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Rotten Egg Smell in a Front Loading Washer

Category Appliances
View from inside of a front load washing machine of a man holding his nose.
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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By 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

Answer Was this helpful? 2
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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March 19, 20141 found this helpful

My brand new front loader LG started smelling soon after purchase. I stopped using the HD powder in the dispenser. I now use Oxy (liquid and powder) directly in the tub. The clothes are cleaner and smell good and no more odors. Evidently, something is wrong in the detergent line and maybe with the HD cleaners. Plus, it is cheaper to buy Oxy.

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April 6, 20141 found this helpful

We had an eggy smell coming from the machine, but only immediately after the main wash part of the cycle. Now we tried bleach, disinfectant and other chemical cures but found they only masked the smell.

Now this model is only 12 months old, and yes, I have the extended warranty, but after reading the reviews of lg's help lines I decided to open up the machine after reading that some machines have a small sump at the bottom of the drum where crap can sit and stagnate. Alas this model only has the 3 inch diameter 11 inch long rubber hose from the drum to the coin trap.

Our model is the 12 kg direct drive motor model which fills from jets mounted just above the door, one on the left and one on the right and I noticed that the jet on the right wasn't filling so from inside the drum I had a look and found a piece of sticky tape in the jet.

I removed the pipe that fed the jet and found a thick clump of lint that smelt exactly the same as the original odour. After refitting everything I ran the machine and found out the left jet was for filling the drum and the right jet was for circulating the water whilst the drum was turning.

And success! No more smell, so from now on we will be watching out for that jet when it shows signs of blocking. It is possible to pull out any future blockage with tweezers. Its just I noticed the blockage while the machine was in bits. I can only assume where the water couldn't circulate it became stagnant.

Hope this helps. I only wish I could have described it much clearer.

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January 7, 20110 found this helpful

I had that problem. Serviceman told me to cut back on the softener and to run a full wash with vinegar, no clothes.

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January 8, 20110 found this helpful

We add vinegar to the wash. Doesn't harm the clothes.

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January 10, 20110 found this helpful

Put 2 cups of C.L.R. In washer and set washer on hot water and for the longest time possible, let it go through entire cycle. This will also clean out the drain holes in washer tub. Then let it go through another cycle. This should do the trick, if it still has a lingering odor which it shouldn't repeat it again. This C.L.R. Is wonderful stuff and removes hard water like a champ.

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January 11, 20110 found this helpful

Actually it's the gasket from the door, the water gets in there, keeps it moist and mold sets in. That's where the smell comes from. All front loading machines have this problem. Use Bleach in a warm water wash. I would do this frequently, at least on a monthly basis.

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January 11, 20110 found this helpful

Use white vinegar in the fabric softner recepticle instead of fabric softener and when the wash load is finished remove the dispenser drawer and leave the door of the washer open until it has a chance to dry out. I also take an old towel and wipe the door gasket (also under it). This eliminates the damp surface on which mold can grow-hense the smell.

I have used this method on my 2 year old machine with each use and have never had a problem with smell/mold.

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January 11, 20110 found this helpful

I use vinegar to rinse my clothes and leave the door slightly ajar after the last load. Between these two things there is no odor anymore.

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February 5, 20110 found this helpful

Clean the filter! We tried everything! The only strategy that worked temporarily was adding a little Borax to every load. Then, finally, the machine stopped draining. We read online how to unscrew the front panel and clean out the filter. This not only is going to save the drainage pump, but it got rid of the smell. The interior filter (that is not easy to get to, but a do-it-yourself possible project), was clogged with sewage smelling water and lint. This may not be what's causing the terrible smells in your machine, but it fixed ours! I'm still going to add Borax to every couple of loads of laundry. Hope this helps anyone. The smell was so awful and now it's gone! We're going to clean the filter every few months, hopefully extending the life of the machine as well as keeping the terrible smell far, far away!

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February 20, 20110 found this helpful

Replace the big gasket in front. All the bleach and cleaner in world won't fix. There's a class action lawsuit against LG in progress. Replacing gasket costs about 200 unless you do it yourself.

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May 23, 20120 found this helpful

I've had a moldy mildew smell I have been fighting for a few months in my Samsung Front Load washer, and nothing and I mean nothing has helped! I have scoured the internet trying every tip imaginable & wasted so much money in electrical energy costs trying to eliminate the problem, to no avail. But in a desperate attempt to diffuse the problem for good (before I threw in the towel and trashed the nasty appliance), I got to thinking.

We have a pool sitting in our yard with plenty of pool supplies, so I grabbed one of the many hth dual action chlorinating tablets (the #2) that you put in a floater to keep your pool water sanitized and decided to try a chunk of one.

