Sometimes, after washing, instead of a pleasant smell of freshness, the mustiness of the linen is clearly felt from an incomprehensible source of mustiness, and as a result of the examination of the electronic assistant, dark, slippery to the touch, bulging spots are found in some areas.
Many washing machine users are concerned about the question: when did mold appear in the washing machine, how to get rid of mold forever?
What is mold and why is it dangerous?
Mold spots are colonies of very small fungi. If you look at them through a microscope objective, you can see filaments (mycelium) and thickenings at their ends (spores). The latter are separated from the mother’s body and run with an airstream.
Mold spores can be found both outdoors and indoors. Hidden and not showing themselves in any way, they bide their time.
When conditions are favorable, such as high humidity and heat, the spores germinate quickly. As a result, colonies are formed, which are dark spots on any objects.
This is what a colony of molds looks like when magnified by several hundred times This is what a colony of molds looks like when magnified by several hundred times
Mold colonies on the surface of the washing unit are easy to spot. They look like dark spots of different sizes covered with gray fluff.
In nature, mold lives almost everywhere. These fungi play a very important role in the cycle of substances, helping to dispose of organic residues.
Man, however, learned to synthesize a medicine from them, on account of which millions of lives were saved.
Mold on manhole cuff Mold on manhole cuff
However, despite some positive characteristics of these tiny creatures, it is highly undesirable to have them settle in a dwelling. In addition to the presence of an unpleasant odor, inhalation of large amounts of fungal spores can lead to acute and chronic diseases.
Mold releases a special poisonous substance called mycotoxin. Penetrating into the human body in various ways, it causes the following symptoms:
- on contact with the skin – irritation and itching;
- getting into the respiratory system – cough and shortness of breath;
- penetrating into the gastrointestinal tract and disrupting the work of the normal microflora present there – bloating, diarrhea, constipation;
- absorbed into the bloodstream and entering the nerve cells – weakening of attention and memory.
Therefore, if colonies are found in the house, you should immediately begin to destroy them.
Causes of mold in the washer
There are a lot of reasons for mold inhabiting a washing machine. But almost always the owners of the unit are to blame for the increased reproduction of the fungus, who do not follow the rules for caring for household appliances.
Reason # 1 – installation in the wrong place
As already mentioned above, mold can only grow and multiply intensively under appropriate conditions. Ideally, this is 90% humidity and +20 ° C temperature. Small deviations from these indicators are also quite acceptable for microscopic fungi.
Washing machine in small bathroom Washing machine in small bathroom
In the bathroom, the washing machine will always be in a humid, warm atmosphere. If possible, it is better to immediately install the machine in another, drier room.
In a person’s dwelling, such conditions are maintained year-round in the bathroom, therefore it is extremely undesirable to install a washing machine here.
For this purpose, a kitchen or a corridor is more suitable. If there is no choice and installation is possible only in the bathroom, you should definitely take care of good ventilation.
Reason # 2 – constantly closed door
After the wash is over and the laundry has been taken out of the drum, very often the owners close the loading door tightly. The same is done with the reservoir for filling the powder.
Water droplets on the cuff Water droplets on the cuff
Moisture remains on the cuff, inside the tank and on other parts of the unit at the end of the washing process of the loaded laundry. She needs to be given time to evaporate, leaving the door open for these purposes.
As a result, the water droplets left after washing inside the machine create excellent conditions for the life of mold.
At the end of the wash, a certain amount of water almost always remains in the folds of the rubber cuff, which acts as a seal for the door. Gradually, it will evaporate, which is guaranteed to ensure high humidity inside the machine. This is what mold spores need to grow rapidly.
Reason # 3 – wash on low temperature modes
In order to save energy, the owners constantly wash in low-temperature water. This is fraught with the fact that the components of the washing machine are not disinfected by high temperatures.
Washing machine operating modes Washing machine operating modes
The use of programs with modes from +60 ° C and above causes a stop in the development of fungi and their death. Lower temperatures only contribute to their development
Reason # 4 – improper use of detergents
In particular, we are talking about the use of powder without bleach. Whitening additives in washing powders not only restore their original appearance to light-colored things, but are also disinfectants capable of defeating a harmful fungus.
In this case, it is not at all necessary to constantly use these detergents. It is enough to alternate after 3-4 washings with ordinary powder.
Washing powder with bleaching properties Washing powder with bleaching properties
With modern detergents with bleach added, it is not necessary to wash only pure white linen. Some colored items will not fade when washed with the above powder
It is also a possible reason – improper washing with rinse aid. When washing with fabric softener, be sure to use an extra rinse.
If this is not done, again in order to save money or simply out of ignorance, particles of the rinse aid remain on the door, in the folds of the rubber cuff, on the drum mesh and the walls of the tank. Such a breeding ground is excellent for mold growth.
Reason # 4 – connection violations
Mold formation on the washing unit can be triggered by improper connection to the sewer. As a result, the water does not drain properly and some part of it remains inside the machine.
