SAN ANTONIO (NEWS 4) — An appliance that’s in millions of homes across the country could be a magnet for mold and mildew, and you may not even realize it. It’s a problem more than six million owners of front-loading washing machines sued over. A settlement was reached, and the deadline to join has passed. While manufacturers have taken steps to make the machines less susceptible to mold and mildew, many owners are still finding a black substance along the rubber boot that seals the door shut. “There’s mold growing in my washing machine,” says owner Michael Correa. Other owners notice telltale signs. “I dry it out all the time because the water lays in there,” says owner Irene Voight. “It will start smelling.” “Just musty,” adds owner Anne Higginbotham. Certified repairman Mickey Resendez with San Antonio Appliance Repair Service Company shines a light in the cause. “I think the general public at this point and time has not really caught onto the fact that these machines, a lot of them, do not have venting in the machine built in to alleviate all the moisture inside the machine after the wash load has been done,” he says.
He says the cheapest and most effective solution is probably already in your laundry room: bleach. “Say every three to six months, depending on how much washing you do, we recommend you put a quarter to a half gallon of bleach directly into the machine,” Resendez says. Rather than adding the liquid into the bleach slot, he recommends pouring it directly into the tub. Then, put the washer on a hot setting and let the bleach do its job. “And after that, you should kill all the mold and bacteria from the machine, and thus releasing all the odor from the machine,” Resendez says. When you’re not using the machine, he suggests cracking the door open a few inches to let it air out. Resendez says these extra steps will make sure your washer is squeaky clean.