What’s That Smell?
I know I have asked myself that a dozen or so times when I go into my laundry room. The answer is (Almost) always the same. My frontload washer is dirty. Yes, I know that sounds crazy, washers get things clean, they don’t get dirty! The truth is, like all things that clean our stuff, washers also need to be cleaned and maintained. Here is how to clean a frontload washer.
For the most part, there are two main components that will cause the odor you smell. The biggest reason being that they stay wet when they need to be dry and they can also get a buildup of detergent.
Where Do I Start?
First thing in first: Take out your detergent tray. Most appliance repair companies recommend taking it out after you are finished washing, give it a rinse and leave it out until the next time you want to wash something. This helps get rid of any build up that might be happening and helps keep that component dry and mold free.
In most cases, there is a small tab that is holding the tray in place. If you press it down slightly it the tray will come right out. Once you get the tray out, take it to the sink and give it a good scrub with a sponge and leave it out to dry. Its that simple.
To clean the tray slot, use a solution of hot water and vinegar in a bowl. Use a sponge dipped in the solution to scrub out the slot and get it nice and clean. Once this is done, the slot will dry on its own.
That’s the easy part.
The next part can be tricky, and if avoided for too long can require a professional or maybe even replacement. The gasket on the frontload washer gets wet with every wash and easily traps water within its folds. This stagnant water is the biggest reason your washer produces that old water smell.
Appliance techs recommend cleaning your frontload washer gasket with a solution of vinegar and hot water once a week but also say you should use a dry cloth to wipe out the folds after every wash. This removes any dirt, debris or pet hair that may get trapped and removes the water that will cause the gasket to mold and smell.
Frontload washer gaskets stay wet, its highly recommended to not only wipe the gasket dry but also leave your washer door slightly ajar so that water that may remain after the wipe down can escape.
Whats next? Keep your washer smelling better with regular cleaning and maintenance. We also recommend the following appliance tips from experts we have found on the net:
- Use the type of detergent recommended for your machine. Most use HE or high efficiency detergent.
- Use the right amount of detergent. Most detergent is highly concentrated. A little bit goes a long way.
- Lighten your load. Less is always more when it comes to the amount of clothes in your washer. Your washer needs enough room to agitate the clothing and the amount of room depends on the type of washer you have.
- Not having an agitator does NOT mean that you can add more clothes.
- Clean your machine regularly with machine wash solution and have it serviced annually for the best results.
- Read your owner’s manual to get tips on your specific machine.
- Never take apart your machine without the assistance of a professional. Appliance fires can be devastating.
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