Over time, moisture inside the washing machine can get trapped in hard-to-reach places and can easily become a great place for mold growth. Seals, gaskets, and dispensers are just a few areas that you probably don’t check when cleaning your machine, but these same areas are some of the worst places for mold growth as they often don’t dry properly after a cycle. washing. . Combine the trapped moisture with the humidity in your laundry room and you have the perfect environment for mold growth.
Even if you can’t see it, mold can easily attach to your clothes, causing breathing problems like sneezing, coughing, and wheezing. It can even cause a fever in your body. While these symptoms are not fun, for those who are more sensitive, such as children, the elderly, or people with pre-existing breathing problems, the consequences could be more serious. To keep your lungs happy and your clothes clean, try these five washing machine mold fixes.
1. Clean your appliance regularly and air dry your washing machine.
This might be the one you’ve tried before, but the key to cleaning your washer is scrubbing any hidden areas that you might not normally think of cleaning. Remove the soap, bleach, and fabric softener dispensers so you can clean them individually and so you can clean the areas where they fit. Clean the inside of the drum with a cloth or brush and antimicrobial cleaning spray, paying particular attention to the rubber gasket on front load washers and the door edge on top load washers.
Once you are done scrubbing the front and inside of the washer, check the hose at the back to make sure no mold has built up on the hose fittings. After cleaning, dry each piece thoroughly and get into the habit of making sure each piece has enough time to air dry after each wash. A towel or rag can help dry areas it can reach, but for best results leave the washer in the open, paying special attention to areas with poor air circulation. If your machine dries properly after each cycle, mold will not have a suitable environment for growth.
2. Pay attention to machine specific problems.
Front-load washers get a lot of bad press for the mold issues that constantly occur inside the washer’s door rubber seal, but top-load washers have their own issues. The door of a top-loading model often has a metal lip which is often overlooked when cleaning. The lip under the basin is also an area that is missing when cleaning the washer.
However, front load washers deserve some of the criticism they have received. The gasket on front-loading machines seals in water during a wash cycle, but unless properly washed and dried, it retains that moisture much longer than any other area of ââthe machine. This design creates an ideal spot for mold growth, so thorough air drying is essential.
3. Eliminate unwanted odors.
If mold has been a problem in the past, or if your machine has built up deposits of hair, soap, and dirt, it may start to smell bad. To remove these odors and sanitize your machine, start by thoroughly cleaning the machine so that any remaining dirt in those hard-to-reach crevices is removed before sanitizing the machine. This is an important step, as your machine will continue to smell if the source is not removed first.
Next, you need to set your washer to its highest temperature and add bleach directly to the drum, four cups for a front load washer or two cups for a top load washer. Start the cycle and allow the tub to fill, allowing the agitator to mix the bleach into the water. At this point, stop the cycle and let the bleach solution sit in the washer for half an hour before continuing the cycle. After this cycle ends, run the machine through a rinse cycle to remove all traces of bleach, then repeat these steps using four cups of regular white vinegar instead of bleach. This should remove all unwanted odors and kill any hidden bacteria or mold.
4. Use a laundry additive designed to kill mold.
When you’re getting your next load of laundry ready, it doesn’t take long to add a small amount of laundry additive to your clothes, but this simple step could keep your lungs from breathing in harmful mold spores. Laundry additives like EC3 (available on Amazon) use antimicrobial ingredients, such as tea tree oil, to kill mold spores in your washing machine and on your clothes so your laundry comes out mold-free and feel better. While this solution won’t eliminate mold that grows in the washing machine, it will limit the amount of mold that gets on your clothes.
5. Switch to a new device with microbial defense functions.
If you have a machine that appears to be growing mold, no matter what you do to clean it and keep it dry, you may want to consider investing in a new washer with built-in microbial defense functions during the manufacturing process. This process produces a surface inside the machine that penetrates the cell wall of any microorganism that comes in contact with it, preventing the microorganism from functioning or multiplying. Although you should still clean your machine regularly, these machines provide additional protection against bacteria, yeasts, molds and fungi. When combined with proper cleaning and drying techniques, this protection will keep your laundry fragrant and free of harmful microorganisms.