How To Clean Your {Front Loader} Washing Machine!

clean-front-loaderThis post is brought to you by Amazon where you can get deals on household cleaners!

You had to know THIS was coming.

Earlier this month I shared important information from a Mom/firefighter about how to give your dryer a tune-up, then last week I posted about cleaning your dishwasher.

Well, it’s a new week and today…by special request….I’m going to tell you how to clean your washing machine…specifically your high efficiency washing machine.

(Don’t worry you “LOW efficiency” washing machine owners — which includes yours truly — I will get to you soon.)

The reason I’m focusing on the HE washers today is because I had lunch with my niece Ashley last week and she was complaining about “smelly clothes” coming out of her HE washer. To be honest, I didn’t know much about HE washers except that they use less water and you usually wash with cold water, which required using a certain kind of low-sudsing detergent.

Well, after tonight, I feel like I could write a novel on the HE washer. :-)  I have read dozens of online articles and I think I have a pretty good idea what Ashley’s problem is. Apparently it’s a VERY common one.

Since the HE washers use less water and energy (less HOT water)…detergent residue, dirt, mildew and minerals can build up inside the machine. This results in odors and laundry coming out less than clean.

There are some things you need to do each time you do a load of wash AND…you REALLY need to give your HE washer a good cleaning once a month! Fortunately, the machine will do most of the work for you!

High Efficiency Washing Machine Care
how to clean your front loader
  1. Begin by filling the washing machine with hot water on the largest load setting. Make sure there is no laundry in the washer.
  2. Add 2 cups of vinegar to the water to get rid of odor problems. (Most HE washers should have a “clean cycle” on it and you can add vinegar or bleach on that setting). 
  3. Allow the washing machine to run through a complete wash and rinse cycle.
  4. Fill the washer a second time with hot water, also on the largest load setting.
  5. Add 2 cups of bleach to the water to help with stain removal.
  6. Again, allow the machine to run through a complete wash and rinse cycle.
  7. If all of the stains are removed, run an additional cycle without adding anything to the water. This will thoroughly rinse away any remaining residue.
  8. Remove the bleach dispenser and fabric softener dispenser and soak them in a bucket of warm water. When they have soaked long enough, remove them from the water, lay them on a towel, and spray them with an all-purpose spray cleaner. Wipe away any dirt with the towel.
  9. Dry the dispensers and return them to their original places in the machine.
  10. Finally, inspect the rubber door seal for mold and mildew. Pull back the seal to examine the hidden crevices. Mix 1 cup of liquid chlorine bleach with 1 gallon of warm water. Moisten a clean white cloth with the bleach water solution, then wipe down the seal to remove any mold and mildew. Allow the solution to remain on the seal for five minutes, then wipe down the door seal with a clean, dry white cloth.
how to clean your front loader

Follow these steps and your HE washer should be in tip-top shape once again and the stinky smell gone. Just remember…you need to do it REGULARLY! (once a month at least).

To keep the “smellies” from coming back…do the following EACH time you do a load of clothes:

1. Leave the door open after washing and always take items out of the washer when not in use.
2. Wipe down the rubber seal and drum.
3. Take the soap/softener drawer out to dry.

These simple steps should keep your HE washer running efficiently AND clothes smelling fresh! (the best of both worlds!)


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  1. Delise says

    My HE washer has a "tub clean" setting, I add a little bit of bleach and then let it go. I do leave the dispenser drawer and the door open when it's not in use. I have had my washer for 3 years and have never had a smell problem. Love your blogs Jill!

  2. Anonymous says

    I have an HE Washer also….They make something called smelly washer that I got online (….You run a cycle and add like a tablespoon of this to it once a month and it takes care of the problem….I also leave my door open once I put the clothes in the dryer and never leave wet clothes in the washer.

  3. Anonymous says

    One thing to add–many HE washers have a filter. My LG has a filter down on the bottom left front and a drain hose. I make sure to regularly let the hose drain out, then remove and clean the filter with bleach. I have occasionally even poured diluted bleach into the drain hose. Then I will wash something with bleach with an extra rinse cycle. Basically I like my washer, but I have to say I am not a fan of having a washing machine that has to be…um…washed.

  4. Anonymous says

    I have a HE washer that I bought 7 months ago. I love it! I couldnt afford the matching drier, but thats ok.I bought it brand new as last years model…huge savings. I did notice a savings in the water bill and electric! The washer spins the clothes so dry that when I put them in the dryer it takes under 40 min. to dry compaired to almost 1 hr!
    Mine also has a sanitizer setting. Takes over 2 hours to clean, using extremely high temp setting, compaing it to using your self cleaning on your oven. Also uses less soap! Would never go back to a regular washer!

