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How to Clean a Stinky Front Load Washer and Prevent Odors

In this Article


Do you cringe at the mere thought of opening your front load washer due to a mysterious, unpleasant odor? A stinky front load washer can be a major household inconvenience, but fret not; there’s a solution at hand! Dive in as we uncover the mysteries behind the stink and provide a step-by-step guide to reclaiming freshness.

Unraveling the Mystery Behind a Stinky Front Load Washer

While front load washers are lauded for their efficiency, they’re notorious for one niggling issue: unpleasant odors. Let’s dive deep into why this happens and, more importantly, how to fix it.

Why Does My Front Load Washer Smell?

Understanding the problem is half the battle. Here are the primary culprits:

  1. Mold and Mildew: These fungi thrive in damp environments. Front load washers seal tightly, which can trap moisture, making it a prime environment for mold growth, especially around the rubber door gasket. A dirty door seal can even leave you with a washing machine leaking from the door.
  2. Detergent Residue: Overloading on detergent might seem like a good idea, but excessive amounts can leave residues that become breeding grounds for bacteria.
  3. Stagnant Water: Small amounts of water left behind after cycles can contribute to the odor over time.
  4. Blocked Drains: Debris or lint can block drains, causing water to stagnate and stink.

how do I get my front load washer to stop smelling

Steps to Clean a Smelly Washing Machine

If you’re wondering, “How do I get my front load washer to stop smelling?” Here’s a comprehensive guide:

  1. Empty the Washer: Begin by ensuring no clothes remain inside.
  2. Inspect and Clean the Rubber Gasket: A pivotal step in cleaning the rubber gasket on a front load washer is ensuring no mold hides in the folds. Pull back the gasket, inspect it, and scrub it with a mixture of water and mild detergent. For stubborn mold spots, consider using a bleach solution (but use sparingly).
  3. Run a Cleaning Cycle: To deep clean a front load washer, add 2 cups of white vinegar to the drum and run the machine on the hottest cycle. The acidity of the vinegar will break down residues and kill mold.
  4. Clean the Detergent Drawer: Often overlooked, the detergent drawer can accumulate residues. Remove it, soak in warm water, and scrub gently before reinstalling.
  5. Inspect the Drains: Ensure there are no blockages in the drain. If necessary, you might need to snake the drain or seek professional assistance.

clean the rubber gasket on a front load washer

How to Prevent Washer from Smelling

You’ve cleaned your washer, but how do you ensure it doesn’t become a stinky front load washer again?

  1. Leave the Door Ajar: Simple yet effective. Allowing air circulation prevents moisture build-up, a primary cause of mildew.
  2. Wipe Down the Door Gasket: As suggested for front load models, wiping the rubber gasket post-cycle is crucial. This small habit can work wonders in keeping mildew at bay.
  3. Use the Correct Detergent Amount: More doesn’t always mean better. Measure your detergent to prevent residues.
  4. Monthly Maintenance: Once a month, run a hot cycle with white vinegar to keep your washer in pristine condition.

If, despite these steps, your front load washer smells like mildew or you encounter persistent issues, it might be time to call in the experts. Don Bacon Appliance Service is renowned for professional washer repair services, ensuring you get the best solutions for your appliance woes.

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