Stagnant dirty water is the best way to promote the development of colonies of molds.
We recommend reading our other article, where we described in detail the process of connecting the washing machine to communications .
Connecting the washing machine to the sewerConnecting the washing machine to the sewer
In order to correctly connect the washing machine to the sewage system, it is advisable to use the manufacturer’s recommendations for self-installation or invite a master
Homemade methods to get rid of mold
Before you start “saving” the washing unit, you need to understand what exactly fungi do not like.
And they don’t like the following:
- acidic environment;
- aggressive alkalis;
- high temperature indicators;
- dry surface.
Based on these indicators, you can always find the optimal remedy, after which the mold will go away once and for all.
Method # 1 – citric acid cleaning
This method is considered effective when no obvious traces of mold are visible in the car, but a musty smell is constantly felt. That is, when microscopic fungi have not yet had time to thoroughly settle in the unit.
Citric Acid Citric Acid
Citric acid is able not only to destroy mold spores and colonies, but also to remove scale in the washing machine. At the same time, it is a rather mild agent that is not capable of causing special harm to the parts of the unit.
They perform it like this:
- Thoroughly wash and dry the powder compartment.
- Insert the tray back into the machine and fill it with citric acid. For cleaning, 200 g of the substance is enough.
- One of the washing programs is set on the control panel, in which the use of water of the highest temperature is provided.
- Start a dry wash.
- At the end of the program, thoroughly wipe all accessible machine parts with a dry cloth.
- The door and powder compartment are left ajar. This will keep the car well ventilated.
The citric acid method can be used prophylactically. To do this, once every 4-6 months, you need to subject the technique to the described procedure.
Method # 2 – get rid of mold with vinegar
Vinegar works in the same way as citric acid. But the process of cleaning the device with this substance itself has some differences.
9% acetic acid 9% acetic acid
Acetic acid is a corrosive substance. Do not use this product in high concentrations to clean the machine. If there is vinegar essence in the house (usually a 70% solution), then you should take 13 ml and bring it to 100 ml with plain water. The result is 9% vinegar.
The technique is performed as follows:
- Half a glass of a 9% acetic acid solution, which can be purchased at almost every grocery store, is poured into the powder compartment.
- The longest program with the maximum temperature regime is selected on the control panel.
- Start washing.
- After the water in the washing machine heats up well, press pause and wait an hour and a half.
- After a lapse of time, the machine is restarted to end the wash.
- A solution is made in a separate container: 50 ml of 9% vinegar is brought to 100 ml with water. All accessible surfaces of the washing machine are wiped with this liquid.
- The shortest program is chosen. Launch it.
Additional washing will help remove acid residues from the unit. After washing, the machine is thoroughly, almost dry, wiped.
Using the described technique in the washing machine, you can remove not only mold, but also scale. Moreover, you should use exactly 9% vinegar solution. Higher concentrations of acid can damage machine parts.
Method # 3 – Applying “Whiteness” and “Domestos”
If there is a lot of mold in the car, as can be judged by the numerous dark spots, household products are used to disinfect and clean the sinks and toilets from dirt.
This is known to our grandmothers “White” and later chlorine-containing preparations, for example, “Domestos”.
Mold colonies on the cuff of the washing machine Mold colonies on the cuff of the washing machine
In case of severe mold damage to some visible parts of the washing machine, chlorine-containing products come to the rescue. They destroy fungi and whiten the surface at the same time
With their help, the car is freed from mold as follows:
- Select the longest high temperature program.
- Pour 1 liter of “Whiteness” or a similar product into the powder compartment.
- Run a dry cycle.
- When the water in the machine warms up well, the wash is stopped for 1-1.5 hours.
- Start the program again.
- After the wash has ended, 2 tbsp is poured into the powder compartment. vinegar or pour 200 g of citric acid.
- The rinse cycle is set on the control panel. They start.
At the end, wipe well all available nodes with a soft, dry cloth.
Chlorine is a poisonous substance, and its smell is not pleasant. Therefore, after such cleaning of the washing machine, the room in which the unit is installed should be thoroughly ventilated.
Method # 4 – treating the machine with copper sulfate
Copper sulfate or copper sulfate is a remedy that has been successfully used in agriculture to fight plant diseases that cause fungi. You can find it in specialized gardening stores.
In appearance, these are small crystals of blue color. It can also be used as a cleaner from mold. It should be borne in mind that vitriol is a strong poison, so you need to work with it very carefully.
Mold colonies on the cuff of the washing machine Mold colonies on the cuff of the washing machine
This beautiful blue crystalline powder is a strong poison. It can be used to clean the washing machine only in case of severe mold damage.
The processing of the machine with copper sulfate is carried out as follows:
- A solution is prepared, for which 50 g of powder is poured into a suitable container and the volume is brought to 5 liters.
