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Do you know where your washing machine filter is, and how to clean it out?

“Brunch with Babs” strikes again — except this time, instead of sharing how to properly carve and care for fresh pumpkins, Barbara Costello (@brunchwithbabs), the viral grandmother influencer on TikTok, is explaining how to locate and clean a washing machine filter.

“I know you know what your dryer filter is, but do you know where your washing machine filter is?” Costello questions viewers.

“If you don’t know where it is, you might be in trouble because you’re supposed to clean it four times a year,” she adds.

In the video, Costello demonstrates how to locate, open and empty a front-loading washing machine filter, explaining that regular cleaning of the filter every three months will “really extend the life of the machine.”

Many commenters to the video explained that they live in rentals or use shared laundry spaces, so they aren’t familiar with washing machine maintenance, making it a helpful tip for those new to doing laundry on their own.

“I live in an apt complex with communal laundry and I’m scared of what might be living in there,” confessed @denisethompson44.

How to clean a washing machine filter

Better Homes and Gardens explains that consulting the owner’s manual for a specific washing machine is always the best way to locate where the filter is. However, they also note that typically, washing machine filters are in one of the following locations:

  • In the middle of the agitator

  • Inside the drum’s top lip

  • In a front panel

  • By a water pump or drainage hose

Costello’s filter was located behind a front panel on her washing machine. She opened the panel to reveal a plug that housed the filter. Before unscrewing the plug, she set out both a bucket and a towel underneath because she noted that water would come out once it opened.

Sure enough, “stinky-winky” water indeed did spill out of the filter when she opened it, along with a Q-tip, various hairballs, garbage and the quintessential lost sock.

“OMG IT DOES EAT SOCKS,” marveled @forestxplores.

Fellow commenters who have taken Costello’s tip to heart and cleaned their washing machine filters admitted to finding equally surprising items lurking inside.

“I found a $10 in mine,” laughed @taylor_anne28.

“Did mine a few years back and there was like 2 lbs of coins deteriorating in there. I would recommend doing it as gross as it is. It smelled so bad like metal and made a mess but made my washer and clothes smell so much better!!” said @flyinv.

“Did that when we moved into my home because it wasn’t draining well… we found a lot dog hair and a flash drive!” added @vickytrott93.

“I lost my engagement ring and found it in there!” claimed @rachellinas, in a find to top them all.

Do all washing machines have filters?

Costello’s video seemed to set off a frenzy of TikTok users trying desperately to find their washing machine filters — but some had no success.

“Who’s washer has a filter like that?? mines nowhere to be found and I bought it this year, brand new,” questioned @jbaby263.

“I don’t have that on mine, where else can it be?” wondered @flower_fairy_8,

As it turns out, not all washing machines have filters like the one Costello showed. Maytag explains that most top-loading washing machines (the kind that opens from the top, not the front) do not have a filter.

“Most top load washers made after 2001 do not have washer filters in their drainage system. Instead, newer models utilize a more powerful drain pump and larger drain holes. If you have a model made before 2001, you can find the washer filters at the bottom of the washer drum underneath the agitator,” Maytag describes.

Additionally, some washing machine models have filters that are hard to access because they’re located inside the back panel, making them difficult to locate and clean.

“Mine’s in the back of the washer and requires removing the whole back panel and exposing the machinery and everything,” explained @nailssdsq0x.

The only way to know to confirm if and where a filter exists is to check the instruction manual. But regardless of how universal the washing machine filter cleaning hack is, TikTokers still appreciated Costello’s tips on general life maintenance.

“I need a week off of work called ‘Babs Boot Camp,’ where I do all the things around my house that I know I need to,” commented @kellyawolters.

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The post Do you know where your washing machine filter is, and how to clean it out? appeared first on In The Know.

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