Your washing machine can become a breeding ground for mold. This is due to the mix of water and cleaning detergents that you use to clean your clothes.
When you get a buildup of mold, it can start to cause a bad odor to occur in your washing machine, which can then be smelled all throughout your house. It can even cause your clothes to smell bad after a wash – making your washing machine effectively useless.
Thankfully, you don’t have to put up with it.
9 Steps to Remove Mold
Removing mold from your washing machine is easy to do. Simply follow our step-by-step guide, and you’ll be able to remove all traces of mold from your washing machine. Once you have removed mold from your washer, make sure you follow our tips below for how to stop mold from coming back.
- Put on some protective gloves, and also a protective mask if you have one.
- Make up a cleaning solution. You can either mix 2 cups of hot water with ½ cup of bleach (hydrogen peroxide) and ¼ cup of lemon juice or mix 2 cups of water with ½ cup of white vinegar and ¼ cup of lemon juice. Both solutions will help to combat mold and stop it from growing in your washing machine. Remember to never mix bleach and vinegar together, as this can be dangerous.
- Once you have chosen your cleaning solution, put it into a spray bottle and grab a cloth or old towel to use for cleaning.
- Start by spraying the solution onto the door gaskets (especially for front-load washers), and give the gaskets a thorough clean – you can use an old toothbrush if there are mold spots that are tough to get off.
- Give the rubber seals a good clean, and remove any visible mold from them.
- You can then give the rest of the inside of the washing machine a thorough clean – paying close attention to the area around and inside the detergent dispenser.
- The next step is to run a full wash cycle. If your washer doesn’t have a dedicated cleaning cycle, you should run the washer through a cycle on the hottest setting – place the bleach solution into the dedicated bleach compartment, or if using the vinegar solution, pour it into the detergent compartment.
- Once the cycle is complete, use a towel or cloth to completely dry out your washing machine – including the gaskets and rubber seals. You can then leave the washer door open for a while to let it dry out.
- If the smell persists after cleaning your washer, then the problem may be caused by mold buildup in the back or sides of your washer. This is unlikely to occur, but if it does, you will have to remove the sides of your washer and carefully clean all components, let them dry, and then put the washing machine back together again.
How to Prevent Mold
Now that you have hopefully removed the mold from your washing machine, there are a few simple things you can do to stop mold from building up again. Here are our best tips.
1. Clean Your Washing Machine After Use
After you’ve finished using your machine for the day, it’s a good idea to give your washing machine a quick wipe down (including the seals and detergent compartment). This helps to remove any moisture from your machine, which will stop mold from building up. It only takes a minute, and it will save you time from having to deep clean your washing machine in the long run.
2. Keep the Lid Open
It’s a good idea to leave the washing machine door open when you have finished using it. This is because mold likes to grow and spread in dark and moist places, so when the door is kept open, it will let it dry out thoroughly and make it harder for mold to grow.
3. Don’t Let Wet Clothes Sit in the Washing Machine
Always make sure that you remove your washed clothes as soon as the cycle finishes. This will help prevent mold from growing, and it is much better for your clothes too. If you want to put a load in before going to bed or going out of your house, make sure you use the timer function.
4. Clean the Seals and Gaskets
If you have a front-load washer, then it’s especially important to regularly clean the seals and door gaskets. These components help stop water from leaking out of your washing machine, so they become the perfect space for mold to grow. After every wash cycle, make sure you give them a wipe to prevent this from happening.
5. Switch to Powder Detergents
If you currently use liquid detergents to wash your clothes, you should consider switching to powder detergents or pods, as these are less likely to help mold build up inside your washing machine. This is because the liquid can leave behind a residue in your machine, which in turn helps mold to grow. It’s also really important to only use as much detergent as required for each wash, as excess detergents leave moisture in your washing machine.