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

Water, liquid detergents and plasticizers can clean your clothes, but also make your highly efficient washing machine a breeding ground for bacteria. And if you only use the cold water setting, your front or top loading washing machine is more likely to mold.

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

Fortunately, you don't have to live with that smell. If you take a few steps at regular intervals, you can save your washing machine to make sure it never molds. Read on for tips on how to keep mold off your washing machine and what to do if it already exists.

Wipe it off

After daily use of your washing machine, wipe off all damp parts of the washing machine. 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 home to remove the clothes when the timer expires. That is, do not start the washing machine before going to work or to bed. Not only does this prevent mold from growing in your washing machine, it also prevents your clean clothes from going moldy.

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

Ry Crist / CNET

Clean the seals regularly

During mold contamination can This is particularly the case with high-performance front-loading washing machines. 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, as this can contribute to mold growth. Make sure that you dry the seals along with the rest of your washing machine to prevent moisture from sticking.

Use a detergent powder

Liquid detergents can leave residues in your washing machine and mold can be used as a food source. The first thing that keeps mold at bay is making sure that 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 detergent powder or pods. And whatever you choose, make sure you only use 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

Kill mold that is already in your washing machine

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

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 any visible mold. Make sure you touch the detergent dispenser and the seals.

4th If there is a seal around the door (they have front-loading washers), clean and dry it carefully and thoroughly, including any creases.

5th Do a wash with a cup of bleach or vinegar in the hottest setting your machine offers. If you are using bleach, pour it into the bleach compartment. If you use vinegar, pour it into the detergent slot. If your machine has a cleaning 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, seals 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 prevent mold growth.

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 to clean your shower head, simple 1-hour science hack for degunking and how to plug a toilet without a plunger,

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