Front-loading washers are prone to smelly build-ups of mould and mildew that can cause both the house and the items washed to take on a putrid smell. Front-load washers are especially prone to developing mould around the rubber door seal. Water is often trapped in the rubber gasket around the door and over time, this leads to the growth of mould. The only way to deal with the problem of mould on the rubber seal of front load washer is to clean it regularly using the steps below.
Run a long cycle of hot water and bleach through the washer to help kill off some of the mould and to clean the washer internally.
Put three parts bleach to one part water in a spray bottle and thoroughly spray the rubber seal, being sure to get the bleach mixture into all the little crevices. Wipe down with a soft cloth. Do this at least once a week.
Run a cleaning cycle with hot water and bleach or vinegar at least once a month to reduce the growth of mould in other parts of the washer.
In severe cases, replace the rubber seal and start fresh, being sure to follow the tips and warnings listed below to prevent the problem from recurring.
Leave the door of the washer ajar when not in use. Allowing air to circulate can help the rubber seal to dry out and lessens the chance of mould growth. Occasionally wash a load of towels, linens and undergarments in hot water. Run a dehumidifier if living in an area with a humid climate.
Leaving a load of wet clothes or towels in the washer overnight add to the chances of mould growth. Use caution when handling bleach. Don't allow it to come into direct contact with clothing or skin and be sure to keep it out of reach of children at all times. Mold can cause health problems, particularly respiratory problems.