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anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: November 07, 2011 12:36PM
My Samsung, which I love for all its tech-y goodness, seems to have developed a mildewy problem that its imparting to the clothes. Now, I did the cleaning cycle just a few weeks ago and it seemed to help. My water has fair amount of iron in it, mostly from the decaying pipes of the city water supply (IME), but it's not a detectable stink of any other sort.

Is there a solution of vinegar or such that I can send through the machine, safe for the drum and all that? I'm stumped. And stinky.
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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: November 07, 2011 12:41PM
......do they SMELL that bad....??



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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: November 07, 2011 12:43PM
no, not *that* bad. but I notice.

(and I should add that I do occasionally wipe down the rubber gasket at the front but it never holds that much water. )
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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: Grace62
Date: November 07, 2011 12:47PM
Did you use bleach when you did the cleaning cycle? That's what I use in my HE (top loading) machine and it does the trick.
If you have a front loader, you might have mildew or mold in the door or the detergent dispenser, which won't be helped by running the cleaning cycle. You'll need to clean them separately.
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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: vicrock
Date: November 07, 2011 12:48PM
Leave the washer door open - the odor comes from a moist dark interior that doesn't dry out.
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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: November 07, 2011 12:48PM
Is this a front loader? I thought there was a previous thread on smelly front loaders with HE detergent but I could not find it.



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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: evilrobot
Date: November 07, 2011 12:49PM
Keeping the rubber gasket clean, use cold cycles as often as possible, and always leaving the door ajar to let it dry.

I like them in concept, but they seem really fragile are somewhat of a P.I.A.
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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: November 07, 2011 12:50PM
....do you have teenage kids.......??

....in other words, does it SMELL like TEEN spirit......?????



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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: abevilac
Date: November 07, 2011 12:51PM
I sometimes run it empty and add bleach to a hot water cycle [once or twice a year], but the rest of the time I keep a small hand towel folder over the door when it's not in use to keep people from closing the door.
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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: dad@home
Date: November 07, 2011 12:57PM
Two strategies.

1) wash the whites last and add bleach.... that'll kill the little beasties.
or
2) leave the door open after the last load to dry out the drum and gasket (this might not work in very humid climates).

dad
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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: billb
Date: November 07, 2011 12:57PM
cup of distilled vinegar.


supposed to help with mold and soap scum build up.




I have the Maytag with the black spot on the bottom of the drum liner "problem".
A distilled vinegar soaked paper towel works pretty good at removing it.



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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: November 07, 2011 12:57PM
door does remain open when not in use.

however, 90% of the time it is running hot water. I'll try bleach and taking out the detergent draw to clean it.
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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: numbered
Date: November 07, 2011 01:02PM
The backside of the door gasket collects gunk, and will then mildew in most of the newer front loaders. Leaving the door open helps.

There is a product called Affresh (?) that my wife found that is a tablet of bleach to run through the washer on occasion. Also, it comes with some kind of grit pad to wipe the scum off the gasket. Using this every few months has eliminated the problem.
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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: November 07, 2011 01:04PM
We always wash our clothes with cold water. Of course that's mostly b/c the hot water would never get to the washer fast enough to actually allow the use of hot water.



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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: Trouble
Date: November 07, 2011 01:08PM
Quote
bazookaman
We always wash our clothes with cold water. Of course that's mostly b/c the hot water would never get to the washer fast enough to actually allow the use of hot water.

Affresh [www.amazon.com]
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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: Trouble
Date: November 07, 2011 01:14PM
Quote
mrbigstuff
Is there a solution of vinegar or such that I can send through the machine, safe for the drum and all that? I'm stumped. And stinky.

I have a Siemens and have the same problem. I occasionally run vinegar through it and I always leave the door open. I just ordered the Affresh and I'll have them on Wednesday. (Love Prime)
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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: November 07, 2011 01:18PM
take the detergent tray out and clean it and the space the tray came out of. I notice mold above the softener cup. I'm trying to get my wife to try something other than Downy to see if it is product related.
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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: November 07, 2011 01:18PM
This is essential--has worked for us for about 6 years, with a HE front-loader--you MUST leave that door open after the cycle is finished, even if you don't unload the clothes right away.

Quote
vicrock
Leave the washer door open - the odor comes from a moist dark interior that doesn't dry out.
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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: Winston
Date: November 07, 2011 01:26PM
We had this problem with our previous Whirlpool Duet. Contacted Whirlpool to complain and they sent us a large batch of Affresh tablets. Something like 20 or 22 of them. Told me to run them ALL through the machine successively.

It didn't work.


They also paid to replace the door gasket.

It didn't work.


Then they gave us a discount on a new machine.

That worked.


Here's what I concluded: If you have ever run a load without HE detergent you probably have soap scum up the insides of the machine. Regular detergent foams up a lot more, and gets up higher in the machine than the normal washing water does (at least in any quantity).

