Nobody wants mold in their home, and the last place you’d expect to find it is in the very appliance that cleans your clothes. But it can happen. Your washing machine can get moldy.
First, you may notice a musty smell emanating from it. This occurs because of mold growth, and front loading washers are more susceptible to this because of the air tight closure required on the front door. Where there’s moisture, stagnancy, and temperatures suitable for growth, there will be mold.
Furthermore, if you are washing with cold water to keep your clothes from shrinking, you won’t kill mold by running more clothes through the wash. That musty smell will transfer to your clothes, and you won’t be able to get it out until you fix the mold problem.
1. Clean the Door Gasket: Use hot, soapy water and wipe out the door gasket on the washing machine. Make sure you get all sides of the rubber. This means you have to remove the gasket. Make sure it is completely dry before putting in back on.
2. Clean Everything Else: After the gasket is clean, you must clean everything else that can be cleaned in the washing machine. This means soap dispensers and anything else that you can reach.
3. Run a Hot Load: Finally, run an empty cycle on the hot setting with bleach and baking soda. If this does not completely remove the problem, you may need to repeat this process. If that doesn’t work, you may have to call a repairman.
You can prevent mold from recurring by eliminating the mold-friendly environment. Leave the door open on the washing when not in use to allow for air circulation. Don’t leave wet clothes in the washer for extended periods of time. And once in a while, run another empty load with bleach to make sure any mold that may have taken hold is extinguished.
Mold spores are everywhere, so don’t judge yourself too harshly if you get it in your washing machine. Just make sure you take care of it before someone notices the awful smell coming from an appliance that is meant to clean your clothing. And if you have a top-loading washing machine and have been coveting your neighbor’s front loader, sit back and rest easy knowing it is unlikely that your appliance is going to mold.