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How to clean a washing machine seal: Remove detergent build-up, mould and more with these tips

A dirty machine means dirty clothes. Our tutorial shows you how to clean a washing machine seal effectively to keep your laundry fresh

There is nothing like the smell of clean clothes coming out of the washing machine, especially if you have run out of socks. Washing machines are undoubtedly a household appliance that we can’t live without and learning how to clean your washing machine seal properly can result in improvements in efficiency and longevity.

There is a common misunderstanding that our washing machines remain fresh and clean throughout their lifetimes. However, the machine’s damp environment can quickly cause buildups of bacteria and mould, which can affect the smell and appearance of our newly-washed clothes and the machine itself. This buildup often occurs in the washing machine seal, as well as the machine drawers. In this quick how-to guide, we break down the different ways you can keep your machine’s seal clean, to ensure your clothes come out sparkling fresh.

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Where can you find the washing machine seal?

A washing machine is made up of many internal and external parts that are all crucial to ensuring the machine works correctly. The seal is the rubber ring attached to the lining of the machine at the front; it has an inner and outer lining that both need to be cleaned regularly to prevent dirt build-up.

how to clean your washing machine seal

How often should you clean your washing machine seal?

It is advised that you give your washing machine seal a quick clean after every wash. This can be done by simply wiping it over and leaving the washing machine door open to dry out. However, to avoid mould and severe build-up, the seal should be cleaned more deeply, along with the rest of the washing machine, every month.

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How to clean the washing machine seal

There are many ways you can clean your washing machine seal. Using specialist cleaning products can be helpful if you are planning a deep clean of your washing machine. However, DIY solutions can work just as well depending on the job. With all of these methods, you should always wear a pair of gloves and avoid direct contact with any harsh solutions.

Soap and water

Provided your washing machine seal is only in need of a wipe down, you can clean it with some washing up liquid and warm water.

1. Fill up a small bucket with warm water and mix in some washing up liquid,
2. Dip a clean cloth into the bucket and thoroughly wipe around the seal. It can also be worth using a thin brush, or even an old toothbrush, to get into the seal’s inner lining.
3. Rinse away any dirt or residue from scrubbing with warm, soapy water.

Bleach and baking soda

If your washing machine is in need of a deeper scrub, you can use this at-home cleaning solution.

1. Take one cup (around 237ml) of bleach and mix it with the same amount of baking soda
2. Add this to the detergent drawer.
3. Next, add an additional cup of baking soda into the drum, and run a cycle of the machine at 70 degrees or higher. You might want to use the extra rinse option too, if your machine has one.
4. Once the cycle has finished, wipe some soapy water around the seal to ensure all the dirt has come off.

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Professional cleaning products

For mould or extreme dirt build-up, opting for professional cleaning products can often be the best course of action. It’s also less messy and much quicker than using a DIY option. Just ensure you are following the instructions for each product and keeping yourself protected.

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