  5. Georgeann says

    I would love an HE but it is not in the budget at the moment since the other one is still kicking.

    I clean ours out once a month. I figured it is the least I can do for the poor thing. The first time I cleaned it out I thought I was going to get sick with how bad the water looked. It took me about 3 times to get the water to look better. I know it washes for 3 kids every day but nothing crazy.

    I will admit our washer has looked better since I started making our laundry soap a few years back.

  6. Stacy says

    Love my HE!! Instead of fabric softener I use 1/4 C of white vinegar and I have never had a smell problem. This also cuts down on the chemical residue from the fabric softener. You have great ideas – thanks so much!

    • Becki says

      I love my HE too!. I rarely use the clean cycle and I have NEVER had stinky laundry. After using my HE, I put a wooden clothespin on the door latch so the door won’t close all the way. I also never use more laundry soap than the FIRST mark on the lid. If you use more than that, it create too many suds and you have a good chance of a repair bill. I also use white vinegar, 1 cup, but for the body oder, so it serves a dual purpose.

      • Abby says

        The vinegar is a natural fabric softener and I’ve never had problems with static and only using vinegar.

      • Diana says

        I started using between 1/2 cup to 1 cup of baking soda with my HE detergent, I find that I do not have touse as much fabric softener. When I wash my towels, I put the baking soda in along with 1/2 to 1 cup of vinegar. Have not had any problems with any smells. And no static!

      • Sarah says

        I got some 100% wool yarn and made felted dryer balls, also I added 3 small balls of aluminum foil to my dryer. Now it’s noisier to run the dryer, to be sure, but between the felted dryer balls and the aluminum foil balls and using vinegar instead of fabric softener I have no static issues at all ever.

    • Kari says

      I’ve never heard of using Vinegar as a softner. I might have to try it..although I do like the smell of my downy..

      • Christie says

        Where do you put the baking soda though? Just in the detergent spot? Because if you open the door during the wash doesnt that make the water spill out?

      • says

        No the washer will pause then you open the door no water comes out mine never did but good luck if water does pour out you better have it fixed . Mine never did you can open it by pressing the pause and when it unlocks that is for child safety on the front loaders

      • says

        Kari, the vinegar dosn’t leave a smell, and with HE, you usually can still smell a feint soap smell from the detergent :) I LOVE using vinegar, will never go back to using fabric softener. And I am beginning to think the vinegar is partly what is helping with the odor!

  7. Sandi K. says

    Despite my frustration with how to add the vinegar/bleach, your post still inspired me to pull out that dispenser drawer and really scrub at it. I wiped the seal down good too. I just wanted to thank you for your daily inspiration to get things done around here! I'm so glad I found your blog!

  8. Jule Barta says

    Thank you for posting this, I have an HE and hate it. I have so many problems with stinky clothes and feel the clothes do not come out as clean. I will admit I do not clean it regularly and the idea of paying more for a machine that requires more maintenance (Monthly cleaning) just gauls me. I wish I would have returned the machine when I first got it and bought a good used top loader for a heck of a lot less. I have not noticed any savings in water as I often have to double wash my clothes. If I forget them in the machine for more then an hour they start to stink. I will have to be more active in cleaning and thankfully my machine as a cleaning cycle, but I used it for got to open the door when done and 2 days later it stank even worse. Sorry to rant, just those thinking of buying one, think twice. I had a great used Kenmore for 20 years that cost $150 when we could no longer fix it I thought I would treat myself with a fancy new HE. Big mistake.

    • Tiffany McCreedy says

      I totally agree with you! I also find that it takes longer to go through the wash with the front loader than the top loading ones :( No one wants to spend more time doing laundry!

      • Kelly Mc says

        I have a HE and had the above problems. I do run vinegar through every couple of months, but I found the best thing is to buy the cheapest automatic dishwasher detergent (powder) and run it through a complete cycle about once a month. When I first did this, my HE was very dirty and mildewy on the seal (this is because it is airtight!) and I did it 3 times over two days. Voila! Nice and clean, and much cheaper than the Tide HE cleaners on your laundry aisle. I hope this helps someone else….

      • says

        I have done the Tide HE cleaner and it has helped with the odor. I have also started leaving the door open and the soap dispenser open and a fan running to dry out the machine. I am interested in the idea of running dishwasher soap (powder) through the machine, due to mold still inside the seal. How much would I use, and how often?

