‘No scrubbing’ method to remove mould from washing machine drawers

Mrs Hinch demonstrates how to clean washing machine draw

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That’s right, even washing machines can grow harmful black mould in the drawer and seal and need a deep clean to keep them fresh and dry. When it comes to a washing machine’s detergent drawer, these can often turn mouldy due to a buildup of moisture. It doesn’t help that these narrow spaces can be difficult to clean. So, what is the best way to get your washing machine drawer sparkling clean without splashing out on single-use cleaning products that may not even work? Well, the process is very simple and you can actually use a common household item to banish mould from drawers and seals, according to fans of cleaning sensation Mrs Hinch. 

Taking to a dedicated Mrs Hinch cleaning page on Facebook, one woman was keen to ask how to remove mould buildup from her washing machine drawer. 

Lydia Jane wrote: “Thought I’d clean the washing machine drawer. It’s currently soaking in hot water and washing machine cleaner, but the mould buildup is quite stubborn to get off. Any suggestions?

At first glance, your washing machine drawer might not look too bad – however, once you’ve removed the drawer and had a good look, you’ll find more soap scum and build-ups of detergent than you’d have imagined.

There are many reasons why mould may grow in the washing machine drawer, including excess detergent, which can cause soap scum that can get caught and turn into mould. Washing at temperatures below 40 degrees regularly can also leave behind some residue, which facilitates the growth of mould and dirt.

Mould in the washing machine drawer is not only unsightly, but it can also filter into the washing machine and imprint on the items in the drum.

This can cause your machine – and clothes – to smell damp and musty; so if you’ve noticed this scent emerge after a spin, it’s likely you might be dealing with a slight mould problem.

Regularly wiping down and cleaning this compartment is crucial to stop mould. The longer the area goes without being cleaned, the worse a mould build-up will be.

Cleaning fans were quick to respond, with several people telling the woman to either remove the drawer and soak it in a bowl of boiling water and a dishwasher tablet or put it on a hot wash with the powdered tablet.

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Roberta Scoobie commented: “I found the best way to clean the drawers that have caked-on mould is to put a cheap dishwasher tablet actually in the drawer and put the wash on 90. It should be nice and clean when you have a look. No scrubbing needed and amazing results.”

Sadie Allen said: “I always see so many tips recommending expensive cleaning products and hot water works just the same. You may have to add a dishwasher tablet but it’s virtually free and the easiest way.”

Ruth Girdler advised: “Take your washing machine drawer out and put it in your sink or a bowl filled with hot water and a dishwasher tablet. Leave it for a few hours, overnight would be better, and the mould will have dissolved off.”

Tammy Bradley instructed: “Take the drawer out (should be a little push-down part at the back inside the drawer) and put two dishwasher tablets in once a month on a boil wash.”

Andrea Rock said: “For my drawer I took it out and soaked it in hot water with a dishwasher tablet. Left it for about an hour then rinsed it off. It’s like new now.”

Ruth Emmott replied: “Put a dishwasher tablet on a 90C wash with a dishwasher tablet inside. Then once a month put white vinegar or soda crystals in the drum and wash at 90 degrees.”

Karen Brogan wrote: “You should be able to take the draw out, it soon builds up. Also, I’ve started putting two dishwasher tablets in the drum and putting it on a hot wash. It’s great. It cleans all inside and smells great.”

Chantelle Dunn commented: “I put a dishwasher tablet in my washer once a month on a 40C wash. Breaks down all the limescale that builds up around the seal and in the pipes, leaves it smelling fresh too.”

Beverly Redmore added: “Dishwasher tablets on a hot wash if you have them.” Sam Truman-Ellis agreed as he said: “Dishwasher tablets are brilliant in a washing machine.”

Dishwasher tablets were designed to tackle hard water, remove stains, and dissolve grease – so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they can be used to clean things beyond the dishwasher.

A pack of 30 dishwasher tablets can be picked up from Asda for £1.34. This works out as 4p per tablet. This cleaning product can also be picked up from other major supermarkets, such as Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

To prevent washing machines from growing mould in the first place, Mrs Hinch fans suggested leaving the drawer open. Nicola Williamson said: “Always leave your washing machine drawer open as often as you can. This will help with much less mould and gunk.”

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