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How to Clean Mold in Washing Machine

Have you noticed a musty smell coming from your washing machine? Are your clothes coming out of the wash with strange spots or stains? Chances are, your washing machine may be harboring mold. Mold in your washing machine can not only cause unpleasant odors and stains on your clothes, but it can also be harmful to your health.

Mold thrives in damp and dark environments, making your washing machine the perfect breeding ground. Luckily, cleaning mold from your washing machine is a simple and straightforward process that can be done with a few household items.

Signs of mold in a washing machine

Here are some common signs that indicate mold may be present in your washing machine:

  1. Foul Odor: One of the first signs of mold in a washing machine is a musty or unpleasant odor. If your freshly washed clothes come out smelling musty or moldy, it is likely that mold is present in the machine.
  1. Visible Mold Growth: Inspect the rubber seal around the door of your front-loading washing machine for any visible mold growth. Mold can appear as black or green patches and may also be accompanied by a slimy residue.
  1. Discoloration: Look for any discoloration on the interior walls of the washing machine, particularly in hard-to-reach areas such as the detergent dispenser or the drum. Mold can appear as dark spots or streaks on these surfaces.
  1. Allergic Reactions: If you or your family members experience an increase in allergy symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, or skin irritation after using the washing machine, it could be due to mold spores being released into the air during the wash cycle.
  1. Reduced Washing Performance: Mold can obstruct the drainage system of the washing machine, leading to poor water circulation and inefficient cleaning. If you notice that your clothes are not coming out as clean as they should be, mold may be to blame.

If you observe any of these signs of mold in your washing machine, it is crucial to take immediate action to clean and disinfect the appliance. By addressing mold growth promptly, you can prevent further damage to your washing machine and ensure that your clothes are thoroughly cleaned and free from harmful mold spores.

Steps to clean mold in a washing machine

Gather necessary cleaning supplies

Most of these items can be found in your home already, making the cleaning process convenient and cost-effective. Here is a list of the supplies you will need:

  • Cleaning rag
  • Mildew cleaner
  • Dish soap
  • Bristled cleaning brush
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Bleach
  • Gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Toothbrush

Having these supplies on hand will ensure that you are prepared to effectively clean mold from your washing machine. Remember to never mix cleaning products, especially bleach with vinegar, as it can create harmful fumes. Additionally, be sure to wear gloves while handling cleaning solutions to protect your skin. With the right supplies and proper safety precautions, you can successfully tackle mold growth in your washing machine.

How to Clean Mold in Washing Machine Inforgraphic

Clean the detergent dispenser and drawer

One area of your washing machine that often gets overlooked when it comes to cleaning is the detergent dispenser and drawer. Detergent and fabric softener can build up in these areas over time, creating the perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow.

To clean the detergent dispenser and drawer, start by referring to your washing machine’s instruction manual to learn how to remove the drawers. Once you have removed the drawers, rinse them under hot running water to wash off any excess detergent or grime.

Next, fill a sink or container with warm soapy water and soak the drawers for about 10 minutes. If there are obvious signs of mold and dirt, consider using a stronger cleaning solution such as diluted bleach or vinegar. Use a cloth to scrub the drawers thoroughly, being mindful of wearing gloves to protect your hands.

In addition to cleaning the dispenser drawers, it’s also important to clean the detergent and fabric softener dispensers themselves. These areas can also accumulate residue over time, leading to mold and odors. Remove the dispensers from the washing machine and scrub them with soap and water. If they do not slide out completely, wipe them down as thoroughly as possible.

Lastly, don’t forget to clean under the gasket seal and the washer door. Water tends to sit in these areas, creating a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Use a cloth and mildew cleaner, bleach, or vinegar to scrub down the gasket and washer door, ensuring that all traces of mold and mildew are removed.

Scrub the rubber seals and drum

These areas can easily collect moisture and detergent residue, providing the perfect environment for mold growth.

To clean the rubber seals, start by spraying a mildew cleaner or a mixture of water and vinegar onto a cloth. Wipe down the seals thoroughly, making sure to reach into any crevices where mold may be hiding. Pay special attention to the area where the seals meet the door, as this is a common spot for mold to develop.

Next, move on to cleaning the inner drum of the washing machine. Fill a spray bottle with a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar, and spray it onto a clean cloth. Use the cloth to wipe down the inside of the drum, paying close attention to any visible mold or mildew spots. For stubborn stains or buildup, you may need to use a scrub brush to gently scrub the affected areas.

Once you have thoroughly cleaned the rubber seals and drum, be sure to leave the washing machine door open after each use to allow for proper air circulation and drying. This will help prevent mold and mildew from returning.

Regularly clean the washing machine to prevent mold

Run a cleaning cycle with vinegar or bleach

To effectively clean your front-loader washing machine, it is essential to run a cleaning cycle using either vinegar or bleach. Both options have their benefits, but it is important to choose one and avoid mixing them together to prevent the creation of harmful chlorine gas.

If you choose to use bleach, start by setting your washing machine to the highest temperature. Then, pour two cups of bleach into the detergent tray. Allow the machine to run on the longest cycle to ensure thorough cleaning.

Alternatively, if you prefer to use vinegar and baking soda, add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the drum before starting the cycle. Once the cycle has begun, pour 2 cups of vinegar into the detergent dispenser. Vinegar is a natural alternative that can help remove mold and prevent its buildup within your washing machine.

Whichever option you choose, it is important to allow the cycle to start and the cleaning solution to mix with the water inside the machine. This will help to effectively clean and sanitize your front-loader washing machine, ensuring that it remains free from mold and bacteria.

Wipe down the exterior of the machine

Wiping down the exterior of the machine regularly is a simple yet effective way to keep it in good condition.

Start by unplugging the machine to ensure safety. Then, take a clean, damp cloth and gently wipe down the surfaces of the machine, including the control panel, door, and sides. Pay special attention to areas where moisture tends to accumulate, such as around the door seal and detergent tray.

If you notice any visible dirt or grime, you can use a mild detergent or a mixture of water and vinegar to help break it down. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the finish of your machine.

After wiping down the exterior of the machine, take a clean, dry cloth and thoroughly dry all surfaces to prevent moisture from lingering. This will help prevent mold and bacteria from growing and keep your washing machine looking and functioning its best.

Mold is a serious issue, if it is not cleaned properly, it can come up later. If you need professional mold removal services in New Jersey, call ServiceMaster by Replacements. We stand by 24 hours a day to respond to calls for mold removal. To learn more about our mold removal services, make sure to call us today at (732) 842-6917.