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Mould in washing machine drawer - is it harmful and how do I get rid of it?

(22 Posts)
makedoandmend Fri 24-Jul-09 08:08:29

Put on a t-shirt yesterday and noticed faded black streaks on it - investigated furthr and found mouldy/mildew in the wm drawer (even though I run a 90 wash once a week and leave the door open in between washes)

I've got two questions: is it harmful? I'm breastfeeding and therefore bras will be going through the wash - so could the mould get to my 8mo's tummy and cause harm? Also her clothes will be washed in it too as are t-towels/flannels (although I tumble dry most things (on low) apart from bras etc)

How do I get rid of it? I thought the 90 wash would stop it forming - but I never use the drawer as I put gel tabs straight into the drum. At the mo it doesn't look too bad (bit of bowny/liquidy gunk as you open the drawer) but I haven't taken out the drawer yet (bit of a weak stomach for this kind of thing - will hand over to dh for the cleaning blush)

Mutt Fri 24-Jul-09 08:10:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Buda Fri 24-Jul-09 08:13:40

You can also put it through the dishwasher. I tend to take mine out once a month or so give it a good rinse, the soak in hot water to loosen gunk, then scrub with a kitchen cleaner and then if dishwasher is about to go on and there is space on the top rack I stick it in there too.

I reckon the mould/gunk is caused by old fabric softner.

BonsoirAnna Fri 24-Jul-09 08:13:44

Take the drawer out and put it through the dishwasher, on the hottest cycle.

Do this regularly, btw.

Buda Fri 24-Jul-09 08:14:36

I always clean mine first as I don't like the idea of the gunk in with dishes. Then the dishwasher finishes it off.

BonsoirAnna Fri 24-Jul-09 08:14:36

I get mould in the drawer too, and I don't use it at all, nor do I use fabric softener. It is just humidity.

Mutt Fri 24-Jul-09 08:15:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

evaangel2 Fri 24-Jul-09 08:16:33

There is a tablet you can buy that will help the build up of mould...you place that in the drawer..

BonsoirAnna Fri 24-Jul-09 08:16:35

sad grin

You'll find the very shiny drawer straight out of the DW quite satisfying too!

sassy Fri 24-Jul-09 08:16:51

Swap back to powder. The gunk is caused by liquid which hasn't dissoved properly. I used to get this, swapped back to powder (Don't use fabric conditioner here) and never seen it since.

AmazingBouncingFerret Fri 24-Jul-09 08:23:38

I too find it strangely satisfying scraping off the gunk from the washing machine drawer.

Buda Fri 24-Jul-09 08:25:17

It is sad how satisfying that shiny clean drawer is! I just checked mine and it is still clean - I stopped using fabric softener for a while so no yucky build up in that compartment. I do use liquid but use it in the machine drum not the drawer.

makedoandmend Fri 24-Jul-09 08:42:04

Thanks everyone - I know I'm a big wuss Mutt but if you knew how many times my tummy was doing somersaults just reading through the answers (especially the satisfaction you get with scraping off the gunk by hand!) <<boak emoticon>> Yet pooey nappies and copious vomit I'm fine with - very odd.

I don't use fabric softener so it must be humidity as BonsoirAnna says.

Does it have to be the top rack of the dishwasher (I'm being wussy on dd's behalf as this is where her stuff goes ((god I really am a huge wuss aren't I sad)))

And can I carry on using the washing machine until I can persuade dh to do it it's done?

Buda Fri 24-Jul-09 09:01:25

Well you could carry on using the washing machine but as you saw with your t-shirt, it gets on your clothes. When will DH be around to do it? If he can do it today or tomorrow I would just wait.

With regard to the dishwasher - I think it needs to go on the top rack as (I may be wrong here!) the wash is more gentle on the top.

TBH if I were you if I needed the washing machine today I would take it out, run it under the hot tap if you can and then put it through the dishwasher with nothing else in it (you could use the opportunity to wash dishwashing brush and/or cloths/sponges too so it doesn't feel too wasteful!

Then it should be clean enough to use and you can get DH to scrub it out more thoroughly if necessary.

makedoandmend Fri 24-Jul-09 09:40:04

Thanks Buda - DH will be able to do it tomorrow morning so I'll ignore the piles of washing and have a day free of it all!

Buda Fri 24-Jul-09 10:03:13

Sounds like an excellent plan!

Pinner35 Fri 24-Jul-09 10:09:30

This is exactly the issue I'm having and I am going to stick mine in the DW. You need to put it on the top rack because the element is at the bottom of most dishwashers (I know mine is) and the heat may cause the drawer to distort.

themoon Fri 24-Jul-09 10:20:17

I stick the drawer into the dishwasher on the cooler (35c) quick wash and it comes out fine.

The bigger problem is how to remove the black flakey stuff that forms on the roof of the slot where the drawer goes. A toothbrush only dislodges the main bits, but the edges and nooks and crannies are impossible to reach. I've been tempted to dry it out with a hairdryer after each wash, but worried DH will think i've gone mad!

makedoandmend Fri 24-Jul-09 10:29:41

lol - themoon - I've got a picture in my head of you sitting on the floor of your kitchen with a hairdryer in your hand drying the drawer - you'd have to do it when no one else was around!

blondieminx Sat 25-Jul-09 23:28:05

Rofl themoon yep I reckon you're right - what would you think if you saw someone pointing a hairdryer into the space where the drawer should be on a washing machine?! grin

Does that bring us back to this magic tablet evaangel2 mentioned? Anyone know what it's called?

I take my drawer out, leave it in the washing up bowl with hot water with a bit of laundry powder in it to soak for a bit and then scrub with a toothbrush - but like you say in the drawer slot there are bits of gunge which I can't get to and it's really grrr-inducing.

FourArms Sun 26-Jul-09 07:50:16

I'd love to hear about this tablet too!

mumdrivenmad Sun 02-Aug-09 11:21:46

You can put your hairbrushes in the dishwasher too.

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