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Rotten Egg Smell in a Front Loading Washer

Category Appliances
A foul odor coming from your washer is not a pleasant situation. Determining the source and cause are needed to eliminate the problem and prevent it from occurring in the future. This is a guide about rotten egg smell in a front load washer.


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2 found this helpful
January 7, 2011

Anyone know how to get rotten egg smell out of a front load washer?

By bigpig from Indian

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March 27, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

You can get commercial washing machine cleaners but I find about a half cup of borax works just as well. Run the empty machine through a whole cycle on hot water and with a half cup of borax in the soap dispenser. It will kill the mold that is growing in the seals. To prevent it from coming back, wipe down the door and the seal then leave the door open for at least an hour so it can dry thoroughly. Also, a cup of white vinegar run through on quick cycle once a week will help retard mold growth from coming back but the key is letting it dry completely before closing the door for long periods of time.

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January 13, 20150 found this helpful

Did you figure out how to fix this problem? I'm having the same issue. I suspect there is something blocking the area to my pump filter because the water smells terrible, but there is never anything in the filter. My washing machine is an LG.

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January 25, 20150 found this helpful

We also suffered from the problem of clothes smelling very unpleasant immediately after they were washed. It was obvious the Washing Machine had something wrong. Much research on the interest and the suggested treatments did not help.

I reverted to my swimming pool knowledge and after viewing a video showing what caused the problems, we treated our machine in the following way.

Our Machine has a Trommel Reinigung program (drum cleaning program  we are in Germany). So using this program we put the machine through 4 consecutive cycles:

Cycle 1 : using a supermarket drain cleaner (caustic soda / sodium hydroxide would also work). This is very good for removing the greasy/fatty building ups that cause the stink problem. Some of the liquid cleaners may cause a foam problem  use small amounts.

Cycle 2 : using white vinegar (about a liter) and with the drum cleaning program

Cycle 3 : using Cloudy Ammonia (it may be difficult to buy  in Germany you can by it from hardware stores in the paint section under the name Salmiak Geist / Ammoniak). Be careful and DO NOT BREATHE in the fumes. This product is very good at removing fat . but it is harsh.

Cycle 4 : using a cheap supermarket powder designed for dishwashers. We used quiet a lot, about 1 full tea cup of powder. The cheap powders have the strongest cleaning agents.

Maximum Heat should for each cycle (95 degrees if possible).

In the future we will use sodium bicarbonate and sodium per carbonate at least once per month in conjunction with the special drum cleaning program.

After this process we appear to have solved our stinking washing problem.

As we understand the problem, it is caused by the new technology washing liquids .. and low wash temperatures.

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February 9, 20150 found this helpful

I fear that the previous 'swimming pool' cleaner question can cause terrible damage to your washing machine. This works effectively & safer: place 1/2 cup bicarbonate of soda in soap dispenser & 2 cups vinegar in the softener dispenser. Run your machine on rinse cycle. When m/c has finished, take a cloth & clean around the door seal rubber. (always clean door seal rubber after all wash cycles.)

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March 4, 20150 found this helpful

Sometimes cleaning cycles can be tedious, using all those cleaning solutions, vinegar etc takes lots of time as well as lots of water.

Don't know but this can be helpful

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July 10, 20150 found this helpful

The trick is not to clean the machine after it gets gunked up, but to use a detergent that continuously cleans the washer AND the clothes. Charlie's Soap works like that.

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November 9, 20150 found this helpful

rpoLQk Thanks-a-mundo for the blog.Much thanks again. Really Great.

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December 21, 20150 found this helpful

Hi Every Smelly Washer Owner,

We bought a n 2008 LG front loader and thankfully a 4 year extended warranty.

First two years MASTER CONTROL BOARD and a sensor.

In the first year we noticed our clothes to stink. I thought my wife was doing laundry wrong. Well that wasn't the problem. The repair guy said to leave the door open after washes and to run the monthly tub cleaning cycle and only use a small amount of soap (that sounds crazy). Well he was right and wrong.

