3 Tips To Remove Mold From Washing Machines

remove mold from washing machineA common household appliance that cleans and sanitizes clothing is also a frequent source of mold contamination. How does that happen? If it’s a front-loading washer, the answer is in the design. Efficient front-loaders are now a popular choice to replace top-loading machines in many laundry rooms. However, while top-loaders usually dry out between each use, the waterproof design that prevents leakage from a front-loading machine tends to retain residual moisture inside the unit. This provides an environment for mold growth that may infect clothes and/or taint these items with unpleasant odors.

Here are three tips to interrupt the cycle of washer mold growth and keep your clothes sanitary and fresh.

  1. Ground zero for mold contamination in front-loading washers is the rubber door gasket. Deep creases in the gasket retain hidden moisture and conceal mold growth that contaminates the entire unit. Begin by making a 50/50 mixture of warm water and laundry bleach. Put on gloves and soak a clean rag with the mixture. Clean the door gasket thoroughly, pulling open the seal creases and wiping deeply to remove mold and mildew growth. If fungal growth is advanced, saturate several rags with the water/bleach mixture and stuff them into the seal crease, leaving the wet rags in contact with mold for 30 minutes. Following this initial cleaning, remember to wipe the door seal dry with a clean rag after every wash cycle.
  2. Remove the detergent dispenser, another source of potential mold contamination. Soak it in a 50/50 mix of hot water and bleach or vinegar, scrub it clean, then rinse and re-install.
  3. On a regular basis to eliminate mold in the washer and internal plumbing, run a wash cycle containing just a few small clean towels (many manufacturers don’t recommend running the washer totally empty.) Pour only a cup of bleach directly into the tub—no detergent—then select the hottest water setting and the longest wash duration. Some models incorporate a special high-temperature tub-cleaning cycle option that will help do the job for you.

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