Photography by Brett Walther.[/caption] Spring cleaning is happening ahead of schedule chez Walther—and no one could be more surprised about this than me. Still on a high from dismantling Christmas, I've started 2015 on a tear, tackling those hard-to-reach, out-of-sight places that you always mean to clean, but never seem to find the time. The focus of this weekend's housekeeping frenzy my hard-working washing machine, which I honestly can't recall having cleaned in the past few years. Although the drum itself still looks reassuringly white and shiny, I shudder to think what's lurking inside each of those little holes. (Detergent scum, probably, but I'm cursed with an overactive imagination.) Although I'd normally just treat the washer to an ultra-hot bath with a dose of bleach, I consciously wanted to try something different this time around. I've been trying to wean myself off of bleach—call it a New Year's resolution—and came across a few recipes for environmentally-friendly alternative cleansers that you can pull from your pantry. Here's what I ended up trying: First, I filled the washer at the hottest temperature setting, adding 4 cups of white vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda. Then, I let the machine run for about two minutes to combine the mixture. Lifting the lid to pause the wash cycle, I let the mixture sit in the wash drum for a full hour. While the mixture did its work eating away at those invisible layers of soap scum, I dipped a cloth into the mixture and started scrubbing the parts of the machine that are above the water line, including the central agitator. [caption id="attachment_4081" align="aligncenter" width="620"] Here's the green-cleaning formula (four parts white vinegar to one part baking soda) fully mixed and working its grime-fighting magic!
Photography by Brett Walther.[/caption] Then, I closed the lid and let the wash cycle run its course. (To ensure my next load of laundry wouldn't come out smelling of vinegar, I ran a second empty load of just hot water to flush out any remaining residue.) The result? A squeaky clean washing machine that I won't have to worry about until next January! Follow me on Twitter!