- Wearing small rubber gloves on your hands, apply the product with a sponge to the areas affected by mold. Most often this is a cuff, a drum and a container for filling powder.
- In this form, the machine is left for 3-4 hours.
- Close the door and start the rinsing program.
After the end of the procedure, the apparatus is well ventilated. The method of processing with copper sulphate is more suitable for cleaning heavily moldy parts of the washing machine.
Method # 5 – cleaning with soda ash
With this inexpensive detergent, the washing machine can be well cleaned and the unit can get rid of unpleasant odors.
Machine cleaning with soda ash Machine cleaning with soda ash
As a strong alkali, soda ash can quickly kill molds. After processing the machine nodes with it, the residues of the substance must be carefully removed with a rag.
Cleaning with soda ash is carried out according to the following points:
- Soda powder is mixed with water in a 1: 1 ratio.
- The resulting mixture is applied with a sponge to the available parts of the machine: drum, rubber cuff, door.
- The compartment in which the detergents are loaded is well wiped with soda.
- Leave the agent to act for an hour and a half.
- Over time, soda ash, along with mold and dirt, is removed with a damp sponge.
- Turn on the machine for a quick wash.
After the unit has completed the program, all units are well wiped with a dry cloth. You can use regular baking soda instead of soda ash, but this will reduce the cleaning efficiency.
How do I clear individual nodes?
Very often colonies of mold fungi settle on the rubber sleeve and in the powder compartment. To get rid of them, you need to thoroughly work on problem areas.
Removing mold from the cuff
Dirt and water often accumulate under the boot door seal and in its folds. In the event of the appearance of mold, wiping with a cloth from the outside, even with the use of appropriate chemicals, is not enough.
The following actions to get rid of mold effectively:
- Having picked up a wire clamp with a tool, for example with a screwdriver, and leading it in a circle, very carefully so as not to damage the rubber, remove the cuff.
- The part is well washed in a large container with water, detergent and bleach.
- Use a sponge soaked in a chlorine-containing solution to wipe the drum and door well.
The removed part is returned back only after all the nodes are dry. The mycelium of mold fungi can grow deep enough into the rubber, so it is not always possible to completely wash the cuff.
In such cases, the situation can only be corrected by replacing the damaged rubber with a new one.
Replacing a damaged cuff Replacing a damaged cuff
You can replace the rubber seal damaged by mold yourself. To do this, you have to buy a similar one and study a little the material on replacing the cuff
Nuances of cleaning the powder receptacle
The tray for receiving detergents as well as rinse aid can be called the “dirty place” of the washing machine.
In addition, there is almost always a little water left in it after the end of the program. Consequently, the compartment is a favorite habitat for mold colonies.
Dirty powder receptacle Dirty powder receptacle
On most models of washing machines, the powder receptacle is very easy to remove. To do this, simply press your finger on the tab that slightly covers the rinse aid compartment.
If mold appears in the powder receptacle, clean it as follows:
- The tray is removed from the machine and washed well under hot water.
- Warm water is poured into a suitable container and one of the chemicals is added there: Whiteness, Domestos, Dressing duck, Silit.
- The compartment is soaked in the resulting solution for several hours.
- Over time, the tray is removed and thoroughly washed with a brush and rags alternately.
- Rinse well with clean water.
- Air-dried and then put back in place.
If the tray has subtle traces of mold, then it is good enough to clean it with a brush under hot water. The drain filter, in which mold is often found, is also cleaned in the same way.
Prevention of the appearance of a fungus
To avoid the appearance of mold in the washing machine, you should regularly follow simple prevention rules:
- Even for a couple of hours, you should not leave the already washed laundry not removed from the tank. If it is not possible to immediately hang it, then it is better to take it out into the basin.
- Once every 20-30 days, it is imperative to wash on a long program with a high temperature. It is imperative to use powder with bleach as a detergent.
- In the interval from 3 to 6 months, you should start washing without laundry at a high temperature with the addition of vinegar or citric acid to the water. This will kill the mold spores that have not yet sprouted.
- You should not often use various fabric conditioners and rinses. Their particles remain on the walls and contribute to the development of microscopic fungi.
- Periodically, you need to thoroughly clean the drain filter and the hose through which water from the machine enters the sewer.
After each wash, it is imperative to wipe the rubber cuff and drum dry with a cloth.
It is better to remove the powder receptacle from the machine and dry thoroughly in the air. The door of the loading door must always be ajar.
Following these rules will prevent mold from settling inside the washing machine. As a result, the home helper will work for a long time, properly and will not harm the health of family members.
Conclusions:to get rid of mold
Simple rules of prevention and timely cleaning will become reliable protection of the washing machine from extremely undesirable settlers – molds.
If the problem has made itself felt, then, armed with the proposed methods and regularly carrying out preventive cleaning of the washing machine , it will be much easier to deal with it.
Perhaps you know other effective methods for removing mold from the washing machine and have successfully applied them? Please tell our readers about them – leave your comments, ask questions in the block below.