Washing Machine Mold Surprise
This past week my wife and I noticed a consistent mold smell in our laundry room. Over the past couple of months I could also smell a hint of mold in some of our loads of laundry as well, so I decided to take a peek into the issue. To be honest, I was very surprised…and a bit disgusted, as to what I found in the bellow ( the rubber gasket on the front of the washing drum). After peeling back a fold in the gasket a slimy ring of mold had embedded itself into the rubber. When I say that it was embedded, I mean the mold had actually locked into the rubber and I couldn’t clean it off with a number of cleaners and some serious elbow grease! The “Yuk” factor, already off the chart after the first mold ring, was just about to get a whole lot worse…
As it turns out, with a quick Youtube search, you can learn how to take out the bellow and replace it. After watching the video, my wife and I decided that the $125 replacement part purchase was worth it…and the bellow arrived a few days later. So I put on the “appliance repair man” hat and began to take apart the front of my washing machine only to find something even more disturbing… An even thicker coating of mold! This time it was on the back side of the bellow gasket AND the entire surface of the outer drum where the water drains into. In other words, every time we washed our clothes they were being mixed into mold infested waters.
Even more alarming, even with our efforts to leave the door open for ventilation and an occasional vinegar cleanser, the mold still overtook the front loading washing machine. Even if we had wiped down the surfaces every time a load of laundry was finished, there are unreachable surfaces that one can’t clean without a full pull out of major components of the washing machine.
The fix? Well it turns out that our appliance serviceman revealed that people are now switching over to top loading units. Nearly 7/10 people in their stores are moving away from front loaders due to the mold reasons. Had we used a product that he mentioned, “Affresh™”, on a monthly basis from the get go…it would have slowed the growth. The kicker was that our washer is 5 years old and they began to introduce this product just within the last two to three years.
The moral of the story? If you have just purchased a front load washing machine, use a cleaning agent once a month, wipe down the reachable surfaces upon every finished load (including the nooks and crannies), and leave the door open to allow ventilation. If you have had a front loader for some time now, consider this a forewarning of what could be lurking in your washing machine. Consequently, your clothing could have mold spores washed into them as well.