We went on vacation for 10 days and I did a load of laundry in a top loader machine at the beach bungalow where we were staying. My laundry smelled so fresh and clean( Arm & Hammer w/oxy).

We returned home and we'll we had mountains of laundry to do for our three boys and us. I was determined to clean our moldy smelly front loader to have a fresh smelling load of laundry.

1) Ran Tub Clean cycle with soap. -Did Not work still smelly.

2 ) Cleaned filter below. Note the rubber drain hose would not drain. Opened filter housing stinky water poured out. Unclogged hose by Using bike pump to blow out clogged drain hose. Clogged with Lake sand. Reinstalled filter.

3) Removed soap drawer and it was Caked with Dark thick Mold. I was shocked to find out the very drawer that was supposed to be clean and one would think germ free was a toxic breeding cave for sickness.

Cleaned it out with a tooth brush,water , and most important a small portable steamer. 30 -45minutes of cleaning.

4) Front rubber seal. I cleaned the entire rubber seal and the barrel with the steamer. Much cleaner now. The moldy smell was less potent.

5) Decided to run a Steam cycle. Cleaner than before.

6) Ran another Tub Clean cycle with 1 cup 50/50 bleach mix. Filled the clean soap dish ,bleach, and softener with mixture and poured the rest into the barrel. Also poured straight bleach into the rubber seal. CLEAN MOLDY SMELL GONE. SMELLS LIKE BLEACH.

7) RAN Sanitary load to get rid of bleach smell. Finally machine is thoroughly clean.

8) Leave door open all the time and soap drawer.

I recommend to run a tub clean with bleach every week. Also try to use Warm & Hot water more often. Sanitary takes longer ,but I think it will help to keep the mold away.

I hope this new cleaning the washer machine ritual works.

Thanks for reading


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June 15, 20160 found this helpful

This method works, but please use caution. DO NOT OPEN WASHER DOOR RIGHT AFTER SANITIZE CYCLE AS TOXIC STEAM WILL EXIST. I ran my front-load washer with a smallish chunk of tablet on the hot/sanitize cycle but made the mistake of opening the door right after the cycle finished, when everything was still hot and steamy in there, and went to reach in (with a glove on) to pull out the small bit of tablet that didn't dissolve--my fault, I wasn't thinking and should have used better sense. You DO NOT want to breathe in anywhere near that toxic steam. I'd run the second, cold water cycle immediately, without even opening the door to your washer in between these two cycles.

While using the pool tablet has taken care of the mildew smell in the wash, my husband is convinced I have taken years off the life of the machine by adding caustic chemicals. This remains to be seen, but to me is a moot point because I had tried everything else and we were down to having to replace our washer because what is the point of washing your clothes if they come out even smellier than they went in.

If you are scared off by this, try buying some afresh or smelly washer first. Also, once you have cleaned your washer keep new mildew growth at bay by using vinegar instead of fabric softener, powdered soap instead of liquid, leaving washer door open when not in use, and periodically clean the front area between the seal and the door which is a prime area for mold/mildew growth.

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April 2, 20170 found this helpful

the unit has a drain problem, the washer does not fully drain leaving water in the wash tub.

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Read More Answers


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 7, 20110 found this helpful

My Whirlpool Duet front loader has an awful smell (like rotten eggs) when I run it. It seems to be coming from the water hose. Any ideas how to fix this? It really stinks.

By ~ME~ from OR


Front Load Washer Smells Terrible

When I read my manual for my front loader it said to clean the dispenser for the detergent. It gets built up in there. That worked just fine. I do clean out the ring regularly and wipe it down after washing, letting it dry out before closing it. (01/05/2011)

By thepinkster

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April 27, 20100 found this helpful

We have a front loading LG washer and have had an odor like rotten eggs coming from the washer and our clothes. The manufacturer says to use the hot tub clean cycle.

We have tried bleach tablets from Home Depot, and I drain and clean the sump filter each month. After a couple of washings, the smell comes back.

