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Urgent help - PIGLET JOHN??? - black mould on washing machine door seal

(8 Posts)
BlackbirdOnTheWire Sat 16-Aug-14 22:18:12

I know, Saturday night... I'm at my MIL's house. Realised MIL has never cleaned washing machine (or knew she was supposed to) and it's full of black mould. I have scrubbed for 2 hours and a lot of the stuff has come off but a lot's still there. I have never seen anything so bad, ours is cleaned thoroughly every 2-3 weeks so no build-up. Cleaning cupboard not well stocked, no soda crystals but some bicarb of soda solution. Found a bottle of distilled malt vinegar in the food cupboard so appropriated that, together with a dishwashing brush that I will bin so MIL doesn't try using it for the dishes.

I can get to the shops when they open at 10 tomorrow and buy some soda crystals - is there anything stronger that will shift this level of mould without destroying the seal? Or has the seal had it? I've cleaned all the plastic bits, dispenser drawer, the opening, the door, etc, but this is just impossible. Ideally want to leave here lunchtime tomorrow to get home, so in need of advice ASAP.


Samantha9136 Sat 16-Aug-14 22:22:34

How about trying mould & mildew spray I think the one I use is dettol in a green spray. It contains bleach so you would need rinse the seal thoroughly afterwards. Hope thus helps.

BlackbirdOnTheWire Sat 16-Aug-14 23:49:03

I used to use that one for hard surfaces too (HG Mould Killer & Remover is better though ;-) ) but I always thought bleach on rubber seals was a big no?

This is seriously bad. Not just a few spots, but thick black all the way round, on the visible bit and the recessed bit sad. I've got it down to a thin layer on the non-recessed part, with some spots that won't shift, but it's still a big problem, especially in the recess. I just don't want to leave the house tomorrow with MIL breathing in those mould spores.

Given up for tonight - I've poured the rest of the bicarb solution into the machine and turned it on for a 95 wash overnight. I've found an ancient packet of borax, could mix that with the vinegar for another go in the morning before the shops open, but I do wonder if I'm wasting my time trying and should just order another seal.

PigletJohn Sun 17-Aug-14 11:10:42

Generally, don't mix chemicals together as they may neutralise each other or cause fumes.

For example, vinegar and soda neutralise each other.

You can rub kitchen cleaner spray over the seal with a sponge. It needs rubbing to get it off.

I think washing soda crystals and a very hot cycle are best for cleaning washing machines.

BlackbirdOnTheWire Sun 17-Aug-14 14:29:08

Thanks. Should have said, I wasn't using them together - tried one, then did a rinse cycle, then the other, etc.

It's been through a hot cycle with soda crystals, I've had another go at scrubbing the seal but with kitchen cleaner, and it's currently doing a cycle with Dr Beckmann's. However, whilst it's a lot better it still looks awful. I guess at least black gunge isn't coming off on touch!

BlackbirdOnTheWire Sun 17-Aug-14 14:34:15

(And didn't use the borax, a google had suggested mixing it with vinegar, but I was a bit nervous about potential consequences and didn't know enough about borax!)

I suspect the seal needs replacing but that won't happen. MIL is supremely unbothered about mould etc. I think she thinks I am a little bit crazy for being shocked at the state of her machine, let alone trying to clean it!

PigletJohn Sun 17-Aug-14 15:08:28

Borax has been removed from the domestic cleaning market due to risk of birth defects. It is still used industrially and in jewellery making. Some substitute products are available. You MIL might have a very old packet.

BlackbirdOnTheWire Sat 30-Aug-14 20:31:50

Just seen your last reply, PigletJohn. My MIL did indeed have a very old packet - price had 1/2d at the end! Glad I didn't touch it... Probably not as old as some of the jars in her cupboard though...

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