How to Get Rid of Front Load Washer Smell

How to Get Rid of Front Load Washer Smell


Here’s a complaint we hear a lot: “I washed my clothes just before going on vacation and when I got back the laundry room smelled like a disaster!”

If you have a frontloader, your washing machine may be the culprit. That smell indicates mold growth, which can transfer to your clothes. You may be wondering what you can do about that awful front load washer smell before things get worse. Whether you already have a smelly front load washer, or are concerned about buying one that may present these problems in the future, we’re here to show you how to prevent or get rid of the issue.

To prevent or get rid of front load washer smell:

  • leave the washer door open after use, especially when you go on vacation
  • use 1 tbs of High Efficiency detergent per load
  • wipe down the inside (called the gasket) once in a while
  • run a “self cleaning” or bleach cycle once a month using any bleach, or Affresh tablets
  • consider purchasing a front loader with advanved air circulation

Why does my front load washer smell?

Leaving the front load washer door closed after use, especially for a week or more at a time, creates a wet and sometimes hot environment primed for mold growth. And using too much detergent causes sudsy buildup on the gasket. That buildup stays wet and – you guessed it! – becomes moldy. The mold can transfer to clothes, causing stains, a lingering smell, and resentment toward your washer. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

How to Clean a Front Load Washer

Whether you decide to do some or all of these is up to you, but if you clean your front load washer regularly, it will perform better, last longer, and remain mold-free.

Leave the Door Open When Possible


The easiest way to do this is to make a habit of it, so you won’t have to think about it after every wash. In fact, this is good practice even if you own a top load washer. This will allow the inside to dry completely, removing the chance for mold growth.

Use High Efficiency Detergent

Excessive detergent clogs the holes or crevases of the gasket, causing congestion, encouraging moisture, and eventually producing mold. Don’t use much more than the recommended amount. High Efficiency detergent solves this problem nicely. You can use as little as 1 tablespoon per load. (Bonus: you save money by using less detergent.)

front-load-washer-smell-affresh-tabletsWipe Down the Inside Occasionally

Sweep a paper towel over the gasket, the inside of the washer door, and the hidden space under the rubber lip near the front. If you follow the other tips mentioned in this article, you can get away with infrequent wipe-downs. But if your front loader already smells and needs some serious TLC, we suggest giving it extra attention until it has fully recuperated from its smelly state.

Run a Monthly Self-Cleaning or Bleach Cycle

Use bleach or Affresh tablets for best results. All you have to do is press start and walk away. You can think of it as giving your washer a fresh start once a month.

Rather upgrade to one of the best front load washers with special mold-preventing features?

If you work long hours or have a lot on your plate, front load washer care may not fit into your schedule. But you still want clean clothes of course. You should definitely consider purchasing one of the best front load washers on the market, with mold preventing features that save time and provide convenience. We recommend:

  • Maytag Maxima XL 27″ Front Load Washer (MHW7000AW)
  • Whirlpool Duet Steam Front Load Washer with Precision Dispense (WFW94HEAC)

Both of these washers have a 12 hour FanFresh option with Dynamic Venting Technology that circulates fresh air from outside the washer after the cycle is done. This prevents mold and allows you to transfer your clothes from the washer to the dryer on your time, not the machine’s.

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