We bought our house in 2004 and put in a top-of-the-line LG front load washer and dryer. I debated between Bosch and LG because I wanted “quiet” as they are quite close to my kitchen where everyone dwells. I regret not choosing the Bosch—I can’t remember why I didn’t. However, Bosch and other brands have endured some mold complaints, too, though not nearly as many as LG, it seems.
If you’re wondering how to clean mold from a front load washer gasket, you’ve landed in the right place. They all seem to have this problem and it stinks, literally.
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TIPTry Affresh tablets for managing washing machine mold. They are the best solution I’ve found so far.
Mold in a Front-Loading Washer: My Experience
We fought a disgusting mold problem with stains on the plastic rim or gasket around the door. I called LG, and they told me to use bleach and keep the door open when not in use. Oh, and to wipe the entire washer down after each use. What? You have to squeeze a towel or cotton swab into the gasket’s folds to clean it. Doing this after every wash cycle isn’t practical.
It’s not uncommon to leave a load in the washer for an hour or two after it ends, or maybe even overnight in busy households. If you have a front load washer this is a recipe for mold that is really difficult to get rid of.
Our problem was exacerbated by the fact that this was our vacation house. The washer wasn’t used regularly, but it was wiped down before leaving the house for long periods. The mold problem got MUCH worse after we moved permanently into the house and used the washer regularly.
Removing mold and making sure the gasket was dry turned into time-consuming tasks that no one has time for.
I Called LG About Our Front-Loading Washing Machine
I did call LG (click for the support line number) to complain. The LG representative I spoke with was friendly and told me that the problem could be solved by using a bleach and water dilution on the washer gasket.
In my case, that didn’t help so much. The mold quickly returned because there are too many small crevices for the mold to breed in. The water pooled up at the door of the front loading washing machine after each wash, too.
The representative also told me (which later LG denied ever mentioning) that this was a design flaw that has since been rectified in later washer models. But, there was nothing they can do because the washer was out of warranty.
My husband called again and was told the same thing—wipe it down and use bleach. They denied mentioning the “design flaw.”
Front-Loading Washer Class Actions Lawsuits
I’m allergic to some mold types, not to mention the washer stinks, so we had to replace it with a different brand prematurely. As I was angrily researching a new washer, I noticed that mold in a front loader is common in particular brands. In fact, at the time this post was written in 2009, many class-action lawsuits were brewing about it:
LG Class Action
Whirlpool Duet Class Action
People kicked up a fuss about mold in the Kenmore Elite front loading washer as well. There are also other class actions for washers that have perpetual error codes and other issues.
Do your research before you join a class action.
If You Have Mold in Your Washer
The first thing you should do is contact the manufacturer. A resolution will be difficult especially if you’re out of warranty.
Some people have reported success with a product called Affresh High-Efficiency Washer Cleaner. LG’s manager said to use it repeatedly “until it hurts” but that it may not work for everyone. Affresh has been the best solution for helping us manage the mold. It does work, but it’s not going to cure the problem, possibly because our issue is serious. I’ve also tried Washer Magic with no success.
If there is mold in the gasket, you can also try replacing the gasket. That’s not going to solve the problem, though, unless you’re diligent about maintenance. I’ve read that once the mold appears, it’s hard to eliminate it, which has been my experience.
Why Does Mold Build Up in Front-Load Machines?
Front-loading washers typically use less water, so dirt, grime, and detergents do not always fully drain out. Using cold water versus hot can also exacerbate the problem. Hot water (less efficient) kills bacteria better than cold water does.
It is SO DIFFICULT to fully dry my LG front-loading washing machine after use, and it isn’t practical to leave the door open due to its location in the house.
You also MUST use low sudsing HE detergents (we currently love Tide HE pods) or cut back on regular detergents. Leftover suds are tough to drain and contribute to the mold problem, so fewer suds overall is better.
I hope this info can help if you have mold in your washer. Since this post was written, we’ve switched to a Samsung top-loading washing machine and have been mold-free.
Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).
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