How to Clean the Front Load Washing Machine?

Updated on January 14, 2013
M.B. asks from Sparks, NV
8 answers

I have my front load washer for a while now and I totally love it. But once for a while, I found some residues in the washer after few washes which I don't really know how to get ripe of it. I tried the Tide washing machine cleaner, Clorox with hot water and Baking Soda with hot water... but it doesn't seem to be working at all. Please help me or I just have to pull the whole thing out and clean it by hand which I don't really want to do...

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answers from Philadelphia on

Persistent or returning odor is a sure sign of remaining residue in your washing machine. You need to clean the "splash area" just above the normal waterline. This area invariably has the worst buildup from suds and soiled water splashing up and not getting rinsed out. To clean the odor-causing residue from the splash area simply add a cap of Smelly Washer Cleaner to a full load of laundry. The added bulk of the laundry will raise the water level to include the splash area. To compare washer cleaners watch this news story on youtube.

Smelly Washer, the original creator of washing machine deodorizer, is the only washer cleaner you're able to use with laundry.



answers from Los Angeles on

I also leave my door open after I wash clothing to help it dry out! With my mom's front loader it got really stinky and we tried Affresh and I think that it only made it worse (maybe it loosened it but didn't get rid of it) and they're a pretty penny to buy at Home Depot (I think 3 tablets for like $6-8?)

I read online and finally found Smelly Washer ( ) It comes in a bottle and is less (per cleaning cycle) and seems to work better. Has great reviews online as well!

Good luck cleaning it out and remember to leave the door open (at least until it drys out after washing, then I close it later that day or the next morning when I go by!)



answers from Raleigh on

We use affresh front load washer cleaning tablets and they work great. You can get them at home depot. I also use bleach water and wipe down the door and rubber seal and lip as this does accumalate debris that the tablets can't reach to clean. Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

is it not draining? try wiping out the seal. I have found little things in the drain hiles on the seal. a barbie shoe, a wood chunk eg.



answers from Boston on

I just leave the door open between washes so the drum can dry out. I have never cleaned it yet although it came with some kind of packet of "washing machine cleaner". Or just run a load of old towels with something like Oxyclean. But letting it dry out between washes seems to work with my hard water. I agree with the other poster: detergent companies want to sell you more detergent, so I use about half the recommended amount, per the instructions from the place that sold us our washer.



answers from Los Angeles on

You could be using too much laundry detergent, front loaders require less. We don't get any residue in our machine. We use one small scoop of powder, it cleans the clothes well and the box lasts for so long- saving us money too! Trader Joe's brand is fantastic.


answers from San Diego on

Use 1 cup of distilled vinegar in the detergent compartment, with an empty washer, once a month. And after each load, wipe the front window and the rubber gasket areas dry with a sponge. These two steps should prevent continued residue buildup and clean what is already there.



answers from Salt Lake City on

I heard once that we put way too much detergent in our laundry machines. Try running an empty load, and add a cup of white vinegar to it. I love vinegar. I'll add a quarter cup to my laundry if it stinks from campfire smoke. Try vinegar in an empty cycle. For some reason vinegar helps a ton with stuff like this. I'll also run my dishwasher with a cup or two of vinegar in the bottom (about every six months) and I love how fresh and clean it is when it's done.

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