Update on moldy Fisher and Paykel Washing MAchine

mrmichaeljmooreJanuary 4, 2010

I had a thread in the discussions section documenting my moldy Fisher and Paykel Washing Machine,

but somewhow it got moved to the Gallery Section of the Laundry Forum.....

Here is the link:


But since there is not much traffic there, here is the update in a new thread:


The last cleaning was on Nov 29, 09.

I took apart the washer today (1/3/2010) to see if there was any mold buildup.

Pics below of what I found.

Not too bad.....getting better.

We started using powdered detergent exclusively around December 14 2009. We are using the Sears Advanced Formula Ultra Plus powdered detergent.

Prior to that, we were using Tide for Cold Water liquid.

My wife says she is washing our colored/dark clothes in all cold Regular cycle. Whites, towels and sheets in hot Regular cycle. All with Sears Advanced Formula Ultra Plus powdered detergent poured down the agitator.



Here is a link that might be useful: Original moldy F&P Washer Thread

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More evidence against liquid detergents. :-)

You might also consider running a weekly load on the Perm Press cycle at Warm. That'll give a warm agitated wash which may help further, and lessen the need to run the machine cleaning cycle. Surely some of your colored/casual clothes can take warm water. Or run the whites on Perm Press @ Warm if they don't always need Hot ... although it'd be advisable to put them through a 1000 RPM Final Spin on Regular to lessen drying time.

As I pointed out previously, Hot and Cold aren't the only temp choices ... there's also Warm/Cold, Warm, and Warm/Hot. To head-off a common misconception, Warm/Cold doesn't mean a Warm wash and Cold rinse, nor does Warm/Hot mean a Warm wash and Hot rinse. Warm/Cold is a wash temperature that's between Cold and Warm. Warm/Hot is a wash temperature that's between Warm and Hot. Rinses are always cold.

Regular also isn't the only cycle choice. The various cycles are available for a reason, to provide best treatment of various clothing and fabric types ... such as casuals & knits at a slower spin on Perm Press to reduce wrinkling. ;-)

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 4:19AM
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WOW!! I clearly remember your mold buildup in the prior thread... I was amazed at what you found! I realize it's only been a bit over a month since your sanitizing project, but it sure looks tons better to me... I gues this clearly indicates that powder is a much better answer.

FWIW... the only cold wash I ever do is for my polarfleece items...everything else gets warm, except for rags/sheets and some towels, which get hot. I don't experience fading.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 7:47PM
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Not surprizing to me at all. I had the exact same experience back in 2004. Cleaned out all the horrible buidup in our Maytag Neptune. Never saw a problem again after adjusting laundering habits and tossing out the liquid detergents. Lessons learned by the first modern generation of American front load users.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 9:24PM
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dadoes, my LG Hot/cold really is hot wash and cold rinse. Warm/cold, warm(warm wash)/warm(warm rinse!) extra hot/cold etc. Why it would mean that the temp is somewhere in between? It sounds stupid and it doesn't make sense b/c the extra hot/cold would really mean warm or maybe sometimes hot or whatever and you wouldn't need the other temp settings!
If there is no internal heater hot water depends on the water temp that travels in from water heater so no, hot may not be hot at all if your water heater is too far or the temp setting is lower.
Liquid detergents don't cause problems unless the dose is not right. MY God, I would have to have at least some problems over the years!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 3:04AM
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I wasn't referring to your LG, but specifically to the OP's F&P toploader. It has Up and Down selection buttons with three indicator lights for Cold, Warm, and Hot. However, there are FIVE temperature selections. Warm/Cold is indicated by both the Cold and Warm lights, and produces a temperature of about 95°F, which is between Cold (68°F) and Warm (104°F). Warm/Hot is indicated by both the Warm and Hot lights being on, and produces a temperature of about 122°F (assuming the hot water supply is higher than that), which is between Warm (104°F) and Hot (ideally 140°F fed from the household hot supply).

There is sometimes confusion regarding the temp selections, due to the "in-between" temps being referred to as Warm/Cold and Warm/Hot. When two temps are cited that way on other machines, it generally refers to Wash/Rinse temps ... but that is NOT the case on F&P toploaders. I once saw a post on another forum from someone who thought his F&P machine was broken and malfunctioning due to allowing selection of Cold and Warm or Warm and Hot at the same time ... he didn't realize those are legitimate temp selections.

No, the machines do not have an internal heater, but do have ATC to mix the incoming hot and cold to the target temps.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 4:38AM
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Hey dadoes, thanks fo the explanation! No wonder people get confused.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 7:55AM
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Took apart the washer again today, March 7, 2010.

Didn't take any pictures though.

