Front Loading Washer Leaves Clothes Smelly – How To Prevent/Remove Odor









My front loading washer makes my clothes smelly after washing. I have adjusted the water level, the size of loads, and switched the detergent. I have tried hot water, cold water, and warm water. The clothes and the washer smells no matter what I try. What can I do to prevent and remove the smell?

Front Load Washing Machine Leaves Clothes Smelly

Front load HE (High Efficiency) washers have more mold issues than conventional top load washers. Mold can grow on certain parts of the washer such as the rubber gasket (around the door on a front loader), pump filter (located at the bottom of the washer) and the detergent dispensers. Mold growth in these areas are most common. How to clean pump filter to avoid mold growth

PREVENT MOLD: Always get into the habit of removing your clothing after the washer is finished. Always leave the washer door and detergent dispenser drawers open to allow to air dry. Wipe the detergent dispenser drawers, door seal gasket, and the inside of the washer drum after every wash. Use a cleaner every 3 months to fully clean and prevent odors in your washer.

General Methods To Kill Mold In Front Load Washers

Use Bleach To Remove Odor

1. Use a 1/4 cup of bleach in the bleach dispenser.
2. Use a 1/4 cup of bleach in the tub.
3. Start a wash load with hot water.
4. Set the wash load to full water level.
5. Turn the wash cycle to start.
6. Turn the washer off after it fills with water.
7. Leave the washer to soak overnight.
8. Complete the wash cycle the following day.





Bleach kills odor causing bacteria. Using bleach as shown should kill any odor in your washer. You may need to run the washer a few times with the bleach method to remove the odor.

Use White Vinegar To Remove Odor

You can also remove odors by running a couple empty loads through with 1 or 2 cups of white vinegar. Vinegar naturally removes bad smells. Add 1 or 2 cups into the washer drum and run an empty load with HOT water. Using white vinegar will not hurt the washer, pump, or hoses. Using white vinegar in your washing machine can prevent mold and musty smells from occurring.

Use Baking Soda To Remove Odor

Use 2 cups of plain baking soda to kill odor in your washer. Dump 2 cups into the drum of your washing machine. Run a hot water cycle empty and the baking soda will remove any types of odors you may have had. Try this method a few times to fully deororize your front load washer.

Use Washing Machine Cleaning Products To Remove Odor

Using washing machine cleaning products can also kill odor. These products remove and prevent odor-causing residue that can occur in all brands of HE washers. There is Tide washer cleaner, Affresh from Whirlpool, OxiClean washing machine cleaner, and Glisten washer magic cleaner. These products work by using sodium carbonate and or sodium percarbonate as the main cleaning ingredient. These cleaners work by removing and killing odor.

General Rules To Prevent Mold In Front Loading Washers

1. Leave the washing machine door open when not in use.
Leaving the door open will allow the moisture left over from the wash cycle to dry out. This drys out the water on the door, the water on the door seal, and moisture in the washer drum. This helps remove all moisture that can cause mold and bad smells.

2. Do not use an excessive amount of HE detergent.
HE washing machine detergent is highly concentrated. Using too much will allow detergent and water to get into certain areas of the washer as it can OVERSUD or create excessive soap bubbles. This water and detergent then sits in areas and mold and mildew can accumulate.

3. Open the detergent dispenser drawers when not in use.
Keeping the detergent dispenser drawers open will allow the moisture left over to dry out and prevent mold. This will remove all moisture that can cause mold and bad smells.





4. Do not leave clothes in washer after washing is complete.
Leaving the clothing in your washer after the wash cycle has finished will allow mold to grow. Remove clothing from the washer once it is complete.

Inspect These Parts If The Mold Smell Persists

If the smell persists, inspect and clean these areas (There may be mold present in these areas):
Rubber door gasket
Detergent dispenser drawers
Drain hose
Pump filter
Washer drum
Washer drain pump

Do you have tips to keep a front load washer mold free? Please leave your comment below to assist others.

Allen is an Appliance/Home Maintenance expert and the author/creator of this website.
Contact him here if you have questions.




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