If you’ve ever had to visit a laundromat or use coin-operated laundry of any kind, then you know just how great of a luxury it is to have your very own front-loading washing machine right there in your home.
And even though you and your family are the only folks using this machine, you have to be careful to make sure you’re cleaning it regularly and properly. It sounds kind of contradictory, right? After all, washing machines are supposed to be doing the cleaning. But the truth is even your trusty household appliance needs a bath every now and then.
As you can imagine, with all of the wetness and residue from detergents and fabric softeners, front-loading washing machines can easily build-up molds and become smelly, and of course, you’d like to avoid that at all costs.
Thankfully, it’s not hard to get rid of the mold or to keep it from accumulating. Consumer Reports provides some helpful tips and tricks to avoid any mold build-up in your washing machine.
1. Clean Gaskets
The gasket is the large rubber seal that keeps water from leaking out of your front loader. Underneath that flap is a great place for mold to live, so be sure to give that a good cleaning every once and a while.
2. Clean Dispensers
You can also clean out the dispensers where you pour your detergents to make sure there’s no leftover soapy residue.
3. Use Bleach
To clean the inside of the drum, Consumer Reports recommends running a cycle without any clothing using bleach in the place of detergent. That way, you’re sure to get a deep down clean all along the inside of the washing machine.
4. Leave Door Ajar
As a precaution, you can leave the door to the washing machine open so that everything dries out much faster. The less moisture, the less mold there will be!
5. Choose Your Detergent Carefully
Choosing a detergent with less sudsing power will limit the amount of soap residue left behind. Today’s Homeowner recommends using powder detergents over liquid ones for fewer suds.
6. Use Less Detergent
Using less detergent, in general, will also help out. According to the same article, if you only use the amount recommended for each load size you’re better off. Because you all know we’re guilty of just pouring a random amount inside of the cap without really measuring!
7. Skip Fabric Softener
Less fabric softener means less residue and mold accumulation. A dryer sheet can get your clothes just as soft, and help with the mold issue, as well. That’s a win-win!
No one wants to deal with a moldy washing machine, but at least now you know how to prevent mold and how to handle it if (or, let’s face it — when) it happens.
[h/t: Consumer Reports]