        Thanks, and God bless

      • Kelly says

        I also would never get another front loader. I run vinegar through mine, have always used less laundry soap, keep the door open at all time (very much a pain, since the washer is in a closet that must then have the bi-folds left open, and the HE washer door being left open blocks access to the bathroom). I run bleach through, clean the rubber, double rinse, and clean the dispenser, yuck! I really do not want to spend more time cleaning my washer then doing laundry for five people. Because we have mold allergies and other allergies, the last thing we need is a washing machine that encourages mold and mildew. The clothes cannot be kept in the washer for even a half hour after the load is done. We take the clothes out the minute the wash is done. I never had this problem with my top-loader. My next washer will be back to a top-loader again.

      • Danielle says

        My mother just tried to buy another top loader to replace her 20+ yr old Whirlpool top load washer and after visiting Sears, Home Depot, Lowes, and a couple other stores that sell washers, she came to the conclusion that top load washers are becoming increasingly difficult to find, and if you do find one, they aren’t like the old ones! If you want one, I would recomend to start looking NOW before you HAVE to buy one! That’s never fun to purchase a washer when you’re in a time crunch!

      • says

        Mine was bought at Lowe’s with a 5 year warranty also now wish I had my older set back never go for looks again had it out with Samsung wish I could sue them I would my daughter makes 3 whirlpools she had to replace all under warranty now she has went to the largest drum they have she said maybe this one will last.

    • Laura says

      AGREE AGREE AGREE!!! After 15 plus years of hand me down or bare-bones washer/dryers, I was finally able to “treat” myself to a brand new set of HE machines about 5 years ago. Worst mistake I have ever made and if I hadn’t paid thousands of dollars for them after all was said and done, I would get rid of them and go back to a nice standard top loading set. After only a few months, I noticed that my wet clothes would stink after sitting in the washer for an hour, something I had never had a problem with in the past. ANd when I say stink..I mean, open the door, knock you over, holy crap what has died sort of stink..not just the mildew smell that a person mught get if you forgot your wet clothes in there say, overnight. I have to IMMEDIATELY remove wet clothes to avoid the smell and even then, they never smell “clean” as they should. I do use the cleaning cycle which buys me a washing load or two of non-stinky clothes. This cleaning tip will help though and I also need to be more vigilant with cleaning my machine. As stated above, for those thinking about getting a front loader..I would never do it again.

      • Janie says

        The problem is laundry detergents. Making your own – following this link.
        It’s very easy and you won’t have the fillers that even HE soaps have. I am using “Norwex” powdered soap now and it works great. Homemade soap costs less than 5 dollars and will last a good year, too! Another mistake made using commercial detergents is using too much – you only need 1-2 tsp. for a front loader.

      • Mertz says

        I LUV my front loader and only have a problem with stinky clothes when I forget them in the washer for more than a day. I do agree that your detergent is the biggest culprit. I have very sensitive skin and have been using maleauca products….specifically the laundry products. Maleauca is a natural antiseptic and the oil is used in their laundry soap. It is super concentrated and doesn’t have all the fillers the other products off the shelf products do. It’s a pain in the rear to get it because I have to order it through the mail, but it is totally worth it. It only takes 1/2 an ounce of liquid to wash a super king size load.

        I try to leave the door open when it’s not in use, but this doesn’t always happen. I have had 2 front loaders and have never had a problem. My neighbor used to have the same model and she did have problems with the smell, but she used regular detergent.

        Only now have I put two and two together to figure out it was the detergent that got the smell started. Once the problem starts….it’s difficult to keep it away. It can be done…I have faith.

        I would give the products a try.

      • says

        Mertz, where do you get your melaleuka products from? I would love to try that, sounds like a good idea! I agree with you about the soap- i never have a problem with the laundry until my husband does the laundry and puts in TONS of soap! ha! I find my clothes always get beautifully clean, much better than the top loaders did, and no smell. I have even left clothes in there overnight and couldn’t barely smell anything! But I do leave the door always open, and i read that it does make a difference to do that. Maybe it has something to do with the soap and amount :)

      • Ellen Gray says

        I really thought I was doing the right thing by buying a front loader, less water more efficient. plus It looked sooo coool and shinny :) But hindsight is 20/20. If I could warn anyone pleeeeze listen! DONT BUY ONE!!! Who would have thought ……you would would have to wash the washer?!!? Clothes DO NOT come out any cleaner, and I cant tell if Im saving any water ( not according to the water bill). So i’ve conceded and bought the Tide Washing Machine cleaner. It is very expensive, but I dont like stinky clothes, so there you have it. Buy an Expensive Washing Machine and then buy expensive Washing Machine Cleaner, and you will have less money and MAYBE your clothes wont stink!@!

