty thing – your washing machine might be too! Here are the main causes of dirt in your washing machine, and how you can clean it effectively.

Reasons for dirt in the washing machine:

The main causes of dirt building up in a washing machine are excessive soil and wearing the wrong type of clothing. Dirt may accumulate in your washing machine as a result of mud, debris, or a clogged drain inlet. A washing machine’s most common cause of dirt and grime buildup is detergent buildup.

Dirt, dust, and other particles will be attracted to the suds created by the detergent as time passes. You will end up with dirty water spilling out onto the floor every time you cycle your washer if you don’t clean it regularly. Some of the reasons are as follows:

Excess soil:

Washing high piles of laundry can lead to bits of earth, stones, and other debris getting swept into the machine. As water beads up on the soils that are stuck together, clumps and lumps can form.

Detergent buildup:

By breaking down molecules into smaller parts, detergents leave behind soap bubbles that adhere to soils and grease particles. You might end up with large clumps of soap bubbles in your laundry machine as they accumulate over time.

Wrong type of clothes:

You should make sure the washer is set up correctly if you are washing delicate or expensive clothes. Heavy garments need extra care when it comes to moisture levels and temperature in a washing machine with a high-water level.

Debris in the washer:

Your machines will accumulate dirt and grime faster if they are dirty. Make sure you wash your machine at least once a month to keep it clean and free of residual soils. 

Additionally, you should empty the water and detergent reservoirs regularly and scrub them with a scrub brush.


In case you live in a muddy area, you will need to be aware of how much mud and other debris gets deposited on your washing machine and what you should do about it. 

A situation like this would cause the water to bead up, causing it to remain trapped inside the machine for hours at a time.

Where is the dirt coming out of my washing machine?

The washing machine may emit dirt if there is excess soil in the laundry, detergent build-up, or mud on the clothes being washed. There are several places where dirt can come out, including the bottom of the drum, the rubber rim, or the door seal. Here are some reasons why:

Dirt on the bottom of the drum:

In the laundry, dirt and mud will accumulate in the drum if there is too much soil. If this happens, water can bead up inside the machine and stay trapped for hours. Furthermore, the extra weight of the soil can damage the washer’s motor.

Dirt in the rubber rim or door seal:

Objects such as leaves, twigs, or even small rocks can cause this type of contamination. Water will eventually bead up and remain trapped within the machine for hours if these items get caught in the seal between the door and the drum.

Dirt in the Drainpipe:

The water is forced back up into the machine when the drainage pipe is clogged with dirt and mud. When the machine is drained, this will cause the water to overflow. 

The excess soil that gets deposited on the door seal and the bottom of the drum as a result of this may lead to damage.

Dirt in the inlet control valve: 

Inlet control valves can also accumulate dirt. This valve controls how water enters and leaves the washer. It can be found at the bottom of the machine. Even when the machine isn’t being used, clogged valves can cause water to flow into it. 

Dirt and mud can accumulate on different parts of the washer as a result.

How to clean dirt out of the washing machine?

Over time, dirt and grease can build up in your washing machine, making it difficult to clean. You can clean your washing machine if you have dirt or food residue stuck inside. 

Evacuate washing machine:

You will have difficulty cleaning your machine if dirt is stuck to the sides, the top, or the bottom. To make cleaning easier, try evacuating the washing machine first to free up as much space as possible. Before opening any doors, turn off the water and gas at both ends of the appliance. 

Once everything is out, remove all items from inside the room and close all doors firmly.

Wipe down the exterior with a damp cloth:

Once the machine has been evacuated, wipe down its exterior with a damp cloth to begin cleaning. Don’t forget to clean all the nooks and crannies of the house, as dirt and grease tend to accumulate in places like this.

Use an enzyme cleaner:

Try using an enzyme cleaner instead of cloth if you notice residue left over after cleaning. As enzymes break down fats and oils, they are effective at removing dried food from surfaces. Keep your machine in good working order by not scrubbing too hard. 

It might be time to have your washing machine repaired or replaced if none of these methods work.

Use a commercial cleaner:

You might need to take your washing machine in for repairs or replacement if all of the methods above fail to work. There are several commercial cleaners that you can try if you are experiencing this problem. 

Be sure to follow the instructions carefully when cleaning dirty machines, as many come with tablets or liquids designed for the purpose.

Rinse and dry:

Once the machine has been cleaned, follow up with a thorough rinse with water and then dry it off with a clean cloth. Be sure to use a large towel or cloth to avoid any water damage when you are cleaning. 

To help you keep your home as clean and tidy as possible, it’s also a good idea to empty the water and lint from the machine after each use.

Tips to prevent dirt buildup in the washing machine:

The most common problem with washing machines is dirt buildup. Several factors can contribute to this, including improper detergents, improper dryer venting, and excessive fabric softener use. You can prevent this from happening by following these tips:

Make sure you use a machine-specific detergent:

The first thing you need to do is choose a detergent that is designed specifically for your washing machine. Soap will reach all of the nooks and crannies, helping to prevent dirt and fabric oils from building up.

Use low-suds products:

The use of low-suds products is another way to prevent build-up from taking place.

As a general rule, these types of laundry detergents are formulated with ingredients that bind water molecules together, so they do not create soils inside your washing machine when they are used.

Use a low-detergent cycle:

Alternatively, you can use a cycle that uses a low amount of detergent. This will help to break down the dirt and oils that have accumulated over time and will then be eliminated with the washing machine’s water wash, which will help to remove them.

Clean the lint filter:

Clean the lint filter in your machine regularly. Maintaining a clean and tidy home will help prevent dirt and fabric oils from accumulating. Additionally, the lint filter can become clogged over time, reducing the efficiency of the machine.

Check the water pressure:

There is another way that you can prevent dirt and fabric oils from building up in your home by ensuring that the water pressure in your house is as high as it can be. 

There will be more soap able to get into all the nooks and crannies of the clothes, which will eventually be removed by the water rinse process of the washing machine.

Clean the exterior of your machine:

Last but not least, make sure you regularly clean the exterior of your machine. You will prevent build-up from occurring in the first place, as well as keep your home looking tidy and clean.

Use a front-loading machine:

An investment in a lint filter system is also recommended if you own a front-loading machine. By doing this, you can avoid having dirt and fabric oils end up on your clothes and in the washing machine.

Final Thoughts

The most common causes of dirt in the washing machine include detergent buildup, excessive soil, the wrong type of clothes, and debris in the washer. To remove dirt and fabric oil build-up, a low detergent cycle and a clean lint filter are essential. It is recommended to use a lint filter system.