Complete Laundry-Room Cleaning Checklist

Follow this step-by-step guide to efficiently clean your laundry room (in just a few hours, or over the course of a few days).

Illustration of laundry detergents and clothespins
Photo: Papercut

The Washer

  • Run white vinegar through the washer.

    This will sanitize the inside and clear away soap scum.

The Dryer

  • Empty the lint trap.

    Wipe off fuzz with a damp cloth or a used fabric-softener sheet. Or wet your hands and run your fingers over the mesh screen to scoop up the lint. Fabric softener can cause a waxy buildup on the screen, so wash it out in a sink or vacuum it.

  • Wipe the interior walls of the dryer.

    Use a cloth dampened with dishwashing liquid and warm water. Scrub any linty residue around the trap opening with an old toothbrush, if necessary.

Both Appliances

  • Wipe down the outside of each appliance.

    Clean the fronts, sides, and tops using a cloth dampened with a few drops of dishwashing liquid or all-purpose cleaner.

The Sink

  • Wash with cleaner and a cloth.

    Then shine the faucet with a microfiber cloth.

The Countertops

  • Clean the surfaces, shelving, and bins.

    Wipe them down with a cloth and cleaner, and then do the same with the cabinet fronts.

The Floor

  • Mop or vacuum.

    Start from the farthest corner of the room and work toward the door, from left to right. Launder rugs, if possible, or vacuum them. Run a dust mop underneath the washer and the dryer, if it fits. Airborne lint can get kicked underneath the appliances and create a fire hazard if it piles up.

The Dryer Hose

  • Run an extendable duster around the inside of the dryer hose.

    Or vacuum it with a crevice attachment. Either method will clear away the lint that accumulates on the walls of the hose.

The Backs of the Washer and Dryer

  • Clean behind the appliances.

    On a low setting, with a brush attachment, vacuum the backs of the washing machine and the dryer and the flooring underneath. To reach behind the units, move the machines using appliance wheels or casters (available at hardware stores). Be careful not to stretch the dryer hose. If the hose looks too short, disconnect it first.

The Vents

  • Using a brush attachment, vacuum the vents on a high setting.

    Dust and lint, particularly in this room, can clog the vents, reducing airflow in the room. Wipe the vents' grates with a damp cloth.

The Windows

  • Spritz glass cleaner on a cloth.

    Or try dishwashing liquid and water. Pass over the sill and the frame with the damp cloth. Vacuum curtains, if you have them, with a brush attachment.

The Iron

  • Clean mineral deposits and spray-starch buildup.

    Make a paste of baking soda and water, apply it to a cloth, and wipe down the iron. Circle the holes on the soleplate with cotton swabs.

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