Mold build up was minimal.
I would say it is a little bit less than the pictures I posted above on January 4, 2010.


Would you say a bit of mold accumulation is normal for this washer?

My wife has been washing this way:
Towels and sheets: Hot
All other cycles: Warm/Cold

Still using the Sears powdered detergent exclusively.

I am on well water. Water is softened. No iron.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 12:05PM
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Reading through the posts here and elsewhere, I wonder why so many people are afraid to wash their clothes on warm or hot? My Asko manual recommends 105F for dark colors, 120F for regular colored loads, and higher for whites. 105F would be considered "warm" and 120F would be considered "very warm" for those with heaters or "hot" for those without.

Washing on cold can only lead to problems. Don't be afraid of temperature!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 3:39PM
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We mainly washed clothes on cold to save on the electric bill...
CT electricity costs are some of the highest in the country and I have an electric water heater.

Since having the mold problem, we now try to add some warm water in there, then hot for towels/sheets...

pay now or pay later!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 4:13PM
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I don't think mold should be expected or considered as normal in any washer ... but likewise I imagine there'll be some instances in which it is more apt to occur due to particular environmental and/or usage conditions ... whatever that may be.

mm, remember that in normal (there's that word again!) operation of all cycles except Perm Press, the machine takes only a few gallons of warm or hot water in the initial fill for the Eco Active wash period. The balance of the fill for the agitated wash that follows is cold (controlled to a minimum of ~61°F), as is the rinse. So even when hot is selected, it's not a full tub of hot water ... unless the hot-fill workaround is used via the programmable machine-cleaning cycle.

If you're not already doing so as part of the change in usage habits, perhaps run the Perm Press cycle for some of the warm loads so you get a full-fill (to whatever water level) of warm water, or run every 3rd (or so) hot sheets/towels load via the cleaning cycle. Check for build-up again after a couple months of doing that, see what's the effect.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 5:02PM
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Quick update....

Pulled the washer apart last night to inspect for mold....

None found! No mold/scrud or buildup in the pump sump pit either...
Sweet! Success!

There was a faint soap/scum ring (at least thats probably what it was) around the outer plastic tub. I wiped it off with a damp rag and put the washer back together.

So, it seems a diet of powdered detergent (in my case I have been using the Sears powder), with warm/hot washes mixed periodically is the best prescription for mold in a FP washer....

thanks dadoes.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 10:46AM
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Same problem here with an older (10 yo) Maytag top loader. I'd been noticing a moldy smell for some time and never thought that it might have anything to do with a change to liquid detergent.
"Luckily" our water pump went out and we decided to fix it ourselves When we took the machine apart.... OMG the sludge mixed with lint and pet hair etc was just awful!!!!
I had been using a Liquid Gain from Sam's for a while... probably about 6-8 months. I switched back to powder and so far haven't noticed any odor.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 11:15PM
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My Theory:

I think the mold problem on the Fisher Paykel washing machines is due to pouring liquid detergent down the center of the agitator before turning on the machine and filling it with water. The liquid soap goes right to the bottom of the tub basin and some soap stays there causing mildew to form. Either wait for the water to partially fill the tub or do not pour the detergent down there at all.

After years of clothes getting stained from scud, I took my machine apart to find the worst smelling crud water and slime at the bottom of the washing machine tub. I then came to the conclusion that soap is laying there causing this crud, and pouring it down the center of the agitator is possibly causing this problem.

I hope this possible solution helps other people with this problem.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 9:05AM
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pvc is probably correct.
For a top loader to get mold it is a rare occurrence compared to FL.
Has to be a mechanical reason for it just like for FL.

I have used TL for 35 years and never seen one spec of mold EVER and have been using Liquid Tide for at least 15 years I think.
Mold comes from an area that stays wet and has food for mold such as lint/dirt or what ever.
Like the folds in the seal of front loaders.

TL must have some odd design for it to have an area to create mold.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 4:11PM
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Nunyabiz1, all toploaders retain some water in the pump and hoses, and not unusual that some machines hold a little water in a recessed sump area in bottom of the outer tub. As I've stated repeatedly and personally observed on multiple occasions, toploaders can and do get mold/scum on the surface of the outer tub and exterior of the inner basket, under the tub cover, agitator, and in the pump hoses.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 4:23PM
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Agree with dadoes.....ALL washers (DW's, too, for that matter) retain water in the sump. They all pump their drain water up-and-over, and they all retain that last bit that doesn't go up-and-over. Ergo, it's always wet down there. However, if the machine's operating as it should, it should be a "clean" wet.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 5:43PM
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The water isn't the main problem, its the food. (lint, dirt)
Doesn't matter how many times you repeat it.

