What is causing smelly clean laundry?

mommyof5December 17, 2006

I've read lots of posts about smelly FL machines and how to clean them, but my HE3 machine smells fine, it's the clothes thatsmell awful. I especially notice it when drying off w/ a towel. I use Tide HE Free detergent. I used to use MelaPower detergent and the softener and loved the smell and effectiveness. Now I have to use HE detergent and have stinky clothes. Is it the detergent or something else?

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I have noticed when I use a powder detergent that my towels do not sour as quickly. If I use liquid Tide they sour within a couple of days (even taking them out of my bathroom linen closet they smell sour). Therefore, I only use powdered detergent for towels and whites and liquids for all my colors.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 7:21PM
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I know exactly what you mean! I had the same problem. Laundryman gave me some good ideas. I have a sears HE3t and my laundry had a horrible smell. I really didn't notice any mold in the drum or anything. I've been reading the boards and wonder what we would find if we looked deeper, but we haven't yet. Anyway, he told me how to run a cleaning cycle, which I did. Then I ran a cycle of 1/4 cup cascade a 1 cup bleach in the whitest white cycle. Then I switched from liquid regular detergent to Tide HE powder and no softener..am trying dryer sheets. My laundry is smelling/feeling considerably fresher and cleaner already! Not perfect yet, but LOTS better. I think there is some kind of buildup in the clothes and it may take a couple of washings to get the best results. I use the hottest setting the clothes will allow. Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 10:37PM
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Tide HE powder
Gain HE powder
Cheer HE powder
Sears HE powder
Quixtar/Amway HE powder

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 4:11PM
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If you switched from a scented detergent to a fragrance-free detergent, then perhaps before the fragrance was covering up any off odors.

Clean laundry should smell fresh, but it doesn't take much of an odor causing chemical to make something reek.

You could try adding Borax to the wash; it has a natural deodorizing capability (plus it kills mold rather effectively).

If you are using a liquid, I also suggest trying a powdered version. Powders are harsher but they also clean better for most types of fabrics and soiling.

Also, use the hottest water your fabrics can stand. Most care labels are too conservative when it comes to temperature - just about any colorfast cotton or cotton blend can be washed in hot water without problems. Certainly in warm.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 8:29PM
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I think your issue has to do with water temp. I wash my towels at 140 degrees and never have any smell issues whatsoever. If you have a built-in heater, crank it up, otherwise turn up your hot water heater to 140 and run a HOT cycle.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 2:21PM
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Im having the same issues with my HE3 washer. sometimes when the wash water dumps I get a strange sluphur odor. Then one day I walked into my laundry rool and it smelled of mildew. I ran a cup of clorox through the washer on the rinse and spin cycle and in a couple of days the stink was goine. I the washer itself inside looks clean and odor free so where is it coming from?

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 4:35AM
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You cant see the inner tub or how much standing water is left in it after each wash. You might need to leave the door cracked open to allow the machine to dry out. And a monthly refresh like people failed to do on the Maytags and they got bad smell issues as a result. Also using too much detergent and softner can cause a buildup.

I have had great results using since changing my washing habits from top loader abuse to front loader care.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 9:23AM
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I was having the same problem. I used bleach and a rag to clean the mold from behind the rubber seal up front. Then I ran an empty cycle with ammonia (non sudsing) and vinagar. I read the Tide HE bottle and discovered I wasn't using enough detergent. I would like the information though on what is recommended to thoughly clean the tub. I'm sure I still have mold where I couldn't reach.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 4:09PM
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We're always very quick to blame the washers and the detergents. Let's not forget that sometimes the water is the problem. Every spring the city "purges" the water system and for about 3 days all the water has a terrible odor to it. (they say it's safe...)

Also people on wells should have thier water checked.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 1:40PM
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I have a 2 year old front load Maytag and use Tide He. Because of the horrible odor in the clothes after I have washed and dried them I started adding Febreze liquid, that isnt working either! I am tired of washing and drying clothes over and over that haven't been worn, I will not let my family out of the house smelling like this!!!!!! What is the SOLUTION???

