Most people don’t realize that their washing machines are growing mold

This story is part of try thisCNET’s collection of simple tips to quickly improve your life.

Washing your clothes, towels, and bedding weekly is probably on your to-do list every week, but what about cleaning the washing machine? If that hasn’t been added to your list yet, there’s a good reason to start today.

The washing machine can have mildew and mildew, which makes the washing machine dirty and the laundry smell less than fresh. Your washing machine needs a good scrub on a regular basis – especially if there is a sulfur smell in your laundry. The good news is that if there is mold already growing in your washer, you can kill it and prevent it from coming back.

I’ll explain how to get your clothes and washing machine smelling fresh and clean again, and how to get rid of unpleasant odors in the future. Plus, I’ll show you how to detect, clean, and stave off bacteria for good. (We also have a lot of advice about How to remove pet stains from carpetAnd the How to remove makeup stains from beddingAnd the How to clean your mattress.)

Read also: Wash your clothes this way and save money on your energy bill

The best way to kill mold and bacteria

If you have mold in your washing machine, here’s how to get rid of it:

1. Start by wearing gloves and grabbing an old towel that you don’t care about.

2. Mix a solution of either bleach and hot water or vinegar and hot water. Never mix bleach and vinegar together, as it produces chlorine gas that can harm you.

3. Dip the washcloth in the mixture and start rubbing away any visible mold. Be sure to bump the detergent dispenser and around the gaskets.

4. If there is a gasket around the door (there are front loading washers on it), clean and dry it carefully, including all folds.

5. Run a wash cycle at the highest temperature the washer can offer with a cup of bleach or vinegar. (Not both!) If using bleach, pour it into the bleaching chamber. If using vinegar, pour it into the cleaner’s hole. If your device has a self-cleaning cycle, you can use this setting. This should kill any hidden mold you may have missed.

6. Next, use another old towel and wipe off all the moisture in the washer. This includes the drum, dispensers, seals and any other areas you can reach.

7. Finally, leave the washer door open to allow air to circulate to dry any parts you missed. Doing this monthly will help prevent mold growth.

Leave the lid open if you are not washing clothes

Mold grows in dark, damp areas, which is what your washer becomes after you unload clothes. Keeping the lid closed traps moisture, which can lead to bacteria buildup and an unpleasant odor. Instead, leave the door open to help ventilate the washer and prevent mold from growing in the first place.

Remove wet clothes immediately

When you plan to toss a load of laundry, make sure you’ll be home to remove the clothes when the timer rings. This means not starting the washing machine before going to work or going to sleep. Not only does this prevent mold from growing in the washer, it also keeps your clean clothes from getting moldy.

Dry tampons and wet parts after each use

After you’ve been using the washer all day, be sure to wipe down any part of the washer that is damp. This includes the cover, drum, door, rubber gaskets, and detergent dispenser (if your machine has this feature). Keep an old towel on hand for this.

Be sure to dry the seals with the rest of the washer to prevent moisture from sticking. During mold contamination Can It occurs in any washing machine, and is especially common in high-efficiency front loading (also known as HE) washers. That is why you should wash the gaskets and locks around the door regularly and keep them dry. The gaskets ensure that water doesn’t seep around the door, and they also do a good job of sealing in moisture that can aid mold growth. Pet hair, crumpled paper, or other dirt should also be removed in the washer immediately.

Read more: How to buy a washing machine

The washing machine compartment has been pulled out

If you are using an HE washing machine, it is best to use a detergent made for HE washing machines.

Taylor Martin/CNET

Only use HE detergent powder in HE machine

Liquid detergent can leave a residue in the washer, giving mold a food source. So if you have an HE washer, the first thing you should do to keep mold at bay is to make sure you use a laundry detergent designed specifically for this type of washer, which will produce less suds. (look for letters he is on the soap container.) Better yet, steer clear of liquid detergents and switch to detergent powder or capsules. Whatever you choose, make sure you only use what you need to wash your clothes. If you use a lot, your clothes may have an odor and residue.

Once your washer is clean, it’s time to move on to the rest of your home. Get started in the shower: Here’s a simple one-hour scientific method shower head smashand here How to unclog a toilet without a plunger.

More cleaning tips and tricks for your home

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