      • Heather Dolch says

        @Christine- I would be more than welcome to help you get signed up with Melaleuca. You are required to be a member to purchase their products. I use all of their laundry, cleaning, and some body products and couldn’t be happier with the results. If you, or anyone else would like to contact me about signing up, please feel free!

      • says

        I have made my own laundry detergent and still had problems. Even cleaning the washer monthly, it still smells. The mildew gets on the gasket sooooo quickly. I too thought I was “treating” myself. I figured with a family of 7 to wash for I needed a big front load machine. After all the problems I have had over the years, my two friends, one a family of 10 and the other a family of 13, decided to get the top load without the middle agitator and love it. When my machine dies, which I figure will be long before the 25 years of the last one, I will get a top load like theirs. Unless you like to clean, a front load isn’t worth it.

      • Jere Mullen says

        Heidi I make my own laundry soap also … I use very little because that is the HE way then for fabric softener I use only white vinger that softens the clothes and I use only dryer balls in the dryer which completely gets rid of static. No smells. The vinger softens clothes and keeps washer clean. My laundry formula is borax, fels naptha, arm & hammer washing powder … Been doing this for over a year no smells and clean clothes. My husband works outside and gets pretty nasty so I do wash his stuff on the heavy duty setting but other than that we are good to go. Hope this helps.

      • Peg says

        I have a top loading HE machine with no agaitator…and I HATE HATE HATE it. has nothing to do with front or top loading…its the HE. The washer as to dry out or it will spell so bad. I will buy a regular old washer next time, and after 4 years I am ready. I do not recommend any HE washers…

      • Debbie says

        I agree with Janie. As soon as I started using Jillee’s Homemade Laundry Detergent, first the grated & cooked, then more recently her Super Fast and Easy Laundry Detergent (which I like the best), all the unpleasant smells in my washer and laundry went away. I made my detergent more concentrated than her recipe, thus taking up less space, so I only have to use 1/4 C per load. I also mixed in some Downy Unstopable Scent Booster with my detergent — which I love — and it only added about 3 cents per load. I do leave my door open, but only a crack is necessary.

      • Tori says

        I have noticed much less to almost no smell since I started using home made soap in my front loading washer. I also was disgusted when pulling the soap drawer all the way out and realizing the nasty stuff that had built up on the top. Thanks for all the info and your constant help with so many issues and questions.

      • Toni says

        I agree with you! I’ve had mine for about 5 years as well -I would never ever ever get an HE ever again! I thought it would be the best thing – but I was soooo wrong! I’ve had several service appointments – and with their suggestions, I am now washing 1/2 the size of load (because any more than 1/2 filled and it doesn’t wash/get items even wet!) – so it saves me no time! I was hoping mine would break down while under warranty so I could get a top loader! I’m ready to get back my 1970’s avacado green set!

      • Sherry says

        i have a top loader, HE and i hate it! the machine stinks like mildew/mold. i am going to try cleaning it by running bleach and hot water thru it and see what happens. i too miss the old fashioned washers!!

      • Danielle says

        Sorry to be a bubble buster to anyone who thinks that HE or High Efficiency means that it will save you time, but the polar opposite is true! They are designed to save water and electricity or whatever your hot water tank runs on which is also the reason why they tend to get stinky if big brand or even store brand detergents are used. Think about it . . . you read the directions on the box/ bottle of detergent and throw it in . . . not being aware that of course the detergent company is going to tell you to use as much as they think they can get away with suggesting so that you buy more of their product and then buy a separate product by the same company to clean the scaly excess detergent and grime off of your washer that was put there by one of their products in the first place! Not to mention that many of the liquid detergent makers use ANIMAL FATS and other unnecessary ingredients that make that gummy residue! For the most part, if you can find a product on the shelf with the rest of the “normal” stuff, don’t trust the manufacturer to be producing things to make your life better or easier and God forbid that we ask for their products to be safe to use every day! One easy example being with Mountain Dew. It contains brominated vegetable oil . . . aka a fancy word for a fire retardent!!!! Do they plan on someone trying to make a flaming cocktail to drink with Mountain Dew?!?! So to make a long story short, if it is readily available in most stores, it’s probably not going to make life better in the long run and it’s quite possibly not even safe to use!

