19 answers

How to Get the Mildew Smell Out of My Washing Machine

Hi Mamma's-

My frontloader washing machine really smells like mildew, and there is a little bit of mildew on the rubber lining. How do I the mold off and make my clothes smell good again. I've tried vinegar endlessly. I've tried scrubbing the rubber w/ a toobrush and have run just vinegar with hot water.

Thanks!

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Hi Everyone-

Thank you all so much for your incredible suggestions. This forum really is wonderful!! I ended up trying Affresh and it worked great! I was going to Lowes that day anyway so it really worked out. The package came with 3 disks and the directions said if you are having a problem to run 3 consecutive cycles, using a tablet each time. The first cycle I ran it still had the smell. THe second it had lessened and the third completely got rid of the odor!! I now am leaving the door open as well. I went out of town last week and a friend stayed here. When I came home I noticed the door was closed, which kinda bummed me out! When I opened it, there was no odor!!! Yaay! Thanks again all!!

Featured Answers

I get the same problem. I never let the door stay closed. I squeeze a wash cloth into the corner, by the hinge, to keep it from closing. Also, I spray Lysol (the aerosol kind) in it every time I finish a load. That keeps is clean. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I have front loaders too and I have a "cleaning" cycle that run about once a month with 1/2 bleach. Also, try to keep the door open to dry after you use it; airing it out will help reduce the mild loving environment.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Affresh is made specifically for this issue. Our washer smelled bad but this totally cleaned it and now I use it regularly (once a month). You can buy it at Home Depot and I've bought it at Gelson's too. Highly recommend it. www.affresh.com

1 mom found this helpful

Hello S.. My two "tried and true" laundry remedies are vinegar or ammonia. Since the vinegar isn't working, try an empty load with a little laundry detergent, and a full bleach tray of ammonia. If that doesn't work, I have no idea :( I bought one of those machines a year ago and haven't had that problem, and am NOT looking forward to it, so you'll have to let us know what works :)

1 mom found this helpful

I haven't read other responces-but, this is what works for me----Sears sells a washing machine cleaner. Run it through the machine. AND never shut the door to the machine or the detergent slot unless you are running a load. Always leave them open. Those 2 things should solve your problem (I had the same thing happen to me)

A couple other things can help-empty the washing machine as soon as possible, and I run a load of towels w/ Pinesol every so often. I have no idea if it is HE, but, I don't do it often. I have had to periodically do the washing machine wash, maybe 2-3 times a year. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I have front loaders too and I have a "cleaning" cycle that run about once a month with 1/2 bleach. Also, try to keep the door open to dry after you use it; airing it out will help reduce the mild loving environment.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Run a normal hot cycle in the washing machine (without clothes) and put bleach in the dispenser instead of soap. Some newer machines have a cleaning/sanitizing cycle on them. Use a toothbrush and bleach or a household cleaner with bleach in it to get rid of the mildew on the rubber gasket. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I get the same problem. I never let the door stay closed. I squeeze a wash cloth into the corner, by the hinge, to keep it from closing. Also, I spray Lysol (the aerosol kind) in it every time I finish a load. That keeps is clean. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S. - I have the exact same problem with my front loader washing maching and it has been driving me crazy. I have tried to clean it several times. I was thinking it must be a huge design flaw. Please let me know if anyone has any good advice for you. I would love to hear.

Best,

L. Cabanes
____@____.com

1 mom found this helpful

If your washing machine is like mine you should also have a small panell to the bottom left of the machine near the floor, which contain a small capped tube that needs to be pulled our and drained periodically. Water from the rubber rings seemes to drain off there. I have frequently had this problem especally after I have washes rugs, and like you I tried vinager and baking soda to clean away the mildew and abait the smell. You will notice the difference, also leave the door on the machine open after a wash

1 mom found this helpful

Hey S.,
I have had a front loader for several years now, and I love it. I researched it before I bought it, and learned that if I left the door open so that it could dry out it wouldn't happen. It's never happened to mine. Use bleach on a cloth to wipe off the mold and mildew, then run it a cycle with bleach, and leave the door open overnight to let it dry out. Also leave the small door that holds the soap, etc. open over night. These machines are much easier on clothes than the others, but they do apparently have this problem, which is easily solved if you leave the door open overnight as I said. Take care,
V.

