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How to Prevent Mold or Smelly Washer Problems With Front-Loaders

by | Sep 15, 2014 | Archives

Understanding Front-Load Washers HE Washers

Front-load washers are designed for high efficiency operation while using low energy. But unfortunately, there is a down side to this energy-saving washer model. Some consumers have experienced mold or unpleasant odors developing in their front-load washers. Once present, these issues can be quite difficult to resolve. With a little extra care, you may be able to prevent these issues from occurring.

It should be noted that not all high efficiency front-load washers have had this problem – but many brands, and I would assume that design modifications have been implemented to prevent, or at least reduce the risk of such problems with some of the newer models.

What Causes Mold, Mildew or Unpleasant Odors?

There are various causes but the main culprit is humidity that stays in the washer. Excess soap and grime can also keep some areas damp. Because of the low water level, wash residue such as grime, dirt and even skin flakes, along with water softeners and detergents do not always fully drain out of a front-loading washer. Using cold water for most loads can also add to the problem. Residue can build up in the rubber door gasket, soap/softener dispenser or other parts of the washer and over time, mold can begin to form or the washer can take on a smelly disposition.

Tips for Preventing Mold & Smelly Problems:

  • Always leave the door and dispenser unit slightly ajar after the laundry is done. Front-load washers and the detergent/softener dispenser drawer must dry out.
  • Never leave a wet wash load in the washer overnight; remove it when the washing cycle is complete and leave the door open.
  • After a load is done, always rotate the drum with your hand to see and remove all items. Some could be sticking to top or sides of the washer drum.
  • Liquid detergents may leave less residue than powdered formulas which may not dissolve properly.
  • Use less than the recommended detergent level for your load. Too much detergent can cause a residue build up. Experiment until you find a minimum measurement that delivers a clean wash. This is also a money saver.
  • Occasionally wash some loads such as whites, linen and towels in warm or hot water to help flush out wash residue.
  • Always clean your washer as per your product manual. High efficiency front-load models have a cleaning cycle and it’s imperative that you periodically run this cycle as directed.
  • Check the gasket just inside the door opening and remove any visible debris. You can also wipe it to speed the drying process.
  • Always use HE detergents with high efficiency front-load washers. Specially marked HE laundry detergent is low sudsing and is recommended for these low-water washers.


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September 2014