      • Cookiepress says

        I totally disagree. I have had a front loader for 6 years now and love it. I have never had stinky clothes and sometimes leave them in overnight with the door closed. When I take my clothes out I always leave the door open. I only clean it once a year if that much. Every few months or so I wipe the rubber down where the water gathers. I use an lavender scented he detergent with 2 tbs of baking soda on top and a half cup of vinegar in the softener cup. My clothes have no scent at all. I also use hot water. I do not use a clothes dryer. I always hang. I’ve found that the front loader leaves far fewer wrinkles. I can’t tell you how many times bras have gotten ruined in the top loader. As far as I’m concerned, you can keep the top loaders.

      • Christy says

        I love my front loader too! We went to an appliance store and were told not to leave the clothes in after washing, to leave the washer door open when not in use and to not use too much soap, that in fact you can leave soap out every other load. I have never had a problem with any smell and don’t always take the clothes out right away, and don’t leave the door wide open, just enough so it is not airtight (our washer is in a walkway between kitchen and garage with doors on each end.) And I use hot water when washing whites and there is also a sanitizing cycle that is extra hot.

      • Lacey says

        I agree. This is my second front loader because we moved. The only problem with stinky washer I had, was a Kenmore top loader (new) that came with the house. I use cold water mainly, leave the door open between loads and I don’t seem to have any area that holds water. I have cleaned it once into years with Affresh that came with it.

      • says

        I’m with you, Cookiepress, Christy and Lacey. Been using my HE for 5 years now with no problems. I’ve had stinky clothes maybe twice and that was because I forgot about them for two days. Rewashed and the smell was gone from both the clothes and the washer. I used to use Tide HE liquid because I got a 3-year supply free when I bought the washer. Now I use Jillee’s Homemade Laundry Detergent. No problems with either of them.

      • DM says

        I had a Maytag front load washing machine and NEVER had a problem with it.
        We should have brought that and dryer with us when we moved.
        The one in the new house is smelly and we’ve cleaned all the trays, etc.
        Not as bad as it was but will try powdered soap.

      • Danielle says

        I love your comment, I am just curious what the brand of your current washer is? After reading these comments, I’m starting to see a pattern with some of the one that list a brand. I keep seeing certain brands show up with similar opinions. Hmmm . . . . coincidence? My experience is to stay away from GE front loaders if not most newer GE products (I kind of wonder if maybe the company was sold sometime in the last 10 years?), resist the urge to want to destroy all GE brand front loaders, and run toward the Kenmore and Maytag brands. I can’t say anything about other brands since I have only owned these three, but I would be curious to see if there is an obvious patter just from the users on this thread.

      • Susie McDowell says

        I’m with you all I don’t like my big ” expensive” HE washer and dryer set either and if I could go back and do it all over again I would. Live and learn.

      • says

        Me also ran mine for 4 years no problem till last month it started banging now I can’t use it they have to replace a eat up drum all the rubber around it and the round barring that the drum runs by they do not run by rubber belts anymore seen every part my washer is made of they may all look pretty some might run along time but my repair men were shocked like I was it’s what there made of the inside you can not see pure junk! There built to be pretty not built to last !

      • Beth says

        Let me agree also. I renovated our bathroom and put in front loader washer and dryer. Over top is a built in pair of drawers and a counter. I am stuck with front loaders but am so desperate am thinking to see if I can get a top loader on a track that I can roll out to do the washing.

      • Brenda says

        I also wish I had never heard of front loading machine. Have a Samsung. My clothes smell like sewer. But you see I have always wiped my washer dry and the ring out ..left the washer door cracked open , cleaned out the trap on the front like the directions said, used he detergent and he fabric softner like it said , kept my dispenser drawer cleaned . And I haven’t seen anything growing. But my clothes smell like they have been washed in sewer . Was so proud of it and now a year later HATE the thing. So now I’m trying the cascade the washer man told me yesterday. Did it once , but still smell. Right now have a cup of bleach in it washing, but will change to vinegar since I read about septic tank because I have one of those also. I never had a problem with my top loader washer. Am so disgusted ! Called Samsung and they gave my a list of things to do so they know there is a BIG problem. Also told me to try washer fresh, affresh or smelly washer. And do this a LOT of times. So much for progress and not using a lot of water, electricity and conserve. Sure hope your suggestions work !

