Front Loader Washing Machine Smells like Mildew? The Fix

Imagine coming home after a long day, hoping to find comfort in the fresh scent of clean laundry, only to be met with a foul, musty smell wafting from your front loader washing machine. I've been there, and it's no fun. My beloved washer, known for its large capacity and energy efficiency, suddenly became a source of discomfort. My mistake? Misuse and lack of maintenance.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Front loader washing machine smells can often be traced back to excess detergent residues and bacteria breeding in the rubber gasket lining.

  2. Regular cleaning, including wiping the gasket and running a self-cleaning cycle, can prevent this unpleasant odor.

  3. Leaving the door and soap dispenser open after each use helps keep the unit fresh and mold-free.

Now, do you want to know more about how I transformed my smelly front loader into a fresh laundry haven?

Let's dive in.

Here's the Main Reason Your Front Loader Washing Machine Smells Like Mildew

Now, let's talk about the culprit behind why your front load washer smells like mildew - the rubber seal lining the door.

This rubber gasket might seem harmless, but it can become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold if not properly maintained.


But fear not, my friend, because I've got some simple steps to help you clean that rubber seal and eliminate those pesky odors.

  1. Start by grabbing a clean cloth or sponge and dampen it with warm water.

  2. Gently wipe down the rubber seal, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. This will help remove any dirt or grime that may be contributing to the smell.

  3. If you notice any stubborn stains or mold, mix equal parts water and vinegar, and use this solution to scrub away the problem areas.

  4. Once you've thoroughly cleaned the rubber seal, don't forget to give it a final wipe with a dry cloth to prevent any lingering moisture. This will help prevent future mold growth.

How to keep front load washer from smelling?

Alright, now that we've tackled the rubber seal, let's move on to some strategies to eliminate odor in your front loader washing machine and keep it from smelling.

Trust me, these tips will have your machine smelling fresh and clean in no time!

Deep cleaning your washing machine

Cleaning your washing machine regularly is crucial to keep those odors at bay. It's like giving your machine a spa day!

Here's what you can do to deep clean your front loader:

  1. Fill the detergent dispenser with white vinegar or a washing machine cleaner specifically designed to eliminate odors.

  2. Run a hot water cycle on the longest setting. This will help flush out any residue and kill off any lingering bacteria or mold.

  3. Once the cycle is complete, wipe down the drum and any other accessible parts with a clean cloth or sponge.

  4. For an extra boost of freshness, sprinkle some baking soda into the drum and run another hot water cycle. This will help neutralize any remaining odors.

How to prevent odor in your front load washer?

Prevention is always better than cure, right? So, let's discuss some measures you can take to prevent that unpleasant smell from creeping back into your front loader washing machine.

Regular cleaning of your washing machine

Make it a habit to clean your washing machine at least once a month. Trust me, your machine will thank you for it!

Regular cleaning helps prevent the buildup of residue, mold, and bacteria, which are the main culprits behind those funky smells.

Remember, a clean machine is a happy machine!

Why to Leave the Washer Door Open

Leaving the washer door slightly ajar after each use allows air to circulate inside the machine, preventing the growth of mold and mildew. It's like giving your machine a breath of fresh air!

This simple step can make a big difference in keeping those odors away.

Why you should consider avoiding fabric softeners

Fabric softeners may make your clothes feel extra soft and smell amazing, but they can contribute to the buildup of mildew in your washing machine. Instead, try using white distilled vinegar as a natural fabric softener alternative.

It not only helps soften your clothes but also acts as a natural deodorizer.

Why Borax Improves Laundry

Adding a little Borax to your laundry loads can work wonders in preventing mold buildup in your front loader washing machine. Borax is a natural laundry booster that helps remove odors and stains while keeping your machine fresh and clean.

Just add a tablespoon or two to your regular detergent, and voila!

Using Commercial Ammonia to Remove Washing Machine Odors

If you're dealing with persistent odors in your laundry, adding a small amount of commercial strength ammonia to each wash load can be a game-changer. Ammonia helps eliminate odors and kills mildew in fabrics, leaving your clothes smelling fresh and clean. Just be sure to follow the instructions on the ammonia bottle and avoid using it with bleach or any other cleaning products.


Why does my front loader washing machine stink?

Front loader washing machines can develop a smell due to a combination of factors. Consumer misuse, lack of maintenance, and using too much detergent can lead to residue buildup and a smelly washer.

Additionally, the rubber gasket lining the door of the washer can become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold, resulting in an unpleasant odor.

Why does my front load washer still smell after cleaning?

If your front load washer still smells after cleaning, it could be due to lingering residue or mold in hard-to-reach areas. Make sure to thoroughly clean the rubber seal, drum, and detergent dispenser, as these are common areas where odors can persist. Additionally, it's important to follow a regular cleaning routine to prevent future smells.

How do I get rid of the smell in my washing machine?

To get rid of the smell in your washing machine, start by cleaning the rubber seal with warm water and vinegar. Deep clean your machine by running a hot water cycle with vinegar or a washing machine cleaner.

Wipe down the drum and other accessible parts, and consider using baking soda or Borax to neutralize odors. Preventive measures like leaving the door ajar and avoiding fabric softeners can also help eliminate smells.

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