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Front Loading washing machine...problems with smelly clothes?

shmoore

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Last week before we left to go on vacation, we bought an LG front loading washing machine...the best buy according to Consumer Reports. It worked fine for the three days that we used it.

Tonight I was sitting in Hilton Head enjoying vacation and a local tv station had a special report on how bad the front loaders are. Consumers have reported that their clothes smell terrible after being washed. According to them, there is a considerable build up of mold and mildew.:doh: :doh: :doh:

Have any of you had this problem....if so, how did you solve the problem?

Sandy
 

Karen G

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My clothes have never had a mildew smell after washing, but sometimes there was an unpleasant smell in the washer. It was eliminated when I started leaving the door open between washings. Water can collect in the rubber ring around the door and if you leave the door open it gives the standing water a chance to evaporate.
 

Jbart74

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My clothes have never had a mildew smell after washing, but sometimes there was an unpleasant smell in the washer. It was eliminated when I started leaving the door open between washings. Water can collect in the rubber ring around the door and if you leave the door open it gives the standing water a chance to evaporate.
The instructions for my front-loader recommend keeping the door open at all times when the machine is not in use, for the reasons Karen metioned above.
 

Fern Modena

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I guess I won't be getting a front loader anytime soon then. At least not until they fix the problem about keeping it open all the time. My laundry room is also my "mud room," and if the washer door is kept open we'd bump into it coming into and out of the garage.
 

Icarus

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Yeah, I leave the door open on mine. Fern, the doors are usually easily reversible on front loaders, if that helps. Not that you'll be rushing out to buy one. :)

-David
 

maddaug

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We keep our door open too. But other than that I LOVE the my washer and dryer.
 

IreneLF

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Ditto on the door but you don't have to keep it WIDE open, just open.

I also wipe down the rubber ring after each use.

If there is a smell - there is a product called AFFRESH which are tablets to be used alone in the washer every few months.
Apparently the residue from washing can build up in places you cannot get to and this cleans it out.
 

pjrose

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I don't have one, but I'd be worried about pets climbing inside if the door is left open. I wonder if it could just be propped about an inch open, or if putting in (and remembering to remove!) a pack of that water-absorbing pellet stuff.
 

JudyH

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I didn't know they were supposed to be open, but I have a small Danby front loader that I love. I have always left it open for a while cause it is quite wet after the clothes come out. I have not had a problem with the cats getting in it.

It was recommended on the laundry site that I found the Danby on, that it only needed two -three TBL of detergent, not the big scoop that comes in the box.
 
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scooooter

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oh wow! Glad I came upon this thread. We have a front load washer that we've had for almost 9 years. I have to say that I do know what they are talking about. Sometimes my clothes will go thru and I'm like "what the heck?" They don't have that nice, clean smell! I have to run them thru a couple of times, and have actually started to buy fabric softener and dyer sheets just to get them to smell nice. Now I know why! I will start to leave our door cracked open a bit as well and will see if this makes a difference.

Thanks for the tip! Rhonda
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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We've had an LG Tromm for a couple of years now and we haven't had any issues with the odor.

IIRC - in an earlier thread here on this same topic some of the foreros* said this was more of a problem on older front-end loaders and the newer models had design changes that reduced or eliminated the problem.

+++++

*"Forero" is a new word I learned a couple of days ago. A forero is a person who posts in forums on an internet bulletin board such as TUG. It has Spanish language origin, though it doesn't appear in Spanish dictionaries either. I think it's a very useful word.
 

swift

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Mine has a setting to clean the washer. Basically it is running it empty with hot water and bleach. I do this about once a month along with keeping the door cracked open in between use.
 

luvsvacation22

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No problem with the musty smell with my LG front load washer, however I do leave the door open between loads. Thanks to everyone for reminding me about running the Tub Clean cycle with bleach to ensure no future problems with stagnant odors.:clap:
 

stmartinfan

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The Minneapolis Star Tribune had an article about a guy who invented a product to help clean out smelly front loaders. In the story, he says much of the problem is caused by using too much detergent and fabric softener. These aren't cleaned out of the machines during a normal cycle and then cause the mold and mildew problems. I recall someone on TUG (sorry, I can't remember who to give the credit to!) also mentioning earlier that it takes only a small amount of detergent to clean a load - far less than the manufacturers recommend.

Here's a link to the story:
http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/yourmoney/27723754.html?page=1&c=y
 

shmoore

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Thank you so much for all of your help. When we get home we WILL wipe the door seal and leave the door open. Isn't it great to have a place like TUG to get instant help!!!!!

