Does The Water-Bottle-Washing-Machine Hack Really Work?

Routine maintenance and cleaning are a must if you want to get maximum use out of your top-loading washing machine. Unlike side-loading units, top-loaders often have a column-shaped agitator that helps churn the machine's contents around. As you might imagine, that column can build up a lot of gunk and grime over time, requiring you to clean it thoroughly. However, most people don't know how to properly clean their washing machine.

Thankfully, a simple trick can save you a lot of time. You may already know of the viral technique that uses a water bottle poured down the agitator to loosen up caked-on grime. Based on the black water that pours out the agitator holes in the original viral TikTok post, it's a pretty effective way to go about the task. However, while that can be a helpful backup trick, there's a much simpler method that many top-loaders lend themselves to. It involves disassembling as much of the agitator as possible and cleaning out the parts individually. Unlike the viral water bottle hack, this approach will give you a better idea of what needs attention, rather than trusting that hot water will properly flush out every nook and cranny.

How To Remove the Headpiece of Your Agitator

In most cases, the headpiece of an agitator can pop right off with a little force. Once removed, it can be cleaned with soap and water over a sink and scrubbed until it's spotless. But be cautious, as not all agitators will have detachable heads. If this is the case with your machine, you will have better luck using the hot water method with a bit of cleaning agent to wash out your agitator column. However, if you do manage to remove the headpiece of the agitator, you can then use a pipe cleaner to scrub out any permanently fixed areas that are now exposed. 

A big part of keeping your top-loader clean is not overloading the washing machine, as packing too many clothes can create higher water levels, causing more junk and debris to fall into the agitator. Ultimately, every agitator will be a little different, and you'll want to judge for yourself what areas can be cleaned by hand and what might benefit more from a poured-water approach. That said, if the top portion of your agitator can be easily disassembled, you'll be able to simplify the cleaning process while scoring superior results.