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Prevent mold from growing in your washing machine and how you can kill it if you have it



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Make sure you keep your washing machine clean to prevent mold and mildew growth.


Chris Monroe / CNET

Water, liquid detergent and fabric softeners can keep your clothes clean, but it can also turn your highly efficient washing machine into a breeding ground for bacteria. And if you only use the cold water setting, it is more likely that your washing machine will grow at the front or at the top.

It's not just your washroom that can smell like rotten eggs: if you don't tackle the chronic problem, your newly washed clothes can also get a sulfur smell.

Fortunately, you don't have to live with that scent. By regularly following a few steps, you can save your washing machine to ensure that it never grows mold. Read on for tips on how to keep mold out of your washing machine and what to do if it is already there.

Wipe it off

After using your washing machine for the entire day, make sure that your part of the washing machine is damp. This includes the lid, the drum, the door, rubber gaskets and detergent dispenser (if your machine has that function). Keep an old towel handy for this purpose.

Leave the lid open

Mold grows in dark, moist areas, which becomes your washing machine after you have unloaded the clothes. By leaving the door open, the washing machine is ventilated and mold is prevented from growing in the first place.

Remove wet clothing immediately

Make sure you are at home when you plan to throw in a load of laundry. Remove the clothing when the timer goes off. This means that you do not start the washing machine before you go to work or bed. This not only prevents mold from growing in your washing machine, but also keeps your clean clothing from mildew.

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The seals in your washing machine retain moisture that can help mold grow. Ry Crist / CNET

Clean the seals regularly

Although mold contamination can occur in any washing machine, this is especially common with highly efficient (HE) front loader rings. You should therefore regularly wash the gaskets and seals around the door. The gaskets ensure that no water leaks around the door and also close the moisture well than mold can help grow. Make sure you dry the seals together with the rest of your washing machine to prevent moisture from getting stuck.

Use washing powder

Liquid detergents can leave traces in your washing machine, making mold a food source. So the first thing to keep mold under control is to ensure that you use a detergent specially made for your HE washing machine that produces less foam. (Look for the letters HE on the soap reservoir.) The next step is to keep the liquid away and switch to washing powder or capsules. And whatever you choose, make sure you only use as much as you need to wash your clothes.

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Use bl65 vinegar to kill mold in your washing machine. Taylor Martin / CNET

Death of mold that is already in your washing machine

If you have mold, you can remove it here as follows.

1. Start by putting on gloves and grabbing an old towel that you don't care about.

2. Mix a solution of bleach and hot water or vinegar and hot water. Never mix bleach and vinegar, as this forms a chlorine gas that can be harmful to your body.

3. Dip the towel into the mixture and scrub away any visible mold. Make sure you touch the detergent dispenser and around the gaskets.

4. If there is a gasket around the door (front loader rings have it), clean it carefully and thoroughly, including all folds.

5. Perform a wash cycle at the hottest setting that your machine provides with a cup of bleach or vinegar. If you use bleach, pour it into the bleach box. If you use vinegar, pour it into the detergent slot. If your machine has a clean cycle, you can use that setting. This should kill every hidden fungus you may have missed.

6. Then use another old towel and wipe away all the moisture in your washing machine. This includes the drum, dispensers, seals and all other areas that you can reach.

7. Finally, leave the door of your washing machine open so that the air circulation can dry out all the parts that you have missed. By doing this monthly, you prevent mold growth.

Once you've cleaned your washing machine, it's time to move on to the rest of your house. Start with the bathroom – here is how to clean your shower head simple science hack of 1 hour before degunking and how to unclog a toilet without a plunger .

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