Mold In Your Washing Machine
We are soon entering warmer weather, which puts us at higher risk for mold and mold-related issues. One place that we often overlook for mold is in our washing machine. Whether top-load or front-load, new or used, every washing machine provides an ideal habitat for mold. The high moisture content in both the machine and the resulting atmosphere, the typical poorly-ventilated laundry room with its stale warm air, and the continual supply of decomposing organic material provided by soiled laundry all contribute to an environment conducive to mold growth and its accompanying mildew smell.
Here is how to ensure your washer and the surrounding area stays free of harmful mold:
You will need the following materials:
• White vinegar
• A natural all-purpose mold killing solution
• A cleaning rag (or sponge)
Begin with the exterior of the machine. Use vinegar or the all-purpose mold killing solution to wipe down the exterior of the machine. This will remove the more visible grime, such as dust and oily fingerprints. (Both organic sources provide floating mold spores with a tantalizing invitation to congregate and colonize.)
Next, clean around the lid and seal. For front-load washers, the rubber door seal will need extra care in order to ensure the removal of mold and mildew. Gently pull back on the rubber stripping and use vinegar or the all-purpose mold killing solution. Even if no mildew or scum is visible, Step 2 is necessary in the prevention of mold growth.
Pour two cups of vinegar or lemon juice into the washer. Run the machine for a complete cycle on the longest, hottest setting. This will remove the mold odor and mildew smell, as well as stains and the build-up of detergents.
Once you have completed your cleaning process, discard the rags or sponges that you used, as they may contain harmful mold particles.
The majority of owners neglect to do regular maintenance on their washing machines. In addition, some owners only compound matters by leaving laundry in the machine hours, sometimes even a day or more, after a wash has completed. What is often overlooked is the fact that mold grows quickly and can thrive off of laundry detergent due to its plant-based (and even animal fat or synthetic) components. So use good timing when doing your laundry, and move your clothes to the dryer promptly.