Can You Put CLR In A Washing Machine

Can You Put CLR In A Washing Machine?

Calcium, lime deposits, and rust are common issues you face in your sanitary and bathroom products, including washing machines. CLR is very effective in removing these from toilets, bathtubs, and sinks. But can you put CLR in a washing machine?

Yes, you can put CLR in your washing machine to eliminate calcium, lime, and rusty iron from it. It is especially effective for accumulated calcium deposits. However, you must wear rubber gloves when using CLR and avoid using bleach, along with ensuring additional safety precautions. 

You must be aware of the pros and cons of using CLR, when and how you should use it for cleaning the washing machine. Keep reading for detailed guidance regarding these. 

Can You Put CLR In A Washing Machine? 

You can use CLR in the washing machine to clean it. CLR is highly effective in keeping your washer rust-free. It is also useful to clean the piled-up calcium and lime. If the water you use is hard water, then calcium buildup is a common issue. 

CLR can remove the piled-up calcium deposit and increase the efficiency of your machine. It saves a few hundred bucks for you. You do not need to use much CLR to give the cleanest look to your machine. Whether you have a top loader or front loader, you can use CLR in both types.  

How to Clean A Washing Machine Using CLR?

The cleaning process of your washing machine also depends on the type of machine you have. But don’t worry. You will get to learn about all kinds of washing machine cleaning processes with CLR.

For Top-Loading Washing Machines

If you have a top loader washing machine, then you can get rid of rust, calcium, or lime very easily by using CLR by following this simple process:

  • Make sure there are no clothes inside the machine. 
  • Now, use the machine’s washing cycle and wait for it to finish.
  • Keep your eye on the drum. When the drum is just about to spin, you need to put CLR directly in it. 
  • Remember not to put too much CLR. Half a cup will be enough. 
  • Wait till the cycle finishes. Now run the washing machine another cycle to ensure there remains no residue. Your machine will get shinier now. 

Hopefully, you have found the process very simple and have understood all of it. If not, we have you covered. Watch the following video to get visual instructions:

Front-Loading Machines

If your washing machine is front-loaded, you need to adjust the process a bit. Here is how you should do it:

  • Command your machine for a full cycle.
  • Add CLR to your machine, along with some water. Make sure you are not putting in too much water. The front-loading machines require almost 50% less water than top loaders.
  • Once the cycle completes, wait for a few moments before setting another cycle. 
  • The cleaning process ends with the second cycle. 

Why You Should Use CLR to Clean Washing Machines?

There are several benefits to using CLR for cleaning washing machines. For example:

Improved Performance and Enhanced Lifespan

The performance of a washing machine is affected with time. One of the major reasons is the presence of calcium, lime, and rust. CLR can remove them all, and it is highly effective for calcium

The use of CLR will remove all these, and you will get a better washing result from your machine. 

Also, your machine becomes prone to wear and tear because of accumulated minerals and rust. CLR can help you clean them off and increase the lifespan of your machine. 

Cost Effective Solution

This is another major reason for using CLR to clean washers. The price of CLR products is less than most other washing machine cleaners. Besides, the effectiveness compared to its price is also highly satisfactory. 

Safe for Septic Systems

A major concern regarding using cleaning agents is the impact on septic systems. Some agents can damage or create a clog in the machine. Thankfully, you do not need to worry about the septic system of your machine when you are using CLR. However, you should avoid CLR in septic tanks directly.


The use of bleach is debatable for washing machines. But most cleaning agents often contain bleach. Luckily for you, CLR is bleach-free. Additionally, CLR is also free of phosphates or ammonia. This makes CLR cleaners washing machine-friendly. 

Solves Versatile Problems

Though CLR cleaners are primarily known for removing lime, rust, and calcium accumulations, they can be used for other purposes as well. You can use CLR for the following issues, too:

  • Hard water stains
  • Mineral buildup
  • Soap scum
  • Detergent buildup

Easy Cleaning 

A washing machine makes your life easier by washing your clothes with some taps. Wouldn’t it be an irony if you had to toil to clean the machine? Well, that is not necessary, with CLR being present in the scenario. 

You can let the machine “self-clean.” The machine will be free of deposits and buildups without your scrubbing. 

Things You Should Remember While Using CLR in Your Washing Machine

CLR is an acid; hence, you need to be careful while using these cleaners. Here are some safety measures you should maintain:

  • Wear a pair of rubber gloves on your hand to avoid any direct contact with CLR cleaners. 
  • Avoid mixing CLR with other cleaners, especially bleach. This can do harm to your machine.
  • Use a measuring cup to measure and put CLR into the washing machine. Using a spray bottle has several risks associated with it. 
  • Check and ensure there are no clothes inside the machine. Your clothes can get damaged. 
  • Run an additional cycle to ensure there remains no residue. 
  • Always check the instructions of the manufacturers before using the cleaner. 

Using Vinegar to CLR for Washing Machine

You see, CLR is a chemical, or an acid, to be more precise. If you are not comfortable dealing with CLR, there is an effective alternative option. That is to use vinegar. 

  • Begin the process by spraying vinegar around the rubber gasket. 
  • Scrab and remove soap scum or other residue using a toothbrush. 
  • 2 cups of vinegar will be enough and put it into the detergent dispenser. 
  • Run your washing on the hot cycle for once. 
  • After the completion of the hot cycle, add a half-cup of baking soda. This time, not into the dispenser, but to the drum. Run one more cycle, a hot one, of course. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s have a glance at what people are frequently asking about putting CLR in a washing machine. You may find these answers helpful for yourself, too.

Can I use CLR in my dishwasher?

Yes, you can use CLR in the dishwasher and make it as clean as new with a small amount of CLR. However, do not forget to remove all the glasses and dishes from the washer. 

Does CLR remove soap scum from the washing machine?

Yes, CLR is a strong cleaner, and it can also remove soap scum from the washing machine. It can also clean hard water deposits like calcium from the dishwasher, washing machine, and toiler. 

Does CLR remove hard water stains from toilets?

CLR is very effective in removing hard water stains from toilets, washing machines, dishwashers, and other household appliances. Use CLR directly to the stained areas, and scrub gently to get rid of the stains.


So, what do you think? Can you put CLR in a washing machine? Yes, you can, no matter whether it is a top loader or front-loading machine. However, you should maintain the safety measures mentioned above. You can also use vinegar as an alternative if you want to avoid using acid. 

Hopefully, you will find the instructions useful and easy to follow and have a cleaner and shinier washing machine from today.

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