How to ReallyClean the door seal on washing machine. HELP please ??


I was given a washing machine to discover it was actually a washer/dryer.

When I looked inside, the whole seal, the crevices in the door, each crevice in the seal and the really thin crevice next to the drum are filled with what looks like rock hard muddy/dirt!!!

I've spent 3 days scrubbing it all out, used many, many machine cleaners, baking soda and vinegar and bleach etc, cleaned the drawer and inside the drawer hole, and every time I run a practice wash, the door ends up covered in this mud again, so where is it coming from?

I keep finding more and more of this muddy stuff collecting in the really narrow crevice in the seal next to the drum that I can't get to !!!

There's also a weird vent type bit in the seal that I assume is for the dryer bit, which keeps filling up with this muddy stuff too. I'm lost as what else I can do !!!

Can anyone help me please ?

  25 answers
  • Mogie Mogie on Nov 22, 2021

    Was this running when you got this? Had it been sitting outside? Perhaps you should take into someone to work on this they generally can let you know if it is fixable and about how much it will cost.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Nov 22, 2021

    please be sure not to mix vinegar and bleach when cleaning it is toxic - can you call a repair person to help you out? contact the mfg.of the machine and ask them what to do so as not to damage the drum, seal, etc. so sorry you are dealing with this

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Nov 22, 2021

    you may have to replace the door seal and use a vacuum to get out the pieces of dirt, rocks, etc that is in there

  • I would look up the manufacturer and contact them for advice.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Nov 22, 2021

    You need a skilled repairman or give a call to the company that manufactured your w/d, have the make and model numbers ready so they can look up what to do.

  • William William on Nov 22, 2021

    Talk to whoever gave you the machine and where it was stored. Was it in a location that flooded? You can Google the make and model to find out more information. You can also check with the manufacturer of the machine.

  • Annie Annie on Nov 22, 2021

    You need to talk with the person who gave it to you and get some more info about it.

    There's something strange about it! It must have been stored wrong?

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Nov 22, 2021

    You checked with the manufacturer for a recommended recommended cleaning practices? Trying to look up the manual online or call that might be suggested. I know with my eco-friendly low water volume washing machine I use affresh tablets and run theclean cycle on my machine in a regular basis.

  • Betsy Betsy on Nov 22, 2021

    Oh Tara, so sorry to hear this :( Is there any way you can take the back off, after unplugging it of course, and looking inside with a bright flashlight to see what's in there, if anything? If so, clean it out with a vacuum and look all over the place for any type of ick you can remove.

    Here is a site that may help:

    Or, check here, you may be able to buy new seals and save yourself some elbow grease :)

    It may be that the icky stuff is the deteriorated seal. Here's a site that may have your appliance manuals:

    Best of luck

  • Either there's something in the machine that is coming out in little bits at a time that will just need to run its course, or something is breaking down in pieces and bits. The last thing is that some of these machines have a drain you can clean out. I would call either a repair person or the manufacturer to troubleshoot.

  • Janice Janice on Nov 22, 2021

    My first thought is that the machine may have in a flood area and has been caked with mud, etc. Check with the manufacturer and the person who gave it to you to get more information.

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Nov 22, 2021

    It sounds to me like the cause of the problem stems from one of two situations:

    1. Someone tried to wash very dirty work clothes that were saturated with concrete, drywall mud, paving residue, or similar, through the machine. The heat from the dryer has dried out the gunk and it is now adhering to the rubber surfaces.
    2. Some interior part of the machine is disintegrating and similar to #1 above, the heat from the dryer is 'baking' the material on to the inside of the machine

    From your description as to how unsuccessful the results have been with your trying to clean the machine, I would say that the filters are most likely completely clogged, and may even now be destroyed.

    I would foresee that the cost of getting a repair person to come to your home, look at the unit, and then trying to 'fix' the problem, if it is indeed repairable, would exceed the value of the machine, and may even exceed the cost purchasing brand new appliances.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Nov 23, 2021

    You might want to consider replacing the seal if it is that damaged. Check into using afresh product, which is designed for cleaning washing machines.

  • Dee Dee on Nov 23, 2021

    ou can use 2 cups of vinegar, ¼ cup of baking soda and ¼ water

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Nov 24, 2021

    Sounds as if the Fluff filter needs a good clean out or the hose conecting it between washer and dryer.

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Nov 24, 2021

    1. Add 1 cup of baking soda around the seal inside the drum.
    2. Run the washing machine empty for a few wash cycles. To achieve the best results, use the 90°C setting. This is the easiest way to clean the rubber seal. This goes for the washing machine itself as well.
    3. Add 1 cup bleach and 1 cup baking soda into 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 on hand.
    4. 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.
    5. Make sure to wipe around and underneath the seal, as well.

  • Dee Dee on Nov 25, 2021

    You also need to clean the lint trap. There is a little door usually on the bottom of the washer. It has the overflow tubes and a filter that needs to be cleaned out. That will also cause an odor.

  • Simple Nature Decor Simple Nature Decor on Nov 25, 2021

    I had to replace mine because it was moldy, contact your appliance person and give them the serial # on your machine.

  • Dee Dee on Nov 28, 2021

    Tara I was just unloading my washer and realized there is one other place you should clean. That is the soap dish area. I have a shelf that pulls out and there was so much gunk in there from detergent. I used a toothbrush and got it all out. My area did not smell but yours may be the cause of odors.

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Nov 29, 2021

    To give it a good clean buy a bottle of alcohol and clean with that

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Nov 29, 2021

    Look for a filter there should be some kind of filter to clean out

  • At this point, I'd probably reach out to the manufacturer and see if they can give you any tips so that you're also not damaging the seal too.

  • Given your situation, you may need to replace the door seal. It is best to also look up the manufacturer and contact them.

  • Tara Leigh Tara Leigh on Dec 05, 2021

    Thank you all for the replies. Took me a while to find this conversation!!

    I have already tried most of the suggestions, including the soap tray etc, (all but the lint trap) which I have stated in my original question.

    With all my machines I use machine cleaners regularly and water softeners regularly to keep them working longer.

    I was gifted the machine from the Nextdoor app and the person is no longer a member so cannot contact them or even remember their names.

    I cannot afford call-out charges to have it inspected, hence asking here.

    It now seems to be running clear, however my clothes do not smell clean.

    I will just keep trying to clean it as I cannot replace it.

    But thank you for the suggestions. Some are things I have done already and are Indeed helpful.

    Thank you.