I can still remember when front-load washers were first introduced to the market for households. Everyone went absolutely crazy over them. However, they also quickly learned that while these appliances were much quieter than top-loading washers, gentler on clothes, and more energy efficient, there was one notable problem that most users were experiencing… mold.
Why Does Mold Grow on Front-load Washers?
In order to stop leaks, the front door of the washer has rubber gaskets to form an air-tight seal. Now, if you notice other appliances that also have these seals, such as your dishwasher and fridge, you will see a mold build-up from time to time if you are not cleaning these gaskets regularly. All that water that is sloshing up against those gaskets can gather in the tiniest of areas, spurring on mold growth.
Additionally, detergents that are not low-suds producing and fabric softeners can create a buildup that also encourages mold growth. Even using eco-friendly detergent will not deter the mold from growing.
Cleaning Front-load Washer Mold
If you are starting to see a mold buildup in your washer, we have some tips to help get the washer clean, as well as some PM tips to keep it clean.
Clean the Gasket – spray down a towel with mold and mildew cleaner, then wipe the gasket clean. Be sure to get behind it and every area surrounding it. Do not risk leaving any area unclean for fear of the mold growing right back.
Remove and Clean Dispensers – if you notice over time, these dispensers can get quite nasty. Remove them from the machine and give them a good cleaning, then allow them to soak in a vinegar-water solution while cleaning the rest of the washer.
Run a Sanitizing Cycle – you can use a home remedy by using a cup of bleach or white vinegar, or purchase sanitizing pods or packets and run them through the machine every month.
PM for Front-load Washer
The best way to avoid mold in these washers is to use some basic preventive maintenance. The best tip on this front is to dry the drum and gaskets after you are done using the washer. This will help prevent any buildup. You can also check the detergent you are using to make sure it is the right detergent. Most front-load washers require a high-efficiency detergent, so make sure your detergent is designated HE.
As we noted above, fabric softeners can lead to a buildup in the machine and around the dispensers. We would recommend foregoing liquid fabric softener and switching to dryer sheets.
Again, as noted above, we recommend running a cleaning cycle once a month. This will not only help prevent mold build-up, but your clothes will smell much fresher.