4 Household Appliances That Can Grow Mold and How to Clean them!

May 10 2018
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This article was a great reminder for me to go home and clean my Keurig! I love my little Keurig especially now that I’m a single gal I rarely drink more then one or two cups of coffee in the morning on the weekends and rarely ever during the week. Of course I purchased myself the reusable K-cups (check them out here) because there was something like 4 BILLION cups that ended up in land fills last year! I also had to take a part and clean out my dishwasher not too long ago and I absolutely could not believe the nasty mold that was growing in it – definitely something to take care of again in the future! The following is an article submitted to Grandma’s House DIY that I felt was really informative!

When you think of mildew in the home, your mind probably goes straight to the bathroom or the basement. Those are definitely the places where mold is most visible, but it’s also growing in all sorts of hidden nooks and crannies — including the inside of your appliances.

There are lots of little cracks and crevices in various appliances that are perfect places for mold to get regular moisture and food while hiding from view. The health risks of mildew vary by type, but at the very least it can cause symptoms similar to an allergy attack. These four appliances merit a close and careful look when cleaning, as mildew loves to hide out in them.

Image via Flickr by r.nial.bradshaw

Image via Flickr by r.nial.bradshaw

Coffee Maker
Coffee maker water pumps, reservoirs, and internal tanks are the perfect place for mold to set up camp. Water is constantly cycling through them, but it never gets hot enough for long enough to kill spores.

Fortunately, it’s also easy to get rid of mildew in coffee makers. Simply let a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar sit in the fill chamber for about half an hour, then run it through a brew cycle.

Machines that have an internal tank that holds water constantly (like Keurigs) require the extra step of manually emptying and de-scaling it to prevent mildew from taking hold.

Washing Machine
Mold finds plenty of little crevices in washing machines that don’t dry out thoroughly and are hard to get at. The many small hoses and the interior portion of the drum and tub are the primary breeding grounds.

One thing that really helps is to leave the door or lid open at all times between loads. It’s also a good idea to use a washing machine treatment once a month, and remove the exterior to clean the parts underneath at least once a year.

Image via Flickr by Alex of Gothenburg

Image via Flickr by Alex of Gothenburg

Dishwashers do have some natural resistance to mildew given that they heat water to a temperature just high enough to kill it. That doesn’t mean they’re naturally free of mold, however.

While most of the machine won’t require anything more than an occasional treatment (and most washing machine treatments pull double duty as dishwasher cleaners), you’ll want to keep a close eye on the trap or filter that is usually located on the bottom. If food and grease stay in there for too long, mildew will soon follow.

Air Conditioner
The interior of air conditioners is usually a humid place, and also one full of debris that mildew can feast on. Unfortunately, spores growing in the AC unit means spores are being distributed throughout the house when it’s running.

Air Conditioner Image via Flickr by THE Holy Hand Grenade!

Air Conditioner Image via Flickr by THE Holy Hand Grenade!

Cleaning and changing the filter regularly is important to help stop mildew from spreading, but to eliminate it you’ll need to clean the AC unit itself by taking the front cover off. Vacuum inside of it with an appropriate narrow attachment, and scrub any areas that appear to have visible mildew growing with a mixture of bleach and soapy water.

Mold can lodge itself stubbornly in the remote crevices of some appliances, but it’s usually not in a place that cleaning solutions can’t reach. Keep on top of your regular schedule of cleaning and maintenance and you’ll enjoy a mold-free home.

(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

When you think of mold in the home, your mind probably goes straight to the bathroom or the basement. Those are definitely the places where it's most visible, but it's also growing in all sorts of hidden nooks and crannies — including the inside of your appliances.

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