Cleaning Guides

How to Clean a Washing Machine’s Rubber Seal

Does your washing machine smell funny? The issue may be coming from the rubber seal on the door, also known as a gasket. It traps moisture in the machine and is the perfect place for mould and mildew to grow.

So in this article, we will outline step-by-step instructions on how to clean washing machine seals to ensure everything stays clean and hygienic.

Cleaning supplies and tools you will need

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar or bleach
  • A clean towel or cloth
  • Washing-up liquid

Best ways to clean your washing machine’s seal

If you’ve been looking for safe home remedies to clean that black gunk from the washing machine’s door seal, then you can find them here. We will describe step-by-step two easy methods to effectively clean the rubber seal of your washing machine. This goes for the entire appliance as well.

As you’ll see, you can either use white vinegar or bleach, depending on your preference and the appliance’s condition.

How to clean washing machine seal with bleach and baking soda

  • Spread 1 cup of bicarbonate of soda around the seal inside the drum.
  • Run the washing machine empty for a few wash cycles. To achieve the best results, use the 90°C settings. This is the easiest way to clean the rubber seal. This goes for the washing machine itself as well.
  • Add 1 cup bleach and 1 cup baking soda to the washing powder drawer. You can use 2 cups of vinegar, ¼ cup of baking soda and ¼ water instead if you do not have bleach or you do not wish to use a chemical cleaner.
  • When the cycles are completed, put a few drops of washing-up liquid in warm water and mix it well. Using a clean cloth, wipe down the rubber seal on all sides with the mixture.
  • Make sure to wipe around and underneath the seal, as well.

Getting mould off washing machine rubber with vinegar

Another way to clean the gasket, especially if you are dealing with a mouldy one, is to use a cotton pad or ball, dampened in white vinegar. Here is how:

  • Open the washing machine door wide to expose the seal and use the cotton pad to wipe or scrub the mould away from the large, visible parts of the rubber.
  • To clean the hard-to-reach parts of the rubber seal, use a Q-tip instead. Don’t forget to dip it in white vinegar before you start cleaning.
  • Pull the fold of the seal forward with your fingers and use the Q-tip to rub away the mould and any debris that has become stuck in between. You will probably need a few Q-tips
  • Remember to clean the gasket all the way around, since there might be mould and debris all over it.
  • Finally, to rinse the washing machine from the white vinegar and whatever smaller dirt particles are left inside it, use the self-cleaning function if it has one or runs it empty on the warm or hot water cycle.

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How to keep the washing machine seal clean and mould-free?

Keep mould and mildew away from your washing machine by following a few easy steps:

  • Leave the washing machine door open when you are not using it, especially after you have finished washing;
  • Remove the laundry from the machine as soon as it finishes its cycle;
  • Use a clean cloth or towel to dry the door, seal, and glass once the cycle has finished.

Another reason why mould and gel-like dirt might build up on the rubber seal is if you are constantly washing at low temperatures or use detergents excessively. Using the machine at temperatures of 40°C or less prevents proper rinsing of detergent residue, which facilitates mould, dirt and grease deposits on your gasket.

If, after cleaning the washing machine seal thoroughly, you can still see mould on it, it might be time to get it replaced altogether. Resorting this task to an engineer experienced in washing machine repairs is the hassle-free way to have your appliance in tip-top shape back.


  • Cleaning your washing machine seal is just as important as cleaning the washing machine itself.
  • Use a Q-tip to clean difficult to get to parts of the rubber seal.
  • Always dry the door, glass, and seal of your washing machine when you are done with your laundry session.


Image source: Shutterstock / aleks333

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