‘Effective’ way to banish mould from your washing machine – ‘stronger than baking soda’

Black mould can develop in the detergent drawer, the area around it, and in the rubber seal on the washing machine door. Having the best cleaning products handy always helps with occasional deep cleaning tasks like this. So for those who have just discovered shocking levels of grime and gunk on the inside of their washing machine, here are all the answers they need.

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Cleaning experts at Miele explained what caused the mould to develop in the first place.

They said: “Washing constantly at low temperatures or constantly using colour care or liquid detergents can cause the washing machine to build up with body fats, oils and dead skin cells.”

This, in time, accumulates around the suds container and can damage the rubber parts of a washing machine, leading to bacteria, a stale smell and black mould deposits around the door seal.

Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to clean mould from a washing machine. 

Lily Cameron, a domestic cleaning supervisor at Fantastic Services, a website for booking home and garden services such as cleaning, pest control, and handymen, has shared her eco-friendly recipe for getting rid of washing machine mould that uses just two ingredients.

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For this hack homeowners will need one part Borax Substitute, two parts white vinegar and four parts water.

Combine and actively stir the mixture above for 30 seconds and then take a paper towel, dip it in and use it to remove the mould from the affected area. 

Those who don’t have any paper towels at home, they could use a microfibre cloth.

It is recommend that cleaning gloves and a mask should be worn for this as Borax Substitute can cause irritation to skin and eyes and shouldn’t be inhaled. 

Keep the room well ventilated and don’t use more than necessary.

Lily explained: “This mixture is effective because it mixes two natural but powerful cleaning products.”

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Borax Substitute is made of an alkaline mineral compound (sodium sesquicarbonate) that has a needle-like crystal structure and is used for heavy cleaning. 

Pure Borax is banned in the UK, and is on the EU’s list of Substances of Very High Concern. 

So Borax Substitute should be used with caution, like any other cleaning product.

Dri Pak Borax Substitute retails for £2.49 at Robert Dyas.

The expert added: “It’s gentler than soda crystals but stronger than bicarbonate of soda. 

“White vinegar is of course well known for its cleaning powers on everything from rusty tools to your glass shower screen.”

Once the mould build up has been removed, it’s worth remembering to give washing machines an annual clean to stop it from getting as bad again. 

Lily advised: “There are three places inside your washing machine that you need to clean at least once a year in order to avoid bacteria build-ups and mould.

“The detergent drawer should be taken out and rinsed with hot water, while scrubbed with a brush to get rid of the mould completely. After that, go for the detergent drawer housing.

“Long brushes are your friend here – squeeze some detergent on the brush and clean as much as you can. 

“This is also a quite common place where mould can be found.” 

An old toothbrush could also be used as an alternative for this job.

The cleaning pro continued: “Finally, give a good swipe to the door seal of your washing machine. 

“It’s the folds you’re after – that is where bacteria is often hiding.”

Miele recommends regular maintenance washes to prevent mould, as well as making sure homeowners dispense enough detergent for the hardness of the water and the soiling of the laundry.

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