Moisture within the washing machine can become trapped in hard-to-reach locations over time, making it an ideal environment for mould to develop. Seals, gaskets, and dispensers are just a few locations that you may not inspect when cleaning your machine, but these same areas are some of the worst sites for mould development since they frequently do not dry out correctly after a wash cycle. When you combine the stored moisture with the humidity in your laundry room, you have the ideal habitat for mould growth.
Mold may readily adhere to your clothing, producing respiratory difficulties such as sneezing, coughing, and wheezing even if you can’t see it. It might also create a fever in your body. While these symptoms are unpleasant, the effects may be more severe for individuals who are more vulnerable, such as children, the elderly, or persons with previous respiratory difficulties. Try these five mold-in-the-washing machine remedies to keep your lungs happy and your clothing clean.
This post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure here.
Why Does My Washing Machine Have Mold?
Simple. Mold like being wet. Rubber is a favourite of mould. Mold is fond of waste. Mold also enjoys laundry detergent because of its plant-based (and even animal or synthetic) components. It’s dark, wet, and overflowing with food. A washing machine is a mold’s dream!
Is Mold In The Washing Machine Dangerous?
Mold, in general, is hazardous. You may read more about mould kinds and danger classifications here, but keep in mind that you should do all possible to prevent mould and repair any leaks as soon as possible.
How to Remove Mold from Washing Machines
Create a mould removal solution first. You may use a commercial mildew remover or create your own. Here are a few recipes for DIY cleaners:
- 2 cups water, 12 cup hydrogen peroxide, and 14 cup lemon juice — Hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice are powerful mold-fighting cleansers.
- 2 cups water, 14 cup lemon juice, and 12 cup distilled white vinegar — white vinegar is a versatile cleanser that may be used in place of hydrogen peroxide.
- 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water – if the mould development in your washer gasket is minimal, simply vinegar and water will suffice.
- one part bleach to four parts water
- Fill a spray bottle halfway with your favourite cleanser and spritz the solution over the mould on the gasket. Put on rubber gloves and a dust mask to protect your hands from mould spores. Then, using a cloth or towel, thoroughly clean the gasket. Allow the solution to settle for a few minutes before using an old toothbrush to remove stubborn areas.
- After cleaning the rubber seal, it’s time to clean the drum and hoses. Run a cycle with your favourite mould remover on the hottest setting; this will rinse away any mould traces and aromas from your washer drum and hoses.
- If the musty odour remains, mould may be developing under the washing drum. Contact the manufacturer (if your machine is under warranty)
How To Remove Mold From The Detergent Dispenser
- Take the detergent drawer out.
- If your washing machine has inserts, remove them from the dispenser drawer.
- Fill a sink halfway with hot water and 2 cups of vinegar.
- Fill the sink with water and soak the detergent drawer. Allow 30 minutes for the drawer to soak.
- Scrub the mould from all surfaces after 30 minutes.
- Take the drawer out of the hot water and pat it dry with a towel.
- To eliminate any leftover mould spores that may be lurking, spray the detergent drawer with EC3 mould solution spray.
- Allow to dry naturally.
While your detergent drawer is soaking and drying, you should work on the washing machine’s dispenser area.
- Examine the dispenser housing area for mould. If mould is discovered, spray the dispenser housing area with the EC3 mould solution.
- Allow the spray to soak into the dispenser housing area for 10 minutes.
- Scrub the mold/mildew away with an old toothbrush or anything like.
- Wipe the filth away using a damp towel.
- When the area is mold-free, wipe it down with a dry towel to eliminate any remaining moisture.
- Allow the area to air dry after another spray with the EC3 mould solution.
When the detergent drawer and dispenser housing area are dry, replace the drawer in the washer.
How To Clean Mold From Front Load Washer Gasket
- Check that the washer is switched off.
- Open the door of your front-loading washing machine.
- Check to see if the washer is totally empty.
- Turn the gasket outward to inspect the folds and to see the whole gasket inside and out.
- Remove any foreign things on or in the gasket with a moist disposable rag, such as hair, residual detergent, hardened soap, and, of course, mould.
- Sprinkle baking soda into the gasket now.
- Allow a small amount of vinegar to bubble within the gasket.
