Many people wouldn’t think twice about cleaning a machine that’s meant to clean. But unfortunately, cleaning your washing machine is sometimes necessary.
If you’re smelling a funky odor that’s embedded into your clothes after washing them, that’s not normal. This can be a sign of mold growing inside your appliance. This is the same type of mold that can grow in your bathroom and kitchen over time. If you’ve never cleaned your washing machine, you might want to think again, as mold and fungi can cause inflammation in your respiratory tract.
Common allergic reactions to mold can be wheezing, rashes, watery eyes, runny nose, itchy nose, coughing, and red eyes. Not to mention, mold exposure has also been linked to the onset of asthma in children. Spores can also penetrate into the lungs and cause infections.
How to Clean Your Washing Machine
When it comes to properly cleaning your washing machine, you can find a number of recommendations online, especially those that involve the use of potassium hydrogen oxalate (salt of lemon) and bleach. However, it is important to note that these substances can be incredibly toxic. Inhalation of the dust causes irritation of nose and throat. Ingestion of these compounds can cause burning pain in the throat, esophagus, and stomach, and can also cause eye and skin irritation. Instead of using toxic chemicals, try using vinegar, a mild acid that can kill 82 percent of mold species, and baking soda, a natural substance that fights even more mold species.
To clean your washing machine, try using white vinegar and baking soda, as well as a sponge and gloves. Be sure to sprinkle one tablespoon of baking soda on the mold and dilute the white vinegar with water in a 2-1 or 3-1 ratio and pour the mix into a spray bottle to better apply it on the affected areas. After spraying the machine, leave the mix on for a few hours. After letting it set fully, begin to scrub the mold with a brush and wipe clean. Leave the washing machine door open to allow it to completely dry. Before using the washer, make sure to run a quick rinse cycle to get rid of the vinegar smell.
Opt to repeat this process every month to avoid mold growth in your appliance.Related: 11 Smart Ways to Use Baking Soda For Your Home