Is There Mold in Your Appliances?
It’s ironic that our cleaning appliances – dishwasher, washing machine – get dirty. These appliances, along with the coffee maker and refrigerator, are some of the most common places for mold growth in a home.
Another area Pure Air North Carolina recommends to watch out for is the HVAC system. And because this system circulates air throughout the rest of your home, mold within the vents or ducts can be even more dangerous than mold in other parts of the home.
Knowing the most common places mold grows will help you spot it easily and get it gone fast.
Why Some Household Appliances are Prone to Mold Growth
Over 1,000 types of mold can be found inside homes. Most of them are dangerous for humans and animals.
Household appliances are always in danger of mold growth because many of them use water for cleaning, or because they also have little or no ventilation. Kitchen appliances almost always hold humidity, and there is a constant supply of food, but that doesn’t mean they are the only areas where mold can grow. All appliances are susceptible to mold growth.
Here are the appliances that frequently develop mold, along with the reasons mold grows well in these areas:
Both top load and front load washing machines have areas where water can get trapped during loads Around the door and the drum are very common areas where water can get trapped. Once water gets trapped, it is nearly impossible to remove.
Dirty laundry also brings its own bacteria and fungi into the drum. Clothes that are very soiled will leave behind particles that mold will happily feed on. Leaving your washing machine open between loads is the best way to prevent mold growth in the washing machine.
Everyone knows that mold will grow on food that has been in the fridge too long. All other conditions within your fridge are prime for mold, so you need to throw leftovers away within a few days if they are not eaten.
Luckily, it is easy to get rid of mold in the fridge by wiping it down with dishwashing detergent or a vinegar mixture. Make sure to rinse thoroughly with water or a wet cloth after cleaning the inside of your refrigerator to prevent a sticky feeling.
Once the dishwasher cycle is complete, the warm water and food residue is enough to feed mold until the next time you use the dishwasher.
Even if you run it every day or every other day, mold can find crevices within your dishwasher to hide in, like underneath the rubber seals. Running an empty dishwasher with a cup of vinegar once a month will help prevent mold growth.
The coffee maker stays wet on the inside constantly, whether it’s actively brewing or throughout the day while it’s just sitting. Mold can get into all of the small parts within a coffee pot, and it is even hard to see in a black appliance, so the coffee pot needs to be cleaned about once a week.
Running a vinegar-water combination through your coffee pot weekly (followed by a water-only pot to clean out the vinegar taste) will prevent mold from building up within your coffee pot. If the problem is too severe when you find mold in your coffee pot, you can easily replace it to ensure there is no mold in your morning coffee from now on.
Signs Mold in Your Appliance
You have a few choices if you do discover mold. If it is a smaller appliance, you can throw it away, but larger appliances need to be thoroughly cleaned to remove all signs of mold.
There are very obvious signs that mold is in your home. If you notice any of the following, you need to check your home, including appliances, for mold:
Musty smell – Mold gives off a distinct odor, so even before you see it, you will notice the smell. Appliances should not smell musty, even if they have been closed up for an extended period.
Visible spots – Different types of mold can be black, brown, green or purple. When a spore lands, it grows outward in a circle, and eventually the spots will connect. Luckily, mold cannot grow on plastic, but it can work its way into small areas within your appliances, and it can definitely grow on left-behind particles in your dishwasher or washing machine.
Sickness – Cold symptoms and itchy skin can be the result of a mold allergy. If you have checked all the places within your home where mold is expected to grow, go a step further by looking inside your appliances. Mold testing may be necessary if it is well hidden but your family is still experiencing unexplained symptoms.
Professional Mold Remediation Service
If you are seeing any of the signs above in your home, there’s a good chance that mold is the reason.
Sometimes you just know there’s a problem, even if you don’t see it. We encourage you to trust your intuition and keep digging until you find the source of the problem.
If you truly believe that you have a mold problem in your home, have it checked out by a professional. Not only will a mold specialist be able to test for mold, but they are trained to safely remove mold no matter where it is hiding.
Some solutions may be pretty easy, like removing all shelves and drawers from your fridge and wiping down all surfaces. But other areas, like washing machines and dishwashers, can be a lot trickier because they have multiple moving parts and must be basically disassembled to ensure that all the mold is gone.
Removing mold from tight spaces results in loosening and freeing mold spores so that they can be breathed in or float to other parts of your home.
That’s why a trusted professional is your best bet for complete mold removal. They will wear respiratory equipment to protect themselves, and they’ll prevent mold from spreading to another part of your home.