- Scrub the mold-infested areas with an old toothbrush. Baking soda works as an abrasive, assisting in the loosening of the mould.
- After you’ve removed all of the mould, use another damp towel and clean out any remaining debris.
- Dry the gasket area with a towel.
- To destroy any remaining mould spores, vigorously spray it with EC3 mould solution.
- Allow it to dry while leaving the door open. Make care to clean the inside of the door as well.
More Tips To Keep Your Washing Machine Clean
Clean your washing machine on a regular basis and let it air dry.
You may have tried this approach before, but the secret to cleaning your washer is to scrape all of the hidden spots that you would not typically think to clean. Remove the soap, bleach, and softener dispensers to clean them separately, as well as the places where they fit. Using a cloth or brush and an antimicrobial cleaning spray, clean the interior of the drum, paying special attention to the rubber gasket on front-load washers and the door lip on top-load washers.
After washing the front and interior of the washer, inspect the hose at the rear to ensure that mould has not accumulated on the hose connections. After washing, dry each item gently, and make it a practise to allow each part enough time to air dry after each wash. A towel or cloth can assist to dry the portions that can be reached, but for the greatest results, leave the washer open to the air, paying specific attention to places with limited airflow. Mold will not have an appropriate habitat to develop if your machine is thoroughly dried off after each cycle.
Keep an eye out for machine-specific issues.
Front-load washers receive a lot of flak for mould problems that occur on the inside of the rubber seal on the washer door on a regular basis, but top-load washers have their own challenges. A top-load model’s door usually includes a metal lip that is easily missed while cleaning. The lip on the underside of the basin is another place that is overlooked while cleaning the washer.
Front-load washers, on the other hand, deserve some of the flak they’ve gotten. The gasket on front-loading machines seals in water during a wash cycle, but unless properly cleaned and dried, it retains that moisture considerably longer than any other component of the machine. This design provides a perfect environment for mould to develop, therefore complete air-drying is essential.
Remove any unpleasant smells.
If mould has been an issue in the past, or if your machine has accumulated deposits of hair, soap, and grime, it can begin to stink. To eliminate these scents and disinfect your machine, start by cleaning it thoroughly so that any leftover muck in those difficult-to-reach nooks is removed before sanitizing it. This is a critical step since your system will continue to smell if the source is not eliminated first.
Next, preheat your washer to its maximum temperature and pour four cups of bleach straight into the drum of a front-load washer or two cups of bleach into a top-load washer. Start the cycle and let the tub to fill while the agitator mixes the bleach into the water. Stop the cycle at this stage and let the bleach solution in the washer for 30 minutes before restarting it. After this cycle, put the machine through a rinse cycle to eliminate all signs of the bleach, then repeat these procedures using four cups of pure white vinegar instead of bleach. This should get rid of any lingering scents and eliminate any concealed germs or mould.
Make use of a mold-removal laundry ingredient.
It takes practically no time to mix a tiny bit of laundry additive in with your clothing while preparing your next load of laundry, but this easy precaution might spare your lungs from taking in dangerous mould spores. Laundry additives like EC3 (available on Amazon) employ antimicrobial chemicals like tea tree oil to remove mould spores in your washing machine and on your clothing, resulting in mold-free laundry that smells nicer. While this remedy will not remove any mould that has grown in the washing machine, it will reduce the quantity of mould that gets on your clothing.
Upgrade to a new appliance with antimicrobial characteristics.
If your machine tends to grow mould no matter what you try to clean and keep it dry, you may want to consider investing in a new washer that has microbial defence mechanisms incorporated in during the manufacturing process. Within the machine, this process creates a surface that penetrates the cell wall of any microbe that comes into touch with it, preventing the microorganism from functioning or replicating. While you should always clean your machine on a regular basis, these machines provide additional protection against germs, yeasts, moulds, and fungus.
Do Front Loader Washing Machines Get Mold Issues?
Mold may grow in every washing machine. Mold grows out of control in the rubber gasket area of front loaders, giving them a poor reputation. However, mould may grow in a variety of other places in washing machines. There are trays for storing detergent and bleach. Mold can form in the top region of the basin, right under the washing machine casing on top loaders. Then there’s the basin itself. Mold can grow on the door. However, the gasket region of a front loader is unquestionably the most prone to mould development.