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Musty Smell in a Front Loading Washer

November 21, 2011

My high efficiency washer was serviced recently, and the tech gave me some tips to reduce the smell in my washer that I would like to share.

First, he suggested that I make sure that the drain pipe isn't resting on the bottom of the drain. It should make a gurgling sound when the washer drains. He attached the drain pipe to the water hose with a zip tie so that it will always be in the correct position. He said that if the drain pipe is resting on the bottom of the drain, the dirty water is sucked back into the washer.

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Second, he suggested that I run the washer once a month with the hottest water and a tablet of dishwasher detergent. At the same time, run a small capful of dishwasher gel in the gasket to get out the gunk trapped there. I have done this once and it has made a difference already.

Source: Sears repair technician

By Barbara from Nazareth, PA

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September 13, 2014

Some high efficiency washers have a bad smell inside. Rather than leave the door hanging open to air out (and risk hitting into it or a pet or child climbing inside and having it shut) I thought, for safety...

front load washer with bungee cord keeping it open

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Those of us with front load washing machines know how important it is to keep the inside of the machine dry between uses to avoid unpleasant smells. Leaving the door open is one way to do that, but many machines don't let you just leave it ajar to dry out

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September 9, 2009

My was over the top with smell. I was using an 'eco' cycle being the good human and trying to reduce our water usage. I had a buildup of muck at the bottom of the dishwasher so I would clean the filter etc. but to no avail, it still was stinky.

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September 13, 2011

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.

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15 Questions

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July 20, 2010

I have a LG Tromm front load washer. The clothes smell musty after washing. I have used Affresh to clean it several times. The clothes are briefly OK, then after a few days the musty odor comes back. We are on city water so I don't think its that. I was told not to use fabric softener any more and to use HE detergents. Still no improvement. Please help.

By mark from Tyngsboro, MA

Answers

July 24, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

We had that happen to us as well. We were told to take bleach and water and clean the seal (rubber part just inside the door inside and outside), then do a regular wash cycle (minus the clothes) and add bleach. Also, do not close the door all the way when you are not using the washing machine. We keep it open about an inch. This has helped us.
Good luck

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July 28, 20100 found this helpful
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Again I say switch to powdered HE Detergent and do not use liquid fabric softener. These are made with petroleum products and also contain animal fats. Use only a tablespoon of powder and put it right in the drawer where you were putting your liquid. You may have to search stores for powdered HE detergent, but it will last a long, long time. Worked for me.

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July 31, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have a Kenmore Elite HE 4T and just went through this too. My husband took off the bottom of the washer to expose the drain. The black drain hose that comes down from the tub leads into an approx. 4" white "lint" trap that connects to the pump and the gray drain hose. He took off the white trap and it was awful. There was debris and stagnet water-the smell was awful. Needless to say, we removed it and cleaned it and put it back in. Ran 2 cycles of white vinegar and bleach and checked the trap again-it ran clean. I guess what they neglect to tell you is to clean that trap periodically. That solved the problem.

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February 5, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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October 26, 2017

How do I get rid of a musky smell in a front loader washing machine?


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October 27, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Do you know how you got the musty smell? It's important to wipe down the the inside of the washer and allow to air out or mold/odor will start to occur.

You could clean the gasket with 50% bleach & 50% water or run the washing machine on hot setting with 1 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup of enzymatic dishwasher detergent, or a commercial washer cleaner.

Reference: www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Mold-Smell-in-Front-Loader...

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September 12, 2011

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?

Joan

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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

Answers

July 17, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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July 19, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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July 19, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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July 19, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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July 20, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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September 8, 2011

How do I get rid of the moldy/musty smell in my front load washer? It smells like wet towels that have been sitting in the damp basement of an abandoned house! Please help.

By Hunter

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Archives

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

July 20, 2010

There is a drain hose next to the filter (little trap door). Drain this line and clean the filter.

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February 19, 2010

How can I remove mouldy smell from my front loading washing machine, please?

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December 21, 2009

Does anyone know how to get the musty smell out of a front loading washing machine? I have tried cleaning the rubber seals, bleach, vinegar etc., and nothing is working.

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November 6, 2008

With my first front load washer, I continually had problems with the spin cycle not spinning the clothes properly.

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