It’s incredibly frustrating. Odds are, you just did laundry to make dirty clothes clean and fresh, not to make them smell worse. So what’s up with this musty odor and why is it haunting your perfectly clean garments?
As it turns out, there’s a reason that your clothes are coming out of the washing machine smelling worse than they did going in. And it’s pretty gross. The problem isn’t your clothes or your detergent or your tried-and-true laundry routine. It’s the washing machine itself.
Have you ever taken a peek inside your washing machine? You probably wouldn’t think to, right? Truthfully, I don’t think I ever have.
Your clothes go in there, it’s got a metal interior, it looks generally clean — that seems like that’s all you need to know and observe about this commonplace appliance. But if you’re not regularly checking the inside chamber of your washer, you might be missing something major.
If you were to go look inside your washing machine, on the inside bottom rim, you’ll probably notice a rubber lining. For some front-load washers, this lining may not exist. If not, you’ll still want to look under the rim of the washer itself.
When you do, there’s a chance that you’ll catch a glimpse of something shocking: mold.
This has been a problem across the country, particularly with front-loading machines. Scary enough, this could mean so much more than your clothes smelling a little musty; there could be negative health effects for you and your family, too.
If you’ve been exposed to spores, especially if they’re on clothing in close to the mouth and nose, it’s even more likely that you’ll be touching or inhaling the mold. Needless to say, this can cause a wide range of health problems in both allergic and non-allergic people; ailments include throat irritation, severe congestion, sneezing, bloody noses, watery, red eyes, and hives or rashes on the skin.
Dozens of mold-related lawsuits have cropped up over the past few years against major appliance companies for this very scenario, arguing for people who are suffering from these mold-related illnesses.
This sneaky, uncleaned part of our washing machines can be more than just gross, it can be dangerous if left unchecked.
Oftentimes, we never think to clean the appliances and tools that clean our other belongings. Maybe we just assume that they clean themselves while they clean our floors or our dishes, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. And thinking that way can create that stinky, musty smell lingering on your clothing.
Luckily, there’s an easy way to clean out the depths of your washing machine and kill that mold for good! You need two basic household products to do the job, both of which you probably have in your kitchen or closet right now.
To start, you’ll need Clorox bleach and 16 ounces of white vinegar. Make sure that you NEVER use bleach and vinegar together — it can cause an incredibly dangerous reaction. To stay safe and get the most out of these products, take turns using them in this DIY.
First, mix the bleach with equal parts warm water and wipe any mildew affected areas in your washing machine with a rag soaked in your solution. Then run the washer at the hottest cycle to wash all the bleach out. Next, add 16 ounces of vinegar to the washing machine dispenser and once again run the washing machine on the hottest cycle. Once it’s done, you’ll notice that those nasty black spores are gone!
Feel free to do laundry immediately afterwards, you should be pleasantly surprised to see that your washing machine is running better than ever and that your clothes are coming out smelling clean!