Mold Problem With Front Loading Washing Machine

I have a front load washing machine and on the rim when you open the door, it gets moldy. I never saw such a thing on the regular top load machines. Does anyone know anything about this and what can be done? It seems very strange to me.

Chris from NJ

Answers:

Mold Problem With Front Loading Washing Machine

This question has come up on several newsletters that I receive. It seems that most of the people will run a long wash cycle with one cup of bleach or one cup of vinegar in the washing machine, (no detergent), to help kill the mold. You will need to wipe off the mold around the door gasket.

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The problem is that there is always some water under the drum where you can not see it. I always leave the washing machine door open between washes. This does help, but I still need to clean it once every month or so. I hope this helps. Loretta (04/26/2006)

By

Mold Problem With Front Loading Washing Machine

I have a front load washer and after every use I wipe all around the front gasket, in behind the gasket and the inside of the door with paper towels. Then I leave it open for a while to let air in to circulate. Never have had a mold problem. In your case try to clean with a solution of bleach and water. Then rinse with water as bleach could eat away at the gasket. (04/27/2006)

By Dean

Mold Problem With Front Loading Washing Machine

I have researched this issue quite a bit and there are several items to note;

  • check the manual to determine if the manufacturer indicates a maintainence to be done. Usually a monthly wash, with bleach at the highest temp.
  • avoiding liquid fabric softener
  • cleaning around and under the door gasket
  • leaving the door somewhat open between washdays
  • once established, the mold/mildew is very difficult to overcome. (05/01/2006)

By beantown_steve

Mold Problem With Front Loading Washing Machine

An appliance repairman told me that bleach, vinegar, and ammonia are hard on seals in the washer. If you don't want to use vinegar, ammonia or bleach (be very careful not to mix them) there is a cleaner called Purewasher that is only sold at smellywasher.com / This cleaner will clean inside your washer and remove mildew or musty smell from towels and clothes. All you'll need is one tablespoon. The smell hasn't come back yet. (12/16/2006)

By

Mold Problem With Front Loading Washing Machine

I too have an LG that has a moldy smell in the machine. I think I have finally found a solution (and it's not bleach). The detergent and fabric softener you are using are creating a buildup between the drums.

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The solution is to stop using commercial detergents and fabric softeners. Start using Maggie's Soap Nuts. They are all natural (grow on trees) and are better for your health, your clothing and the environment (and Septic tanks also). They will clean your clothes and leave them softer (without fabric softener).
You can buy them at Whole Foods or soon at www.newstarget.com where they are going to buy them in bulk to cut the cost in half.

Note: Before washing your clothing with them, run some through the machine several times to clean out the buildup already on the drum. I make a liquid out of them (by simmering them and then squishing them with a potato masher to get the saponin out of them and turn it into a liquid. Add some water to this and then store them in an old cleaned out detergent bottle. They clean much better as liquid than in the cloth bag they come with. I think it is because front loaders don't agitate as much as regular washing machines. You will love your clothes and your machine again (you will never have to clean it out again). (08/22/2007)

By Lynn

Mold Problem With Front Loading Washing Machine

Directly from the Manufacturer: I sell appliances, and speak with manufacturers about the smell. The worst out on the market are the LGs, Frigidaires, Samsungs and GE's in front loaders. The Whirlpool brands (Kenmore, Whirlpool, and Maytag, the new ones, are the least smelly). In top loaders avoid one with a Plastic wash tub (old Maytags, GEs, Frigidaires). According to the Manufacturers and the instructions that came with your washers, you are to leave the door, or lid open after the final load. This lets the seal dry out and avoids the mold and must smell.

Here are some tips:

  • Front loading machines: After a load of laundry, look at the seal. If you notice water in the seal (GE, Frigidaire, LG, Samsung). Wipe it out and let the door open. The Whirlpool branded products will not collect water in seal due to their design. If after this you are noticing an odor problem, run your "rinse, drain, spin" cycle with 2 cups of bleach on "cool or warm water, do not use hot". Hot breaks down the bleach defeating the purpose of the bleach. Now this should eliminate the smell problem with the use of the bleach and open door. If you have your machine in the basement, and are still noticing a smell, then you need a "dehumidifier". Reason is, your basement contains too much moisture in the air to allow the seal to dry properly.

