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How to get mould off washing machine rubber

Discover easy methods to remove mould from your washing machine rubber seal. Restore freshness to your laundry routine!

How to get mould off washing machine rubber


How to Remove Mould from Washing Machine Rubber: An Easy Guide

While washing machines keep our clothes clean and fresh, they can quickly gather a build-up of dirt and grime if not cared for correctly. Combine those with a damp environment and leftover detergent and your washing machine rubber can become a hub for mould and mildew growth. 

The rubber seal in a washing machine creates a watertight environment during the washing cycle - which stops water from leaking over your floor. 

However, it's also susceptible to common mould issues from moisture and detergent residue. It's essential to prevent mould in the washing machine as it can reduce the device's lifecycle and leave harmful residue on your clothes that smell less than fresh. In this article, you'll learn how to clean washing machine rubber safely and thoroughly. 


Understanding the causes of mould in washing machine rubber

Black mould isn’t just unsightly; it can also damage your clothes and machine. Therefore, knowing how to prevent black mould in your washing machine is essential.

Several factors can create black mould in the washing machine seal: 

  1. Excessive moisture: Not allowing the machine to air dry after a cycle can cause a damp environment that allows mould to thrive. 
  1. Detergent residue: The accumulation of detergent residue on the rubber seal provides nutrients for the mould to feed off. If not thoroughly rinsed, it can create a sticky surface where mould spores can settle - it also attracts dirt.
  1. High humidity: Storing the washing machine in a humid environment can increase moisture levels, encouraging black mould in the washing machine seal.
  1. Infrequent cleaning: Neglecting to clean and maintain the rubber seal allows mould to flourish. Mould spores can accumulate and multiply if not handled quickly.
  1. Improper storage: Storing wet laundry inside the washing machine without proper ventilation creates a breeding ground for mould growth inside the rubber seal. 
  1. Inactivity: If the washing machine is unused for extended periods without proper cleaning or drying, black mould can develop on the rubber seal due to stagnant moisture.
  1. A damaged seal: A worn-out or damaged rubber seal may have crevices or cracks that trap moisture and detergent residue, facilitating mould growth.

How does black mould in the washing machine seal impact you?

When there is black mould in the washing machine seal, it can release spores and produce a musty odour. These spores can transfer onto clothes during washing, leading to mould contamination. As a result, freshly washed laundry may have unpleasant odours and visible mould spots, especially on light-coloured fabrics. These stubborn stains can be difficult to remove and require additional washing, treatment, or professional cleaning. 

Luckily, preventing and removing black mould from the washing machine seal is easy!

Step-by-Step Guide: Removing Mould from Washing Machine Rubber

We’ll now take you through the easy process of how to clean the washing machine seal and how to get rid of black mould in the washing machine.

Step 1: Get your cleaning products

These include: 

  • Rubber gloves 
  • Dettol Mould and Mildew Remover
  • Dettol Disinfectant Spray
  • Micro-fibre cloth or soft bristle brush
  • Warm water
  • Face-mask

Before dealing with black mould it is vital to prioritise safety to prevent contact with spores. Ensure the area is well-ventilated before inspecting the machine, or consider wearing a face mask to avoid mould inhalation. Always wear rubber gloves to avoid contact with moulds. 


Step 2: Unplug the machine and inspect the rubber seal

Learning how to clean washing the machine seal is simple. Examine the rubber seal around the washing machine door opening for visible mould growth. Pay attention to the folds and crevices where mould most likely accumulates.

If you find black mould on the seal, wear your rubber gloves for protection and spray Dettol Mould and Mildew Remover Spray onto the affected area. The specialised formula contains active bleach that saturates the mould, killing 99.9% of bacteria and leaving the area smelling fresh. 


Step 3: Let it sit

Allow the spray to sit on the mouldy area for about 15 minutes to give it time to penetrate and loosen the mould. 


Step 4: Scrub or wipe away

Take the brush or cloth and gently scrub the mouldy areas of the rubber seal. Pay close attention to the folds and hard-to-reach places, removing as much mould as possible.


Step 5: Deep clean the machine: 

If mould is on the rubber seal, it will likely grow in other hard-to-reach areas, such as the washing machine drawer and lint filter. To ensure a deep clean, remove the washing machine drawer and check the drum, rinse both with water and then apply Dettol’s Mould and Mildew Remover Spray. Locate the lint filter inside or on the front of the washing machine, gently remove it and brush away any debris into the dustbin -  and repeat applying the spray to the affected area. Check out our deep cleaning guide for more information on cleaning your washing machine.


Step 6: Rinse with clean water 

Dampen a fresh cloth or sponge with clean water and thoroughly rinse the affected areas. Make sure to remove any spray residue or remaining mould. 


Step 7: Apply an anti-bacterial spray.

Using Dettol Disinfectant Spray to get a thorough clean. The spray is formulated to kill bacteria and eliminate foul odours. 


Step 8: Run the washing machine on a hot cycle.

To ensure the machine is entirely mould-free, do a maintenance wash without a load in the machine using Dettol Washing Machine cleaner for the hard to reach places.


Step 9: Allow the machine to air-dry

After the cycle is complete, leave the washing machine door ajar and allow it to air-dry thoroughly to prevent moisture build-up.

Preventing future mould growth tips

Preventing mould from growing in your washing machine is straightforward; you only need to add a few extra steps to your regular cleaning routine. The following tips from Pruroclean will stop mould in its tracks and extend your washing machine's performance and lifetime. 

  1. Clean the rubber seal every week to prevent moisture build-up

  2. When the washing machine is unused, leave the door slightly ajar to promote ventilation and airflow.

  3. Clean the detergent drawer to prevent residue or mould growth buildup.

  4. Run a monthly maintenance cycle on an unloaded washing machine using Dettol Washing Machine Cleaner and 60-degree heat.

  5. Check the washing machine filter regularly, as it can accumulate lint, debris, and potential mould growth.

  6. Use the recommended amount for each load and avoid excessive amounts. Leftover detergent can leave residue on the rubber seal, contributing to mould growth.

  7. Remove wet laundry from the machine when the washing cycle is done. Leaving damp clothes inside the machine can create a moist environment that promotes mould growth.

  8. Inspect the washing machine for leaks or water seepage. Address any leaks promptly to prevent moisture buildup and potential mould growth.

To get more washing machine cleaning information, check out our Expert Advice Centre, where we dive into how to deep clean your washing machine and more. 


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