A front-loading washing machine is one of the most important appliances in the home, allowing you to clean your clothes in a fast and quiet manner while using less water and detergent. Such a machine also gently tumbles—rather than yanks—your clothes, preventing any damage. With all these advantages, it is easy to see why many homeowners prefer front-loading designs to top-loading machines.
Unfortunately, front-loading machines often turn smelly due to mold buildup. This is because they have watertight, airtight doors that seal with a rubber gasket, often trapping moisture that provides the perfect environment for mold growth. If you are struggling with a smelly front-loading washing machine, read on to learn how you can resolve the problem and prevent mold from taking root again.
The rubber seal on your washer door is notorious for trapping soap residue and grease that can harbor and promote mold growth. Begin by cleaning this area using a solution of bleach and hot water or some mildew cleaner before drying it thoroughly with a towel.
Next, remove the detergent dispensers and scrub them with hot, soapy water and a towel to remove any mold inside the crevices. If the dispensers don't come off, use a pipe cleaner to reach behind them and clean them out. Finally, run repeated empty wash cycles on the tub-cleaning setting while adding some bleach and baking soda solution until you completely get rid of the smell.
To prevent mold from growing back and getting your front-loading washing machine smelly again, there are a few preventive tips you can follow.
Firstly, avoid using cleaners and fabric softeners that leave residues and films that invite mold growth. Detergents specifically made for high-efficiency washing machines will often leave little or no residue, so they are the best for a front-loading machine, though they should be used sparingly. It also helps to run a hot water bleach cycle every once in a while to keep the inside of the washing tub mold-free.
Finally, make a habit of removing wet clothes as soon as the cycle is finished to give the machine ample time to dry, and use a dry towel to occasionally wipe around and underneath the door gaskets and the inside of the door. You should also leave the door of the washer open whenever it isn't in use to ensure it dries thoroughly between cleaning cycles.
Clearing mold from your washer can help prevent any smells and also keep mechanical problems in the washer tub and other internal components at bay. If you need repairs for your washer, contact a representative from Appliance Doctor or another company in your area.