How To Clean Mold From Washing Machine?

Mold can be a persistent problem in many households, and your washing machine is not immune to it. A moldy washing machine not only affects the cleanliness of your clothes but also poses health risks to you and your family. 

In this article, we will guide you through the process of effectively cleaning mold from your washing machine, ensuring it remains fresh and odor-free.

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How To Clean Mold From Washing Machine

Understanding the Dangers of Mold in Washing Machines

Before delving into the cleaning process, it’s important to understand the dangers associated with mold in your washing machine. Mold is a type of fungus that thrives in warm and damp environments, making your washing machine an ideal breeding ground. 

If left unchecked, mold can spread to other areas of your home and lead to respiratory issues, allergies, and other health problems.

The first step in addressing a mold issue is to identify its presence. Here are some common signs that indicate mold growth in your washing machine:

Foul Odor: A musty smell emanating from your washing machine is often a telltale sign of mold infestation.

Discolored Rubber Seals: Check the rubber seals around the door of your washing machine. If you notice black or greenish stains, it’s likely mold.

Residue on Clothing: If your clothes come out of the washing machine with visible mold or mildew stains, it’s a clear indication of a mold problem.

How To Clean Mold From Washing Machine?

In this guide, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of effectively cleaning mold from your washing machine, ensuring a hygienic laundry routine.

Step 1: Prepare the Washer

Start by ensuring that your washer is empty to avoid accidental bleaching of clothes. If your washer has an automatic system for dispensing detergent or fabric softener, make sure these compartments are empty as well.

Step 2: Choose the Right Cycle and Temperature

Select a normal wash cycle for a large load and set the water temperature to warm or hot. This ensures that adequate water will flow through the washer, helping to eliminate mold effectively.

Step 3: Introduce Chlorine Bleach

Depending on the size of your washer, add chlorine bleach either directly into the washer drum or into the detergent compartment.

Use one cup or more of chlorine bleach for the washer drum, or add 1/2 cup of liquid chlorine bleach to the detergent compartment. Fill the bleach dispenser compartment with chlorine bleach to the highest level.

Start the washer and allow it to complete a full cycle. Running a cycle with hot water and bleach helps to eliminate mold issues in the drainage lines.

Step 4: Dry the Washer Door and Gaskets

Once the cycle is complete, use a soft, absorbent cloth to dry around the washer door and gaskets. These areas should be cleaned and maintained regularly to ensure a watertight seal and prevent mold growth.

Step 5: Clean the Inside of a Front Load Washer

For front load washers, gently peel back the flexible door gasket to access the inside area where dirt and detergent residue tend to accumulate.

Wearing protective gloves, dip a microfiber cloth or soft-bristled brush in a solution of 1/4 cup of chlorine bleach and two cups of water.

Use the cloth or brush to clean the inside area, removing any visible mold. Ensure that all the mold is thoroughly cleaned.

Once the mold is gone, dry the area with a soft cloth to prevent moisture buildup.

Step 6: Clean the Dispenser Drawers

Detergent and fabric softener residue can build up in the dispenser drawers, providing a food source for mold. Regular cleaning is essential.

Most drawers can be easily removed for cleaning, but refer to your washer’s user manual for specific instructions.

Rinse the drawer inserts with hot tap water to remove any accumulated residue.

If the components are heavily coated with built-up residue, fill a sink or bucket with hot water and allow them to soak for 10 minutes. Rinse well and air-dry.

Wearing protective gloves, use a cloth or soft-bristled brush dipped in a chlorine bleach/water solution to clean the drawer housing on the washer. Remove any residue from the upper and lower parts of the recess.

Step 7: Flush the System

After cleaning the drawer and opening, return the bleach and fabric softener inserts to their compartments.

Replace the dispenser drawer and run a short cycle, such as the Pre-wash cycle, without any laundry or cleaning products in the drum. This will flush the system completely.

Step 8: Clean the Lint Filter or Trap

Most washers have a lint filter or trap that should be cleaned routinely to prevent mold growth and odor.

Locate and remove the filter, and brush away the lint with a soft-bristled brush.