  • Top Loading Machines (Non HI_Efficiency Models): Fill the wash drum with "warm water", add about 1/2 gallon of bleach, allow the bleach rinse to run, and spin out. Then take a rag dipped in a 50/50 bleach solution, and wipe the under part of the lid, seals, dispensers, and if you can get under the ring of the washer, run it there as well. Leave the lid open to dry. Here again, if after doing this, you notice the mold/must smell comes back, "you need a dehumidifier".

  • Top Loading HE Machines:
    Repeat the rinse drain spin with 4 cups of bleach on warm water. Then follow the instructions for the conventional top loader.
<lp>Remember folks, a washing machine is just like your shower stall. If the tiles don't dry, they collect mold and mildew. Your washer needs to dry out after the last load. This is especially true for basement machines. Like I stated, if you have the machine in your basement, and these fixes don't work, you will need a dehumidifier. The machine can't dry out because the air is too humid. A mildewy machine means a mildewy basement.
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Hope this helps. Xavier

I have had my Kenmore HE3 for 5 years now and have yet to smell any mold. My unit is on the second floor and I leave my door open after the final load of the day. To this day my washer "smells" brand new. (11/05/2007)

By Xavierbu

Mold Problem With Front Loading Washing Machine

http://www.frontloadwasherclassaction.com/pages/index.php

Class action lawsuit. I just found this firm this morning. I couldn't stand the smell of our Frigidaire front loader and googled "mildew Frigidaire front loading washing machine". While I am a little relieved that it isn't anything that we in our household is doing, I am somewhat angry that it's such a common problem. Water-conserving yes, but the mold/mildew is a greater problem. We called Frigidaire right away after purchasing the machine and they gave no satisfaction except that they have fixed the problem on newer models.

I'll try some of the remedies listed here, but this is scandalous really. (05/26/2008)

By Mainer1776

Mold Problem With Front Loading Washing Machine

I think this is really a problem, too much work to do laundry. Anyway, I would take serious caution about leaving the door open. Anyone with small children should "not" leave the door open as children may find their way in and not be able to get out, God forbid. I do not have small children in the house so I do keep my door open, but a great place for a cat or small dog to nap as well. Not good. (06/15/2008)

By Mom in CT

Mold Problem With Front Loading Washing Machine

I have used a shot of vodka in the washer for years and this has rid all smells and mold. The alcohol in the vodka kills mold and mildew and shouldn't bleach your clothes. Test before tossing in your favorite sweater. Good luck. (07/09/2008)

By jasongeneva

Mold Problem With Front Loading Washing Machine

I just got off the phone with LG and they said the usual: Wipe gasket, door open, etc. but he mentioned one other way to get rid of scum/mold etc. It is a product called "Whirl Out". It is sold to rid hot tubs of scum, body oils and such. It is made by the same people who make "Red Out Rust Remover". Sounds promising. I am going to give it a try and will post results later. (08/05/2008)

By Dave

Mold Problem With Front Loading Washing Machine

I live in the UK and never have I had a problem with mold or mildew but I only use washing powder in my machine. (08/23/2008)

By Jamie

Mold Problem With Front Loading Washing Machine

I had the same problem and bought some TILEX mold and mildew for the bathroom and tried it out. I sprayed it about five times and let it sit for about and hour each. Although it took a while I got all of the mildew/black mold out. A little scrubbing with a scrub pad worked as well in combination with the TILEX. My best recommendation is to do this once a week and make sure to dry the gasket every time to prevent it from coming back. (08/28/2008)

By Ferrari

Mold Problem With Front Loading Washing Machine - use Borax

A few people have mentioned smellywasher .com. I remember getting an email saying all that is, is Borax. I'm considering purchasing a front loader and plan to have Borax on hand. (01/31/2009)

By Lynn

Mold Problem With Front Loading Washing Machine

I have this problem with my GE front loader and purchased lemon Pinesol and add it in with the detergent. This gets rid of the nasty smell on previously washed items. I remove my detergent and softener loader every week and scrub out the gunk.
(02/04/2009)

By Julie

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