Front-load washing machines are not easy to clean, especially when the inner gasket develops mold. Leftover detergents, fabric softeners, warm temperatures, soil from clothing, and a dark environment all combine to make the ideal habitat for mold to develop.
Thankfully, removing mold from your washer gasket is straightforward and only takes a while with the right instructions. This article will teach you how to clean mold from your washing machine and advanced tips to prevent mold growth in your washer gasket.
How to Clean Mold From a Front Load Washer Gasket
Getting rid of mold growth in your washer gasket is not too difficult. You may already have all the tools and supplies to pull it off, such as white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or lemon juice. Take a look at two methods for cleaning mold from your top-loading washer
Method 1 – Use White Vinegar
Using vinegar is certainly the way to go when you need to clear mold growth in your washing machine’s gasket. This is because vinegar has antibacterial and antifungal abilities, which makes it effective for killing mold.
According to research, vinegar is also a great way to prevent mold growth so you don’t have to worry about mold growth in your washer in the first place. Without further ado, follow the steps below to clean mold from your front-loading washer using white vinegar:
- Get a spray bottle and pour in enough vinegar to spray the gasket. Don’t dilute the vinegar with water.
- Spray the mold-infested area directly until it’s completely covered. Let it sit for 1 – 2 hours.
- Next, moisten a clean rag with vinegar and use it to remove as much mold as possible from the fold of the gasket.
- If the mold has been on the gasket for a while, it’s probably stuck to it even more stubbornly. Make a paste with baking soda and water, then spray the mold-infested gasket. Do this right after letting the vinegar act for at least 1 hour.
- Use an old brush to brush vigorously.
Using bleach will do nothing to deep-clean mold infestations in your washer gasket; it will kill the surface mold, but the mold will bloom again with time.
Method 2 – Make a Homemade Solution to Use
If you don’t have white vinegar, you can make a cleaning mixture that is as effective as vinegar using hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice. Take a look:
- Put on a protective rubber glove and make a solution containing four parts water, 1 part lemon juice, and 1 part hydrogen peroxide.
- Put the resulting mixture into a spray bottle and spritz the mold-infested area of the gasket until properly soaked.
- Let the solution sit for about 15 minutes, enabling it to act on the moldy area.
- Use an old brush and brush the area rigorously.
- Take a clean rag and clean the gasket fold until you’re happy.
If you would rather go for a commercial mold and mildew buster, then you may want to try your hands on Yondarli Mold Remover Gel. Its unique formulation is powerful and acts quickly, usually removing mold and stains between 2 – 6 hours.
How Do You Prevent Mold Growth On Washer Gaskets?
Front-loading washing machines require more maintenance than their top-loading counterparts, so you may want to get familiar with tips for keeping your washer mold-free while at it. After clearing mold growth from your washer growth, here’s how you can keep it that way:
- Don’t overuse laundry detergent. Excessive use of laundry detergent can leave residues after a wash cycle, creating a conducive environment for mold to grow in the washing machine. This also applies to fabric softeners. To curb excessive suds, use high-efficiency (HE) laundry detergent.
- If the laundry room is located in a closed, humid environment, consider using a dehumidifier to help prevent fungal and mold growth.
- To promote ventilation which can stop mold from growing in your washing machine, leave the washer door open after each washing cycle. When the washer is sufficiently dry, you may shut the door. This will discourage smells and mold growth.
- Clean your washing machine once every month after cleaning out mold growth.
- Wet clothes should not be left in the machine tub for extended periods. Mold or mildew will be more likely to form because of the moisture trapped within the tub.
- After each wash, wipe the washer tub using a dry cloth to keep it moisture-free, then leave the door ajar to promote ventilation for a while. Pay particular attention to the washer gasket and keep it as dry as possible.
What Causes Mold Growth On Washer Seals?
Mould is a type of fungi that thrives in warm, humid environments. When a washing machine is not routinely cleaned (at least once a month), particles from clothes, sand, and other objects may build up in the washing machine drum and gasket, creating a foothold for mold to grow.
Another factor that contributes to the outbreak of mold in a front-loading washing machine is the type of porous rubber used to make the washer gasket. They are breathable and highly porous, so microparticles and bacteria can seep into the pores on the rubber gasket, creating a breeding ground for mold.
Using a high-temperature washing cycle – which your fabric can tolerate, of course – can help to keep mold at bay. However, the rise in low-temperature washing techniques may cause mold infestation in some washers. While being energy efficient, low-temperature washing cycles use temperatures of 40°C or less in a wash cycle, which is not sufficient to stop mold from growing in a washer. We recommend washing your garments at a tolerably high temperature for your garments whenever you can.
Other factors such as modern detergents with zero bleach formulation, stagnant water in washing machines, residue from clothes and laundry chemicals, and clogs in washer drainage can also cause mold to break out.
Will Bleach Ruin Washer Rubber Seal?
Using bleach will not ruin your washer gasket, so you can use it to treat a mold bloom if you don’t have vinegar or the other cleaning solutions suggested in this article. However, before you use bleach to treat your washer gasket, you need to confirm from your owner’s manual that it can tolerate treatment with bleach.
You also need to take note that bleach is harsh, and its undiluted form may still wreak havoc on your washer’s rubber components, so we do not recommend using bleach to clean your washer gasket. With bleach, you may be able to get rid of mold growth, but the stains they leave behind may be bleach-resistant. In that case, you’re better off using a strong stain remover.
Now that you know how to clean off mold from your front-loading washer, you must follow a rigid maintenance cycle to keep your front-loading washing machine free of mold growth and smells.
Also, one of the most important steps you can take to be truly free from mold and mildew infestation as a front-loading washer owner is to always keep the washer dry after each washing cycle.
Keeping the door open (except when the washer is working) can go a long way in keeping the mold away.