How to Clean Mold From Washing Machine

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Have you checked your washing machine for any mold lately? If not, you should do so immediately. You probably didn’t realize that the inside of your washing machine is the perfect breeding ground for mold.

If you notice your clothes not smelling fresh and clean after a wash cycle, there’s a good chance mold is inside. That means it’s time to clean your washing machine. The following sections will discuss how to clean mold from a washing machine.

How to Clean Mold From Washing Machine with Vinegar?

Vinegar is a highly effective natural ingredient to use as a cleaning solution for sanitizing your washing machine. It’s not as harsh as most commercial cleaners and is safer.

Begin by mixing one-part white vinegar and four parts water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture over all the areas you wish to clean and wipe away with a soft cloth or paper towel. This will remove any mildew. Your washing machine should smell fresh after this simple process.

Additionally, you can adjust the vinegar and water mixture according to your needs and preferences. For example, increasing the amount of vinegar and decreasing the water volume will create a more robust solution.

If your mold problem is more stubborn, try using a more robust solution by mixing ¼ cup of white vinegar, ¼ cup of lemon juice, and two cups of water. Again, adjust the portion of each ingredient to your specific needs.

How To Remove Mold From a Washing Machine?

To start, you’ll need a few basic cleaning materials, such as:

  • A spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • A microfiber cloth
  • A brush

You’ll need to clean the main washing drum and the detergent drawer for both front and top-loading machines. We suggest removing the detergent drawer from the washing machine to clean the entire area.

Harder-to-clean mold, on the other hand, proves more of a challenge. Start by soaking the drawer in hot water and the vinegar solution. Then, scrub and rinse once 20 minutes have passed. You can also clean the dispenser area while the drawer is soaking in the sink.

It would be best to focus on the door and rubber gasket area for front-loading machines.

You can sanitize the drain by disconnecting it from the washing machine and placing it in a bucket to drain excess water. Check the inside for gunk and soak it in vinegar to remove mildew near the opening. For more stubborn grime, use the brush with some baking soda.

Depending on your washing machine model, you may also need to clean the filter.

How to Clean a Front Load Washing Machine From Mold?

Typically, front-loading washing machines are more susceptible to mold. That’s simply because of their design.

The door and rubber gasket tend to have build-up from the detergent suds and water. This, in turn, creates an environment for mold to grow.  Spray the vinegar solution around the entire machine. Make sure to get the rubber gasket. You can find this piece on the door’s inside.

However, if the mold is more extensive, you can soak some cloth in the solution and wrap it around the rubber gasket. Let it sit for 15 minutes, and then wipe it away with a soft cloth.

You can use your machine’s self-cleaning or sanitizing cycle if available. We suggest a complete wash cycle by adding 1-2 cups of vinegar to the detergent drawer. Please set it to the highest water temperature. Otherwise, you can use an entire wash cycle.

Once this process is complete, run another rinse cycle to wash away any remaining grime or residue. Once you have finished the cycle, don’t forget to take a dry cloth, and wipe down all the areas so there’s no moisture left.

What Can Cause Mold in the Washing Machine?

Several things can cause mold to build up in the washing machine.

The most common reason is moisture trapped inside the machine. You should get into the habit of wiping down the inside and the detergent drawer. Keep the door open so it can air dry.

We suggest a regular cleaning schedule for your washing machine. This can be either monthly or at least once a quarter. Regular maintenance will reduce the chances of mold or dirt build-up inside your washing machine.

Additionally, remove wet clothes once the wash cycle is finished. Wet clothes sitting inside the machine can also lead to mold build-up.

On top of that, monitor the type of detergent you’re using. High-efficiency machines require HE detergent, for example. You should also check the amount of detergent you’re using as too many suds can lead to mold build-up.

Speaking of high-efficiency washing machines, they usually need more frequent cleaning than traditional ones. That’s because high-efficiency machines use less water. The side effect is that less water means suds aren’t washing away thoroughly, creating mold.

So, with the above in mind, check whether your machine is high-efficiency. This will help you set the proper cleaning schedule.

How Can You Prevent Mold in the Washing Machine?

Can you do anything to prevent mold, especially in a front-loading washing machine? The simple answer is probably not—but doing nothing won’t help much either.

For starters, look for residue and clean it away immediately. Residue feeds mold, and without food, mold can’t grow. Remove laundry from the machine as soon as the cycle is completed too. This prevents moisture from lingering inside your washing machine.

Remember to clean the door and rubber gasket after each use as well. Be sure to lift the rubber to clean underneath also. Leave the door open after each use so the inside can be aired.

Clean the detergent drawer regularly by removing the entire drawer. Then clean the dispenser area before inserting the drawer into the washing machine.

Additionally, check that you’re using the proper detergent for your washing machine. Keep an eye on the amount of detergent you’re using. Too much doesn’t necessarily mean cleaner clothes. It can lead to soap scum being left inside the machine.

An extra tip: Try to run the self-clean or sanitize cycle monthly. If your machine doesn’t have this type of cycle, just run a normal wash cycle with the highest hot water setting. You can opt for a washing machine cleaner such as Affresh to do the job.

Finally, check the drain hose regularly for any gunk stuck inside. Remove anything you may find. Then clean and disinfect the area around the opening.


There’s no guarantee that any of the above steps will prevent mold, but they should help decrease the chances of mold building up. A regularly scheduled cleaning routine for all areas mentioned is the best preventive measure.

Depending on the type of washing machine, you may need to clean the inside more frequently than you think. The popular front-loading and high-efficiency machines are two examples that require an extensive cleaning schedule.

Simply follow these steps and read the owner’s manual. They should provide you with enough information on how to clean mold from a washing machine.

About Emily Leake

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