Sears Home Services
appointment lookup logoAppointment Lookup
telephone logo213-596-2538
RepairHome WarrantyHome ImprovementClean & MaintainShop Parts
Resource
RepairHome WarrantyHome ImprovementClean & MaintainShop PartsResource CenterGlossary
appointment lookup logoAppointment Lookup

Table of Contents

Mold in Your Appliances: Where It Grows and How to Get Rid Of It

Front-Load Washers

Top-Load Washers

Refrigerators

Dishwashers

Keep Your Appliances In Shape with Professional Help

Schedule kitchen appliance maintenance now!

Call (213) 596-2538
  1. Resource Center
  2. Maintain

Top Causes of Mold in 4 Common Home Appliances

5 min readUpdated Apr. 02, 2024Terry MehilosKitchen Appliances
how to get rid of mold in appliances

Mold can find its way into your home appliances, especially where moisture lingers. This unwelcome guest poses not only a cleanliness issue but also significant health risks, especially for those with allergies or respiratory conditions. From washers to fridges and dishwashers, learn how to keep mold at bay with these expert tips. Discover common mold culprits and effective fixes to ensure your appliances stay clean and safe.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Mold could be growing inside your appliances without your even knowing it.
  • Poor venting in appliances, leaks, clogged drains and user error are common causes for mold in appliances and their surrounding areas.
  • Keep mold out of your washer, fridge and dishwasher with these tips.

Where there’s moisture, there could be mold. Keep mold out of your washer, fridge and dishwasher with these tips.

Mold could be growing inside your appliances without your even knowing it. It can lurk in your washer, dishwasher or fridge — and that doesn’t mean artisanal bleu cheese. Simply put, mold grows where moisture lives, explains the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and since these appliances all work with water, they’re susceptible to mold growth.

What causes mold? Poor venting in appliances, leaks, clogged drains — and dare we say it? — user error.

Everyone knows mold is gross, but more than the yuck factor, it can do a number on your health, especially if you’re sensitive to it, according to the CDC. You can experience a variety of symptoms from exposure to mold, including a stuffy nose, coughing, throat irritation or skin irritation. If you have mold allergies, a chronic lung disease like asthma or a compromised immune system, you could experience even more severe reactions or an infection.

Health concerns aside, do you really want mold in the appliances you’re using to clean your clothes and dishes and store your food?

Fortunately, there are things you can do to help banish mold from your appliances. We’re breaking down the most common mold culprits and fixes, with help from Jeffrey McBride, an appliance expert at Sears Home Services. Remember to consult your owner’s manuals first for information on how to properly care for your specific appliances.

Mold in Your Appliances: Where It Grows and How to Get Rid Of It

Mold

Mold thrives in environments that are damp and dark, making certain parts of your home appliances ideal breeding grounds. Door gaskets, detergent drawers, and pump filters are common spots where mold can flourish, largely due to their frequent exposure to moisture and lack of airflow. These areas, often overlooked during routine cleaning, provide the perfect conditions for mold to establish and grow unnoticed. To effectively combat and prevent mold, it's crucial to target these hidden spots with specific cleaning techniques designed to eliminate moisture and promote air circulation.

Front-Load Washers

Front-load washers, known for their efficiency and sleek design, are not exempt from mold growth. The main cause is moisture trapped in the rubber gasket around the door, which provides the perfect environment for mold. The detergent drawer and drum can also accumulate moisture if not maintained.

Where Mold Hides

  • The door seal and detergent drawer.

What Spawns It

  • Trapped moisture when the door or detergent drawer are closed.

How to Kill It

  • Mix together 2 cups white vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1/4 water.
  • Wipe affected areas.

Life-Saving Tip: Leave the door and detergent drawer open when not in use. Also, don’t let laundry sit.

Top-Load Washers

Top-load washers, appreciated for their convenience, can also harbor mold if not properly maintained. The main culprit is moisture and humidity, exacerbated by leaving wet clothes or detergent residue inside the washer.

Preventive measures include promptly removing damp clothes after each cycle, leaving the washer lid open between uses to allow air circulation, and regular cleaning of the detergent dispenser, gasket, and other areas prone to moisture.

Where Mold Hides

  • Between the drum and interior walls.

What Spawns It

  • Water and humidity remaining after a load.

How to Kill It

  • Run the Clean Washer cycle once a month if your washer has one.
  • If your washer doesn't have a clean cycle, run a hot water cycle with 3 to 4 cups of vinegar.

Life-Saving Tip: Don’t use too much detergent. Leave the lid open after each use.

Refrigerators

Mold can also develop in refrigerators, particularly on and between the door gaskets, where a damp environment meets with little airflow. Spills inside the refrigerator can also lead to mold if left unattended. Regularly inspect and clean the fridge, paying attention to any spills or leaks, and promptly dispose of expired items to prevent mold.

Where Mold Hides

  • Between the door seals (and on neglected food, of course).

What Spawns It

  • Warm air mixes with moisture and lack of ventilation.

How to Kill It

  • Spray hydrogen peroxide or vinegar and wipe clean.
  • Use a toothbrush or cotton swab to get into crevices.

Life-Saving Tip: Clean spills immediately and wipe down with vinegar once a month.

Dishwashers

Dishwashers can also become a breeding ground for mold due to excessive moisture and leftover food particles. Regular cleaning of the appliance, including the filter, spray arms, and door gasket, is crucial.

Where Mold Hides

  • The filter, silverware basket, interior panels and door gasket.

What Spawns It

  • Damp food particles left behind after a cycle.

How to Kill It

  • Scrub the interior and gasket with diluted bleach.
  • Clean out the gasket and run an empty cycle.
  • Check and clean the silverware basket and filter.

Life-Saving Tip: Use the heat-dry function and leave the door open for a while after each use.

Keep Your Appliances In Shape with Professional Help

While these tips and tricks can significantly reduce the risk of mold in your home appliances, sometimes the challenge requires professional expertise. Sears Home Services offers comprehensive appliance maintenance services designed to identify the risks and help prevent mold growth, ensuring your appliances operate safely, efficiently, and hygienically.

Don't let mold compromise the health of your home or family.
Schedule an appliance maintenance service with Sears Home Services today, and take the first step towards a cleaner, safer home environment. Our experts are equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to provide you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing your appliances are in good hands.

Click here to schedule your appliance maintenance with Sears Home Services and ensure your appliances function at their best.

Schedule kitchen appliance maintenance now!

Regular kitchen appliance maintenance can help prevent costly breakdowns, reduce energy costs and extend the life of your appliances. We'll help you keep your refrigerator, dishwasher and range in top shape.

Call (213) 596-2538 or schedule online now.

Was this information helpful?

Maintain Kitchen Appliances Resources

Must-Have Kitchen Appliance Maintenance Tips for Foodies image

Keep your kitchen appliances running smoothly with our must-have maintenance tips for foodies.

6 min readMay. 10Kitchen Appliances
Regular maintenance extends life of appliances

Homeownership involves more than just paying the mortgage; it requires diligent maintenance to protect your investment.

10 min readApr. 05Kitchen Appliances
Making a home maintenance plan

Make your home maintenance plan for the new year with Sears Home Services.

8 min readApr. 05Kitchen Appliances
9 Filters in Your Home You Don’t Know About — and How to Clean or Replace Them

There are many filters in your home that often go unnoticed, but they play a vital role in maintaining cleanliness and efficiency.

6 min readApr. 03Kitchen Appliances