Best Washing Machine Cleaners

Best Washing Machine Cleaners

Our editors independently research the best products online to produce this list. We may receive commission on purchases made from the links below but this will never affect our product choices.


Washing machine cleaners help prolong your appliance’s lifespan and improve its daily performance and efficiency. These products are effective in killing bacteria and keeping your machine smelling fresh. Your cleaning appliances must be hygienic to avoid a buildup of limescale, nasty odours and bacteria, but there is a wide array of options available on the market, which makes selecting the perfect product a bit tricky. In this article, we’ve put together a list with a useful buying guide to help you.

How We Compared Washing Machine Cleaners

To find the right washing machine cleaner, we considered multiple factors, including:

  • Scent
  • Multi-Use Options
  • Eco-Friendly Factors
  • Germ Killers
  • Tablets or Liquid Form

Our team planned comparison points and specifically looked for products that would cater to all kinds of needs. We spent countless hours researching, consulting customer reviews and comparing features to come up with this list.

Washing Machine Cleaner Reviews

Calgon 3-in-1 Washing Machine Water Softener (Editor’s Choice)

This washing machine water softener helps to keep all components of a washing machine working properly. In particular, it focuses on protecting the drum, hoses, pump, and pipes.

The Calgon 3-in-1 Washing Machine Water Softener assists in prolonging the life of your washing machine. It also eliminates all bad odours inside your appliance while protecting against residue and limescale buildup. You’ll receive 75 tablets; you just need one for each wash cycle to begin the cleaning process. 

This water softener is suitable for all fabric types and is straightforward to use: simply add it to the standard wash compartment in your machine on top of your usual detergent. Best of all, it reduces energy consumption by keeping your unit’s heating elements clean. 

Pros:

  • Extends a washing machine’s lifespan 
  • Eliminates bad odours 
  • Suitable for all fabric types
  • Protects all washing machine components 
  • Minimises energy consumption 

Cons:

  • It might not dissolve properly and could leave some solubles at the bottom of the machine
  • It may not be suitable for those with sensitive skin

Calgon Antibacterial Gel (Luxury Choice)

Protect your washing machine against residue and limescale buildup with this antibacterial product that comes in a gel form. It also eliminates musky odours to keep your appliance smelling fresh and clean. 

The Calgon Antibacterial Gel kills 99.9% of bacteria in the washing machine and is suitable for all fabric types. What’s more, it reduces energy consumption by thoroughly cleaning the heating elements of your unit. Add it to every wash with your usual detergent, using the recommended dose for soft water. 

The brand also suggests using it once a month on an empty wash for a thorough clean. Additionally, it helps to keep your washing machine working for longer and even flushes out and removes dirt. 

Pros:

  • It kills 99.9% of bacteria 
  • This product eliminates odours, residue and limescale buildup 
  • Compatible with all fabric types 
  • Minimises energy consumption 
  • Convenient gel formula 

Cons:

  • Some people might prefer a tablet form
  • It might cause skin irritations 

Dettol Washing Machine Cleaner (Best Value)

Improve the longevity of your washing appliance with this 5-in-1 cleaner. Its lemon-scented formula targets pipes, the drum and all other areas that come into contact with water. 

The Dettol Washing Machine Cleaner kills 99.9% of bacteria and removes traces of limescale in your machine. It works to prevent bad odours, so your garments will smell fresher for longer. Furthermore, it also helps remove hidden dirt.

Best of all, this liquid doesn’t require you to add it every time you use your washing machine—every two months at 60°C with an empty cycle is fine to keep your appliance in working order. 

Pros:

  • It kills 99.9% of bacteria 
  • Prevents bad odours
  • You can use it once every two months
  • Removes limescale and hidden dirt 
  • Improves the function of the appliance

Cons:

  • The lemon scent might be overpowering
  • It may not be effective on stubborn mould spores 

Dr. Beckmann Service-it Deep Clean Washing Machine Cleaner (Best for Ease of Use)

Leave your washing machine free from bacteria with this maintenance cleaner. Its formula features activated carbon to penetrate deep into nasty particles that have built up in your appliance.

The Dr. Beckmann Service-it washing machine cleaner helps kill microorganisms, also removing terrible odours trapped in the appliance. As a result, it leaves your device clean and hygienic.

This cleaner is also effective against 99.9% of bacteria and leaves a fresh smell behind. It also acts as a service cleaner for all washing appliances. Finally, it comes in a granule form, and the manufacturer suggests using it every 30 washes in conjunction with their original Service-it liquid. 

Pros:

  • Kills microorganisms 
  • Removes odours
  • Eliminates 99.9% of bacteria
  • This product leaves a fresh fragrance  
  • It tackles dirt you can’t see

Cons:

  • One packet might only provide one treatment 
  • It may not have a positive impact after just one application

Ecozone Washing Machine and Dishwasher Cleaner Tablets (Best Nontoxic)

Remove a buildup of limescale and detergent with these sanitising tablets, suitable for both washing machines and dishwashers. They also eliminate any nasty odours that have accumulated over the years.

