How to prevent mold from growing in your washing machine and how to kill it when you have it – CNET

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Make sure you keep your washing machine clean to prevent mold and mildew growth.

Chris Monroe / CNET

The mixture of water, liquid detergent and fabric softener can clean your clothes, but also make your high-performance washing machine a breeding ground for bacteria. And if you only use the cold water setting, the likelihood that your front or top loading washing machine will mold will increase.

It's not just your laundry room that smells like rotten eggs: if you don't deal with the chronic problem, your freshly washed clothes can also smell of sulfur.

Fortunately, you don't have to live with that smell. By following a few steps regularly, you can ensure that your washing machine does not mold. Read on for tips on how to keep mold away from your washing machine and what to do if the mold is already there.

Wipe it down

Wipe the damp part of the washing machine after you have not used the washing machine for the day. This includes the lid, drum, door, rubber seals and detergent dispenser (if your machine has this function). Have an old towel ready for this purpose.

Leave the lid open

Mold grows in dark, damp areas, which your washing machine will do after you unload your clothes. If you leave the door open, the washing machine is ventilated and mold is prevented.

Take off wet clothes immediately

If you plan to throw a load of laundry in, make sure you are at home to take the laundry out when the timer expires. This means that you should not start the washing machine before work or at bedtime. This not only prevents mold from forming in your washing machine, but also prevents clean clothes from mold.

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The seals in your washing machine retain moisture that can contribute to mold growth.

Ry Crist / CNET

Clean the seals regularly

During mold contamination can This is particularly often the case with high-performance front-loading washing machines (HE). You should therefore wash the seals on the door regularly. The seals ensure that no water escapes around the door and seal the moisture well so that the mold can grow. Make sure you dry the seals along with the rest of your washing machine to prevent moisture from building up.

Use a powder detergent

Liquid detergents can leave residues in your washing machine and mold can be used as a food source. The first thing to do to keep mold at bay is to make sure you use a detergent that is made specifically for your HE washing machine and that produces less foam. (Look for the letters HE on the soap container.) The next step is to stay away from the liquid and switch to powder detergent or pods. And whatever you choose, make sure you only consume as much as you need to wash your clothes.

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Use bleach or vinegar to kill mold in your washing machine.

Taylor Martin / CNET

Mold that is already in your washing machine

If you have mold, learn how to get rid of it here.

1. First, put on gloves and grab an old towel that you don't care about.

Second Mix a solution of bleach and hot water or vinegar and hot water. Never mix bleach and vinegar together as this creates a chlorine gas that can be harmful to your body.

Third Dip the towel in the mixture and start removing visible mold. Make sure you touch the detergent drawer and the seals.

4th If there is a gasket around the door (front load washers have them), clean and dry them carefully and thoroughly, including any folds.

5th Do a wash with a cup of bleach or vinegar at the hottest level your machine offers. If you are using bleach, pour it into the bleach compartment. If you use vinegar, fill it into the detergent dispenser. If your machine has a clean cycle, you can use this setting. This should kill any hidden mold that you may have missed.

6th Next, use a different old towel and wipe off all moisture in your washing machine. This includes the drum, dispenser, seal and all other areas that you can reach.

7th Finally, leave the door to your washing machine open so that the air circulation can dry out any parts you missed. If you do this monthly, you can avoid mold.

Once you've cleaned your washing machine, it's time to move on to the rest of your home. Start with the bathroom – here is How do I clean my shower head?, simple 1-hour science hack for degunking, and how to plug a toilet without a plunger,

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