Moldy Washing Machine?

Do you ever notice musty, moldy smells coming from your front-loading high efficient washing machine? This problem may in fact be more common than you think…

Over the past year or so, when conducting mold inspections with my Mold Detection Dog Marni, we have discovered that many of these newer high efficiency front -loading machines smell like mold.

Actually, it was Marni who showed me first. She is specifically trained to alert me by sitting, and then pointing with her nose when she finds an area of the home where she suspects past or present mold growth. After a number of inspections, she kept sitting right in front of these newer front-loading washing machines.
Sure enough, they had a musty odour.

I thought this was unusual at first because washing machines are designed to wash and clean, not promote mold growth. But as this pattern of musty washing machines continued, I wanted to learn more.
I did some research and found out that some of the top manufacturers of these machines are facing lawsuits. Large concentrations of indoor mold can be a health concern especially if it is growing inside thousands of washing machines. Intriguing, yet scary… so I thought I would dig a little bit deeper and get to the bottom of it.

I ended up calling Chris Hilliker from Cambie Appliance and Refrigeration (a local & very credible expert on appliances) to see if he could give me some insight on the situation and provide some ideas for at least reducing the affects of moldy washing machines. After a great discussion I thought I would share some of his
suggestions below.

1) Make sure the detergent is HE or (High Efficient) and use as little as you can get away with. Add ½ to ¼ a cup of vinegar to the wash cycle, resulting in cleaner softer clothes.
2) Be sure to leave the door open slightly between washes.
3) When washing, use a product called Affresh according to manufacturer instructions. This can be found at Trail Appliance in Richmond at the back of the store in the Reliable Parts section.
4) It is a good idea to clean out the rubber drum after each use to prevent scum, hair and debris build up.
5) Consider adding about 5-6 drops of Lavender oil in the fabric softener side of the machine. However, it is best to check with the manufacturer to see if it is acceptable for your machine.

In addition to reducing those moldy smells from your washing machine he has a number of other tips for washing machines, dishwashers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, garburators, stove and ovens.

If you are in the Vancouver area and looking for and credible appliance expert check out,