how to remove mould from your washing machine door seal.

Posted by smol on


Mould LOVES a damp environment and surprise surprise that includes your washing machine.

It will pretty much take hold wherever it can but one favoured spot is the door seal. Apart from looking pretty grim and not being very clean, the mould can also produce a smell that will affect your laundry.

So what should we do if the black stuff has taken hold?

Firstly, don’t panic. There are several steps you can take to remove it, so let’s run through them here in order of mould magnitude!

step 1. the pre-clean. 

Grab a clean cloth (smol’s super absorbent ones made from plants are perfect) plus some cleaning spray and warm water for rinsing the cloth regularly. Any all-purpose cleaner should do but smol’s multi purpose spray works well here.

Cleaning the rubber seal at the start is a really crucial step. It will remove some of the problem and also helps any of the next steps you take become more effective. 

Be sure to get into all crevices, corners, undersides and behinds! 

step 2. clear vinegar. 

If your general all-purpose cleaner hasn’t shifted all the marks, let’s try step 2. 

Did you know that vinegar kills mould more effectively than bleach? Bleach only kills mould spores on the surface of affected materials whereas vinegar can penetrate porous materials, killing mould at its root.

You may have seen warnings about using vinegar in washing machines. Yet, claims that it damages the workings or perishes the gasket are never backed up with studies (because they don’t exist) or hard facts. Oftentimes the articles making such claims have branded machine cleaning products they then promote instead,

Leaving an acid like neat vinegar on a surface for weeks on end could allow it to have an impact. However, using vinegar in a wash where it is diluted with water or making a solution and wiping it back off is not the same; people have been doing this for decades without damaging their washing machines.

  • Mix equal parts warm water and clear vinegar, then using your cloth, apply to the seal.

  • Rub the solution into the mould and leave for 15 minutes.

  • Rinse off with a damp cloth and clean warm water.

step 3. Bicarbonate of soda. 

Still seeing some black marks? Time to bring out the bicarb.

It’s a natural lightening agent and can really help to lift any remaining stains from mould spores.

  • Mix equal parts warm water and bicarb to create a paste the consistency of porridge.

  • Apply it to the rubber seal and leave for 15 minutes.

  • Gently rub the paste over the seal with a soft brush (an old toothbrush is ideal).

  • Rinse with a damp cloth or sponge.

step 4. mould & mildew remover.

We’ve saved this to last as hopefully it’s a last resort. These specialised mould remover contain strong chemicals so always wear gloves to protect your skin when using and avoid inhalation.

  • Spray onto the areas of mould.

  • With a cloth or brush, work the solution into the stains.

  • Use a clean damp cloth to wipe off the solution and mould residue.

step 5. the hot wash.

You should now have a mould-free door seal so you can go ahead and run an empty cycle on the hottest wash setting you have. 

prevention over cure.

Now that your gasket is back to its former glory - it’s a good idea to prevent the mould from happening again. 

  • clean and dry the door seal often. Our multi-purpose spray is ideal for this and can be used as often as you wish but aim for at least once a month.

  • Use step 5 above, the hot wash, once a month as well.

  • Thoroughly clean your machine every few months. We have a great article that runs you through this with photos here.

  • Finally, leave the machine door slightly open when it’s not in use. This allows all areas to dry out and that makes it difficult for the mould to gain a hold

Removing mould is never a pleasant job but cleaning the things we use to clean our homes is important. The steps above should get the job done with less chemicals and less effort. Happy cleaning! 


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