As Asolo stated it should be a "clean wet"

Any top loader that gets moldy is because some unusual design flaw in that TL or something is plugged.
Which is exactly why most all FL are very prone to mold, it is virtually designed to mold.
Has rubber folds that hold moist lint and catches dirt like a gold pan and if you shut the door is air tight.
it is basically a petri dish.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 10:31PM
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Any top loader that gets moldy is because some unusual design flaw in that TL or something is plugged.And you know this via experience disassembling/repairing how many machines?

Two F&P agitator toploaders are in my direct environment. One is 12+ years of age, the other 7+ years. Both retain water per the usual. Neither has mold. I disassembled the 12-year-old last month for a look-see while changing the pump (first repair on it), found a lot of mineral deposits from hard water, but no mold.

However, other machines of other brands have had scum/scrud/mold ... even with porcelain outer tubs.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 11:29PM
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I have yet to see a TL with mold in my lifetime and I have owned nothing but TL, family and friends nothing but TLs for as long as I can remember.

I have known 2 people with FL, both of them had mold issues.

I don't see any class action lawsuits against TL because of mold either.
Some designs are just inherently more prone to catch lint and dirt thus more prone to mold, 98% of those are FL

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 11:43PM
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Although not uncommon, top loaders can get mold in them. Think about what causes mold.....damp, dark areas with no air circulation to dry the area out. Front loaders have to have a tight seal so that water does not leak out during operation. Top loaders are not as tightly sealed. I have had a front loading Maytag Neptune since May 1999 and have never had a mold/mildew issue with it. I do at least one hot wash with bleach and when finished doing laundry, I wipe out the boot and leave the door open until the next wash day.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 8:40AM
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My neighbour had mold in her top loader just last year. She complained to me about smelly towels and I knew what was going on. She ordered Smelly Washer and followed the directions for TL cleaning. Guess what??? No smelly towels anymore .... hmmmm ....

"98% of those are FL"

Could you provide your factual reference for that?

Amazing you turned a post about a TL into a "bash" on the FL again. No one was talking about FL until you brought it up. Let it go man ... you don't own one so what do you care??

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 7:42PM
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That's the problem....Nunyabiz1 does care. Just not about reality. Paltry experience and internet posts are sufficient for him/her to become a forum-oracle.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 8:41PM
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I just found it odd that someone would register and revive a year old thread. All washers retain water, my LG has a drain that is suppose to be opened as part of the maintenace. I get about a quart of water out of it. Not sure if TLs have similar drains, I would suspect they do.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 11:32PM
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100s and 100s of reviews all stating the same thing along with many class action law suits are enough for me YES.
I don't need to be hit on the head to see the obvious.

again I will do as I damn well please, don't like it? don't care.
I state my opinion, same as you are doing, no more no less.

Stop reading my post and stop responding if you don't agree, or even if you do agree. I do my best to ignore all your post as much as I possibly can because 80% of what you say is BS that you call "fact" and the other 20% is just incessant whining about every word I post.

Get over it.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 7:58AM
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Fact is, you hijacked a thread that had NOTHING to do with FL so you could post the same c*** you�ve been posting ALL over this forum.

No one reading this post about TL issues cares about what you perceive about FL.

If you can prove exactly 80% of what I say is BS - everyone on this forum would love to read it.

You're just a bully who thinks he's always right and who thinks everything he buys is "THE BEST". I perceive that�s because you perceive you are SO much smarter than everyone else. Ya, sadly I�ve seen your posts on the appliance forum also.

You have to jump on every thread you can find to tell everyone all about your great stuff.

We've all read it OVER and OVER again. Don't you get tired of typing the same words all the time?? I sure get tired of reading them. Why don�t you try adding real value to a conversation?

    Bookmark   December 13, 2011 at 9:05AM
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I understand you are passionate about top loaders. We all have ideas as to what works for us.

However, you are not correct regarding mold and bad smells in front loading washer IF you exercise proper care with the machine. Namely, leave the door cracked when the machine is not in use. Problem fixed.

I've had front loaders for over 16 years and have never had an issue with smell or mold.

This borders on a religious crusade with you, and really, it isn't necessary.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 6:02PM
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So, if you've tried all of the fixes and tricks you can find and still haven't fixed the mold problem, do what I did. Take the machine out of service for a year or so, leave it in the garage or somewhere, and leave the door open. The mold will die, run affresh thru it a time or two, then you're back in business. And yes I realize the issue of having a second machine in order to do this, but you really can get good ones on Craigslist for a 100 bucks or so as your back-up. Though it isn't feasible for many to do this it does work, so just another option.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2012 at 7:20PM
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