Washing machines need regular cleaning to stay in working order. Without regular cleanings, washing machines can develop mysterious “black stuff” that can contribute to the degradation of the machine’s internal parts like hoses, gaskets and more. Literally, the black stuff can rot the machine from the inside out. It can also cause an unpleasant odor, and if located around the seal on the door to the machine, may cause the machine to leak.
What Is That Black Stuff In Your Washing Machine?
Basically, it’s bacteria, grease and mold. According to the website White Goods Help, this build up of grime can be the result of multiple issues occurring when you wash your clothes.
- Using environmentally friendly soaps. While good for the earth, environmentally friendly soaps don’t contain bleach, which scours the inside of the washing machine while it cleans clothes. This lack of a harsh cleaning agent can lead to a build up of slimy bacteria inside the machine.
- Using less than the recommended dose of detergent in each wash. If you’re skimping on detergent when you wash your clothes, the effect could be detrimental to the cleanliness of your machine.
Whatever the reason for the black stuff, whether it’s because of the type of soap you use or because you’ve been using an inadequate amount, you can fix the problem by simply cleaning out the machine.
Cleaning Your Washing Machine
These steps should be performed on a regular basis to keep your machine running its best:
- Air out your machine after every wash. Do this by simply leaving the door open when you’re finished using it. Leaving the washer closed creates a damp, humid environment perfect for growing bacteria. If you have pets, it’s a good idea to periodically vacuum out the machine drum when it’s done drying to remove the pet hair.
- Run a special machine-cleaning cycle once a month. Some machines have a setting for cleaning the machine. If yours doesn’t have this setting, there are special washing machine cleaners available on the market. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions whenever using one of these products. If using the machine-cleaning setting on your washer, be sure to follow the instructions provided in your machine’s user guide. When this is done, wipe down the seal on the machine door with a cloth to remove any black stuff that may be developing.
- Never leave the clothes in the machine when the cycle is finished. Clothes left in the machine will quickly acquire a moldy or musty smell that can linger long after the clothes have been removed.
Remember to look for advice in the user’s manual that came with your machine. There may be tips and tricks specific to your washing machine that will help you keep it clean. With this regular preventative maintenance, you should be able to keep your washing machine free of that unpleasant black stuff.