It'll come out in the wash
To keep your washing machine clean and in top operating condition, it's a good idea to clean it regularly.
This will get rid of detergent residue and any other nasty bits and pieces that tend to come off your clothes.
There is a cheap and simple way of doing this which won't ruin your washing machine and is environmentally safe.
To clean a top loader, run a normal wash cycle (on hot) and pour in half a cup of bicarbonate of soda and two cups of white vinegar once the machine has filled with water.
Let it run as usual. The bicarb and vinegar break down any grease or dirt particles and keep the hoses clean.
Use a damp cloth with a little washing up liquid to clean any stains on the outside and wipe away dust residue.
If the fabric softener dispenser is grotty, remove it and either run it through your dishwasher (in the top basket) or wash it in the sink with hot soapy water.
Replacing fabric softener with vinegar is not only cheaper, it's better for your machine too.
If you have a front loader, add two tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda to the detergent drawer and half a cup of white vinegar in the drum and then run a normal wash (on hot).
Just keep an eye on the machine while it's washing as you may find it suds up a lot inside due to the build-up of soap residue.
The more often you clean your machine, the less often this will occur over time.
Also take time to clean out the filter (follow the manufacturer's instructions).
To prevent mould build-up on the seals of the machine, keep the door slightly ajar in between uses.
Jody Allen is the founder of Stay At Home Mum. More at stayathomemum.com.au