      • Margo says

        I too have Samsung. Got the whole schmeel-pretty red color with pedestal drawers and all. Hate them- not only the smell but I have had them repaired like 8 times in the couple of years I have had them. Tried to force them to take em back but no luck :(.
        I have laundry “closet” in my current house so I have no option to leave the door open.

      • Sandra says

        I ALSO have a STUPID Samsung front load washer. Fortunately my doesn’t smell but I think that is due to the fact I do at least one load a day and alternate between cold and HOT washes. But i did experience the horrible smell when I went away on vacation last year for two weeks. Like I was told I left the door open and cleaned it throughly. BIG MISTAKE!!! This year I cleaned it with the Tide stuff and then left a large bowl of baking soda in it. When I returned home after another 2 week vacation it slightly smelled but no where near what it was the first time. I ran a load with warm water and everything was fine. My BIG grief with the front load was after 6 months of owning it the front glass spider cracked leaving it inoperable! Called Samsung and was total this was not covered under the warranty that it was something I had done. I insisted that the have a handyman check it out and they did AFTER 3 weeks of yelling at them. The Samsung tech said it was a malfunction with the screws that keep the glass on. When the screws were put in one was tightened too much. So I thought GREAT now it will be fixed right….WRONG! Nope Samsung refused! Thankfully I had purchased an extended warranty from the vendor and I explained to them if THEY didn’t cover it I would drop it on their desks the next day. Here I was 4 months pregnant and at home with a 3 year old – a washer was a necessity! Well I guess the vendor saw my plight and had a whole new washer delivered thereby my manufacture warranty was extended and so was the vendors. Thank heavens. But I will never buy SAMSUNG! They may know how to make TV’s but appliances the SUCK AT IT!

      • Danielle says

        My experience is that all of their products are crap! I had a VERY expensive Samsung LED TV that only lasted just over 3 years, which go figure . . . how long was the warrantee? 3 years! And I have had 3 Samsung phones that I hated with a passion!

      • Tammy McKibben says

        I used to have the same problem with my clothes smelling. I tried the machine cleaner you buy at the store, left the door open, cleaned the inside ring, the bottom drawer, ran bleech, used vinegar and it would smell better for about 1 week. I was told by someone that it was the liquid detergent. I thought about it and I never used liguid detergent in my top load machine. I guess it leaves a residue in the machine on the drum which then transfers to your clothes. I went back to using powder about 2 years ago and I do leave my door ajar, but have not had the problem since then.

      • says

        Did all they say on here mine is a Samsung had it out with them also my clothes never smelled it never leaked just the part you can not see the drum the aluminum made on the back of the drum eat away bad ! Something you can’t see or clean .

    • Lisa says

      Amen!!!!!! I moved in a condo that had expensive front load HE washer and dryer. I put my old top loader washer and dryer in storage. I want to everyday get my old ones out and replace these sorry HE appliances. I hate them. I have never walked around conscious of how my clothes smell and worried that I smell bad. I often have to wash clothes twice and have actually thrown some away because I just couldn’t get the smell out. Please tell me how that saves money! I have used bought cleaners and they didn’t really work. I hope this vinegar/bleach cleaning works until I can move next year. I will not ever buy an HE washer or dryer. If top loaders become obsolete, I swear I will hand wash my clothes.

    • sharmon duthu says

      I totally agree! would never buy another front load. didn’t even go with the intention of buying one, but the sale respresenative encouraged me to do so. no only do you have stinky clothes, and now a machine to clean monthly, but if you even think about washing a rug…small or large, the thing tries to sprout legs and WALK! doesn’t always balance the towels either, and then you can hear the washing machine all over the house! it gets loud because it’s not balanced…my husband starts cussing and says, “That thing is fixing to grow legs and walk. i wish we had never bought that damn thing!”

    • Connie Slingbaum says


      After the first few months with my HE frontload washer and dealing with smelly clothes, I had an epiphany. I began searching the web and found that for many users switching to a powder detergent helped to eliminate the odor. Now I am able to use the new powder packs along with a dot of liquid detergent and fabric softener and my laundry smells fresh and clean. The worst odors came when I used a popular national brand of liquid detergent but their powder worked well with no odor. Liquid detergents with oxy or baking soda also seem to prevent smelly laundry.

