My Washer Smells bad

Does your Front Load washer stink?  Told to leave the door open, but it smells too bad?  How do you get rid of the odor?

This is very frustrating for owners of expensive washers.  We at A to Z Appliance Repair get asked how to resolve or prevent this from both our Dayton and Cincinnati customer base.  Front load washers are designed for efficiency.  Less water, HE detergent, Less energy, gentler on clothes…ALL of which is very appealing to a lot of customers.  Most customers want to close the door on a front load washer when not in use for a number of reasons.  Looks better, looks cleaner (like the showroom), have to close it due to location of the laundry room in the home.  Unfortunately, this prevents air flow to the unit due to the water and air tight seal around the door.  In a lot of instances, this can help lead to odors in the washer.

Some solutions include leaving the door open between washes and/or running washer cleaner once a month.  Some can’t leave the door open and some don’t want to be required to run cleaner through their very expensive washer.  At least one manufacturer has built a fan into the washer to circulate air through the unit when not doing laundry.  If you do not have the unit with the fan, what can be done?

Before I suggest some cleaning options, here are a couple of things that you should check.

  • Are you using too much detergent? – you should use the HE detergent that is available.  However, if you have soft water, you can typically use less detergent than what is recommended.  How do you tell if you are using too much detergent?  Throw in a load of clothes and NO detergent.  Let unit fill up and agitate for 5 minutes.  If you have suds on top of the water, than you have been using too much.  Cut back and use the “extra rinse” option for a while.
  • Yes, you should use the washer cleaners that are available.  If your unit does not have on odor, this will help prevent the odor in a number of ways.  This keeps the pump impellers and corrugated hoses clear from buildup.  This build up affects the performance of the drain pump.  If your unit cannot drain properly, it will likely develop an odor

If you currently have an odor in your washer, here are some things our customers have done

  • A concentrated washer cleaning tablet.  Most washer cleaners (found next to the laundry detergent) have a concentrated method available.  This is a good first step.
  • If your rubber door seal has mildew in it, that does need removed and sometimes it takes doing it by hand with gloves and a cloth and mildew type cleaning detergent.
  • Using something, like a sock or towel, on the door that would help keep it from shutting completely.  Once the odor is resolved, this can be a subtle way of propping the door without having it wide open.

Thanks for you time

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