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how to get rid of mildew smell from front-loading washing machine

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  • Oct 11th, 2018 2:48 pm
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Dec 6, 2006
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Toronto
plyers wrote: Ok - clean with a fresh tabs then never use liquid detergent again. Buy powder only. This makes a huge difference!!! Just make sure powder is HE. After switching to powder it might take a little bit for the smell to go away. I dont know why liquid is so popular - we always had powder growing up.
How does using powder detergent help with smell or preventing mold & mildew?
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Nov 11, 2011
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ROCKWOOD
As other posters have said, it may be the gasket in the front.
I am in a renting while I wait to move into my new house and I am at the mercy of the front load washer that was here.
I found a sock tucked into the gasket, I guess it wiggled its way in there, which led me to kind of unrolling the gasket and I almost threw up. It was just full of gunky goo that stunk like crazy.
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Dec 25, 2007
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GTA
My washer has a specific clean setting, which uses bleach and steam.
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Dec 27, 2009
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hierophant wrote: I'm assuming you drain and clean the drain pump? How about the rest of you?
I have never done this (would have to google to even know how). My machine doesn't smell. We leave the door open until it has had time to dry out after use.
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Dec 6, 2006
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hierophant wrote: Yeah I think that's better than leaving it ajar. I'm assuming you drain and clean the drain pump? How about the rest of you? I wonder how many people know they're supposed to do that (assuming people are like me and don't bother to read the manual).
Yeah I think most people don't read the manual. I only cleaned the drain/filter twice in 4 years since we got the new washer. Definitely no where near the recommended schedule. HOWEVER the first time I cleaned it, found one of little kid (1 y/o) sock stuck in there somehow. Then the 2nd cleaning nothing weird happened so I hadn't cleaned since lol.
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Apr 12, 2008
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DaveTheDude wrote: Going forward consider using pods in the drum directly rather then liquid detergent in the tray.
Curiously asking, but are using pods much better?
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Mar 3, 2018
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fancypantsfloyd wrote: Curiously asking, but are using pods much better?
I find that you don’t use too much soap using pods directly in the drum. As well you don’t have to clean out the soap tray. Both a cause of mildew smell along with not leaving the door open for 24 hrs. You can buy Costco brand pods cheaper and in larger quantity.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2010
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I think liquid detergent is fine as long as you do regular maintenance (clean the gasket, soap dispenser, clean the tub, leave door open and drain the pump). All my efforts were undermined because the drain pump had never cleaned by me or the previous owners, which wreaked and the smell was coming up through the drum.

I would say the smell is pretty much gone - after 2 more tub cleans with bleach or borax it should totally be gone. I will be sure to drain the pump and clean tub on a monthly basis from hereon in. I make my own detergent, but I may opt to make a powdered form instead...it's less work too.
Zamboni wrote: There's Youtube vids for most front loaders, have a look. On Whirlpool I did the whole front panel was removed holding the door, its a 2 beer job. Lot of similar screws to keep track of, take pics as you take things apart & stick screws back into holes as parts are removed to keep track as many are different lengths.
Can you work a damp rag up under the gasket seal with your fingers from the back (drum side)....might give you an idea whats going on.

I did this - fortunately mine wasn't as bad as this lady's...though it was hard to squeeze in between. Thanks :)
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Jun 23, 2014
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cartfan123 wrote: Throw it out. Get a top loader. Problem solved.
Do top loaders not have this issue?
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Jun 23, 2014
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mrweather wrote: We’ve been using front load washing machines for almost 20 years. We always leave the door wide open after the loads are done. Never had a smell issue.
My wife doesn't always leave the washing machine door wide open, but when she does I bash my knee on it on my way to bed.
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Jan 5, 2003
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Sievert wrote: Do top loaders not have this issue?
Top loader lids don't have to be water/air tight at the top, so there's enough air flow even when the lid is closed so that mold doesn't develop inside the drum. When front loaders first came out, people closed the door after doing the laundry, same as they've done with top loaders, but this created a constantly moist area for mold to develop, since the drum couldn't air dry.
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Jun 23, 2014
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jm1 wrote: Top loader lids don't have to be water/air tight at the top, so there's enough air flow even when the lid is closed so that mold doesn't develop inside the drum. When front loaders first came out, people closed the door after doing the laundry, same as they've done with top loaders, but this created a constantly moist area for mold to develop, since the drum couldn't air dry.
This makes sense.
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Jan 19, 2008
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Etobicoke
Front loaders are great, just leave the door open when not in use, never had an issue. I have a problem with pods. I tried the Kirkland and Tide. They both would not fully dissolve, and would leave a "gummy" clear residue after the wash. tried 20-30 before I gave up and went back to liquid detergent. Persil or tide
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Feb 9, 2006
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Brampton
Also leave the dispenser lid/drawer open too as that should also dry completely.
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Jun 12, 2008
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Ancaster
As others have said, prop the door partly open. Mine just have a small block of packing Styrofoam in the door to keep it open a couple of inches.....yo don't need it wide open to air it out.

A product I've found useful is Affresh. Run a cycle on hot with the Affresh pod in the machine and it'll leave it fresh smelling. I use one a year.

https://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/affresh-wa ... 0001833878
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Dec 4, 2009
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Had this problem too despite leaving the door fully ajar between loads (LG machine also). People here suggested using less detergent, like a tablespoon or 2, no more. It seems to have solved the problem and the clothes still come out clean.
"I'm a bit upset. I've been grab by the back without any alert and lubrification"
Lucky
Penalty Box
Jun 24, 2015
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I too always leave the doors open after doing a load in the wash to dry out the water so it does not smell stinky. I also clean the filter every 1 to 2 months because I read the owners manual and that is what it suggested I do so I do that. you would not believe how many people do not clean that filter and have never opened an owners manual in their life for any of their appliances
Hi

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