Fragrance-free and allergy-friendly, the Ecozone Tablets have a nontoxic, septic tank-safe formula to protect your appliances and skin. You’ll receive six in a pack, and they are very easy to use; simply pop one in the drum of your washing machine or at the bottom of your dishwasher and run a hot, empty cycle.

Their formula works to freshen and clean the inside of your devices for long-lasting results. Furthermore, these tablets sport eco-friendly ingredients to keep your appliances working to a high standard for many years.

Pros:

  • Pack of six tablets
  • Eco-friendly, nontoxic formula 
  • Effective against limescale buildup
  • Fresh and clean finish
  • They help your washing machine to work better

Cons:

  • The scent may be too mild for some people
  • They might not be as effective at cleaning dishwashers 

HG Deep Clean and Service for Washing Machines & Dishwashers (Best for Versatility)

Clean your washing machine and dishwasher without the hassle when you have this product suitable for all makes and models. This versatile cleaner comes in a concentrated liquid form, and you can also use it as a descaler for coffee machines and kettles.

The HG Deep Clean and Service prevents floats, drain pipes, filters and inaccessible parts of appliances from breaking down. This formula stops leaks, faults and short-circuits from happening.

Furthermore, this solution ensures that the rubber seals remain waterproof and elastic, eliminating long-term damage. Finally, it removes mould and flora after the first use. Overall, it is a convenient product that prevents malfunctions from arising. 

Pros:

  • Compatible with a range of appliances
  • Prevents leaks and faults 
  • Removes mould and flora 
  • Descales appliances 
  • Prevents malfunctions

Cons:

  • The solution might not dissolve properly in a washing machine’s tray
  • It might take a few applications to notice a difference 

Care + Protect 3-in-1 Washing Machine/Dishwasher Cleaner (Best Multifunction)

If you’re searching for a product that can deeply clean both your washing machine and dishwasher, look no further. This option removes limescale, degreases products and sanitises appliances as a three-in-one cleaner. Your purchase includes 12 sachets for a year’s supply. 

The Care + Protect 3-in-1 cleaner improves the longevity and performance of your devices by removing dirt and odours. Use it as a descaling treatment and to eliminate limescale from the interior of your appliances, pipes and filters. 

Furthermore, the formula cleans mould to optimise your machines’ energy consumption and efficiency. Overall, use it once a month to keep your appliances in tip-top condition. It’s suitable to use on all brands. 

Pros:

  • Suitable for washing machines and dishwashers
  • Eliminates stubborn dirt and odours
  • Descaling treatment 
  • Removes mould 
  • It only requires monthly use

Cons:

  • It might not leave a fresh scent 
  • This cleaner may not save as much energy as it claims 

How to Choose a Washing Machine Cleaner

Washing machine cleaners are available in tablets, granules or liquid form, but the possibilities don’t just stop there. There’s also the option of built-in aromas or fragrance-free products. Below are some important considerations to keep in mind that will help you make the best choice.

Scent

Most washing machine cleaners have a neutral smell, but the option of a built-in aroma, such as lemon, is also available. Decide whether you prefer the solution to leave behind a scent or choose your own aroma by using fabric softener and washing detergent. 

Bear in mind that some cleaners can be quite pungent, and if it isn’t a smell you’re fond of, you might have to rinse the washing machine several times before this has been completely removed. 

Multi-Use Options

Would you prefer to get your money’s worth and use the washing machine cleaner on other gadgets in the kitchen, such as the dishwasher or coffee machine? Look for a multi-use product that will limit the number of detergents you have stored in the cupboards and will allow you to keep all kitchen appliances clean and odour-free.

Eco-Friendly Factors

There’s a mixture of eco-friendly and non-eco-friendly washing machine detergents on the market. Consider opting for a nontoxic and environmentally safe formula: in this case, it will not only protect your appliances, but it will also be safe for those with allergies.

Keep in mind how concentrated the formula is to make it more long-lasting and environmentally friendly. Also, inspect the packaging to see if it is recyclable. 

Germ Killers

Check what percentage of germs the cleaner is able to kill. The best ones will combat 99.9% of bacteria, helping to keep your appliance free from germs and hygienic for long-term use. Killing germs will also remove nasty odours and descale and clean the washing machine.

Alternatively, some formulas on the market simply remove a buildup of dirt and won’t kill bacteria, which isn’t as effective in preventing germ growth. 

Tablets or Liquid Form

Would you prefer a washing machine cleaner available in tablet or liquid form? The main difference is the application, as tablets already have the appropriate amount of detergent measured out. Alternatively, liquid allows you to adjust the dose, which might be practical if you want to increase or decrease the formula amount. 

Furthermore, how often would you need to apply the cleaner? Some manufacturers suggest adding it to every wash, whereas others are fine to use around every 30 washes.

Summary

We selected the Calgon 3-in-1 Washing Machine Water Softener as our Editor’s choice and overall winner. This product boasts an effective formula that helps to prolong your washing machine’s lifespan. It also protects against limescale and residue buildup while eliminating bad odours. You can add it to every wash for the best results, and it’s safe to use on all fabric types. Finally, it minimises energy consumption by cleaning the washing machine’s heating element. 

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