Musty Smell In Front Load Washer

My 2008 LD front loading washer and the cloths washed in the machine smell very bad, like mold. We also have several pets and I am unable to get to where the dog and cat hair lodge in the washer.


I paid a lot of money for what I thought would be my last purchase of a new washer and dryer as most of my previous appliances over the last 40 years have served me well. I also have a Master Protection Plan that we purchased at the same time as the purchase of the washer and dryer.

I had nothing but trouble with a washer that didn't work most of the time until Sears finally declared the washer unfixable and let me pick out another replacement washer. This one smells terrible. Even with the Master Protection Plan I could not get anyone out to assist me and was told to periodically throw in a cup of bleach and run a cycle. That didn't work.

After spending a thousand bucks on a washer that I hate and being a good constant customer for more than 40 years, I was finally able to get a tech out to look at smell my washer. He said this was a problem with all the front loaders. He then laid a bath towel across the front of the washer to keep the door slightly open. That was his solution! How and where do I go to find some resolution regarding this matter?



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September 12, 20110 found this helpful

How about running vinegar through a cycle? Tide also makes a product the "cleans" your washer.
Best of luck.

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September 14, 20110 found this helpful

Make sure that you leave the door on your washer open in between washings.

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September 14, 20110 found this helpful

Well, he's right, except you don't need the towel. I'm guessing you have been leaving your washer closed when it's not in use, right? A certain amount of water remains in front loaders and it mildews when you close up the washer, and especially in the heat of the summer.


Right after you run a load, leave the door wide open. Come back a couple of hours later and push it almost shut. Honestly, the only time I ever close mine completely, other than when a load is running, is if visitors are coming and I want my laundry room to look really nice. You must leave it open or it will mold.

Also, pull back the bottom edge of the rubber gasket to make sure nothing little like a sock has sneaked into that area. That could create a bad smell, but I'm 99% sure leaving the door open will solve it for you.

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September 14, 20110 found this helpful

I know exactly how you feel. I bought a Maytag Neptune and spent a thousand dollars on it 10 years ago. I had the same problem and followed all the instructions given to me by the appliance serviceman.


I saw an ad on TV for a Tide product which is made just for the purpose of getting rid of the mildew smell and to my surprise it worked. You may want to try it. It is simply called Tide Washing Machine Cleaner. Good Luck!

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September 15, 20110 found this helpful

I have posted a feedback before, but let me do a repeat. DO NOT use too much detergent. A tablespoon of liquid detergent is all that is needed. I often add vinegar to towels. I drain the washing machine about every 6 weeks and do a long wash with a lot of vinegar added.

Oh, leave the door open after a wash.

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September 15, 20110 found this helpful

I "had" a front loader Whirlpool Duet. It never worked correctly. It would hang up in a cycle and beep and flash at me. The electrical panel was a joke.


But, the musty and mildew odor was a big issue too. I was told by the dealer to leave the door all the way open at all times letting the rubbery liner near the door to dry out and not mold. My space is limited in my laundry room, and it made the "elephant in the room" a lot bigger. I finally got rid of the "elephant". I have seen advertisements for a new deodorizing product to rinse your front loading washers to keep them smelling fresh. What a joke?

I finally got a new washer. It is a Speed Queen (plain Jane with no bells and whistles or buzzers). It has a good old agitator and it gets my laundry clean and fresh smelling. It does use more water than the front loaders, but it gets my laundry clean and smelling fresh. That's all that matters to me:) SusanB

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September 16, 20110 found this helpful

I noticed that my front load washer has a mildew smell also, but it stops at the door. The inside is fine and the clothes washed are fine, but the problem is the gasket. I keep meaning to clean it, because I can see that that is the problem and I'd bet it's yours, too.


The under-flap of the door gasket needs to be wiped. There is lint and hair that collects there. I have heard many complaints about this on front loaders. I'm going to try vinegar, or maybe lemon. I would avoid bleach. You have to actually wipe the stuff off. (Rubber gloves or vinyl disposables are great!)Hope this helps!

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September 27, 20110 found this helpful

I clean houses and almost all of my clients have a front loading washing machine as well as my brother. My brother and his gf never dried their washer or the gasket or left the door open so the whole entire washer smells like mold and all the clothes get washed and come out smelling moldy even after being dried. They don't care but that's another story:) Not one of my clients (14) are happy with their front loaders.

After each load, you need a towel handy to dry the inside and completely dry the rubber gasket rim thing where the door seals as well as the door. Then the door has to be left open to avoid mold issues and the moldy smell. Then you have to have a place to hang your towel so that you can use it again unless you want to use a clean one every time and then there's a whole load of towels for you to wash:)

This is what you need to do. Wash the inside with soap and water. Pull the seal out and clean all the mold and dog hair out of there. You may have to use a little clorox cleanup on the mold. Clean the door and leave it open from now on unless it is in use. Wait a couple hours and come back and smell it. If you still have an odor you can buy the washing machine cleaner packet. It works great. Always always always dry the inside when you are finished and leave the door open.

Not everyone has a huge laundry room and in most cases this is a royal pain, but it is the only way. Not one of my customers likes their front loaders. I don't care how much water it saves. I would never purchase something that requires so much upkeep. Good luck!

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December 7, 20150 found this helpful

Switch to powdered HE detergent. All the liquids are petroleum based and stick to the plastic hoses and gaskets and other parts. Hint given to me by a repairman. Worked for me. Use only a tablespoon for an average load. Don't use liquid fabric softener either. Eventually same stink.

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