Front loading washers in particular can develop a musty odor. This is a page about how to remove and prevent musty smells in your front loading washing machine
This is a page about rotten egg smell in a front load washer. 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.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
How do I get rid of the odor coming from inside the front load washing machine?
By Doyle from Eugene, OR
Add 1/2-1 cup of white vinegar along with your wash load. Vinegar is a great deodorizer. Repeat if necessary. (07/06/2010)
Just soak a washrag in vinegar and let it run a cycle. It should help. :) (07/06/2010)
Use powdered HE detergent, not liquid. After weeks of bleach, vinegar, Affresh, etc., etc. a repairman explained to me that some of these machines have a certain kind of plastic outer tub and drain system. The liquid detergent and liquid fabric softeners are petroleum based products, thus the musty smell. Once I switched to powdered detergent the smell went away. I do not use liquid fabric softener any more either. I had the same problem with our brand new walk-in shower.
Every once in a while, my mother used to run a cycle with vinegar only and she said that kept it clean as it removes soap. However, I would do a cycle with baking soda, this is my multi-purpose item for cleaning and removing smells, whether in the sink, toilet, refrigerator, or washer. I regularly use it instead of bleach for my whites and they are so white. I use it so much that I buy the big bag from BJs. (07/12/2010)
I had this problem, then I learned to leave the door open a bit or all the way open and it worked to keep the mildew smell away. (09/09/2010)
I have a Maytag front loader washing machine. It really stinks inside like mildew. How can I get rid of the smell? No one told me it would smell after using it. I've tried bleach, baking soda, vinegar.
By pansy from Columbia Falls, MT
Always leave the door open after you have washed a load of clothes. Do not close it when you are not washing. The seal is so tight that air cannot get in to dry it out, so you must leave the door open when it is not in use. We had the same problem when we first got ours. This simple thing solved the problem. (04/28/2010)
I use a product called "Affresh" made to remove odor-causing residue in HE washers. My Maytag has a "clean washer" cycle that is designed for this. When you finish your washing for the day, it is very important to dry out the rubber part of the frame, especially the depressed lip area, remove the dispenser to air dry and keep the washer door ajar to ensure all moist areas can dry and prevent mold growth. (05/01/2010)
How do you get the smell out of an older Maytag front loader washing machine?
By Bramma5 from Bend, OR
I have never had this problem but have you tried to clean your washer with baking soda? One good thing about baking soda, it can't hurt it so, try it and see if it helps. Hope this helps. (01/14/2010)
I have a front loading washer. Have you cleaned out the drain that is behind the front panel? If not, try that. Also, we were recommended by the maker of our washer to use Clorox wipes between washes and to run a "cleaning" cycle with bleach, too. Hope this helps. Check your owner's manual for additional tips. (01/15/2010)
Always use a little Clorox with your loads. I add a teaspoon to the colored load. It will not affect the colors. I took the chance when I decided to purchase a front loader. Also, leave the door open after you are finished washing. Right now, what you need to do is pour a cup of Clorox, even the scented kind, directly into the washer, put the washer on the longest cycle and let it run until finished. (01/15/2010)
Do not use liquid detergent or liquid fabric softener. Forget bleach, Affresh, removing panels, etc. If you use powdered HE the smell will go away, I speak from experience. (01/18/2010)
Is it a Neptune? If so, a few years ago there was a recall on them, and Maytag replaced the part that held water that caused the smell. It made a difference on our Neptune. You may want to contact Maytag. (01/18/2010)
You have to leave the door open all the time the washer isn't in use, because, unlike a top loader, the seal is air-tight and the bacteria start to grow in the dark and damp interior of the machine immediately when the washer stops. Run an empty, hot water cycle with washing soda, or distilled vinegar, or bleach, then leave the door open. (01/18/2010)
My Kenmore front loader has a "cleaning cycle". You run it with hot water and some bleach. I don't like using extra water and electricity to run the machine without cleaning anything. But I've kept the smell away for 3 months by keeping everything very dry.
When you finish the last load of laundry for the day, use a piece of terry towel to soak up any water that collects around the seal. Also dry standing water in the detergent dispenser. Then leave the door and the dispenser open so they'll dry out quickly. (01/19/2010)
By Louise Sacco
I have a Bosch front load washer that smells terrible. A friend researched this and claims that it is from the "fish oils" in the liquid detergent. Has anyone ever heard of this?
I made a large batch of liquid laundry detergent. I have a front loading washing machine (which I love). My problem is when I go to remove the clothes, if it isn't the second it stops, they begin to get a foul odor.