Wipe away any visible mold with a cloth dipped in a chlorine bleach/water solution.

Rinse the filter well and allow it to air-dry before returning it to the washer.

Step 9: Alternative Cleaning Methods

Consider alternative cleaning methods recommended by experts.

Patric Richardson, the Laundry Evangelist, suggests using a gallon of vinegar and a pound of Borax to kill mold in the drum and hoses. Run a long, hot cycle with this combination every three to six months to prevent mold from returning.

According to the CDC, liquid chlorine bleach is also effective in killing mold. Run a cup of liquid chlorine bleach through a cycle, ensuring a longer and hotter cycle for better results. 

Wipe the door and gasket with a solution of one-third cup bleach per three-quarters of a gallon of water.

Vinegar is a versatile cleaning agent for washing machines. It can be used alone or in combination with Borax and baking soda. 

To use vinegar with baking soda, sprinkle about a cup of baking soda in the drum and pour vinegar into the detergent tray. Run a hot cycle to eliminate mold effectively.

Additional Tips for Mold Prevention

Maintain a clean washing machine by regularly following the cleaning methods mentioned above.

Mold can thrive in detergent and fabric softener residue, so it’s important to clean the dispenser drawers regularly.

Regularly inspect and clean the rubber gaskets around the door, as mold tends to accumulate in these areas.

Properly dry the washing machine after each use to prevent moisture buildup and mold growth.

Include cleaning the lint filter or trap as part of your routine maintenance to prevent mold and odor.

Always refer to your washer’s user manual for specific instructions on removing and cleaning the dispenser drawers.

Use protective gloves when handling cleaning solutions and brushes to protect your skin.

Maintaining a regular cleaning schedule for your washing machine will help prevent mold growth and ensure optimal performance.

Combining vinegar and Borax creates a powerful antifungal solution that effectively kills mold.

Remember that mold can cause unpleasant odors and potentially impact the cleanliness of your clothes.

Running longer and hotter cycles with cleaning solutions helps to eliminate mold and prevent its recurrence.

Regularly inspect and clean the drum and hoses of your washing machine to maintain a mold-free environment.

By following these cleaning practices and preventive measures, you can ensure a healthier and more hygienic laundry routine while keeping mold growth in your washing machine at bay.

Black Mold In Washing Machine Detergent Dispenser

Black mold, scientifically known as Stachybotrys chartarum, is a type of fungus that thrives in damp and humid environments. 

When it finds a suitable breeding ground, such as the detergent dispenser in your washing machine, it can multiply rapidly and pose significant health risks. 

Exposure to black mold spores can trigger various allergic reactions and respiratory problems, especially in individuals with weakened immune systems or pre-existing respiratory conditions.

Signs and Symptoms of Mold Infestation

Detecting black mold in your washing machine’s detergent dispenser requires careful observation. Look out for the following signs and symptoms:

Visible Black Spots: Black mold often appears as small, dark spots in the dispenser compartment.

Musty Odor: A strong, unpleasant smell emanating from your washing machine could be an indication of black mold growth.

Residue Build-Up: Mold infestations may cause a sticky or slimy residue to accumulate in the detergent dispenser.

Allergic Reactions: If you or your family members experience unexplained allergies or respiratory issues after handling freshly washed clothes, it could be due to black mold contamination.

Preventing and Removing Black Mold

Prevention is the key to avoiding the growth of black mold in your washing machine’s detergent dispenser. Follow these steps to minimize the risk:

Regular Cleaning: Routinely clean the detergent dispenser with warm soapy water to remove any residue or mold spores.

Proper Ventilation: Ensure your laundry area is well-ventilated to prevent excess humidity.

Prompt Drying: After each laundry cycle, leave the detergent dispenser and door open to allow thorough drying.

Kristen Park - Specialised Content Writer for Caresh Fresh


My name is Kristen Park and I am a senior writer specialising in how-to guides and home cleaning information at Cares Fresh. As a researcher, I take pride in digging deep to find every small detail on a topic and explaining it in a way that is easy for the reader to understand.