Regular cleaning with Affresh tablets or anything else won't get the water high enough to attack the scum. In addition, it probably requires a physical scrubbing to remove. The newer machines have a cleaning cycle that uses more water, but I suspect it's still inadequate if you have scum from using non HE detergent.

Even if you've only used HE detergent, likely the mold is up high inside the tank of the machine where it can't be cleaned out by the normal washing action.

The only way to fix it would be to completely disassemble the machine and clean inside. This is not practical. Replacing the washer is.


Since replacing the Duet we've only used HE detergent, and we always leave the door wide open after use to let it dry out. It's been two or three years and the problems have not reoccurred.



Good luck.

- Winston



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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: jdc
Date: November 07, 2011 01:53PM
Same thing here. Dumped our Bosch Nexxus washers because of the smell, even after replacing rubber seals and running the affresh thing too. Wife couldnt stand it anymore and just up and ordered new ones without even asking me, had the bosch moved the garage and told me to sell them for whatever we could get.

New ones are basic Kenmores -- but we wipe down the rubber gasket and door glass after every wash -- then leave the door slightly open. We use Kirkland liquid and use less soap than usual, never filling it to max line ever. So far no smell. Fingers crossed.





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: November 07, 2011 02:08PM
I *just* saw a commercial yesterday for some kind of cleaning agent for front-loading washers. I don't remember the name.

My buddy's wife was recently complaining about mold buildup on the door of their front loader. I don't know if she leaves the door open, but I'll pass that on, along with the bleach thing.

She hasn't mentioned any mold odor.

Now, do front loaders clean better or are somehow more efficient enough to be worth this? I've never used one.





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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: November 07, 2011 02:14PM
.....when it comes to HE washer/dryers......I WASH my hands of it.....



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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: November 07, 2011 02:37PM
Run baking soda and 20 Mule Team Borax through it.
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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: DaviDC.
Date: November 07, 2011 02:53PM
Reading this make me think that much more highly towards my ancient Kenmore top loader washer.



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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: November 07, 2011 03:02PM
....so TOPS are better than BOTTOMS.....??



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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: November 07, 2011 03:34PM
One of the reasons I picked the TOP-loading LG high-efficiency washer last year.
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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: November 07, 2011 04:39PM
We've had a front-loading Kenmore HE washing machine for over 6 years and have had no sign of that problem.

We generally follow dad@home's #1 point though. Could that be the secret to our success?
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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: billb
Date: November 07, 2011 04:50PM
Quote
Article Accelerator
We've had a front-loading Kenmore HE washing machine for over 6 years and have had no sign of that problem.

We generally follow dad@home's #1 point though. Could that be the secret to our success?

If that's bare minimum amount of soap and HE only that's what I may have in common with little mold problem too.
I wish my Maytag had a glass door, though.



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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: surfer33
Date: November 07, 2011 04:53PM
I leave the door open on mine, like so many have suggested.
Also, I put about a tablespoon of white vinegar in the fabric softener slot, on every load, whether I use fabric softener or not.
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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: November 07, 2011 04:58PM
We've had an HE front loader for 8 years and it got stinky once but we just ran baking soda thru it with a bunch of white towels a few times and it was good as new, no more stink.
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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: Winston
Date: November 07, 2011 08:53PM
Quote
RAMd®d
Now, do front loaders clean better or are somehow more efficient enough to be worth this? I've never used one.

They have a few advantages compared to traditional top loaders:

1. They use a lot less water to wash. This saves both water and energy (primarily heating for hot water).

2. They are gentler on clothes. Traditional agitator washers (most top loaders) "beat" the clothes. The front loaders "drop" them into the water by spinning them somewhat up the side of the drum, where they then tumble into the wash water.

3. They spin the clothes at a higher speed, so they extract more water before you put the wash load in the dryer. This again saves energy, as the dryer doesn't have to run as long, and again reduces wear on the clothes.

4. I think they also wash with less soap, which may have an environmental benefit.

There are also some top loaders with non-traditional agitators that claim to offer some of these benefits.

The disadvantages are that they cost more, and as discussed, can develop a mold problem.


Good luck.

- W



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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: November 07, 2011 09:30PM
We've had our Samsung HE front loader for two years now and have never had a problem with odors or (yech!) scum. We wipe the gasket dry after every wash, which helps avoid the odors.

I believe the most likely cause of the aforementioned scum is the use of liquid detergents in the washer. The research I did prior to purchasing this machine indicated that the use of powder detergents in HE front loaders is the best way to avoid the scum buildup problem. We have used nothing but powder detergent and, as previously indicated, have never had a scum problem.



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Re: anyone have a stinky HE clothes washer and what did you do about it?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: November 08, 2011 06:15AM
Another vote for bleach. Use it every time you wash bath towels and sheets. And leave the door open.



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