Experts Warn Your Washing Machine Might Be Making You Sick

Experts are speaking out this week to warn that your washing machine could be making you sick. If you have a front-loading washing machine, than mold and mildew can become a major problem for you.

It all starts with an odor in your clothing.

“It kind of smells like a turtle pond,” said Julie Kim, an owner of a front-loading washer. Then, spots appear.

“Black, brown spots on your clothes,” spots of mold, said appliance store owner and repairman, Daniel Medina.

“It’s really annoying,” added Kim.

Medina said that he hears about this a lot from customers at his store in Fresno, California.

“It does happen often, and I mean it’s not cheap to repair either,” he said, adding that it can cost $300, $400 or even $500 to fix, depending on the model of washer. The reason behind this is because of its rubber gasket, also called, a “boot”.

“If you have a front loading washer new or old you have one of these,” Medina said. “The boot.”

Though the boot seals the door to keep water from getting out, it may be doing it’s job a little too well, as Medina said that “there will always be water in that washer. It will never drain it all out.”

Since most of the water remains in the boot, it is very easy for mildew to grow.

“First you’ll see it in the front,” Medina said. “That’s when people start noticing it.”

“Once you pull it back, it’s much worse,” he showed by opening up a discolored boot and pulling out of another front-loading washer. “Like I said, it will spread out all the way through until there won’t be any spot on the boot that does not have any mold.”

Once this happens, every spin of the drum will cause more mold to get onto your clothes. Dr. Baz of the Baz Allergy, Asthma and Sinus center said that this can lead to things like hay fever sneezing, watery eyes, headaches, sinus infections and even asthma in sensitive individuals. Medina had three pieces of advice to stop this from happening:

  • Keep the door open after washing so it has a chance to dry out.
  • Use concentrated bleach tablets or bleach to clean out the inside regularly.
  • Make sure you’re using the right kind of soap and not too much of it for your machine.

This comes one year after Sears, Maytag and LG settled several class-action lawsuits due to complaints of mold in more than six million front loading washing machines. Find out more about this in the video below.

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