Mold and mildew naturally form in areas of the home where damp conditions prevail, which is why your household laundry machine is a prime location for the development of these scourges. Although many homeowners resign themselves to living with fungal disorders in their washing machine, many ways exist to keep fungal populations down. Proper cleaning is the most important aspect of washing machine maintenance. Here’s how to clean your washing machine:
- Using a damp, clean cotton cloth, completely wipe any and all residue off of the machine’s gasket. Is residue has formed on any part of the gasket’s surface, use hot, soapy water to remove it. Performing this task frequently enough so that buildup does not have the opportunity to occur is recommended.
- Remove the detergent dispensers and give them a good scrubbing with a stiff-bristled brush in a sink filled with warm, soapy water. After drying them with a clean, lint-free rag, place them in a well-ventilated area and allow them to completely air-dry.
- Newer washing machines usually have a cleaning cycle. If yours does, simply run the cycle with a cup of bleach or a cup of baking soda. Commercial preparations are also available that you can run through your washer. If your machine doesn’t have a cleaning cycle, simply run it through on its regular cycle.
If you suspect that your machine still has fungal colonies in it after running the cleaning cycle twice, contact a local appliance repair company for further assistance.
Proper ventilation helps keep washers problem-free. Consider placing exhaust fans in your laundry room to promote good air circulation, and always leave the door of your front load washer open slightly between cycles in order to provide the appliance with the opportunity to air out between uses. Avoid allowing clothing to sit in the appliance after the cycle is finished — this practice provides prime opportunities for the development of molds and mildews.
Choose Your Products Wisely
Laundry detergents and liquid fabric softeners can both leave residues in your washer machine that will provide the type of damp environment that fungus love. Use fabric softener sheets designed for dryers instead, and choose low-sudsing detergent to minimize residue.
Never hesitate to make an appointment with a washing machine repair service if you suspect that the interior of your machine is heavily infested with fungus.