A front loader has many advantages like better energy efficiency, less water consumption, improved cleaning performance and a plethora of washing programs. But, one of its main disadvantages is that they can reek of mold and mildew. Initially, it would be just unsightly black patches on the rubber sealing ( gasket) of the front loader. But soon, the whole washing machine starts stinking and even your washed clothes. In our comparison, we have found this problem occurs more in Bosch and IFB washing machines. This is because their gaskets fold in such a way that detergent and residue get settled inside. Comparatively, LG is better in this aspect.
But irrespective of the brand you choose, if you are careful enough and follow some basic tips, you will be able to eliminate mold in your washing machine. Let us get into that first.
Tips To Prevent Mold In Your Washing Machine
As with everything else, prevention is better than cure. Mold, as you know is a living organism. They need moisture, food and a dingy environment to thrive. Cut these off and mold cannot survive anymore. Let us explore how to do that.
- Ensure that you don’t add excess detergent while washing clothes. The excess detergent residue gets settled on the gasket and becomes fodder for mold.
- When not in use, keep the door of front load washing machines open. The airflow allows the excess moisture to evaporate.
- Keep a clean towel beside your washing machine and wipe the gasket after every wash cycle. If this is not possible, at least wipe it down every week.
- Do not leave wet clothes inside the washing machine for a long time. Use time delay function so that your clothes are ready just on time.
- If possible, keep your washing machine in a place with sufficient ventillation. Or else, use a dehumidifier where your washing machine is kept.
Related reading: How To Clean Your Washing Machine?
How To Remove Mold Off The Rubber Seal On A Front Load Washer?
If you find mold on the rubber gasket of your front load washing machine, act immediately. Else, it will spread all over making it tough to clean. Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to remove mold from the gasket of a front loader.
Time needed: 13 hours
How To Remove Mold Off Front Load Washing Machine?
- Wipe The Gasket
The first step is to wipe the gasket to remove any mildew, hair and such residue off the gasket. Use a clean cloth and wash it separately so that you don’t transfer the mold to any other objects. Alternatively, use paper towels to clean so that you can dispose them off.
- Make A Paste of Baking Soda and Bleach
We are not providing an exact quantity of how much baking soda to use as it depends on the extent of mold infestation. Take baking soda in a bowl and add just enough bleach to make a paste.
Use baking soda and not baking powder. Also, ideally, use Clorox bleach instead of Ala. Clorox has 7% Sodium Hypochlorite, while Ala has just 4%. So, Clorox provides better results compared to Ala.
- Apply the paste
Use a toothbrush to apply the paste thoroughly on the affected parts of the rubber seal. Apply liberally so that the area is completely covered. Leave it overnight or for 12 hours.
- Wipe It Off
Using a damp cloth, wipe off the paste from the rubber gasket. Bleach would have almost eradicated mold within this time.
- Run Washing Machine With Bleach
Pour a quarter cup of bleach into the drum and run the washing machine on the hottest cycle. Mold grows not just in the rubber seal, but also in the tub which encases the drum. So, it is important that you disinfect the drum thoroughly to get rid of any odour and kill the mold in the drum
Do not pour bleach into the conditioner dispenser as the washing machine takes it into the drum only in the final stages. This wouldn’t disinfect the drum sufficiently.
- Though effective, bleach can damage the rubber sealing. So, do not use this method on a constant basis. Instead, opt for methods to prevent mold.
- As mentioned, use baking soda and not baking powder. Also, opt for Clorox Bleach instead of Ala. If you are using other brands, ensure it has at least 7% sodium hypochlorite concentration. Also, NEVER mix bleach with vinegar or acid as it emits chlorine fumes, which is harmful when inhaled.
In the step-by-step instructions, we have shown the picture of the results achieved using Ala. But, the above picture shows the results after cleaning with Clorox. As you can see, Ala does not clean the mold off completely. A few specks remain, which is not the case with Clorox.
With frequent cleaning and care, you can eliminate mold and avoid your washed clothes from developing any odour. Let us know in the comments if you have any other tips to share for preventing and removing mold from the washing machine gasket.