CLA Connect Open Forum

Topic: Removing Mildew Stains from Door Gaskets & Rubber lids

1.  Removing Mildew Stains from Door Gaskets & Rubber lids

Posted 11 days ago
Edited by Paulie B 11 days ago
Hello all,

Here is a demonstration video on how to keep the black Mildew stains off your gray door gaskets & rubber soap box lids.

Probably the easiest solution is to simply have black gaskets & lids, but I do think that the gray rubber looks better when it's kept clean.

The credit for this does not go to me...it goes to others here such as AJ the Godfather.....I'm simply the messenger in this one, so don't shoot the messenger, haha.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVV-3YiSp38

The spraying method in this video is very effective when done on a regular basis.  If your are starting with REALLY bad mildew stains, you may want to actually remove the lids and gaskets and soak them in a bucket in a full strength bleach solution overnight. By morning, you won't believe your eyes...They will look like new!
Otherwise, it may take you a dozen times of spraying them before you get all the stains out. Either way, it involves a little time & effort.
Once you get them clean, the maintenance is only to spray them 1-2x a week.
PS- Some of you sharp veterans may hear that I had a nail in a dryer basket that was scraping while I was doing the video...I was going to redo the clip but I left it so you can see that we all have the same headaches, lol.
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Paulie B
Store Owner/ Employee
Mr Machine
New York City NY
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2.  RE: Removing Mildew Stains from Door Gaskets & Rubber lids

Posted 11 days ago
Awesome!  Thanks.  Wish there were different topics to file tips and tricks on here.

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Chris M
Norfolk VA
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3.  RE: Removing Mildew Stains from Door Gaskets & Rubber lids

Posted 11 days ago
Never tried Tilex but that product recommended by godfather really works. I have been grateful for his sharing that ever since. It is thick and can be applied and just left to work. I tried many many things over the years that did not work.
So why is it that the newer soap box lids do not have this issue?

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Curt Harrington

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4.  RE: Removing Mildew Stains from Door Gaskets & Rubber lids

Posted 11 days ago
Aj the Godfather now goes by.......guess what name

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bob marcioni
Store Owner/ Employee
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5.  RE: Removing Mildew Stains from Door Gaskets & Rubber lids

Posted 10 days ago
MR CLEAN?

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Chris Mirisciotta
Store Owner/ Employee
Canon Coin Laundry
Canonsburg PA
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6.  RE: Removing Mildew Stains from Door Gaskets & Rubber lids

Posted 10 days ago
This is great & all but it begs the question... Why let the mildew & crud get to that point?
 If you perform the right kind of maintenance & cleaning any owner should have this properly addressed.  "?"

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Juan
Store Owner/ Employee
Cocoa FL
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7.  RE: Removing Mildew Stains from Door Gaskets & Rubber lids

Posted 10 days ago
Juan,
Please be specific.  What cleaning and maintenance procedure do you use to prevent mildew?  Paulie is suggesting that this is most effective as a quick and easy weekly method to keep mildew at bay.  If you have an alternative, please share

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Bill Balch
U-City Coin Wash
San Diego
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8.  RE: Removing Mildew Stains from Door Gaskets & Rubber lids

Posted 10 days ago
Simple clean the scum & crud on a regular basis.

Use a non metallic device with a rag wrapped around it to clean around the gaskets.  Same thing with soap dishes.

 Hers a pic of soap dishes in my oldest machines.  No need for tilex or any of that if you stay on top of your equipment.  Hence my statement.

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Juan
Store Owner/ Employee
Cocoa FL
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9.  RE: Removing Mildew Stains from Door Gaskets & Rubber lids

Posted 10 days ago
Juan,

Your soap box looks nice and clean. Do you leave them open overnight to let them air out?

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Paulie B
Store Owner/ Employee
Mr Machine
New York City NY
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10.  RE: Removing Mildew Stains from Door Gaskets & Rubber lids

Posted 9 days ago
Hey Paulie,

All of the machines look like this. Yes soap compartment lids & the doors are left open when we're done cleaning them every night or whenever's we stop by the mat to check on it.

 I'm in work assignment again here in SoCal.  Some of the washers I've seen at some of these locations are so gross & uncared for it makes me want to puke.

 I immediately miss my mat & readily understand why my numbers are nice & steady.

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Juan
Store Owner/ Employee
Cocoa FL
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11.  RE: Removing Mildew Stains from Door Gaskets & Rubber lids

Posted 9 days ago
Edited by Chris M 9 days ago
Easier said than done when your lid is on a hinge and you can leave it open at night.  Regular cleaning a rubber lid and it will still build up crud.

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Chris M
Norfolk VA
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12.  RE: Removing Mildew Stains from Door Gaskets & Rubber lids

Posted 9 days ago
I'm sorry I am not sure what your point is.  Aren't most if not all lids on a hinge?  I mean without that the lids would quickly disappear.

 These are commercial washing machines not Tupperware containers.  "?"

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Juan
Store Owner/ Employee
Cocoa FL
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13.  RE: Removing Mildew Stains from Door Gaskets & Rubber lids

Posted 9 days ago
Ok, I think I see your point. I think you're referring to rubber lids like the speedqueen machines.  Yeah, that would result in a more intense difficult effort.

 But those my friend should be part of the choices that are made when we choose our equipment.  I am so not partial to that equipment t for that & similar reasons.

