Black mold, scientifically known as Stachybotrys chartarum, is a common household fungus that thrives in damp, warm environments. Mold can grow in showers, ceilings, carpets, and furniture. Its presence in washing machines is unsightly and can pose health risks. Recognizing the signs and understanding its implications is crucial for maintaining a safe and hygienic home.

Does Mold In The Washing Machine Can Damage My Clothes?

Yes, black mold in your washing machine can damage your clothes. When mold spores land on your clothes during a wash cycle, they can cause discolouration and create unpleasant odors that are difficult to remove. Mold can also weaken the fabric, leading to wear and tear. Also, the mycotoxins produced by mold can trigger allergic reactions and skin irritation, making it essential to promptly address mold issues to protect your garments and health. Regular cleaning and washing machine maintenance are crucial to prevent mold growth.

Health Risks Of Black Mold Exposure

black mold exposure

Black mold produces mycotoxins, which can cause a range of health issues. Common symptoms include respiratory problems, skin irritation, and headaches. There are many myths about mold, but prolonged exposure can lead to more serious conditions, such as chronic respiratory diseases. People with allergies such as asthma or weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable.

How Black Mold Develops In Washing Machines

Washing machines, especially front-loading models, provide an ideal environment for black mold. Moisture, warmth, and detergent residues combine to create a breeding ground for mold growth. The rubber seal, detergent drawer, and drum are common areas where mold can thrive unnoticed.

Identifying Black Mold In Your Washing Machine

Detecting black mold early can prevent health risks and damage to your washing machine. Look for dark spots or streaks around the rubber door seal and inside the detergent drawer. A musty odor emanating from the machine is also a strong indicator of mold presence.

How To Remove Black Mold From Your Washing Machine Drum

Remove Black Mold

Black mold spores are invisible and can easily transfer to your washing machine drum, where the humid environment promotes mold growth. Even though the drum is usually made of stainless steel, dirt and lint deposits can still harbour black mold. The plastic paddles inside the drum are also prone to mold due to high moisture and contact with dirty clothes.

General Maintenance

Place 200g of bicarbonate of soda inside the empty washing machine and run a long cycle above 60℃. This mild abrasive is biodegradable and removes grit, grime, and mold deposits without adding more chemicals.

Persistent Mold Problems

  1. Ensure the washing machine is empty and dry. Wear protective gloves.
  2. Spray a small amount of bleach-based mold cleaner onto a microfiber cloth.
  3. Thoroughly wipe the entire circumference of the drum, including the back and plastic paddles.
  4. Use a brush with warm water to scrub stubborn stains, then wipe with the cloth and cleaner.
  5. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and let the door open to dry for at least an hour.
  6. For thorough cleaning, repeat the steps with a biocidal cleaner.

How To Remove Black Mold From Your Washing Machine Detergent Drawer

remove black mold

Black mold often grows in the detergent drawer due to residue from fabric conditioners, detergents, and softeners. Here are some simple steps for mold removal:

  1. Please remove the drawer and submerge it in warm water to remove bulk residue. Leave to dry.
  2. Use a bleach-based mold cleaner and a microfiber cloth to clean the inside of the empty compartment. Rinse and dry.
  3. Apply the bleach-based cleaner to the cloth and thoroughly wipe the inside and outside of the drawer, focusing on corners where mold collects. Rinse and dry.
  4. Use a biocidal cleaner on the drawer’s inside and outside surfaces. Leave to dry.

Washing Machine Maintenance Tips

  • Monthly Cleaning: Clean the detergent drawer monthly to remove soap residue.
  • Biocidal Cleaning: Use a biocidal cleaner every six months for mold prevention.

Tips To Prevent Future Mold Growth In Washing Machine

Prevent Future Mold Growth

  • Ventilation: Always leave the washing machine door open after use to allow moisture to evaporate.
  • Monthly Cleaning: Run an empty hot wash cycle with vinegar or a washing machine cleaner once a month.
  • Dry Seals and Drawers: Regularly wipe down the rubber seals and detergent drawer after each use.
  • Dehumidifiers: Use a dehumidifier in the laundry area to reduce moisture levels.
  • Proper Detergents: Use the correct amount of high-efficiency detergent to prevent excess residue from contributing to mold growth.

When To Seek Professional Help

If black mold persists despite regular cleaning and maintenance, it might be time to consult a Mold Assassins professional. Persistent mold can indicate deeper issues, such as internal leaks or inadequate ventilation, that require expert intervention.

Conclusion

Black mold in washing machines is more than just an aesthetic problem; it poses significant health risks and can damage your appliance. Regular maintenance, vigilant cleaning, and proper ventilation are key to preventing mold growth. By taking these steps, you can ensure your washing machine remains a safe and hygienic tool for your household.