    • says

      Did the same thing to a red fancy he front loader red with the work station across the top Samsung . Now it sits all apart still looks new but what you can not see the inside the back of my drum eat away watched good for along time and a month ago all of a sudden it was watching and the drum started beating inside I ran and shut it down pulled. The breaker in my house I did the beating was so loud I was shaking . The whole drum in the back not the inside the aluminum that’s made on the back of the drum eat away badly I was shocked so was the repair men they said there not made to last I had one matching set yellow that still worked regular washing machine and dryer had for years sold them when I seen the new he red ! Should have kept them

  9. Unknown says

    I chose the "delicate" cycle that helps with the weight problem. On mine there is an "add garment" light that is on during the filling, I let it fill for a few seconds, pause the machine, add the vinager or bleach, and let it run, I also have a "no spin" selection I use during this.
    My dispenser drawer also has a latch in the back that allows it to come all the way out. OH MY GOSH It was so nasty in there! Especialy on the roof (or ceiling) part of the drawer holder. I cleaned it the same way you suggested to clean the rubber and it worked great! THANK YOU for all the posts! It has motivated me to get done all these little things that I know in the back of my head I need to do but just put off! LOL!

    • Darrah Wagner says

      I don’t think you can add any thing like clothes a front loader when water is already in it.

    • Ellen says

      Yes, you can add clothes to a front loader after the water has started. Mine also has a light that tells you when you are able to pause it to add. Once the light is out though, you won’t be able to pause the washer. That’s a good tip about turning off the spin cycle. It didn’t occur to me to do that until I read your post.

      • says

        Mine has all that but the aluminum on the drum was eat away that is built in the back of the whole drum it’s self there is no trap door on mine it’s built in back of the drum and when the repair men released the rubber hose from the drum to the pump the gunk thick like mud and wet I was even shocked I was to fussy with my matching set bought it because it matched my kitchen all in Apple’s my daughter even said wow how fussy you was with it now it’s all apart the drum the aluminum on the back that’s built on the drum that you can’t see or clean eat away that is what makes its spin . The parts you can not see my daughter has replaced her whirlpool 3times in 5 years her he now she went to the largest drum you can buy hopeing it will maybe out last and they all were under warranty like mine mine Samsung she said the man told her whirlpool was marking there parts in Mexico mine in Korea who knows to have mine eat away so badly the work men were even shocked I did everything you all are doing the cleaning once a month and so did she if your warranty runs out after you purchased a 5 yr like we both did you better take out another one if you can that’s all I can say if mine wasn’t under warranty I would have to junk it . I had it out with Samsung ! My daughter she just lets them opt them out and pay her off but she has to pay hundreds out of her own pocket also . Like the repair men told me there not made to last nine of them.

      • Vanessa says

        I don’t usually play grammar police, but you are killing me with the lack of punctuation. Maybe you’re in a phone and that makes it difficult? I feel like you’ve got some good info but I can’t read your comments. Even just periods would help.

  10. Carole says

    This was AMAZING!!! My washer looks like new. Thank you, thank you. Happy Birthday, Jillee. I hope you day was one of your very BEST!!! Thanks for your help.

    • Pat campbell says

      The one solution that has not been listed is an easy fix. As you look at your washer there is a panel across the bottom third of your machine. Take this panel off. Can be tricky especially if your machine is on the floor as the screws run across the bottom. There is a trap located in this area. There is a screw off top…put a container or towel under it to catch the gunk and liquid . Wipe it out thoroughly and replace top. You might be shocked at what comes out.

      • Tina says

        also with HE washers , if it is still smelling it may need to be emptied of excess water. Ours has a plug at the bottom that you hook your shop vac too and it sucks out the excess water. The first time I heard about this was a repair man. He was nice and said that some charge hundreds of dollars to do this! The water is nasty!!! Also be sure it is leveled!!! We clear ours once every other month!! smeels sooo much better!!! Hugs Tina

      • says

        Mine is 4 yrs old mine is built in in back of the drum hooks to the washing to the pump then the pump pumps through the hose its like a trap when they took mine apart all kinds of gunk thick grey Sandy like drums up white powered like filled with it so I can’t get to it to clean it I think Samsung knew they had a problem why they came out with the stream cleaning my aluminum on my drum on the out side was eat away ! I have a matching set with a laundry work station that goes across it it’s color is all red all of it . I know they came out with the door on the front down on the bottom now I think they new they had a problem with the gunk why they added the door on the front on the bottom mine does not have it it has silver care but that is just for real delicate items . Never used it . There is noway you can clean the gunk out of mine it’s in back of the drum would have to take the whole drum apart like they did and the gunk I was shocked so we’re the repair men when they seen it and the aluminum was eat away that the drum is built with they were even shocked so it still isn’t fixed yet must waite for another drum I think all hes are bad there all made of junk even the whirlpools Maytag all them what I heard them say about all the top loaders and front loaders and different brands they worked on all junk! But like they said getting the company to admitted to it , they never will say any of your he warshings machines are factory defective and the parts are made in different countries are junk!

