Washing machines take on the task many people wouldn’t enjoy doing by hand: LAUNDRY! Just like it is important to clean out your refrigerator or your oven, it is important to give your washing machine a scrub down to avoid mold and bacteria that grabs onto your clothing every day.
Typically the machines that have the most of an issue with growing mold are the front-loading washing machines. They have an air-tight seal complete with a rubber gasket to trap moisture in the machine. This is wonderful to avoid a not-soaked laundry room floor, but it is also wonderful for mildew and mold to find the perfect spot to grow. The growth of this mold is encouraged by our highly sudsy detergent and liquid fabric softeners, which leave behind a residue perfect for growth. If you notice your washing machine is smelly, or if you happen to spot mold growing on the detergent drawer, it is important to clean your machine regularly.
Clean the Gasket. The gasket, or the inside of the rubber lining, does not dry out easily. Use a rag with hot water or mildew cleaner to wipe underneath and around the lining. (This is also where missing socks might be hiding!)
Clean the Dispensers. The detergent dispensers are a great place for mildew to form. Take out the dispensers and clean them to your best ability. Some people will even soak them for a while in a bleach-water solution.
Run the Machine. Run the machine EMPTY on the longest, hottest setting possible. To get the deepest clean, you can add ONE of the following directly into the wash tub:
1c. baking soda
1/2c. powdered washer detergent
If this does not help, try to run the machine again. After trying all of these options, if the smell or mold continues, unplug and dismantle the machine as mildew could be growing behind the drum or in a clogged drain or filter. If you are not comfortable doing this, a qualified repair person can help.
Preventative Measures. To avoid mildew growth, air out the machine often. Try to leave the door open when you are not using the machine to avoid trapping moisture inside. Also, be sure to remove your loads of laundry as soon as possible. When choosing your detergent, powder is less likely to leave behind a residue suitable for mold growth. Also, if you are determined, try to do a dry cloth wipe down of the machine after each load. Each month, run a hot water cycle with one of the washer cleaners to quickly kill bacteria and mold lurking in the corners of your machine.
Have a question or additional tip? Leave it in the comments below! If you found this post helpful, be sure to like and share it and subscribe to the 1st Source Servall Blog for more tips and tricks for your appliances!
Written by: Madison Jezioro