How to Get Rid of Mold in a Washing Machine

The balmy summer heat brings with it unwanted moisture. This moisture, along with detergent residues in a washing machine, can result in some smelly and sometimes sickening mold. Get rid of mold buildup in your washing machine with a thorough cleaning.

Mold builds up in washing machines over time because of residue and moisture.
  1. Run your machine with the water level set to full and the temperature at its hottest. The machine should be empty for this treatment.

  2. Add 4 cups of chlorine bleach as the wash tub is filling with hot water and run the machine through the longest cycle. The bleach kills any mold bacteria to eliminate the problem.

  3. Start the machine again, immediately after the spin cycle ends, and add 4 cups of distilled white vinegar while the wash tub is filling with water. Vinegar dissolves the detergent residue in the washing machine. This eliminates the mold, because the mold sticks to and feeds on the detergent residue.

  4. Pour 2 cups of vinegar into a bucket and soak a terry cloth towel with the vinegar. Put on your dish gloves and scrub the inside of the lid and its surrounding metal with the rag. This will remove any remaining residue that the treatments missed.


Repeat this treatment every six months for regular maintenance or every three months if you live where there is hard water. Help the machine dry out better between washings by leaving the lid open. Remember that mold thrives in moist conditions.