      • Brunswick says

        I am glad to hear my frustration with “High Efficiency” washers being validated by others. They are NOT efficient at all. That is a lie. Hey, the solution to this sort of garbage is don’t vote democrat. That is why these things were being pushed. governmental regulation and policy. Free Market ingenuity works better than the government bullying.

      • Angie says

        I second that! But, I actually wanted to comment on the fact that if anyone reading this is considering front loading machines… do not do it! I would love to have my 20 yr old, small capacity, top loader back. We have the Electrolux wave touch and there is nothing we can do to get the nasty smells out of our clothing. They have ‘very graciously’ constructed all their products to require extensive frequent service calls. I can not find out how to get to the drain pump filter without entirely disassembling the darn thing. AND – the other thing that I was going to do was replace the internal discharge hose which on any other brand of washer is about $15. On an Electrolux, for the same stinking piece… $36-52… lovely. I am so ready to set these things out for bulk pick up. I don’t even have the heart to sell them to an unsuspecting person and pass on the evil that resides with Electrolux products. :(

      • Randi says

        Ewwww… have a strong gag reflex but this really tested it. Got a 3 year old used set last year and have been really happy with it except some weird stains showing up. Was warned about maybe an odor but I leave dryer and washer doors open when not in use, along with detergent tray. Noticed dirt build on top of washer door dome so made a habit of always wiping it down after a load. Son showed me some of his soccer (white) gear that had some nasty black streaks on it that were not there going into the wash. Never had a manual for the set. Did the pump thing first… $2.77 richer and got rid of some slim there. The killer was folding back the washer… and the smell! New monthly chore on the books! Thanks for everyone’s input!

    • BEast says

      Sidenote, I would only pull out the rubber ring out and clean it just after a cycle, while it is all damp. If you do it while it is dry, you face the chance of spreading the spores, and getting mold around the room. I mention, because I am highly allergic to mold, and you can get anyone sick that way.

    • says

      As far as the front loading washing machines. If you use dry soap and the manufactures suggested amount, you shouldn’t have the smell. Liquid soaps can have animal fats in them. When they are not rinsed down or caught in the cracks, they can start to smell. I use a dry soap and close the door when I am done and never had a smell. The only time I had a smell is when I had to use liquid soap, my store was out of my soap. Clean your machine with the vinegar solutions and try dry, it will make a difference.

      • Lisa says

        I concur. I use powdered detergent and have never had a problem with my he washer smelling. Clothes smell fresh even if they are forgotten and spend the night in the washer. I’ve owned this washer for 4+ years and have never disinfected it. I am always puzzled when others complain about their front loader He washers as I adore mine.

      • Marla says

        I found the same thing to be true. After changing to powder, no smell after three loads. The cleaning tips mentioned are still a good idea.

      • Allison says

        Ew! That is absolutely disgusting, I had no idea. The machine my mother uses has a mildew-y smell and I really want to fix it for her. I feel awful, she can’t even leave the laundry room door open when the machine is running! Thanks for the tip!

      • Randi says

        I thought you couldn’t use dry detergent in HE washers. But like I mentioned in another post, I didn’t get the manual with the machines. Is the recommended dry amount the same with all HE washers? I see that in spare time, when there is some, I’ve got some research to do. Thanks to everyone for the input.

    • Darrah Wagner says

      Does this also remove built up calcium and soap deposits from inside the drum. in the UK they have a product that does this but it’s not available here and to expensive to ship.

      • Lisa says

        A good thing for descaling the washing machine is citric acid. It’s a powder that you can buy in bulk. (You can also buy it as a food, as you use it to make sherbert, but for cleaning you need a lot more, so you don’t need the food grade citric acid.)
        Just put maybe 2/3 of a cup in the detergent drawer, and do a long hot wash. An hour into the wash, you pause it, and let the water sit in the machine for an hour or so. Then continue the wash. I find citric acid more effective than vinegar, which is also a descaler.

        It’s also great to put about 1/3 of a cup of citric acid in the toilet bowl if there is limescale that you can get rid of. Leave for half a day, and then scrub with the toilet brush. All the nasty grime just peels away.

    • Miles says

      My HE washer has a access panel outside that allows me to access the drain trap. There is a lot of slimy gunk in there!