(WPRI) — Front-load washing machines use less energy, less water and less detergent. But, a class action lawsuit claims the appliances may be creating a big mold problem for people who own them.
Mike Vogler is one of the plaintiffs of a lawsuit against one of many top manufacturers.
He said he noticed his allergies worsening and his clothes smelling. He even said he found a mold streak on one of his clean shirts.
That’s when he said he made a disturbing discovery – mold growing underneath the rubber seal of his front-load washing machine.
“You could say it was a clothes spoiler instead of a clothes washer,” Vogler said.
Class action lawsuits are pending against several top washing machine makers. The suit claims the machines are defective, with designs and airtight seals that create breeding grounds for slimy, smelly black bacteria – or biofilm.
“In our case, the allegations are – and we have a service bulletin on this – the company knew there was a problem as early as April 2007 and rather than recall the machines and let consumers know, they continued to sell the machines,” said Attorney Ed Wallace.
Call 12 for Action found numerous complaints against various manufacturers on saferproducts.gov, including “Our washing machine has a horrible mold odor.” and “Large amount of mold buildup in the bottom of the washer.”
There are some things you can do to alleviate some of the mold issue.
- Using dryer sheets instead of liquid fabric softener
- Running bleach through the machine
- Use bleach wipes to clean inside the rubber where the mold has built up
- Leave the door open when machine is off
All of the manufacturers named in the lawsuit deny their machines are defective.
Anyone with a mold issue with their front-load washer can file a complaint with saferproducts.gov.