Care and Maintenance of Front-loading Clothes Washing Machines

Front-loading washing machines are more common than ever. The size and efficiency of front-loading washing machines are two primary factors influencing consumer decisions. Front-loading clothes washing machines are more efficient than their top-loading siblings but are also more expensive and require more maintenance.

Less water is used overall, but it gets trapped and doesn’t all get drained out. Front-loaders collect moisture and lint in their internal drums, leading to mould growth and other problems. They need regular maintenance to last as long as possible, and you could find yourself with a mouldy front-loading washing machine if you’re not careful. Maintain your front-loading washing machine.

Because it can trigger allergic reactions and respiratory issues in those sensitive to it, mould is harmful. And since mould spores can cause an asthma attack or other symptoms like difficulty breathing or chest tightness, those with asthma or another chronic respiratory ailment should try to limit their exposure to them, especially in their homes. 

Clean the Drum

If you have a front-loading washing machine, you might have noticed that it gets smelly or mildewy if you don’t clean it properly. This is one of the most common problems we find with front-loaders during a home inspection. Preventing mould from getting out of control is crucial, so keep an eye out for any indications of it inside your machine. If you start noticing that musty smell, commercial products are available to run through the washing machine to clean it, but you don’t have to spend that money on commercial products if you follow the following steps. Cleaning front-loading machines is easy. With just a few non-toxic household cleaners and a little elbow grease, the door’s gasket – and your clothes – will be good as new:

  • Run a hot cleaning cycle with 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of white vinegar added directly to the drum without any clothes in this cycle. Baking soda and vinegar both have antibacterial properties, which will help prevent mould from forming inside the drumFor tough mould and mildew problems, do a second cycle using 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide in the hot water cycle. Do this once per month.
  • Clean the detergent dispenser with the same solution of baking soda and white vinegar. Do this once per month. Most dispensers are removable, so make it easy and rinse it well, using a toothbrush to get into tight corners.
  • Consider using a dehumidifier in your laundry room to keep the environment dryer and prevent mould from growing on your clothes.

Clean the Seal

Another common problem that we see during home inspections is a leaky door gasket. Hair and sludge can accumulate on the bottom of the door’s window, interfering with the seal and causing a small leak at the door seal. Wipe any accumulated gunk from the gasket using a paper towel and a 50-50 solution of water and white vinegar. Spin the gasket slowly to remove all dirt and slime. Use a cotton swab to get into nooks and crannies your paper-towelled finger can’t reach. Finish by wiping down the inside glass of the door and the door’s rim. Do this once per week.

Your health is only one reason to keep up on your washing machine’s maintenance. If you’re getting ready to sell your house, that’s just one more observation we don’t have to report to the potential buyer! See these other ways you should prepare your home for a home inspection.

Maintenance is everything for a high-efficiency washer, so don’t let the mould get ahead of you!