1 mom found this helpful

Try running a 1/2 cup of dishwasher soap through it without any clothes. A repair man told me it helps clean out the inside and cleans all the rubber parts really well.

1 mom found this helpful

I use a cleaner that is specific for cleaning your front loading washing machine. It's called Affresh. If you can't locate it at your local Walmart or Target (which I usually can't find it there). They seem to always have it at Home Depot and Lowe's, it's either in the washing machine department or in the isle where the cleaners are. Sears might have it too. It works great. I've even gone as far as putting tilex on the rubber thing around the door and it got rid of the smell (did that first then the affresh thing). I've also found to prevent the smell from coming back, is that your supposed to wipe the door and the rubber gasket thing after each use, I do it when I'm done with laundry for the day and don't leave any clothes sitting in the machine that's when it tends to really smell. I'm lucky my machine is in our garage so I can leave the door open over night to let it dry out and then it seems to be fine. But your supposed to do the tub cleaning cycle at least once a month, you use the affresh thing while doing the tub cleaning cycle. Hope that helps.

1 mom found this helpful

Finally go the smell out of mine. My towels would always smell the worst. I started to use the extra rinse cycle with the towels and get them out immediately after there were done and use the cleaning cycle w/ bleach one a month. Also, I think just leaving the door open is a big help. Hope you are using HE soap. Will really do damage to your machine if you don't. Oh I also used the extra rinse with the clothes for a while till the smell was out of the washer.

Good Luck:)
A.

1 mom found this helpful

I just got mine 2 months ago. The delivery guy said to "leave the door open/cracked" the older ones did not have a front drain?? he also said if you wipe out the inside when you are done with a load (around the door, under the rubber rim) it helps. Also, I would NOT recommend using any detergent that is not HE. The guy told me (because I just purchased a huge box of regular detergent) that even using a little bit eventually the washer will be as good a an oversized paper weight. The soaps collect together and does not leave the drain/machine as they should.the whole process of how the soap is made is different somehow. that is what he said. (he was only here to set it up, did not make a penny off telling me this) He also said to run bleach through it on a regular cycle if it is that bad. My mom always does her whites first, then her colors. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Lots of bleach works great on my front loader with Hot water. Then I run 2 more cycles to make sure all the bleach is gone. And always leave the door open if can. Helps it dry out inside.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,
Lots of good advice here. My husband was helping me one day, and he pushed the rubber seal around on our front loader and found 2 ankle socks that were stuck under the seal and reaked of mold and old detergent. We tossed them and cleaned thoroughly, and started leaving the door ajar...that seems to help. Other that that, I love my front loader.
Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,

Basic-G from Shaklee is your answer. It's a germicide that works awesome on mildew and odors. The great thing is that it is completely safe and super concentrated so it will last forever and save you money. It's great to use in the kitchen, bathroom, kid or pet areas, or wherever you may have bacteria or fungi. It kills over 40 pathogens and it's great for prevention of spreading germs when someone is sick in the household. Let me know if you want more info. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.
We bought our front loader July 08. A couple months later we started getting 'the smell'. We tried everything and I mean EVERYTHING and nothing worked. We have found and have been using our 'miracle' laundry odor eliminator and have not had a problem since!! I will use it for as long as we have this washer. It's called: Febreze Laundry Odor Eliminator. It is by Febreze. The only place we have been able to find it is WalMart and it's about 8-10$ per bottle but they last for awhile. You don't have to use alot. It's been wonderful. Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

Mildew in frontload washing machines is a very common problem. Apparently it's an engineering design flaw and I wish I knew about it before I bought the machine. Here's a website and blog that discusses the problem and solutions. I found it useful.

http://housewares.about.com/b/2007/10/08/reader-mold-issu...

BTW - I heard that using bleach too often is not good for the pipes. They sell other products that are especially designed for machine washer mildew that you should try first. Also, I leave the door and the soap dispenser open after every wash now to let it air out.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,
My new front loader has instructions to run an empty load with bleach once a month.
I was also told to keep the door open slightly...if you close the door it's an air tight seal and it wont dry out. After doing that I would suggest using diluted bleach on the rubber to see if that gets the smell out.
If that didn't work, I would probably have the rubber replaced.
Best of luck,
Linda.
P.S. We used to have a chinchilla....so much fun to watch when they take their dust bath!

1 mom found this helpful

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