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Remedy for Smelly Front Load Washer

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My front loading washer has the worst sour smell. I need some help. I bought the washer cleaner, but it did not phase the smell. I used Clorox bleach and used the hottest water and ran it through two loads, but that still did not fix it. I need help immediately, please.

By Betty from Hurricane, WV

Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Jean [2]08/17/2011

I have a front loading HE washing machine as well. The cause of the odor is using too much detergent! We are all used to using too much detergent because of the older style top loading machines. These use less water and need less detergent. The detergent companies love us for these old habits.

The solution is to get down and dirty and clean out the mold from the rubber gasket. It is smelly and gross but you need to get rid of it. It is behind the gasket, under the folds of rubber or silicone whatever. Get an old washcloth, dampen it with water and scrap it out using the washcloth as your scraper. Next, use white vinegar and go over it all again.

Next, run the washer through a regular cycle or quick cycle with a quart or so of white vinegar. Make a habit of leaving that door open when you are finished with a load. Above all, learn to use less detergent so the mold doesn't have anything to grow on. You should hate having to clean out that disgusting mold. It is dangerous to your health and the health of your family. The clothes will be clean with less and your pocketbook will love you for it as well with a savings in detergent. Best wishes to all.

By Marilyn J Ference [4]07/23/2011

Not only do I leave the door open as much as possible (hubby like to close it on me), but I 'pry' open the gasket that's around the door and stick a dusting rag in there to absorb whatever water is left. I've found that by doing both it might take a while to totally get rid of the smell but it does eventually work, and become a habit too. It doesn't cost anything so you might want to give it a try and see if it works for you. Good luck!

By KATHLEEN WESTBAY07/20/2011

You need to keep the door open when not in use. I've had front load washers for over 20 years and you can't close up all that moisture; it creates mold. Try the bleach again but this time keep the door open to air dry.

By Linda L. [33]07/20/2011

I have heard this before about front load machines. Contact the manufacturer.

By syntoniser [5]07/20/2011

If you are using liquid HE detergent switch to powdered HE. Search until you find some. And stop using liquid fabric softener also. That did it for me. A repairman said those liquids are petroleum based and leave residue on the plastic pipes. I had tried everything else ever mentioned, this was the answer that worked. Another thing he told me was to use much less detergent than the manufacturers suggest. I did that and my clothes still come out clean.

By Mary [2]07/19/2011

I was having the same problem with my Maytag Neptune front loading (stacker) washer. Now I simply leave the door ajar between washings, and no more smell. A simple solution, but it works! When the serviceman came for something, he agreed that this is a common problem and that this is the best remedy. You can adjust it so that the light does not come on.

By Bonnie [1]07/19/2011

I use some vineger in the fabric softener compartment instead of the actual liquid softener. When I dry the load I use a little liquid softener on a cloth. No smell in the washer so far.

By Jonnie Shambarger [2]07/19/2011

In addition to leaving the door open when the washer is not in use, take out the detergent drawer, empty the standing water in it and leave on top of the washer so that the cavity where it belongs has a chance to dry out. The odor comes from the standing water in your machine. It may take a couple of weeks to get all the residual smell out.

By OliveOyl07/17/2011

Google your brand and model of washer or check the mfgr's website. You may need to clean a filter or the detergent/bleach dispenser. Always leave the door open when the washer is not in use.

Solutions: Remedy for Smelly Front Load Washer

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Tip: Keeping Your Front Loading Washer Smelling Fresh

Remember to not close the washer door until it has completely aired out. I have a pretty dishcloth I hang over the door so it won't close and everyone knows that the washer is drying out. Closing the door on a wet washer is what gives you that musty odor. Should you have a musty smell, run your washer on a quick cycle with some baking soda and 1/4 cup bleach.

By Maile from Onalaska, WA

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