How to clean mold out of a washing machine

Person holding back the rubber drum of the washing machine to show the mold.
(Image credit: Getty)

Are you worried you may have discovered mold in your machine? If you’re smelling mildew on your freshly washed clothes, seeing black spots on your seal or drum, or noticing a sludgy build-up in your machine, then it’s definitely time to learn how to clean mold out of a washing machine.

Let us take you through our simple steps to remove mold from even the best washing machines, including tips from our cleaning expert, Shandel Small, on which products to use to get your machine fresh and clean.

How to clean mold out of a washing machine

Follow these steps to get rid of any mold your washing machine may be harboring. It’s important to follow them all as mold spreads quickly in warm environments with limited airflow, like washing machines, and it will quickly spread from one part of the machine to the other:  

What the expert says...

Shandel Small tells us how she tackles mold in a washing machine drum: “When cleaning out a washing machine drum, you can use any disinfectant cleaner such as Lysol”

1. Clean the drum

Take a damp cleaning cloth and pour a little cleaning detergent onto it. Cleaning expert Shandel uses Lysol, but white vinegar or any other disinfectant is also an option. Use this to wipe out the inside of the washing machine drum. If mold and mildew are incubating around the perforations in the holes of the drum, this should be taken care of.

2. Focus on the seal

This next step is how to clean mold out of a washing machine seal. Rub around the rubber seal of the washer with a damp cloth and white vinegar. This should remove any black mold spots that have formed. You may need to repeat this step several times.

3. Clean the washing machine drawer

Pour a cap full of bleach or Lysol into your washing machine drawer. Most washing machines have a specific antibacterial wash to wash out the drum. Check your machine's manufacturer’s manual for details on how to find this. If your machine doesn’t have one, select a setting for a hot wash of at least half an hour.

4. Wipe out the detergent drawer

Use a cloth to wipe the detergent drawer with a disinfectant spray and warm water. Air dry and replace. This is an important step in how to clean mold out of a washing machine to avoid any mold spores making their way back down into the drum.

5. Turn to the filter

Clean out the filter. This is usually located at the bottom right of the machine. The filter will need to be emptied and then cleaned with warm water and disinfectant before replacing.

Tanisha Fletcher

Tanisha started her career in commercial retail buying for one of Amazon UK’s Top 10 revenue grossing online homeware retailers. Years spent obsessing over homeware products made it an easy career switch to writing about them. Her freelance career has seen her craft customer-focused web content for brands big and small, as well as writing articles in the health, lifestyle, home and retail sectors.

With contributions from