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Juan
Store Owner/ Employee
Cocoa FL
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14.  RE: Removing Mildew Stains from Door Gaskets & Rubber lids

Posted 9 days ago
always thank the Godfatherbu

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ORIGINAL GODFATHER
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15.  RE: Removing Mildew Stains from Door Gaskets & Rubber lids

Posted 9 days ago

When we had alliance machines with the rubber lids we used large fabric softener lids from empty bottles to prop open the rubber lids at closing. Its free, simple and it works.

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Russell Roberts
Store Owner
Southern California
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16.  RE: Removing Mildew Stains from Door Gaskets & Rubber lids

Posted 9 days ago
Russell,

In the beginning we tried propping up the lids with cups from soap bottles, just like you did.
It helped us just a little.
My guess that it works well for you is that you are in a low humidity climate which allows them to dry pretty quickly. Mold & Mildew are formed in a wet, dark condition. Here in NYC the humidity often goes up to 90% (ugh), so it's not easy for the soap boxes and lids to dry out.

For us, a strong bleach solution that is quickly sprayed at night on the lids works best.....We lift the lid and give it 2 shots from the spray.

And Godfather...Thank You! I kiss your ring! hahaha.

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Paulie B
Store Owner/ Employee
Mr Machine
New York City NY
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17.  RE: Removing Mildew Stains from Door Gaskets & Rubber lids

Posted 7 days ago
Stupid question.  If the tilex or bleach solution doesn't dry, does it cause problems for customer clothes?   Also, tilex directions state to clean their solution off of rubber immediately.  Is that necessary or should the gaskets and rubber tops be allowed to sit with the bleach?   If you spray the tops, does the bleach fall into the soap trays and cause the trays to get bleach and again discolor clothing?

Just being too paranoid i suspect.

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WEI CHEN

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18.  RE: Removing Mildew Stains from Door Gaskets & Rubber lids

Posted 6 days ago
Wei Chen,

Those are not stupid questions. They are good questions.

I will answer from my own experience:

The Tilex Bleach solution is safe from customer's clothes as long as you wipe the door glass and any drips that may go on the lower tub lid, just like I showed in the video.
The very small amount that remains inside the door gasket does NOT affect the customer's clothes at all.

The rubber lids and gaskets are completely bleach proof. Bleach will not lower their life at all as evidenced by the "like-new" condition of my 25 year old rubber lids. The machine manufacturers must make them bleach resistant because being that they are part of a commercial washer, they must stand up to all kinds of chemicals.

We actually spray little Tilex  inside our soap compartments as well, to keep the insides mildew free.  The extremely small amount of bleach solution (maybe 1 teaspoon?) is vastly diluted by the gallons of water that come charging down the soap box. And even that small amount is gone by morning if you do them before closing.

If your soap lids and door gaskets have been allowed to get REALLY loaded with Mold & Mildew, you may want to purchase a couple of lids and gaskets to replace your worst ones on the machines. Then take those really bad ones and soak them in a bucket of bleach overnight. The next morning the mold will be completely gone, and they will look like new. You will not believe your eyes.

Once you have them mildew free, you just need to spray them once a week for maintenance.

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Paulie B
Store Owner/ Employee
Mr Machine
New York City NY
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19.  RE: Removing Mildew Stains from Door Gaskets & Rubber lids

Posted 4 days ago
I too took the godfather's advice and it worked wonders.  We spray them once a week now.  Costco has good deals on the big bottles of the Clorox Clean up he recommends.

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R Anderson
Store Owner/ Employee
Camarillo CA
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20.  RE: Removing Mildew Stains from Door Gaskets & Rubber lids

Posted 2 days ago
So...

Once again I'm on travel assignment in SoCal. Things remain extremely busy on work front.  But we're getting closer to light at the end of the tunnel.  Yes, I'm hopeful it's not a train.  Lol

 This is 1 of the reasons our businesses & this industry carries the stigma some perhaps most have us hear about.

 Personally I don't understand how or why owners let their mats get to this sad state & then whine & complain when a competitor steps in & easily takes their business.

 Again all of these experiences & examples provided me with the guidance I needed on what all not to do and what to expect out of my business.

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Juan
Store Owner/ Employee
Cocoa FL
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21.  RE: Removing Mildew Stains from Door Gaskets & Rubber lids

Posted 2 days ago
Juan,

Thanks for sharing those photos. I SO agree with you!!! Those are terrible looking doors and soap boxes!

What person in their right mind would want to put their laundry in a machine that looks like that???
They are coming to that mat to clean their clothes, yet the washer is dirtier than the laundry!!!

You are so right that neglected mats seem to be the norm for our industry.
I think that's because our industry attracts so many people who look at our business as a sideline to their "main" career.

However, this makes for opportunity for the right person. Take a mat like that one, fix it up, clean it up, manage it with love and common sense, invest some time and money, advertise new management, and you'll most likely turn that mat around BIG time. Only 1 caveat...The mat is run down due to owner neglect, NOT due to a brand new mega-mat that opened nearby a year or 2 ago.


Here is a VERY basic piece of advice to all the newbies out there. Something that has allowed me to survive & actually prosper for over 41 years in the tough NYC market:
 If you want to draw customers, just keep your mat looking and operating like new. Period.

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Paulie B
Store Owner/ Employee
Mr Machine
New York City NY
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