If you think that your washing mashine is a self-cleaning appliance, you can’t be more wrong.
You have probably noticed that after a several months of use, the rubber rings in your washing machine appear to have stains. Moreover, your clothes start smelling a bit funky.
This is the first sign that your applince is probably contaminated with mold. This is the same mold that can also contaminate you bathroom and kitchen.
Why You Should Clean Your Washing Machine
You should prevent mold from spreading since it can cause allergic reactions that will affect your health. Moreover, molds are fungi that can cause inflammation in your respiratory tract.
Common symptoms include:
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Red eyes
- Itchy eyes
The exposure of mold has been associated with appearance of asthma in children. In addition, spores can penetrate into the lungs and cause infection.
Front loading washing machine are more prone to mold and there have been some complaints of chronic mold contamination in popular front-loaders built until the late 2000s by Whirlpool, Kenmore, Bosch and LG.
How To Clean Your Washing Machine
According to several websites, using potassium hydrogen oxalate (salt of lemon) and bleach is non-toxic way to clean your washing machine.
This is not true at all and you should be cautious since they are in fact very toxic. People who inhale the dust will experience irritation of their nose and throat. On the other hand, ingestion can cause burning pain in the throat, stomach and esophagus. Moreover, it can cause skin and eye irritation as well.
Those exposed to the dust must immediately get fresh air, and those who come in contact with the eyes or ingestion, should immediately seek medical treatment.
If you use bleach, you should be extremely careful because it is highly irritating and corrosive to the skin, eyes and lungs. Even its fumes can cause poisoning and accidental swallowing can be lethal. In order to prevent all these dangerous health problems, you can use vinegar which is a mild acid and will help you kill 82% of mold species along with baking soda, a natural substance that fights even more mold species.
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- A sponge
- Tea tree essential oil (optional)
It should be mentioned that vinegar is acidic so if it comes in contact with sensitive skin, it can cause a mild burn. Also, you should avoid breathing in baking soda.
- First of all, use 1 tablespoon of soda in order to sprinkle the area affected with mold.
- Prepare a combination of vinegar and water in ratio 2-1 or in 3-1 and pour into a spray bottle.
- You can add a few drops of essential oil such as tea tree oil, citrus fruit or lavander, if the vinegar smell bothers you.
- Once prepared, spray the solution directly on the affected area and leave it on for a few hours.
- After that, use a brush to scrub the mold and wipe clean.
- In the end, leave your washing machine door open to let it dry completely.
- Before using it agains, run a quick rince cycle to get rid of the vinegar smell.
In order to avoid mold exposure in your home, repeat this process every month. Another solution is to keep a dehumidifier in your laundry room to prevent future contamination.