Front load washers are great for high-efficiency cleaning, but they can develop some funky smells without proper maintenance. Even with normal usage, washers are exposed to dirt, grime, and detergent residue. Then they sit in a laundry room or garage where they get musty and begin to develop mildew. Learning how to clean a front load washer the right way is the the quick and easy way to remove and prevent washer odors.

How to Clean a Front Load Washer

Among the most common front load washer problems are mold, mildew, and unpleasant odors. However, front load washer mold is easily avoidable. A regular cleaning routine for your washing machine will do wonders to prevent those foul smells and keep your washer fresh and pristine.

Why Does My Washing Machine Smell Bad?

Over time, washing machines are assaulted by dirt, grime, grease, and more. The smallest amounts of residue and leftover debris that remains unseen in the washer attract more residue each time the washer is run.

In addition to the natural dirt from the clothes, another contributor to a washer filled with residue is an overuse of detergent. This is one instance where less is more. Front load washers need very little detergent to do their job and get clothes incredibly clean; that’s the whole point to a HE washing machine. If you are using more than 1 tablespoon of detergent, your washer will develop more residue buildup.

Compound the residue buildup effect with a warm, moist environment and you have a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and mildew. Eventually, these grow, multiply, and begin to emit foul odors.

Without a proper maintenance routine and cleaning schedule, your washer will lose the battle against mold and mildew and you’ll be stuck with a smelly washer. Therefore, learning how to clean a front load washer is a must.

How to Clean Washing Machine Tub

Always check your manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning your washer. With most models though, you clean your washer tub by following these steps:

Note: If your machine has a cleaning cycle, your owner’s manual will have specific instructions for when to add the baking soda and vinegar.

  1. Add 1/3 cup baking soda into the tub.
  2. Pour 2 cups white vinegar into the detergent tray.
  3. Adjust the washer to the hottest setting and run a full wash and rinse cycle.
  4. Load 2 cups of bleach into the bleach dispenser and run a full wash and rinse cycle. (Optional, but recommended if you suspect mildew.)
  5. Run a pure rinse cycle to completely rinse the machine.
  6. Remove and thoroughly clean the dispenser and its components.
front load washer mold

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How to Clean Mold from Front Load Washer Gasket

A critical step for how to clean a front load washer is knowing how to clean mold from front load washer gasket, which is where much of the mildew develops. Here’s what to do:

  1. Gently peel back the rubber gasket that seals the washer door.
  2. Remove any foreign objects, such as paper clips, bark, coins, hair, etc.
  3. Spray with vinegar or a vinegar/water solution and wipe until clean.
  4. Scrub with vinegar solution and a toothbrush where necessary.
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Preventing Washer Odors

So, how do I get my front load washer to stop smelling? After conquering how to clean a front load washer just follow these tips:

  • Use a small amount of the right detergent.
  • Take clean wet clothes out right away.
  • Wipe down the gasket after every load.
  • Leave washer door and detergent dispenser ajar to air dry between loads.

Removing odors is one thing, but if you find yourself in need of washer repair Nashville, call the experts at Advance Appliance Service. Our technicians work hard to provide quality service and ensure your high-end appliances are in good hands.