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Tips For Fixing a Moldy, Mildew-Smelling Washer

10 Tips For Taming a Musty-Smelling Washer

While I love the efficiency of my front-loading washer, a common problem for many modern-day laundresses is an unpleasant musty smell emanating from the machine.

Don't despair if you're the victim of a less-than-fresh-scented front loader. Follow these tips for solving the problem.

  1. Leave the door open, or at least cracked, between loads.
  2. Only use HE detergents.
  3. Try running white vinegar through the machine at least once a month. If that's not doing the trick, bring in the big guns with oxygen bleach.
  4. Wipe down the rubber seal on your washer with diluted vinegar or oxygen bleach.
  5. Check to make sure the drain hose connection is tight and nothing is draining to the lint trap.

Keep reading for more tips!

  1. Speaking of the lint trap, make a point to figure out where yours is on your machine, and add emptying the trap to your monthly cleaning routine.
  2. Since liquid fabric softener can often leave a residue on front loaders (and lead to mold buildup), forgo this step and opt for fabric sheets instead. (Or simply dry your clothes on the line for a super-fresh smell.)
  3. Some experts recommend lowering your detergent use . . . by up to three-quarters! Since HE detergent is so efficient, it's worth a try.
  4. If you're questioning the efficacy of your liquid HE detergent, opt for a powder HE detergent and see if there's any change.
  5. Still stumped? Try a product such as Smelly Washer or Affresh.
Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
Home Home 6 years
Awesome tip, TAjunkie!
TAjunkie TAjunkie 6 years
I used Cascade on an empty cycle and it took care of the mildewy smell. Something about the enzymes in the detergent - worked like a charm.
Home Home 6 years
EricaJane, Yes, I was surprised to find this out as well! On most frontloaders they connect to the drain hose. Not many people know this, and it's often where mold/mildew can collect.
ngocnguyen ngocnguyen 6 years
Thanks for this, I hate when it gets like that
EricaJane EricaJane 6 years
um, washing machines have lint traps?
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