How to Remove Mold from Front-Load Washers


Do you scream, “Ewwwwww,” when you open your washing machine?”

If so, chances are you have a mold problem on your hands. This is a fairly common issue we see with our customers, particularly those with front-load washers. So you’re certainly not alone!

Front-load washing machines have many benefits compared to their top-load counterparts. However, the front-load design can cause moisture to become trapped inside the machine, leading to that stinky mold problem. To prevent troublesome water leaks, front-loader doors have rubbers seals (i.e. gaskets) to make them watertight and airtight. Those gaskets, combined with high-sudsing detergents that leave behind residue, create a perfect mildew-growing spot.

Reading this, you’re probably itching to get rid of that foul smell. Here’s how to remove mold from front-load washers:

How to Remove Mold from Front-Load Washers

  • Clean out the rubber seal.

Be forewarned, cleaning out the rubber door seal requires a bit of elbow grease! Use a rag and some hot, soapy water to remove the mildew wherever you can find it (including underneath and around the seal). Wipe it dry with a separate rag.

Make note– if the mold is widespread and/or difficult to remove, you might be better off, in the long run, getting the gasket replaced.

  • Clean out the dispenser.

Completely remove the dispenser from the washer (if possible), to give it a thorough cleaning with hot, soapy water and a brush. If you aren’t able to remove the dispenser, use a bottle cleaner to remove as much mold as possible.

  • Use cleaning solution or a cleaning tablet to clean out the interior of the machine.

There are a couple of different options to choose from here. A common approach is to use bleach, but we actually recommend a residue busting cleaner such as Affresh. While bleach is effective at killing off bacteria, it doesn’t remove soap residue as well as Affresh does, in our experience. Getting rid of the soap residue will prevent the mold from growing back right away.

Whether you elect to use bleach (about 1 cup) or a tablet like Affresh, make sure to use them in an empty, hot water wash cycle (will damage clothes otherwise).

Preventing Mold Growth in Front-Load Washers

  • Consider using less detergent (or switching detergents). 

Excess detergent sudsing will accelerate mold growth in your washer. Using less detergent or finding a low-sudsing alternative (such as powder detergent) will help curb this problem in the future.

  • Leave your door ajar in between loads.

Leaving the door open in between loads can help air out any trapped moisture. Just make sure no little ones or pets climb inside.

  • Regularly clean door seal.

Get in the habit of regularly wiping out the door seal to help prevent troublesome mold growth.

Still Smelling Moldy?

Tried these suggestions but your washer is still left smelling funky? This is likely an indication of mold growth behind the drum or a clogged drain or filter. If you’re not comfortable dismantling and cleaning out this mold yourself, contact your local qualified appliance service professional.

For washer repair in Rogue Valley, Oregon, contact Just-In Time Appliance today! We would be happy to assist you.

Justin Duby

Justin Duby

Justin Duby, a Grants Pass native, opened Just-in Time Appliance Repair in 2014 after working with his grandparents in the appliance repair business for almost 10 years. Just attends various training programs throughout the year to keeps his skills sharp.

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