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Fix a Smelly Washing Machine

Stop bad odors in your clothes washer by running a cycle with a special mold-killing tablet and by leaving the door open to promote drying.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Fix a Smelly Washing Machine

Stop bad odors in your clothes washer by running a cycle with a special mold-killing tablet and by leaving the door open to promote drying.

Eliminate washing machine odors

Do you notice a moldy smell when you open the door of your front-loading clothes washer? If so, chances are that like most people, you leave the washer door closed between loads and only wash a couple of loads per week. This is only a problem because the ultra-tight seal on front loader doors doesn't let the interior dry, and between washings, mold can grow inside the damp confines. And because front loaders use less water than top loaders (which fill up almost to the top), they don't always wash away the mold when you run a load of laundry.

Eliminating the mold is easy. Just run the empty washer through a cycle once a month with a mold cleaner designed for front loaders. Our appliance expert recommends a product called Affresh. Buy it at whirlpool.com or find retailers at affresh.com. If you don't want to use the tablets, you can substitute a cup of bleach.

In the future, you can prevent mold by treating the washer monthly and keeping the door open between washings so the interior can dry out.

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Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • Mold cleaner

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August 26, 10:24 PM [GMT -5]

Used it and regular bleach still have the smell. Tried wiping inside lip with bleach and a wet towel. Started using liquid fab softner to cover the smell some.

August 26, 10:24 PM [GMT -5]

Used it and regular bleach still have the smell. Tried wiping inside lip with bleach and a wet towel. Started using liquid fab softner to cover the smell some.

March 22, 12:13 AM [GMT -5]

To compare washing machine cleaners go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua6OJPn0-fU

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