Looking for how to get rid of mold in your washer, clothes, or laundry machines? We’re sharing how we’ve prevented mold 100% in our machines and clothing for nearly 8 years now!
Mold in washing machine: a nightmare!
I confess, I have to imagine it’s a nightmare. I have a 100% success rate with zero mold in my laundry machines.
Yes, we’ve never, ever had a mold issue! And we have front loaders!
Funnily enough, we stumbled upon our perfect “method” by accident!
mold in washing machine
How To 100% Avoid Mold in Your Laundry & Clothing!
Years ago, I remember having a few play dates with a mom and her kids who always–so unfortunately–had a moldy smell hovering all around them. It was awful but, at the time, I had no idea what I was smelling…until one day when she shared that it was coming from her washing machine making their clothes moldy.
Back then, I didn’t know how to advise her other than a basic Google search…
…but now I think I know exactly what to tell people!
I’m not a chemist and I can’t tell you exactly how it all works, but what I DO know is that I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing–with front loaders, no less!–for almost eight years now and still have had zero mold!
Below, I’ll also answer popular questions such as
- “Do you know how to get rid of mold in washing machine?”
- “Why doesn’t your washing machine ever get smelly?”
- “What’s a good washer machine mold cleaner?”
- “How to clean washer machine mold?”
- “How do you get rid of the washing machine mold smell?”
- “How do you guys prevent mold from ever happening in your washing machine?”
WASHER MACHINE MOLD
“Don’t front loaders grow mold?”
Eight years ago, as I researched washers and dryers, one of the reasons I hesitated from getting a front loader was all the stories I heard about mold in them!
- “I hate front loaders! Don’t do it!”
- “Front loaders are always smelly!”
- “Mold grows especially in front loaders!”
But my fantasy-become-reality laundry wall configuration would need front loaders (plus they’d be easier on my back!), and so I plowed full-steam ahead and figured we could solve whatever problems we came up against! 🙂
MOULD IN WASHING MACHINE FRONT LOADER
“What Do You Do Differently?”
To be honest, I forgot about mold in our washer for years…until we started posting videos of our laundry room on our blog, Instagram and YouTube.
With over 41 million views on just one of our laundry videos, there were so many comments and messages that came in to us with people repeating the same old things we’d heard before (“Front loaders are gross and grow mold!”).
While we couldn’t respond to every single person who messaged us about this, we did respond to many that it hadn’t been a problem for us!
And as I’ve thought about it over the past several months, I’ve wondered, “What makes our washer and dryer not moldy when so many other people’s are?“
I don’t think it’s the brand of washer we have (although we do like ours!).
The only difference has to be in the
we use to do our laundry that keeps it from getting smelly or gross, let alone moldy!
First I’ll share my process with 7 tips, then I’ll give you the exact list below that!
Washer Mold Prevention: Here’s What I Do! (Takes Seconds!)
First, here’s my process…
#1: Detergent: Less is More!
First, I don’t just use this clean detergent I found…
…but I use VERY LITTLE of it!
For an average load, maybe 20% of the full capful! I used to use a lot more, but after doing some research learned that the reason people get dingy clothes is because they’re using too much detergent! So I started testing it out and found that less really was more!
#2: VINEGAR: SAY HELLO TO YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND!
Vinegar is amazing. I use it in so much of my natural cleaning, and laundry is no exception.
Depending on what I’m washing, I usually fill both the “bleach” and “fabric softener” slots with vinegar to make sure it rinses at different times during the wash cycle.
Does consistently running vinegar through our washer help with mold prevention? I believe it’s one of the main reasons, yes!
#3: washing soda!
Years ago, I started adding a certain brand of washing soda to some of my loads (I’ll link it in the list down below), and I’ve never stopped! Obviously, I’m a creative person who loves art and design and writing, and so chemistry is not something I dwell on or am an expert in :)…
…but whatever this is doing to clean our clothes and laundry machines, I’m making sure it gets in there!
#4: The extras.
