Mold is almost impossible to avoid. Any place moisture can be found there is the possibility for mold to grow including within our properties and our appliances. In fact, of the over 100,000 known species of mold over 1000 of them are known to grow in homes in the United States.
In light of the fact that mold likes to breed in wet environments machines that involve the use of water are more susceptible than most to mold, as are refrigerators or ice machines where condensation occurs as the warm and cool air meet.
The last thing you wants is mold growing inside, and even more so not in appliances that you are using to clean your clothes or dishes or store your food. Mold is both unsightly and can make you unwell, particularly if you have a mold sensitivity or have pre-existing health conditions such as asthma.
Allergic responses can range from mild to severe depending on the type of mold and how sensitive you are, but can include sinus irritation, irritation in the lungs, migraine, a irritated throat and skin irritations. Sinus and digestive tract infections can also be caused by mold especially for people with underlying health conditions.
Making sure your machines remain mold-free should be a relatively simple process and is important for the health of your household as well as ensuring the integrity of your appliances. In the event there is mold in an appliance or nearby, mold removal from a local professional in Texas will be necessary.
Why Mold Breeds in Home Appliances
Mold is naturally occurring and breeds just about anywhere. Our houses provide the perfect conditions for mold growth due to the fact that molds thrive in the same temperature range that people do. Plus our homes provide water and a source of food.
Dampness plus the fact that many machines in the home use water is a key factors that make appliances sensitive to mold development, made worse by inadequate and humidity. If machines are not able to completely dry out after use can encourage mold development, but, even if you are doing everything correctly mold only needs a small amount of water to proliferate.
Mold also prefers darkness, meaning the inside of, or areas behind home appliances are prime spots for mold to grow.
As well as moisture and the right temperature, mold needs organic matter for food which could be anything from dust containing dead skin cells to scraps of food that ends up in the dishwasher or the food we store in the fridge.
Keeping mold at bay is easy enough. You do however need to be aware of the conditions mold needs to grow and not forget to clean hidden spots on a regular basis.
Where Mold Grows in Appliances
As mentioned above mold develops anywhere there is dampness, and in the case of appliances this often means anywhere water becomes trapped and cannot fully dry out between uses.
Below we look at a number of appliances that are most vulnerable to mold proliferation and where mold is prone to growing.
Front Loading Washers
In a front loading machine, mold will most often grow in the door seals and the detergent drawer, as dampness gets trapped in these areas between uses.
Keeping the door and drawer open between uses will allow the washing machine to dry out and help prevent mold growing.
Top Loading Washing Machine
Top loading washers do not have the same door gaskets but can develop mold inside the machine between the drum and the inner wall. This can be harder to spot as it is not immediately visible when you open the door.
Once again, keeping the machine open between uses can reduce the chances of mold. Ensuring you use the correct quantity of washing powder, not too much, can also make a difference.
Refrigerators are also very susceptible to mold proliferation especially in the door gaskets and in hidden corners and crevices. Refrigerators don’t use water in the same way as other home appliances, but they are prone to condensation and thus moisture.
Keeping your fridge clean is the best place to start to stop mold from growing.
Dishwashers not only have a ready supply of moisture but also a ready supply of organic matter. With dishwashers, mold can develop in the filter, the door gasket, the silverware basket and cracks and crevices inside the machine.
Again leaving the door open to allow the machine to fully dry can help, as can regularly cleaning the filter and removing any bits of food.
Checking for Mold in Your Home Appliances
Generally you will be able to see if you have mold in your home appliances. Regular checking of the door seals for any discoloration, spots or obvious mold proliferation, not forgetting other hidden spots that mold may hide.
You may be able to detect mold by smell before you can see it. Musty smelling clothes or a funky smelling fridge are good indicators of mold.
How to Get Rid of Mold in Your Appliances
Removing mold in your home appliances is usually a fairly straightforward process and will vary slightly depending on the machine you are dealing with.
Once you have removed the mold keeping home appliances dry and well ventilated will help stop mold from returning, as will a regular cleaning regime.
Front Loading Machines
Moldy door seals and washing powder drawers can be cleaned using either white vinegar or bleach and use baking soda mixed to a paste with water to get rid of the smell.
When you have done this run the deep clean cycle on your appliance. There are plenty of machine products available that can be used when you do this.
This process may need to be repeated depending on how much of a mold issue you have.
Top Loading Washing Machines
Top loading machines tend to be less prone to mold, but can develop mold in the space between the drum and the inner wall of the machine. To remove the mold you can run the deep clean cycle or a hot wash with either bleach or several cups of white vinegar. Repeat with baking soda if there is a lingering smell.
Fridge gaskets and other moldy areas can be sanitized with white vinegar or a bleach solution. Ensure you empty the fridge before cleaning and sanitize all shelves and drawers at the same time.
There are lots of cleaning products available that you can use to get rid of mold inside your dishwasher and any mold in the door gaskets can be cleaned using white vinegar or bleach. You can also run an empty cycle with a cup of vinegar on the top rack to get rid of mold.
You should always protect your hands when getting rid of mold and if you know you are more sensitive you may choose to consider further PPE such as a mask and eye protection or calling in the professionals.