Experts have issued a warning to Aussies to make sure to clean their washing machines properly after a woman found mould growing.
The mum was shocked to discover what could be black mould inside the rubber door seal of of her washing machine and didn’t know how to clean it.
Dozens were quick to share their suggestions with recommendations ranging from vinegar to bleach, mould remover spray and even clove oil.
Hotpoint and Whirlpool laundry expert Vivien Fodor told FEMAIL the seal isn’t the only nook or cranny people should be cleaning regularly.
The laundry category manager said to keep an eye on other ‘hidden’ departments including the filers, drum barrel and filter.
A mum was shocked when she found a build-up of grime and mould inside the rubber door seal of her front loader washing machine and asked for tips to clean it
‘I just realised there’s this black stuff (maybe mould?!) on the rubber seal of my washing machine. How do I clean this?’ the woman asked in a post to the Mums Who Clean Facebook group.
The mum had found a build up a grime and mould in the inner layers of the rubber seal around the door of her front loader washing machine.
One woman thought the dirt was not mould but a mixture of body fat and soap residue and suggested using half the amount of detergent recommended in each load.
‘Apparently we use way too much soap. Should only use half recommended amount. Get a large two-litre bottle of cheap no frills vinegar. Poor the whole bottle in the machine. Put on longest hottest wash it has,’ she said.
‘Your machine will be like new. A machine repairman told me years ago.’
Many said front loader users should always leave the door open between uses so the drum can dry out and others said to stop using fabric softener.
Hotpoint and Whirlpool laundry expert Vivien Fodor (pictured) to keep an eye on other ‘hidden’ departments including the filers, drum barrel and filter
‘Don’t use fabric softener. It’s what causes this but also you do need to leave the door open like others have said. However the fabric softener is the worst for the machine,’ one woman said.
‘I’ve not used it once in my current machine and I don’t have any of this gunk. A repair man told me to avoid softener and I think he was right.’
‘Clove oil and ensure you wipe out and dry after you finish your washing,’ another said adding, ‘I dilute it in a spray bottle. A few drops to a cup of water’.
Vivien said many people don’t wash their machines as a result of a lack of education and awareness and not knowing how.
‘Whilst it may seem counterintuitive, cleaning your washing machine is key to avoiding bacteria build up and growth,’ she said.
‘The average washing machine has three departments that require maintenance. They are specifically designed to be accessible by the user – so yes, they should be cleaned!’
One area Vivien said to pay attention to was the filter which removes lint and debris from the laundry load.
‘As the filter doesn’t dry out the debris, it gets collected with some residue water. To avoid it spilling on the floor during a clean, place a tray underneath it before opening,’ she explained.
‘Then, twist the filter cover until it comes away to drain the water and check for any visible lint or debris that has accumulated.’
The laundry pro said it was ‘good practice’ to check the filter every month to keep clothes smelling fresh and prolong the longevity of the appliance.
Vivien also said to wipe down the surface including the rubber seal and drum regularly with a damp cloth.
‘This should be carried out about once a month to help maintain the overall look of the appliance – particularly important for freestanding units that are visible in the kitchen and therefore affect the overall aesthetic of the home,’ she said.
‘If your washing machine has an auto-clean cycle then we always recommend using this feature alongside washing machine cleaner.’
Cleaning guru Soph shared how she does a deep clean of her washing machine starting by removing the detergent drawer and cleaning the inside with a spray and cloth
The detergent drawer in the top corner of each front loader is another area that needs to be monitored.
‘Over time, the soap and detergent can quickly build up – this is particularly common for those who like to use laundry softener regularly,’ Vivien said.
‘We recommend cleaning the drawer every five cycles to avoid any build-up.’
Vivien said it’s also better to remove damp clothes from the drum as soon as a load had finished.
‘We know that laundry can be inconvenient and that it’s not always possible to take clothes out of the machine right after they’re done washing,’ she said.
‘Leaving clothes in the drum for long periods of time can result in bacteria growth which causes unpleasant odours.’
Cleaning and organisation guru Soph shared how she does a deep clean of her washing machine starting by removing the detergent drawer and cleaning the inside with a spray and cloth.
She then wipes the drawer out in the sink before putting it back and cleaning the filter.
Soph empties the excess water into a container and sprays the compartment.
The mum sprayed the drum of the washing machine and cleaned it, the inside of the rubber seal and a door with a cloth.
Finally she wipes down the front of the machine and put it on an empty cycle with vinegar and laundry powder.