You might have tried various products and ways to clean up the mildew, but it either doesn’t come off or keeps returning all the time. So, how to remove mildew from rubber seals on washing machines is an issue that many people google about.

Unfortunately, there is no permanent solution because mildew is a fungus that spreads in moist and humid areas and surfaces. However, there is a way to keep the rubber seal clean and easily remove the mildew by using simple and affordable products.

Let’s discover more!

How to Remove Mildew From Rubber Seals on Washing Machines

How to Remove Mildew From Rubber Seals on Washing Machines

To clean the mildew from rubber seals on washing machines, you can either use bleach or hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice, and white vinegar.

Never combine bleach with other acids. Rub the area with a cleaning brush or toothbrush, wipe it with a clean damp cloth, and run the machine at the highest temperature.

Consider safety and always use rubber gloves to protect your hands, no matter if you use bleach or other cleaning solution. Also, never mix bleach with acids since it makes chlorine fumes dangerous for human health if inhaled.

I recommend using a toothbrush or a smaller cleaning brush to rub the mildew area and reach even the hard-to-reach spots between the rubber seals.

Always practice running the machine at the highest temperature cycle to rinse the rubber from excess chemicals.

Why Does Mildew Form in the Rubber Seal?

A rubber seal is a perfect place for mildew. The moisture and humidity in this part of the washing machine make excellent conditions for mildew formation.

Another thing that contributes to mildew formation is detergent buildup. Often, you might see an amount of powdered detergent stuck between the rubber seal, which later creates a layer that mold latches onto.

Closing the washer door creates even better conditions for mildew formation and spread. By closing the washing machine door, you stop the air circulation inside the drum and lock the moisture inside.

Read more: Is Vinegar Safe For Washing Machine?

Cleaning the Washing Machine’s Rubber Seal From Mildew

Necessary materials

  • Bleach
  • Lemon juice, white vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide
  • Baking soda
  • Empty plastic spray bottle
  • A toothbrush or small cleaning brush
  • Protective rubber gloves

Important notes!

  • If you opt for bleach, do not add acids! If these two get in touch, they will make chlorine fumes, which are dangerous if inhaled.
  • Hydrogen peroxide can be mixed with lemon juice and hot water.
  • Bleach can be mixed with hot water and might be beneficial for both removing and preventing mold.
    • White vinegar is best mixed with hot water to rinse the machine’s drum and remove all chemical leftovers.
Cleaning process

Cleaning process

Bleach solution

Mix bleach and warm water in the spray bottle; then, apply the mixture onto the rubber seal where the mildew is.

Let it soak for a few minutes, and rub it with a soft toothbrush if the mildew accumulations are bigger.

Wipe the surface with a damp cloth and run the washing machine on the longest program and highest temperature.

Also read: Do I Need To Connect Hot Water To Washing Machine?

Baking soda mixture

If you opt for baking soda, you can mix it with bleach or white vinegar. Make a paste and add it to the affected parts. Use a toothbrush and rub the affected rubber seal area with circular motions.

If you want to use this method, it is best to leave the paste overnight. Wipe the paste off the rubber gasket the next day and run the washing machine at the highest temperature cycle.

Vinegar or lemon juice

These two acids can be used instead of bleach. So, you can make a paste from vinegar or lemon juice as well as baking soda and repeat the previous process.

Vinegar is excellent for rinsing the washing machine and preventing mildew appearance in the future.

Tips to Prevent Mildew Formation

  • Keep the washer door open after use to allow the air to flow inside out and dry the drum.
  • Do not leave wet clothes inside the washer, especially with a closed door; the moisture might only increase the mildew inside the machine.
  • Wipe the excess water from the rubber seal every time you do laundry to remove the excess water that got stuck there.


Dealing with mildew on rubber seals in washing machines can be a persistent challenge due to the favorable conditions for fungus growth in moist and humid areas.

While no permanent solution to prevent mildew entirely exists, regular maintenance and cleaning can help manage the issue.

Products like bleach, hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice, or white vinegar, and proper brushing and running the machine at high temperatures can effectively remove mildew. Remember to prioritize safety by wearing rubber gloves and avoiding mixing bleach with acids.

Additionally, preventative measures such as leaving the washer door open and wiping excess water from the rubber seal can help reduce mildew formation.

I hope this article has helped you learn how to remove mildew from rubber seals on washing machines. I also recommend running the machine with bleach or vinegar once a month to prevent mildew formation and spread.