We are fed up with the washer. Any help would be appreciated. I have heard of other loaders having the same problem with mildew, mold, and rotten egg smell.

By Allen from Ft. Lauderdale, FL


Front Load Washer Smells Terrible

Can you use regular borax or washing soda, or even baking soda in a front loader? They can be fabulous deodorizers. If you are allowed to use them, I would try them first. I would put borax or baking soda (the packages have quantities) in every load and see if it helps.

Do you have well water? Well water is not generally chlorinated, which means it is faster to grow bacteria than "city" water that has been treated. If you have well water, you might talk to your well servicing company and find out if it would be worth it to install some sort of a treatment system that will put something into the water before it gets to your washer. (02/16/2010)

By Jilson

Front Load Washer Smells Terrible

One of my local TV stations just covered this issue during last night's newscast (though I watch a different station - they've been promoting the story over the last week.)

Quick notes from the article:
"A quick scrub in the bathtub can get rid of the nasty slime, but how do you prevent this from happening altogether? Jordan says more maintenance. "

" There are some things that you can do to keep mold from building up inside your machine. One is to keep the door open between loads. It's also important to use special detergent made for high efficiency machines and if you are having an odor problem it's recommended that you use a washing machine cleaner product at least once a month." (02/17/2010)

By COflower

Front Load Washer Smells Terrible

I own an LG and had the same problem. I stopped using liquid soap and only use HE powder and I haven't had this problem since. Initially, I did run a couple of loads using my dishwasher crystals and hot water to wash my throw-rugs. I leave the door and the soap dispenser drawer open between loads too. Good Luck! (02/19/2010)

By ddpmkrupa

Front Load Washer Smells Terrible

When I am finished with the laundry I put 1/4 cup white vinegar in the machine and leave the door open and it solved it for me. I also wash the rubber ring with a solution of bleach and water and an old rag every two weeks. Be sure the windows are open and you have your gloves on and wearing something old. (02/19/2010)

By rasta

Front Load Washer Smells Terrible

I live in south FL and have a front loader also. Make sure you use HE detergents, leave the washer door open and let it dry out before closing, periodically run a cycle using just bleach, and remember to wipe the seal on both sides with a bleach rag occasionally. (02/20/2010)


Front Load Washer Smells Terrible

This worked for me: if your washer has a light bulb, remove the light bulb. After each wash load, leave the front door open, leave the detergent load area open (mine happens to be on top); after each wash load take washcloth/towel and swipe around the rubber gasket to soak up leftover water and leave the door open (that's why you take out the light bulb!) and let it air dry between wash loads. Yeah, I know, these machines are expensive and we shouldn't have to do those, but the energy savings are worth it! Good luck. (02/20/2010)

By ginblossom

Front Load Washer Smells Terrible

We have an LG front loader also; don't give up. I started leaving my washer open when I am not using it. I started doing that because I remembered that it is what laundromats do all the time: they leave the washers open to prevent odors and mold. You still have to do the draining thing, but try leaving it open to "air out." It really works! (02/21/2010)

By Pammy50

Front Load Washer Smells Terrible

I've always used plain, white vinegar to clean the "guts" of my washer (and my coffee pot!). The washer gets done about four times a year. Use almost a half gallon and pour it into the detergent spout and run the washer on the regular cycle. When it has completed the full cycle, run it again with plain water. The vinegar removes all the built up "yuckies" inside the "guts" of the machine. As for the coffee pot, I fill the pot with half vinegar and half water and run it through a regular brew cycle, sans filter. When done, run it through with plain water two or three times to remove any remaining vinegar odors. This cheap remedy works wonders! (02/26/2010)

By JoycieK

Front Load Washer Smells Terrible

I had the same problem over and over. It ended up being a sock stuck in the pump of front loading washer. Always wondered where those socks went? (03/04/2010)

By slufootsue

Front Load Washer Smells Terrible

We had the same problem when we first got ours. Like someone posted above, you must leave the door open between washings. The seal is so tight on the door it doesn't allow the washer to 'breathe.' (03/18/2010)

By jahummell

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