Amongst washing machines, the front load variety leads the competition. They are reputed for being gentle on clothes while being quiet and efficient in their operation. Simultaneously, they are notorious for accruing nasty mold and mildew. They clean clothes well but allows mold to thrive on their detergent residue and moisture.
You can easily recognize mold growth by the foul smell emitting from the washing machine and even washed clothes. With that in mind, we share an easy technique for eliminating molds from your front load.
Why do Front Loaders Develop Mold?
It’s the basic design of the front load that makes them susceptible to mold. Because of it, sloshing of detergent and water against the door is a characteristic trait. Consequently, front loads must have a watertight seal to block leakage, and that is the rubber gasket. The bulk of mold and mildew thrive in between and below the gasket, where detergent suds and moisture get trapped. These serve as fodder to molds. Top loads do not develop mold as much because it has a loose-fitting door that does not require any rubber gasket.
Preparation of Mold Removal Solution
The first thing you would need is a mold removal solution. You can get it ready made from the market. Else, you can prepare any of these DIY mold removal solutions at home.
- Mix one-fourth cup lemon juice and half cup hydrogen peroxide to 2 cups of water and pour it into a spray bottle. The solution cleans as well as inhibits mold growth.
- If hydrogen peroxide is not readily available, use white vinegar in an equal amount in the above solution. Cleaning would be as efficient.
- For sparse molds, a solution of one-part vinegar and four parts water works terrific.
- For persistent molds, a mixture of one-part bleach and four parts water can be used.
Removing Mold from the Front Load
Now let’s get down to the business of actually eliminating the mold from your washing machine. For it:
- Open all doors and windows of the room where the machine is placed to eliminate all odours and air.
- Wear proper gloves for protection and keep a few clean, soft towels handy.
- Take any of the mold cleaning solutions in a spray bottle and spray it well on the door, on the rubber gasket. Also, ensure that you are spraying the solution under it and in between the gasket as well. Spray some solution liberally in the drum and soap dispenser as well.
- After around 10 minutes of soaking, the mold would be easy to remove.
- Now take a soft clean towel and start wiping the entire rubber gasket, the door, and the insides of the drum. Ensure you are stretching the gasket and cleaning underneath and between it thoroughly.
- All mold should start getting cleaned, but you may find a few stubborn molds refusing to budge. For them, soak a soft towel in a mixture of bleach and water in equal parts and place it over the mold. Let it soak for about 30 to 45 minutes.
- The mold should come out with wiping. If required, you can scrub it lightly with an old toothbrush.
- Now, wipe the entire area with a clean, dry cloth.
- Next, similarly, clean the soap dispenser area. If it comes out, you can clean it with a soapy solution and then under running water. Else it can be cleaned using a soft towel and old toothbrush if required.
- Now is the time to sanitize or clean the machine. If your front load has the ‘sanitize cycle’, you can run it. Else, run it empty for the longest time at the hottest temperature settings. To make your cleaning more efficient, you can add any of the following directly to the washing drum but never use vinegar and bleach together as it would damage the machine.
- A cup of baking soda.
- A cup of bleach.
- Two cups of vinegar.
- Half a cup of powdered detergent.
- Any reputable and effective front load machine cleaner.
Let the machine dry entirely, or wipe it with a dry cloth and let it air dry. Your machine should be smelling fresh like new. If not, you can repeat the entire process. The smell should get eliminated. In case your issue does not get resolved; you would need to rope in an expert technician for professional cleaning.
Following these methods will help eliminate the mold in your front load effectively. Cleaning it monthly, as mentioned above and always drying the machine after every use would help you tackle the mold issue effortlessly. Do let us know if you know of any other mold cleaning techniques.