Depending on what I’m washing, I’ll sometimes add extras like hydrogen peroxide or an essential oil into the washing liquid slots. (This is usually when I’m doing a bunch of our big white towels in a load.)
What else do I do that has helped prevent mold 100% of the time?
#5: Leave the door open after a wash!
This one is super-simple: after you transfer your items from the washer to the dryer, just leave the washer door open to let the whole interior and drum dry out!
I once had someone comment that they found this annoying, but
- having it open for an hour or two doesn’t bother me as much as mold would,
- it’s not really in anyone’s way (and if having your door open is in someone’s way, your washer might be in the wrong/too narrow spot in the first place), and
- it’s not difficult for me to remember to close it because the clothes in the dryer will need to be attended to anyways, and I just shut the washer at that point!
Easy breezy! (No pun intended).
#6: WATCH YOUR TIMING OF THE SELF-CLEAN CYCLE!
I also occasionally run the self-clean cycle–with a cup of vinegar in the compartments for good measure!
But how often I do this depends on how often I’ve been doing laundry lately! I don’t stick to a strict schedule, and I don’t want to do this too often since it’s just adding in more moisture to the machine unnecessarily!
Just think: keep your washer drier than it is wetter the majority of the time!
#7: Wipe down any moisture that lingers!
Sometimes I’ll wipe down the see-through door of our washing machine if I don’t want to leave it open for hours.
Often, I’ll also glance at the gasket to see if any lint or other materials have built up there. (And if I find them, I remove them. If they’re hard to reach, because that gasket is pretty narrow, I have a small old pair of tweezers I keep in my laundry room just for such occasions! 🙂 )
Mold in washer
The Exact Products I Use In My Process!
- The organic detergent I use!
- I use THESE for when we travel, and love that they clean well and don’t add extra smells! (I always, always, always choose fragrance-free!)
- The washing soda I use.
- The hydrogen peroxide I use.
- The champion: vinegar!
- Lemon oil (I know people can spend a LOT more money on these, but since it’s just running through my washing machine and clothes, I’m not too fussed about it–plus not all lemon smells are created equal, and I think this one smells perfect!) You can also use other anti-microbial oils like tea tree. PS: Usually the smell of the oil rinses out!
how to clean mold in washer machine
“What If I Need to Rid My Washer of Mold First?”
If you already have mold in your washer and want to eradicate it, there are some easy ways to do this.
Some people recommend using bleach, but if you’re like me and prefer to avoid bleach, I find that the ever-amazing vinegar works just as well!
- Use gloves and old towels (or paper towels) you can throw away.
- Dip your towel in the vinegar and scrub the mold away.
- Toss that towel, man!
- If you have a gasket around the door of your front-loader, you’ll want to tackle that as well. Use Q-tips, a toothbrush or other long tools to get into hard-to-reach spaces! (I’ve been known to wrap a small a thin old washcloth around a chopstick to achieve what I need!) You can get creative!
- Next, I would fill my detergent compartment and other slots (such as for bleach or fabric softener) with vinegar, then set the washer to wash at its hottest temp setting!
If you’re looking for more intense methods or aren’t afraid of chemicals, you can also get tips from sites like this on ridding your washer from mold.
If you want something stronger than the natural cleaners like vinegar or baking soda, this mold and mildew remover is recommended. I’d be more prone to try this E3 solution first! (It’s clean and non-toxic, and has great reviews I’ve seen from a number of different places!)
How to get Rid of Mold in Washer Machine
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: TRUE DAT!
My honest opinion? My “laundry mold prevention process” doesn’t actually take me much extra time at all! I’ve gotten so used to it that it’s second nature, and laundry truly is a joy to me now!
Our costs are lower, my time spent on laundry is shorter…you can read all about that in our laundry room makeover post!
Next, you’ll want to check out…
- “The Complete List of Laundry Organization, Storage & Design Ideas!”
- “Raised Washer and Dryer: The Genius Hack No One Tells You About!”
- “5 Genius Reasons to Avoid the Standard Laundry Hamper!”
➜ Get our Laundry Cabinet Plans!
➜ You can browse our home by room HERE!