Washing machine mold, which is typically found on the rubber gasket of front-loading machines, is a common household problem. This kind of mold is caused by neglecting to clean the machine and/or using it improperly. But don’t worry. In this article, you’re going to learn how to remove mold from washing machines.
Just because a washing machine cleans laundry, this doesn’t mean it cleans itself. Mold feeds on the moisture and detergent residue that the machine produces. With this in mind, here’s how to remove mold from washing machines and how to prevent it.
How to Remove Mold from Washing Machines
Removing mold from a washing machine is important for maintaining hygiene and preventing unpleasant odors. Here are some tips to help you effectively remove mold from your washing machine:
- Wear protective gear: Before cleaning, wear gloves and a mask to protect yourself from mold spores.
- Empty the machine: Remove any clothes or laundry items from the washing machine. Make sure the drum is empty before proceeding.
- Use a cleaning solution: You can either use a commercial mildew cleaner or make your own mixture. Here are several homemade cleaners you can create:
- 2 cups water, ½ cup hydrogen peroxide, and ¼ cup lemon juice — hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice are effective cleaners that combat mold and inhibit its growth.
- 2 cups water, ¼ cup lemon juice, and ½ cup distilled white vinegar — white vinegar is an all-around cleaner that you can use as an alternative to hydrogen peroxide.
- 1-part vinegar and 4 parts water — just vinegar and water can do the trick if the mold growth in your washer gasket is in sparse amounts.
- 1-part bleach and 4 parts water — use bleach if the above-mentioned natural cleaners don’t work for you.
- Clean the gasket: The rubber gasket or seal around the door is a common area for mold growth. Here are the steps:
- Put on rubber gloves to protect your hands and a dust mask to avoid inhaling mold spores.
- Add your preferred cleaner into a spray bottle
- Mist the solution over the mold on the gasket.
- Use a soft cloth soaked in the cleaning solution to wipe away any visible mold.
- Pay attention to the folds and crevices where mold can hide.
- For persistent spots, let the solution sit for a few minutes and use an old toothbrush.
- Clean the detergent dispenser: Remove the detergent dispenser tray and soak it in the cleaning solution. Scrub it with a brush to remove any mold or residue. Rinse it thoroughly before placing it back in the machine.
- Run a cleaning cycle: Set your washing machine to the hottest water temperature and longest cycle. Add the mold-cleaning solution directly to the drum and let the machine run through a complete cycle. This will help to disinfect and clean the internal parts of the machine.
- Wipe down the drum and door: After the cleaning cycle is complete, use a clean cloth soaked in the cleaning solution to wipe down the drum and the inside of the door. Pay special attention to any visible mold or stains.
- Air-dry the machine: Leave the door open and let the washing machine air-dry completely. This will help prevent the growth of mold in the future.
- Repeat if necessary: If you still notice mold or odors after the initial cleaning, you may need to repeat the process or try a different cleaning solution.
- Regular maintenance: To prevent mold from recurring, make sure to clean your washing machine regularly. Wipe down the door and gasket after each use and leave the door open to allow air circulation.
If a musty smell persists, mold may grow behind the washer drum. Call the manufacturer (if your machine is under warranty) or a qualified repair person. They can diagnose your washer and fix the mold problem.
Remember, it’s important to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning your specific washing machine model, as some machines may have specific recommendations or restrictions.
How to Prevent Mold in Washing Machines
Preventing mold growth in washing machines is crucial for maintaining a clean and hygienic laundry environment. Here are some tips to help you prevent mold in your washing machine:
- Keep the door open: After each wash cycle, open the washing machine door to allow air to circulate and dry out the drum. This helps to prevent moisture buildup, which can contribute to mold growth.
- Remove wet laundry promptly: Promptly remove wet clothes from the washing machine as soon as the cycle is finished. Leaving damp laundry in the machine for an extended period can create a moist environment conducive to mold growth.
- Clean the detergent dispenser regularly: Mold can accumulate in the detergent dispenser tray, so it’s important to clean it regularly. Remove the tray and wash it with warm soapy water. Make sure to dry it thoroughly before placing it back in the machine.
- Wipe down the door and gasket: After each use, wipe down the inside of the door and the rubber gasket with a clean, dry cloth. This removes any moisture or residue that may be present and helps prevent mold growth.
- Use high-efficiency detergent: If you have a High-Efficiency (HE) washer, use High-Efficiency detergent. Non-HE detergent leaves behind too many suds that promote mold growth. Use only the recommended amount of detergent for the same reason.
- Run a hot water cycle: Periodically run an empty hot water cycle in your washing machine. Hot water helps to kill any existing mold spores and keeps the machine clean. You can add vinegar or bleach to the cycle for additional cleaning and disinfection.
- Avoid overloading the machine: Overloading the washing machine can prevent proper circulation of water and detergent, leading to inadequate cleaning and potential mold growth. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for load size to ensure optimal performance.
- Clean the filter: Some washing machines have a filter that traps lint, debris, and other particles. Check the manufacturer’s instructions on how to locate and clean the filter regularly. A clogged filter can impede water drainage and create a damp environment.
- Ventilate the laundry area: Proper ventilation in the laundry room or area is important for preventing excess moisture. Make sure the room is well-ventilated by opening windows or using a dehumidifier if necessary.
- Regular maintenance: Schedule regular maintenance for your washing machine, following the manufacturer’s recommendations. This may include professional cleaning or inspections to ensure optimal performance and prevent mold growth.
For water damage restoration, contact the PuroClean experts!
Follow these tips on how to remove mold from washing machines to eliminate the health risks associated with mold in your home. But, besides mold growth, washing machines are prone to other problems like overflowing. Learn what to do if your washing machine overflows. Take a look at how to prevent water damage from other appliances as well.
Even with all measures in place, water damage from washing machines can still occur. If that happens to you, know that PuroClean is ready to rescue your property. For flood water damage repair and water removal services, contact your local PuroClean office.