What is the black slime in my washing machine?

By Martin Driver 09 Apr 2018
Mould in washing machine

Find out what to do if you’ve found black stuff around the door of your washing machine.

What is black mould?


The black slimy stuff around the door seal is probably mould. It could be undissolved detergent too, or a mixture of both.

Mould on tiles

It's the same type of mould that grows on the tiles in your bathroom if there's not enough ventilation.  

Why has it appeared?


Mould grows in wet and warm places. Annoyingly, the door seal of your washing machine in the perfect environment.

After a wash, most of the water in the machine drains out of the bottom the drum. However, the seal around the door retains a bit.

Water draining from washing machine

Also, a very hot wash kills the bacteria left behind, but if you usually wash clothes at 40°C or below, the water isn’t hot enough to prevent mould from developing.

Is it dangerous?


Mould isn’t something you want in your home, particularly if you or a family member suffers from asthma or has respiratory issues.

If you leave it for a long time, it can become dangerous. However, if you remove it as soon as it appears, there’s nothing to worry about.

How do I get rid of it?


The first thing to do it scoop the slime up with a paper towel or old cloth.

Then, spray the area with an anti-bacterial spray and wipe it until no mould remains.

Cleaning washing machine

To make sure it’s as clean as it can be, wash a towel on the hottest cycle that your washer has. The heat will kill any bacteria left over and clean the rest of the drum at the same time.  

How do I stop it from coming back?


The easiest way to stop mould from returning is to quickly wipe up any water left in the door seal after every wash load.

It’s a good idea to get into the habit of running regular hot washes, as it kills bacteria and stops your pipes from smelling too.

Washing clothes on a hot wash

If you do both of these things, mould will rarely make an appearance. If it does, just make sure you clean it as soon as possible.

Hopefully we’ve calmed any worries you have about the unpleasant slimy stuff in your washing machine.

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