Washing machine deals with dirty clothes, water, and detergent. Mold in washing machine is inevitable, especially in the front-loading type. If neglected, the mold will create odor, spread spores, and ruin your washing quality. Make sure you know how to spot and remove mold in your washing machine.
Table of Contents
- A. Why Does Mold Attack Washing Machine?
- B. How to Inspect Washing Machine for Mold
- C. Cleaning Solutions for Mold in Washing Machine
- D. Steps to Clean Mold in Washing Machine
- E. Tips to Prevent Moldy Washing Machines
A. Why Does Mold Attack Washing Machine?
The front-loading washing machine is known for being gentler and more water-efficient. However, it is also prone to mold attack. Mold in front-loading washing machine often gathers on the rubber seal in the door. This seal is responsible for keeping water from seeping out. Since it seldom receives attention, the wet seal becomes an ideal habitat for mold.
The habit of using high-suds detergent and warm water when washing also contributes to mold. Strong detergent and warm water are preferred because they clean better. However, they also leave residue in the rubber seal, further encourage mold growth.
How about the top-loading machine? We seldom find mold in top-loading washing machine because it does not have a rubber seal. The door is loose enough to allow air circulation. However, it still can develop mold from the moisture and residue, such as in the dispensers and cleaning cycle cylinder.
B. How to Inspect Washing Machine for Mold
We often don’t realize the presence of mold until the clothes coming out smelly. If there is a musty smell coming out of your machine, or if your clothes have mold odor, check the machine thoroughly with these steps:
1. Check the rubber seal
If your washing machine is a front-loading, check the rubber seal for dark or greenish spots.
2. Check the containers
Detergent containers often become mold source. Pull them to the max and check the inside to find dark or greenish spots.
3. Check the hoses
Cracks or tears on the hoses can cause a leak, which encourages mold growth. If you cannot spot them, try running the machine to see if there are drips.
4. Check the washing cylinder
The cylinder may be mold habitat if it is not used for a long time. The trapped moisture and warmth create an ideal place for mold. Check if there is a strong smell from this part. Use a flashlight to see any traces of mold.
C. Cleaning Solutions for Mold in Washing Machine
Before cleaning the washing machine, prepare a cleaning solution. You will use it to wipe the parts of the washing machine. Here are several recipes for the cleaning solution:
1. Lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide
This solution kills the mold instantly. Mix 2 cups of water with ¼ cup of lemon juice and ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide.
2. Lemon juice and vinegar
White vinegar is a nice alternative for hydrogen peroxide, especially if you want to make something more environmentally-friendly. The recipe is similar to the previous one, but with distilled white vinegar instead of peroxide.
3. Bleach solution
This is the strongest solution for a more serious mold problem. Only use bleach if the previous recipes don’t work for cleaning mold in washing machine. Mix four parts of water with one part of bleach to make it. Bleach also helps to remove bad smell.
Aside from the homemade cleaning solution, you must have a washer cleaner product and enzymatic detergent. These products will be used to clean the washing cylinder.
D. Steps to Clean Mold in Washing Machine
These steps are aimed for front-loading washing machine. However, you can modify it to clean top-loading machine. Here are the steps:
1. Clean rubber seal
Start by rubbing a homemade cleaning solution on the rubber seal. Wipe all sides of the seal, including underneath and between the creases. Use a clean cloth to wipe it. Discard cloth afterward and use a different one to clean other parts.
2. Clean detergent dispensers
Clean all sides of detergent dispensers with homemade cleaning solution. Dab bottle cleaning brush into the solution before reaching into crevices and difficult spots.
3. Wash the cleaning tube
Place ½ cup of enzymatic detergent, 1 cup of the cleaning solution, and one piece of washer cleaner (if any). Run the washing cycle using the hottest water setting. Repeat if your washing machine still emits an unpleasant smell.
If mold still comes back even after thorough washing, you have to call the professionals. They will dismantle the machine to look for the actual problem.
E. Tips to Prevent Moldy Washing Machines
Moldy washing machines require meticulous washing. Therefore, preventing the mold from forming in the first place is the best strategy. Here is how you can stop mold from growing in your washing machine:
1. Choose high-efficiency detergent
Excessive suds leave a residue that can encourage mold to grow. If you want to leave fewer suds but still get effective cleaning action, choose high-efficiency detergent. This product has better cleaning action than a regular one.
2. Use powder detergent
If you cannot find high-efficiency detergent, use powder product instead of liquid. Powder usually leaves fewer suds. You can also check the detergent label to see the amount it uses in reach recommended scoop.
3. Unload washing machine quickly
Once you finish washing, avoid leaving the clothes there, since it can encourage mold from moisture. Unload the machine immediately and keep it open for a while to dry.
4. Clean with bleach
Once a month, run a washing cycle with a bleach solution. Use this opportunity to wash specific objects, like shower curtains, gardening gloves, or doormat. Use the bleach according to the label.
If possible, keep your washing machine door open when unused. This is to let the air circulation dries the machine. However, make sure there are no small kids or pets wandering around.
The washing machine is one of the most vulnerable household appliances when it comes to mold. Moisture, warmth, and residue create an ideal environment for mold to grow. Inspecting and maintaining your machine regularly helps in mold detection. You can use cheap products and homemade cleaning solutions to get rid of the mold.
With proper maintenance and cleaning method, you can remove mold in washing machine and get impeccable washing result.