Sandy
 

Karen G

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Thanks to everyone for reminding me about running the Tub Clean cycle with bleach
I'm running mine now--I didn't realize there was such a cycle. Guess I need to re-read the instruction manual!:)
 

Karen G

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much of the problem is caused by using too much detergent and fabric softener. These aren't cleaned out of the machines during a normal cycle and then cause the mold and mildew problems.
I'm sure that's true just from observing my washer as it's going through the "tub clean" cycle. All I added was bleach, but judging from the amount of suds that are churning around in there, there was a lot of soap residue.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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I'm sure that's true just from observing my washer as it's going through the "tub clean" cycle. All I added was bleach, but judging from the amount of suds that are churning around in there, there was a lot of soap residue.
As I mentioned in earlier threads on this topic, during the wash cycle you want to have just a few clumps of suds. Sudsing is not associated with cleaning. Suds do not form until there is an excess of detergent beyond what is needed.

If you are still seeing suds at the end of the rinse cycle, there is detergent remaining in the washer, which again means there has been an excess of detergent. Personally, I think that many of the detergent sensitive reactions that people have result from using too much detergent in the washer and could be solved by simply cutting back detergent to more appropriate levels.

Typically I use about one-tenth the amount of detergent recommended by the detergent manufacturer. For marketing purposes the amount of detergent to use that most detergent manufacturers recommend far exceeds what is needed. That's because they have to account for a person laundering an extremely dirty load of clothes. If the person does a load that overwhelms the detergent and the clothes come out dirty, that person will no longer use the detergent and that person will tell ten other people that Brand X detergent is vastly inferior to Brand Y (with Brand Y being a manufacturer who recommends excessive amounts of detergent.)

As with many things in life, find what works for you. Working with your typical laundry loads, start by cutting back your dosage by half. If the clothes still come out clean, cut it in half again. Repeat the process until clothes stop coming out clean, then go back to the amount of detergent you used on the last load that came out clean. Use that as your base and adjust up or down as appropriate loads that are heavier or lighter than your normal load.
 

Patri

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Yeah, I leave the door open on mine. Fern, the doors are usually easily reversible on front loaders, if that helps. Not that you'll be rushing out to buy one. :)

-David
I'll have to check our owner's manual. The door opens the wrong way and it is a pain.
 

UWSurfer

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We've had an LG Tromm for a couple of years now and we haven't had any issues with the odor.
Ditto with our household and machine...although with one grown and two almost grown teenage sons in the house, it's a rare day when the washer isn't running.
 

marsha77

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I also leave the door & the detergent cup/drawer open a bit to air & dry out.

We also have 2 cats and they have never gone into the washer. The dryer is another story, that door I keep closed.

Marsha
 

rsnash

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I'll have to check our owner's manual. The door opens the wrong way and it is a pain.
The door to my dryer was reversible, but not the washer. Check carefully before removing it, as it needs to be watertight.
 

macko420

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We love our front loader and don't have a problem with it - at least so far. We've had it a couple of years now. Anyway, I have heard of this problem and happened to see this in our local paper.
www.smellywasher.com

I haven't tried the product but kept the info just in case!!
 

dioxide45

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I don't have one, but I'd be worried about pets climbing inside if the door is left open. I wonder if it could just be propped about an inch open, or if putting in (and remembering to remove!) a pack of that water-absorbing pellet stuff.
We don't close ours or leave it open all the way. We close it until the door hits the latch. So it is open just enough that it is not sealed. Haven't had any odor problems. I always fear throwing clothes in on our cat that I always check to see where he is after I load the washer.
 

mo1950

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I have the Whirlpool Duet and have terrible problems with the washer. I can get rid of the musty smell. I leave the door open all the time. Plus I clean the seal and I also clean out the whole inside of the washer with bleach water occasionally. What I cannot reach is between the body of the machine and the drum - there is moldy stuff in there that I cannot reach. I have used long kitchen knives wrapped in rags and get some of it out.

Then I use Affresh fairly often. And that helps with the musty smell.

But the other problem I have is that it just does not remove smells from the clothing that the clothing had before I washed them.

Example: I have an autistic grandchild who wets the bed. I washed his sheets 4 times yesterday (it took me almost all day) before the smell of urine would come out. And the last two times I put no laundry detergent or any additives in with it. So, for me, this is not a question of putting in too much soap. It is just that my machine ($1,300.00 with extras) will not clean my clothes.

Another example: I have the same problem when I wash sweaty clothing that has been used in sports. Can't get the sweat smell out without washing it all day.

Another example: A washcloth or towel that has soured because someone threw it into the hamper wet - forget it. Takes 2 -3 washing cycles before that smell will come out.
 
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