You shouldn't allow it to come in contact with your skin, so before I unwrapped it, I threw it onto concrete so that it would break into pieces and I took the largest chunk I could find, threw it directly into the tub of my washer with an old towel to help it stay put while "washing", then set the washer to sanitize (which takes about two hours and runs with the hottest water temps possible), and let it rip.

I then ran another cycle on normal wash cold water to rinse out the bleachy contaminants, and every load thereafter smells so fresh, just like the day I had the appliance installed! I was beyond happy! Goodbye mildew! Yes, its that easy after all. Now why didn't the manufacturers think of that?

Note: If you should be one to try this at home, Please do not touch the bleach tablet, and allow the sanitize cycle to run completely before opening the washer door, or the CI bleach fumes will get you! Hot water can release some of the chlorine in the bleach as a gas. They do go away once you run a rinse cycle.

It's truly amazing what a little sanitize tablet meant for a pool can do. Please post back with your results! You can thank me later. 

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February 12, 20130 found this helpful

I have a Frigidaire Affinity front loader about 5 years old. I started getting the septic smell after about 2 years. I thought it was something to do with the plumbing but found out today that is not the problem. The washer quit spinning so I went online and found out how to fix it. My sons took the machine apart (very easy - all front access) and there is a sump that is attached to the pump. It is like a large balloon thing that takes any stuff that has made it that far (lint, coins, screws, etc) and keeps it from getting into the pump.

The minute they took it off the house filled with the septic smell. The stuff in it was like black slime and stunk to high heaven. Also the filter for the pump was clogged with lint which also stunk. I don't what idiot decided the filter should be inside the machine but it is. They cleaned everything up, my machine is running again and the smell is gone.

As far as a mildew smell you will get that because it is a front loader. I found a really good solution but you have to be very careful when doing it. Put 1 cup of bleach right in the drum of the machine and put it on the sanitize cycle. When the machine has stopped filling and is starting to agitate add 1 cup vinegar. Put the vinegar in the detergent dispenser.

DON'T ADD the bleach and vinegar at the same time. It will produce a gas that is lethal. Once the bleach is diluted with water it is safe to add the vinegar. Let the cycle run and when it is finished the smell will be gone, as well as any build up and stain on the seal and outer side of the drum.

I have always had a problem with the clothes not rinsing well enough. I use less than the recommended amount of soap and still have to double rinse, sometimes a third time. I found if I do this bleach/vinegar thing about once a month the sudsing issued isn't as bad. I hope this helps.

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June 23, 20130 found this helpful

I've tried cleaning the drum with vinegar and all kinds of other things. The only way I got away from the sour smell was to go back to soap powder instead of liquid. I double rinse most things, especially towels, or after they are dry and you use them, they smell awful. I love front loaders to save on water and detergent, but it took me several years to figure out why I was getting the sour smell. Vinegar helps, but it wasn't gone until I switched to powder.

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October 4, 20130 found this helpful

We tried everything to "clean" our front loader because it smelled terrible. Even the clothes had started to smell! It wasn't until it stopped draining properly and we called in a professional did we figure out where the nasty smell was coming from. There was a softball sized ball of disgusting moldy lint in the drain. Sorry don't know the technical term of exactly where it was. Once that was removed and I ran a few bleach loads the smell is gone. This will be my last front loader! Also this repair person pointed out a bubble the size of a golf ball in one of my hoses. If it had blown we would have had a huge flood. Check your hoses people, or better yet shut off the water supply when you are done for the day.

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November 27, 20130 found this helpful

Also, rather than closing your washer while its not in use, just keep it open. That way your washer is constantly air drying. The bits of water in the washer gets trapped and gets moldy.

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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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April 2, 20170 found this helpful

There should be a small door at the bottom of the washing machine. Inside it is a pump filter that comes out. We had the rooter egg smell, and after pulling out the pump filter, it was full of sludge and had that smell. Going to start cleaning it regularly.

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July 10, 20170 found this helpful

It as nearly impossible to find experienced people about this topic, but you sound like you know what you are talking about! Thanks

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

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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June 6, 20170 found this helpful

I'd like to tell you that all the flushing and cleaning of the inlet and outlet hoses and draining maintenance all worked. Now I am getting intermittant clean clothing. Sometimes my cloths smell and go not get cleaned. Well the machine is clean and working great. I have discovered it is the water pressure that is too low if I have any faucets, garden hose or dishwasher and even someone in the shower. UREKA! Cant run anything but the washing machine when washing cloths. Duh didnt need a rocket scientist!

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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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