Q:

How do you clean the rubber gasket on a front-loading washing machine?

A:

The door seal of your front-loading washing machine often collects detergent residue and water. Unless you clean it regularly, this buildup leads to the growth of mold. These steps show you how to eliminate the detergent and stop mold odors.

  1. Prepare to clean

    Empty the machine of any clothing. Check the seal for white or black spots, indicating detergent residue or mold growth. Inspect the visible surface of the seal, then pull it back to inspect the area underneath and around it. Check for small articles of clothing that are stuck in the seal.

  2. Clean any detergent residue

    White buildup on the seal is usually detergent residue. Use an all-purpose cleaner and sponge to remove any residue. Wipe the surface with a towel, and leave the door open to air dry. If the all-purpose cleaner contains ammonia, run a few loads of laundry before adding chlorine bleach or moving on to the next step. This is important to prevent the formation of toxic chlorine gas.

  3. Remove any mold or mildew

    Wear rubber gloves. Mix a dilute chlorine bleach solution. Whirlpool recommends 3/4 cup of chlorine bleach per gallon of warm tap water. Use a cloth dipped in the solution to wipe the seal area. After allowing the solution to stand for five minutes, dry with a white towel, and allow the seal to air dry.

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