When washing your clothes, you obviously expect them to come out clean and smelling fresh. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen because of washing machine mold. When it develops on the rubber gaskets inside your washer, it can cause washing machine smells and mold that spread to your clothing and throughout your home.
Too Much Detergent
One of the main causes of mold on the rubber gaskets of your machine is using too much detergent. This creates more suds than the machine can rinse away. As your machine runs through its cycles, these extra suds and dirty water splash on the walls and above the splash line of your machine. The grime that collects above the splash line isn’t rinsed during the rinse cycle, often reaching the interior of the rubber gaskets. This causes a contained, moist environment, which is ideal for the formation of mold.
Looking For Mold
You may first notice mold because of washing machine smells and spots or odors on your towels, clothing, sheets, and anything else you launder in your washer. To check for washing machine mold, open your washer and look for the rubber gaskets on the inside of the door. Run your hand along the rubber gaskets inside your washer. If the gasket feels slimy, mold is probably the cause of your washing machine smells. The rubber gaskets of your machine should never have a slimy feel.
Every time you finish using your machine, taking a few simple steps will work to prevent mold from forming on your rubber gaskets. First, wipe down the inside of your rubber gaskets with a towel after running a wash cycle. This will remove any soap and water that splashed on the gaskets. Mold can’t form without moisture, so by removing the soap and water, you can avoid mold and washing machine smells.
In addition to wiping down your rubber gaskets, wipe to dry the inside of your washtub after a wash cycle to prevent mold. You can also use a good washing machine cleaner to help prevent and remove mold. It’s simple to use a washing machine cleaner to sanitize the interior of your machine.
Using Washing Machine Cleaner
To clean the interior of your washer with washing machine cleaner, begin by setting your machine to the hottest water possible. When using a top load washer, select the clean, tub clean, or sanitize cycle. Add washing machine cleaner and allow the washtub to fill with hot water completely before stopping the cycle.
Add a few bucketfuls of extra hot water or some towels to the washtub so the water rises higher than the splash line. This will ensure the washing machine cleaner can do its job on the entire washtub, not just below the splash line. Let the washtub soak so the washing machine cleaner and hot water can eliminate the mold and dissolve any residue buildup. The longer you let the washtub soak, the better the results. You can even let it soak overnight.
After a good soak, turn your machine on and let it complete the rest of the wash cycle, through rinsing, draining, and spinning. Wipe down the inside of your machine with a clean towel to remove the moisture. That’s all there is to it.
Monitoring Your Machine
Keep an eye out for mold, but your best defense is usually your sense of smell. Take a sniff every time you open your washing machine door to make sure you don’t have any washing machine smells. In addition to smelling your machine, also check the items washed to ensure a fresh smell.
If you do discover washing machine smells, take action immediately. Mold can develop into a nasty problem that can spread to other areas of your home quickly. By using less detergent, hot water, dryer sheets instead of fabric softener, and washing machine cleaner in addition to taking the time to wipe down your machine after use, your washer and home are sure to stay mold free.