There’s nothing quite as wonderful as the scent of freshly-washed laundry enveloping you as you fold your clothes, drift off to sleep in clean sheets, or dry off with a fluffy towel-- straight from the dryer. Conversely, there’s nothing worse than going through all the trouble of doing laundry to find that your things smell worse after washing them due to mold in your washing machine. In this article, we’ll define mold and mildew, their effects on your health, and practical steps to protect yourself and those you love from its harmful effects.
What is mold and mildew?
Mold is a microscopic fungus that grows on organic matter and reproduces through spores that travel through the air. Mildew is a type of mold that thrives in wet environments, like showers, dishwashers, and washing machines.
How does mold grow?
Since mold feeds on organic matter, it shouldn’t grow on a washing machine, right? You’ll never see mold on a washing machine in a department store, but the moment you introduce organic materials like water, dirt, and soap, mold is able to grow.
Can mildew make me sick?
The short answer is: yes. Mildew and mold can cause respiratory issues, especially for people with allergies and asthma. And even in people without allergies, contact with mold spores can cause irritation in the eyes, nose, throat, lungs, and on your skin.
How can I prevent mildew and mold in the laundry room?
Now that we’ve learned a little about what mold and mildew are and the harmful effects it can wreak on your health, it’s time to learn how to protect your family. If your front loading washing machine is a hot spot for mildew growth, follow these seven tips to prevent mold in the laundry room.
Prevent mold before it starts with the Prop-A-Door
Mildew thrives in dark, wet areas like the inside of a closed washing machine. Stop mold growth in its tracks by investing in a Prop-A-Door device, which allows the inside of your front loading washing machine and the seal to dry after each cycle. The stretchy, flexible hose works with most front loading washing machines to prevent the growth of stinky mildew. Now you know, prevent mold with a Prop-A-Door.
Lower Laundry Room Moisture
In addition to keeping your front loading washing machine door open with the Prop-A-Door, there are a few ways to reduce laundry room moisture. Wipe down the inside of the drum and gasket after each use, keep a fan running in the laundry room, and invest in a dehumidifier to bring down the moisture levels. If you follow these tips, you’ll stop mold growth before it has a chance to start.
Never let clothes sit in the washing machine overnight
Leaving wet clothes inside a closed washing machine overnight creates an ideal breeding ground for mold to grow. Switch over your laundry as soon as you hear the end of cycle tone to keep clean clothes smelling fresh.
Remove stains and wash clothes on a regular basis
Removing stains isn’t just for aesthetics. Stained fabric can be a hot spot for mold growth. Treat stains as quickly as possible, and wash your clothes regularly to prevent mold growth in the darkness of your laundry basket.
Use the right kind of detergent
High efficiency front loading washing machines use less water and are gentler on your clothes, which is great! But if you’re using the wrong kind of detergents, or too much, the smaller amount of water is unable to fully rinse it from the machine. Choose a high efficiency detergent to lower the soap left behind after each wash.
Deep clean your washing machine
You deep clean your kitchen and bathroom regularly, right? Don’t forget to add your washing machine to your deep cleaning rotation. Soap scum mixes with residual dirt or bits of clothing under the gasket, which, if it’s not cleaned regularly, is an ideal environment for mildew growth.
Be sure to remove, clean, and dry laundry detergent, fabric softener, and bleach dispensers, since mildew can hide here. Get tips on how to fully clean your washing machine here.
Remove dryer lint regularly
Mold growth isn’t just happening in the washing machine. Prevent trapped moisture in your dryer by regularly removing the lint from your dryer and periodically cleaning your dryer vent to prevent it from becoming plugged. A plugged dryer vent with lint can take in moisture and lead to mildew growth. Lint, lint and more lint, where to put all of that lint, but in our first-to-market space-saving magnetic Lint Bin for a convenient way store and retrieve your lint for disposal or better yet, repurposing.
A mold and mildew-free washing machine and laundry room makes your house cleaner and safer for your whole family. What are you waiting for? Implement these seven easy tips and smell the difference!