Thread Number: 74346  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
What to do with moldy dispenser?
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Post# 981302   2/4/2018 at 19:51 by mtoronto (Toronto)        

Hi there, I have had this LG front loader for almost 12 years, it has been great. No real issues with it. 1 slightly large repair (needed a new inlet valve). I always use Perm Press with an extra rinse because it uses the most water, I have never had a problem with the machine having a smell or mold on the gasket. I always leave the door open.

Anyways, I keep noticing mold/ black gunk buildup on the drawer, so upon pulling the drawer out, I saw the inside of only one side (prewash, which I never use) was caked in mold! EWWWW!

So, I have cleaned it thoroughly twice, with paper towel, and then bleach, but it comes back within a matter of a month or so.

The machine never did this in the last 11 years. Probably started in the last year.

What could the issue be and how can I stop it from happening?


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Post# 981305 , Reply# 1   2/4/2018 at 20:45 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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its obviously deeper than what your reaching with a paper towel....

most times you can clean this up with a spray with bleach, like a bathroom mold/mildew spray, and a toothbrush....

may take several applications, as it looks like it had grown up inside the sprinkler....if possible, you may have to dismantle it to completely clean it out...

constant HOT washes usually prevent this from happening...purging the line as well....COLD washes kept to a very minimum...

Post# 981307 , Reply# 2   2/4/2018 at 21:03 by mtoronto (Toronto)        

Thanks! I ALWAYS rinse with cold water! Also, the right side (where the mold is) only lets in cold water, its the right side that does hot water and soap. Left side is no soap and cold ONLY. Could the absence of soap be the reason for the mold?

Post# 981314 , Reply# 3   2/4/2018 at 23:38 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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You say you leave the door open, but do you leave the DRAWER open or out? 

Post# 981330 , Reply# 4   2/5/2018 at 06:00 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Washing machines with hot and cold fill usually, for reasons of simple internal plumbing within the soap box array, feed hot water to one side of the soap box, and always cold water to the other side.

Usually, the 'Prewash' compartment is always cold fill, to help with stain removal. Hot water would set the stains.

'Mainwash' compartment will be hot fill. Warm and lukewarm temperatures will be achieved by the machine switching on hot and cold valves at the same time. The hot water and powder detergent helps to kill the moulds, thus keeping it clean.

Rinsing is cold fill only, so would be dispensed via the 'Prewash' side of the soap box.

There are mould spores everywhere in the environment. The mould is drawn to damp cool environments - more so if copious amounts of fabric conditioner are used. Once you have the mould biofilm, it can be difficult to get rid of it permanently.

Also, the steam from the hot side of the dispenser, will condense on the cold side - where the mould is. Soap box dispensers these days, usually have a small breather vent hose leading from the tub, back to the soap box. This is to allow the water and detergent to freely enter the tub by the main dispenser-tub hose, without 'glug-glugging'. Steam from the washtub uses this vent hose and condenses in the soapbox.

However, frequently cleaning the compartment with hot water and bleach should keep it under control. You can sometimes smell the mould before you really see it - a sort of fusty mustiness. Catch it early to avoid the mess.

Post# 981448 , Reply# 5   2/5/2018 at 23:15 by mtoronto (Toronto)        

Thanks everyone. Today I gave it a thorough cleaning. First I sprayed it with a bleach bathroom cleaner, then i scrubbed it with a toothbrush, then took an empty spray bottle with hot water and sprayed it all off. Some of it came off in a film in pieces! YUCK! Anyways, it is 95% clean. From now on I will take out the dispenser drawer between uses, as well as rinse the fabric softener compartment.

We do use fabric softener in each load. Most of the time we use Snuggle, and on the odd occasion we use Downy.

Post# 981480 , Reply# 6   2/6/2018 at 06:47 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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After the initial deep clean, you might be able to get away with cleaning the drawer (and overhead jet array) once every month or two.

I always leave the drum door ajar for ventilation.

I know some people say to leave the drawer ajar between uses too, but it depends on where your machine is situated - whether it protrudes and causes a snagging hazard - and thus a broken dispenser drawer, or blocks the ease of access to a cupboard/drawer, etc. (I have this latter problem).

Post# 981487 , Reply# 7   2/6/2018 at 07:05 by gizmo (Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Au)        
a suggestion

Shop around for a different fabric softener. Try to find one that isn't thick and waxy, they are worst for residue. I use an Australian product called Enviro-clean Fabric Conditioner and it is quite runny, I have no problem with build up and no artificial chemical stink.

There would surely be something similar in your area that would neutralize detergent residues (a cause of itchy scratchy clothes) without leaving a gummy residue that feeds mould.

I reckon there are two types of fabric softener - ones that aim to neutralize any detergent residues, and those that coat the fibres in a waxy layer to feel softer.

Post# 981492 , Reply# 8   2/6/2018 at 07:14 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Moldy Washer Parts

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If you use Fabric Softener you either have to wash items in hot water or use double the recommended amount of detergent if you wash in cold water [ it is less costly and better for the environment to use hot water in a FL washer than double the detergent ]


I suspect the mold you see is only the tip of the iceberg, if you could see the outer tub and spider you might be surprised.


An interesting test anyone can do to see if there laundry is really getting clean is to take a clean towel, pair of under ware, maybe a couple pairs of clean socks etc.  Place them in a clean zip lock bag, add enough water to make the items damp and put the bag in a dark closet for a week, if they smell after a few days or even a week you need to do a much better job when washing your clothing.


Another test you can do is to leave a Clean load in your FL washer after it finishes for a full week With the door Closed, when you open the door a week later the clothing should still smell fresh and be ready for drying, if not the clothing was not washed properly and-or the washer has a lot of build-up inside.


John L.

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