Although older machines don’t generally have a cycle for cleaning, you can easily create your own version. It involves a bit of a wait time between beginning the cycle and ending it, so use that time to clean other areas that won’t be reached by the water in the tub.
1. Choose the hot water setting and the longest cycle.
2. Fill the tub to the maximum level, then pause the machine.
3. Add 4 cups of white vinegar or 1 cup of bleach to the water and let the machine agitate for a minute or two.
4. Pause the machine and let it sit for an hour. Dip a microfiber cloth into the soaking solution, wring it out and use it to clean the top of the drum and agitator (where the water doesn’t reach) and the inside of the lid.
If you can remove the bleach and fabric softener dispensers, do so and clean the areas beneath them with the cloth and cleaning solution as well. If they are fixed in place, clean them and the area around them. Using vinegar will help eliminate the detergent buildup,
Finally, clean the control panel and the outside of the machine with the cleaning solution or an all-purpose spray. Use a dry microfiber cloth to dry and polish the surfaces.
5. Restart the machine and finish the cycle. You won’t smell the vinegar, but if you do, simply add another rinse cycle.