How to Remove Mold and Mildew from Front-Load Washing Machines

How could a machine that’s so wonderful, suddenly turn so horribly smelly?

I have actually had my front-loading cleaning device for about 4 years, and it has some excellent benefits– it’s quiet, quickly, puts less water and cleaning agent, and gently topples (instead of tugging) my clothing. In general, I’ve been so delighted with it that I was shocked one day when I opened the door and was almost knocked subconscious by a fetid blast of moldy-smelling air!

How could a device that’s so terrific, suddenly turn so badly smelly?

The response remains in the method the machine is created. Front-loading cleaning machines have actually watertight, airtight doors that seal with a rubber gasket. That rubber seal traps wetness in the machine and also offers the ideal nooks and crannies for mold and mildew to grow.

Top-loading washing machines, on the other hand, have a rather loose fitting metal door that easily allows the tank to dry between loads.

The issue isn’t really assisted by our laundry preferences. High sudsing cleaning agents and liquid fabric softeners leave residues and films that invite mold growth. Cold-water cycles and mild, environmentally friendly detergents don’t fairly blast away residues like their environmentally-unfriendly counterparts.

So, to keep mold at bay, front-load washers require just a bit more upkeep than top-loading devices.

How to Get Rid of Mold and Smells in Top-Load Washers

If you’ve got a stinky front-load washing device, here’s how to get it smelling fresh once more:

  • Clean Gasket: Use a rag or towel to clean up the rubber door gasket on a front-loading washer with either hot soapy water or a spritz of mildew cleaner. Make sure to clean beneath and around it also. Be prepared for some slime and gunk, and possibly a roaming sock or more!
  • Clean Dispensers: Remove the detergent dispensers and give them a great scrubbing. If they do not come out, clean them as best you can, using a bottle or pipeline cleaner to reach back into the crevices.
  • Run Cleaning Cycle: Next, run an empty wash cycle on the longest, most popular water setting (or a tub-cleaning cycle, if you have it). Include one of the following directly to the wash tub:
    • 1 cup of bleach.
    • 1 cup of baking soda.
    • 1/2 cup of powdered enzymatic dishwasher detergent (such as Cascade Complete).
  • A commercial residue-busting washer cleaner (such as Affresh or Smelly Washer).
  • Affresh industrial cleaning pellets
  • Industrial cleaning pellets.
  • Repeat Cleaning Cycle: If the issue continues, repeat the cleaning cycle and consider trying a various additive. It may take a number of cycles to obtain the odor out.

Professional Help: If you’ve tried every method to clean your front-load washer and it still smells, you may have mold growing back behind the drum, or potentially a clogged drain or filter. A competent repair service individual can take apart the machine and clean it for you, or you can unplug the device and carefully explore and clean it yourself.

How to Prevent Mold in Washer

When your machine is clean, follow these pointers to keep it that method:

  • Washer door left open to allow tub to dry
  • Enable washer tub to dry.
  • Air It Out: If possible, leave the door of the front-load washer split open to enable it to dry thoroughly in between cycles. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t do this if you have children or family pets who could be lured to climb up (and potentially end up being trapped) inside the device.
  • Eliminate Loads Promptly: Be sure to get rid of damp clothes as quickly as the cycle is finished. Set your washer to beep when it’s done, so you do not forget.
  • Select Detergent Wisely: Choose low-sudsing detergents specifically produced high-efficiency (HE) machines. When possible, choose powder over liquid; liquid cleaning agents are generally higher in suds.
  • Use Less Detergent: Read the labels and utilize no greater than the quantity suggested for each load. Explore putting less detergent, until you find the minimum quantity needed (in some cases just a spoonful) to get your clothing clean.
  • Avoid Fabric Softener: Liquid fabric softeners leave residue that adds to mold in front-load washers. Instead, put dryer sheets or clothes dryer balls to soften your clothes.
  • Dry Gaskets: Use an old towel to wipe around and underneath the door gaskets and the inside of the door on front-loading washers. Ideally, you need to so this after every cycle, but at the minimum it needs a periodic clean down to get rid of any water or mildew caught in the folds.
  • Usage Bleach: About as soon as a month, run a warm water bleach cycle. I usually seize the day to throw in work towels, fabric shower curtains, and muddy gardening clothing, together with that nasty gasket-cleaning towel.


Updated: April 4, 2016 — 4:16 pm
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