Creating Lasting Repairs

How To Remove Mold From Front-Load Washing Machines

by Marvin Gilbert

If you notice a musty smell around your front load washing machine, check the machine for mold, which appears in powdery black, white, or green patches. Mold especially grows on seals and the inside, since more water is present and mold thrives in moist environments.

Mold should be treated quickly to avoid possible health hazards. Follow these steps to get rid of mold from a front load washing machine.

Prepare to Clean the Mold 

To remove mold, gather:

  • plastic gloves
  • dust mask
  • old soft white towels or rags
  • spray bottle
  • bucket
  • white vinegar
  • chlorine bleach

Avoid touching mold with your bare hands, and open a window to help ventilate the room so that you aren't breathing bleach fumes. Take any clothes out of the dryer, but don't shut the door.

Wearing plastic gloves, feel the grooves of the rubber seal along the door edge for debris. Open the laundry dispenser drawer, press tabs to release it and check for mold.

Clean the Seal

If the seal has mold, slowly pull it off the door. You may leave it in place, but removing it makes cleaning easier. dampen a white rag in vinegar and gently scrub the seal, working into the grooves, folding or lifting the seal, if necessary. Let the vinegar stand fifteen minutes, then run a dry cloth over the surface to remove it.

Some manufacturers may not allow bleach, so contact them or refer to your manual to make certain it is safe to use. Alternately, fill a sink or laundry tub with warm water, and pour three-fourths cup of bleach in a bucket or spray bottle..

Spray the surface, or dip a rag or towel in the mixture, rub it on the surface, then let it stand several minutes with the door open. Avoid saturating the seal with bleach, since this can cause damage.

Bleach could dye colored towels or rags, so only use white. Rinse the spray bottle, and fill it with water to rinse the bleach, or dampen a clean towel or rag to rinse. Leave the door open several hours or overnight, ensuring no one touches the machine.

Clean the Inside

Depress the tabs on the dispenser to remove it, and wipe it with a damp rag. Set in back in place, fill the dispenser with bleach, and pour one to two cups of bleach inside the machine

Run the longest cycle on the hottest water setting to destroy mold. Repeat the process using the vinegar, and run another rinse cycle. Leave the door open until the machine completely dries. 

Clean the machine using this method monthly, and remove wet clothes immediately to reduce risk of mold growth, but don't use more than the suggested detergent, and buy low-sudsing powder detergents.

If you're concerned that more than just your washer is having a mold problem, reach out to a mold remediation service.