Mould thrives on moist surfaces, so it’s no surprise washing machine rubber seals are often victims. Failure to remove the mould in time may result in an odour that could affect your clothes during the wash cycle.
So, how do you get mould off washing machine rubber? Check out the helpful tips below.
1. Pre-clean with a cotton pad, rag, or clean towel
The first step is to pre-clean the rubber seal. This is an essential step as it makes the cleaning agents you apply later more effective. Dampen the towel or rag in soapy water and start cleaning the rubber seal gently. Be sure to reach every corner, underneath and behind it.
Rinse the towel every time it looks dirty. You should also remember to change the soapy water if the seal is too dirty.
Your main objective should be to get rid of everything except the toughest stains during this step.
2. Clean the soap dispenser thoroughly
Mould often grows on solidified soap between the spaces of your machine. Your next step should be getting rid of this soap using a rug or cloth dipped in soapy water. You may consider entirely removing the soap dispenser for easier cleaning.
Some dispensers can’t be deatched, making it challenging to reach the right corners. You can use a pipe or bottle cleaner if that’s the case. Ensure the dispenser dries before attaching it again, or leave the machine open to ensure it dries for undetachable ones.
3. Spray the mould with mould remover
Mould removers in spray bottle form make it easy to remove the mould. Like pipes and bottle cleaners, spray bottles work best in areas where you may not reach with your hand.
Aim at the spots with the most mould to ensure it gets off the surface.
Don’t worry if the mould doesn’t come off instantly. You can allow the cleaning agents sprayed to settle for some time before the mould and dirt come off.
Use a cloth to wipe off the mould from the rubber seal once you finish spraying.
4. Run a normal wash cycle
Go ahead and run an empty machine wash. This step is critical for mould removal and therefore requires hot water to be effective.
You should set your machine to the hottest settings to get the desired results. Adding some cleaning agents will also make it work better.
You should add 1 cup of bleach and a similar amount of bicarbonate of soda (aka baking soda).
It is safe to combine bleach with bicarbonate of soda, provided you follow the normal safety procedures involved in handling bleach. Don’t combine bleach with other chemicals though, as it can be dangerous.
If you don’t have any bleach, try using a residue-busting washing machine cleaner along with half a cup of dishwasher detergent.
You should allow the wash to run for several minutes and repeat the process if the odour and dirt persist.
5. Wipe the rubber with a clean, soft cloth
After the washing cycle ends, you need to wipe off any remaining mould. You will need a soft cloth for this step.
It is advisable to wipe off the mould with the fabric while the machine is still hot. The mould is soft and won’t require too much effort to remove.
It would be best to use fresh water when wiping the rubber. Rinse and wipe it for the last time. Ensure that you leave the machine dry and open after this step.
6. Clean the rubber seal often
If you don’t provide mould with its preferred habitat, it won’t grow. The best thing to do is make sure the rubber is always clean and no soap or dirt accumulates.
It’s a good idea to clean the rubber seal on your washing machine at least once a month. You can also do an empty machine wash every month if going through the entire process feels overwhelming.
Remember to use the right amount of bleach and hot water during these routine clean-ups.
You should also be careful not to over-clean the seal. Rubber seals wear out eventually, and intense cleaning could cause this to happen more quickly.