Mold & Your Washing Machine

You already know that your dryer can produce mold if your dryer vents are blocked, but did you know mold can grow in your washing machine as well? Makes sense consider the water used in it, and if you never clean it out, then mold and mildew are sure to show up. If this has happened to you, you can take a few steps to preventing the problem and getting your washing machine looking (and smelling) good as new again if mold has already shown up!
If you’re like most people, you probably keep the washing machine lid closed when it’s not in use. Don’t do that! Mold and mildew grow in dark, moist places, so leaving the lid open to ventilate will help prevent them from showing up.
Laundry smelling musty? Are you leaving them in the washer for long periods, instead of transferring them to the dryer right away? It’s easy to leave your wet clothes in the wash for a while, since life is busy, but it’s not a great idea. Leaving wet clothes can help produce mold and cause your clothing to mildew.
It’s an extra step to doing laundry, but it will help reduce the risk of mold – wiping down all the damp parts when you’re done doing laundry for the day. We’re talking any and every thing that’s damp; but most importantly the gaskets and seals around the door as that’s an area that is at high risk for mold.
If you’re already dealing with mold and mildew, you can fix the issue fairly quickly. You’ll just need to mix a solution of either vinegar and hot water or bleach and hot water (but NOT bleach and vinegar as that will create a toxic chlorine gas!). Once you’ve made one of these mixes, grab an old towel, then use the mix to scrub away at any mold you see. Then run your washer on the hottest cycle available with either a cup of bleach OR a cup of vinegar to kill hidden mold. When that’s done, wipe down your machine with a dry towel, then leave the lid open to circulate air so it can dry out. That should do the trick!
Having mold in your home is never good, so take care to prevent it from showing up in your washing machine or dryer, and if it does appear, take steps to get rid of it immediately!
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