How to clean the washing machine seal when it's looking gunky 

Dry your hands with a clean towel or paper towel

There’s nothing quite like the sweet smell of laundry wafting out of the machine. After all, you and your loved ones deserve fresh, clean clothes. Even if they tend to wear them for a couple of hours and then chuck them on the 'not-dirty-enough-to-wash-but-not-clean-enough-to-hang-up' chair.  

Enjoying super clean clothes depends on keeping the washing machine spic and span, and a key part of that is cleaning the rubber seal on a washing machine — because this is one area that can get really grimy. Bleurgh. It’s no biggie, though, as we’ll show you how to clean a washing machine seal with ease. 

Why cleaning a washing machine seal is important 

You may have just moved in together, or maybe you've lived in the same house for years – either way, the washing machine can get pretty gunky if you don’t keep an eye on it. And that means someone needs to take responsibility for cleaning a washing machine’s rubber seal as part of the household cleaning routine. And that someone may as well be you! 

So, what causes the gunk to take up residence on the door seal? Well, that seal is like a grime magnet. Soap scum, water deposits, bits of fluff, lint, and other muck… if it’s in the machine, it’ll likely get sucked up by the seal, neatly hidden away. Over time, that can turn to mould. Yuck. That’s why it’s so important to clean it. If not, stinky clothes ahoy! But cleaning a washing machine door seal isn’t difficult, and we’re going to show you how. 

What to clean a washing machine rubber seal with 

So, we know that it’s important to clean the seal and avoid the gunky build-up from causing bigger problems, but what about the cleaning materials? And solutions? Here’s what to clean your washing machine’s rubber seal with: 

  • Bleach – always follow the instructions  
  • Bicarbonate of soda 
  • Soda crystals 
  • Washing up liquid 
  • Sponge and/or cloth 
  • Strong kitchen towel 
  • Rubber gloves 

Leave a review

How to clean a washing machine seal step by step 

Gunky seal-cleaning kit at the ready? Now we’re good to go, so let’s get on with cleaning the rubber seal on a washing machine. Simply follow these steps: 

  1. Wipe the seal with kitchen towel to remove debris, sludge and stale water. 
  2. Pop on your gloves and pour equal amounts of bicarbonate of soda and bleach into the washing machine detergent drawer. A cup of each should be more than enough to help shift mould, eliminate odours and get your seal back on the path towards freshness. For an extra boost you can add a cup of soda crystals, directly into the empty drum. 
  3. Run the machine on a hot cycle. Sans clothes. 
  4. Once the cycle is complete, you can get into the seal again. Use a little washing up liquid and gently scrub away the remaining grime with a sheet of kitchen towel.
  5. Give your seal a good wipe down with a fresh sheet to dry. 
  6. It should be a whole lot better now, but you might need to repeat the process if you’ve got a particularly stubborn scum build-up. 

Tip: Plenty kitchen towel is ideal when you’re cleaning a washing machine door seal. It’s super strong, even when wet, so it’s perfect for wiping up any debris without breaking down and adding shreds of paper into the mix. Thank goodness for that.   

How to stop the seal getting so dirty again 

Right then, that’s cleaning a washing machine seal covered. Now, onto a few handy hacks to help prevent it from getting so grimy again: 

  • Wipe down the seal with kitchen towel after every wash. That’ll help remove pesky debris and reduce the risk of mould and bacteria from forming in the damp environment that they love. 
  • Remove heavily soiled clothing from the pile and get rid of any chunks of mud, spew or goo (*hand goes over mouth*). That stops heavy deposits from sneaking their way into the seal, and it’ll make your load a lot fresher too. 
  • Remove wet clothes from the machine as soon as they’re finished. A little written note to your housemate to remind them, if you’re going out between cycles, could help. 
  • Leave the machine door open. Let it breathe. 
  • Use the right type and amount of detergent. 
  • Do a deep clean once a month. 

Now you know how to clean a washing machine seal, all your laundry will come out so deliciously crisp and fresh, your housemate’s 'not-dirty-enough-to-wash-but-not-clean-enough-to-hang-up' chair might start getting a bit lonely... Leave a review here

Did you find this article helpful?Thanks for your feedback!