Tips to Keep Mold Out of Your Front Load Washer

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Tips to Keep Mold Out of Your Front Load Washer

Do you own a front-load washing machine?  There are advantages to purchasing front-loading washing machines over top-loading. Despite costing more, front-loaders are known for their energy efficiency and lower water usage. It also does a great job at getting your clothes clean and is gentle on your clothing.VOC gases are released by mold spores, even if they are in your washing machine. This could be cause issues for those in your home that are susceptible to allergens and toxic particles, such as the elderly, young children and immunocompromised individuals.

Does your washing machine have an unpleasant odor or do your clothes come out smelling worse than before you washed them? This is a common problem for people who own front- load washers. That mildew odor comes from mold growing inside your machine caused by residue and bacteria. However, due to their design, older front-loading machines can be great breeding places for mold and mildew, which causes your clothes to smell like dirty dishrags or sweaty gym socks.
Here are some tips to follow that will help eliminate the cause and remove the smell.
1.       Leave your washer open to allow it to dry out. This may seem like a very basic tip, however it can make a world of difference. Front load washers are sealed tightly, there is no way for the inside of the washer and the door gasket to dry out completely when the door is shut. After you finish your wash for the day, make sure to always leave the door open to allow the washer to dry and air out. This will help to prevent mold from growing inside.
2.       Transfer laundry over in a timely manner. Do not leave a load of wet laundry sitting in a front load washing machine. If you cannot immediately get in the dryer, go ahead and move it to a laundry basket. You do not want to create conditions where mold can grow.
3.       Use the recommended amount of HE laundry detergent. It is very important that you only use HE (high efficiency) laundry detergent in your front-load washer. Using non-HE detergent will cause suds and suds leave behind residue inside your machine. Using more detergent than recommended will also leave behind residue. Liquid fabric softener is another source of residue build up. Using softener sheets in the dryer instead is a great way to fight this problem.
4.       Use a hot water wash for your last load of the day. Washing in cold water saves money & energy but cold water does not kill bacteria and leaves behind more residue than hot water washes. Run your last load of the day, even if it’s an empty load, on the hot water wash setting. To be sure the bacteria in your machine is gone, once a month you should run 1 cup of borax per gallon capacity through your empty washer on a normal cycle with hot water.
5.       Clean out your drain pump regularly. Most front load washers have an accessible drain pump with a filter or trap inside. Lint, hair, coins and just about anything can end up there. By not allowing debris to build up inside your pump, you will eliminate one of the major contributors to mildew odor. If your washing machine has a filter/trap inside the pump, your owner’s manual will explain this procedure.
6.       Clean your washer once a month. To clean your front-load washer, pour 2 cups of distilled vinegar into the detergent dispenser and run your washer on the clean or normal cycle using hot water. When finished, clean the inside tub, rubber boot seal, detergent dispenser and inner door with a clean rag and a solution of half distilled vinegar and half hot water. Repeat this step using a new clean rag and hot water only. Run your washer a second time on the same cycle with hot water only. When finished, leave the door open for several hours to air it out. There are several products on the market for cleaning your machine that can be used instead of vinegar.
Following these suggestions can prevent mold from ever starting in new front load washers and will fight existing mold in smelly front-load washers. No matter what type of washing machine you have, the two best tips I can give you are always empty everything out of pockets before loading into the tub and never overload your machine. 

Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com