How to Remove Washing Machine Mould

Washing machine mould. UGH. It’s a never-ending battle, is it not?

It’s often asked in many Facebook cleaning groups. And it’s gross and weird how it can even happen to a machine which CLEANS for a living. Yep, we’re talking washing machine mould. Ewwww, yet SO very relatable.

To be fair, it seems to be a real issue for mostly only front loader machine users. That’s the price we pay for being water-wise folks, a mould riddled door/drum seal rim it seems. Before we go getting all embarrassed about (literally) airing our dirty laundry, let’s be clear, it’s a common problem. IT REALLY IS.

So, there are TWO questions that require answering:

  • Firstly, how to avoid it even sprouting and
  • Secondly, how to get rid of it if it’s all too late?

I’ve scoured the cleaning Facebook groups I frequent for suggestions and gathered many of them here below for us all to try. Let the washing begin!

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DO NOT mix vinegar and bleach together, it’s extremely toxic. This is important to know since vinegar or bleach are the top suggestions in this fight!

How do I PREVENT the dreaded washing machine mould?

Got yourself a brand-spanking new front loader washing machine and want to keep it nice and sweet (ie. mould free) for as long as possible? Here’s what the people have to say:

  • NEVER shut the door. NOT EVER. Except when actually in use, obvs.
  • Use a commercial washing machine cleaning product such as Pine O Cleen Washing Machine Cleaner.
  • Use a dry face washer to wipe down the door and absorb the moisture from the rim seal after your last washing load.
  • Wash a load of towels on the hottest setting with a dishwasher tablet.
  • Read your manual! Some washing machines have a ‘drum clean’ cycle. USE IT!
  • Do a ‘cleaning’ wash using white vinegar and baking soda.
  • Use vinegar instead of fabric softener. It leaves your clothes soft and your washing machine drum clean.
  • Make sure your laundry is well ventilated. Running a dryer in winter can make for warm and damp conditions – perfect for mould!
  • Use an antibacterial washing detergent – it’s great for your clothes AND your machine!
  • Wipe over the seals with diluted bleach once a month to keep them fresh.
  • Always clear the rim of any debris (hair, tissues, Lego pieces – ANYTHING that can hold a few drops of water).
  • For general washing machine cleanliness, add a cup of Epsom salts into the detergent drawer and run it through a hot, empty wash cycle. It will clean both the machine AND the hoses of built-up gunk which attracts mould.
washing machine mould
WHAT? My machine can clean ITSELF? Source: supplied

Help! I have a mouldy rim – can I do anything to FIX IT?

The jury is out on this one. Many have had success and many haven’t. But hey, it’s all worth a try it it DOES help in the end, right? Here are the most common fix-it solutions:

  • Run a hot cycle (no clothes) with a cup of vinegar.
  • Spray Selleys Rapid Mould Killer direct on the rubber. Leave half an hour and then run a hot wash.
  • Again, try using a commercial washing machine cleaning product such as Pine O’Cleen Washing Machine Cleaner.
  • An empty hot wash with a cup of bleach.
  • Rub over the mould area with oil of cloves to kill the mould spores.
  • Soak an old towel in bleach and then leave it against the mould overnight.
  • A hot wash of towels with a dishwasher tablet and a scoop of Bicarb soda can minimise the mould.
  • ALDI Exit Mould apparently works wonders – spray it on and leave it for half an hour before wiping off. Follow up with running a quick, empty cycle.
washing machine cleaning hack
The humble dishwasher tablet strikes again. Source: supplied

If all else fails…

All else fails, reach out to the manufacturer of your washing machine about replacing the washing machine seal. Be warned though, rarely is this covered by warranty and will have to be bought and refit at your cost which can really hurt the hip pocket. Sigh.

For new machine buyers, check out the ASKO front loader range if your budget allows! Their front-loaders have a ‘Hygienic Steel Seal’ which is genius. No rubber = no mould!

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Avatar of Lexi Klaebe

South Australian mum and self proclaimed foodie, Lexi can most days be found in the kitchen, apron tied firm and armed with a whisk or wooden spoon!

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