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 8:30PM
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Change detergents. Try the Sears powder, try Fab powder-very low suds. Add washing soda, baking soda, or borax. When I first got mine (f/l) I used some Tide liquid and it made the machine stink and this was before it had any chance to mildew. I think it was a reaction to what was in the detergent and the rubber gasket(boot). After I stopped the liquid Tide no more smell. I use All Free/Clear now.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 9:18PM
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This has been a question / concern many times over. It is amazing how many people experience this problem. I use to have the same issue over and over again. what worked for me was switching to all natural laundry detergent. Regular detergents leave a chemical residue in your machine, and your clothes . ( tide is the worst) These chemicals build up and cause odors. Once they are removed, the odors are gone.
check out www.charliesoap.com, I learned about this product on the laundry room forum, so I ordered a small bag and love it! clean, clean clothes and machine ..also leave your door slightly open after doing a wash as your machine needs to get air in there to dry it out (FL's have a tight seal that does not allow air inside) Ree

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 8:42AM
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My old Neptune probably had the worst case of mold and detergent buildup ever on this forum. It took a manual cleanout it was so bad after 4 years.

Since then I have used powered detergent (Persil in my case), hot wash at least once per week, bleach in my whites may have helped too. I also do not any longer use liguid fabric softener. I have not had to keep the door open or anything else and after 2 1/2 years I have had zero odor problems or buildup at all in the machine. Laundering habits are the number one problem with machine odors.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 1:50PM
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Not leaving the door open just isn't a good idea...even if you don't have problems with it. A lot depends on how frequently you use your washer, what and how much detergents or other additives you use and what temperatures you choose. If you leave the inside of the washer cold and damp for several days (even after a hot wash it will eventually cool down) you are just asking for a mold problem!
I don't understand at all why people think that it is such a hassle to leave the door slightly cracked by putting a rag or towel or something between the door and the latch. It takes all of a second or two...

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 2:30PM
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I read this thread title and thought I knew the reason for the smelly laundry for sure. I may not, but thought I'd share what I know in case it does help someone.

I found that my gas dryer was producing smelly laundry, and it stayed on the clothing until it was washed again. I called PSE&G since it was such an industrial type of odor, and I actually even smelled it while I was cooking on my gas range! I thought that somehow something was wrong with the gas supplied to our house.

The PSE&G guy came, smelled the laundry, chuckled and asked if we were doing any work in the house, such as painting. I said yes, we actually had been painting our 3rd floor. He said that the fumes from the paint were drawn all the way into our basement and burned by the flames in the gas dryer!

So, now I know that even though I can't smell paint fumes in my basement, the fumes will be sucked down there by the dryer.

This may not be the trouble for anyone on this thread, but maybe it will solve a stinky mystery for someone else!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 6:14PM
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I have had my LG FL washer and dryer for almost 1 1/2 yrs. The dryer makes a loud noise ever since I have owned it. I have experienced a sour smell in my wash cloths, then towels. I first thought it was because the wash cloths were not being "dried" thoroughly after use, and prior to being washed in machine. Bought an "octopus" from IKEA to hang them on. Still didn't work. Now the towels are becoming sour smelling. I have read all posts here and from Google search for sour smell. I have always left the washer door open after each use. I began using only HE detergent in machine. We have used every detergent out there. I have soaked, pre-soaked, washed several times....all to no avail. The weird thing is, it's only the towels and wash cloths. My other clothes are fine. I read about the ammonia on another site, I will try that. I just hate the idea of having to buy new towels and wash cloths because my washer is making them smell. I never had this problem when I had my top-loading Kenmore that my Mom and Dad bought me in 1984. I still have the matching dryer, and it is still working fine. The only thing I have had done to the dryer is a belt was replaced, oh, 7 or 8 yrs ago. I am ready to give this washer and dryer to my sister-in-law, and purchase a new set, especially after reading all of the posts here with all the problems with FL machines. It sure will be cheaper. I will write to LG as well and complain. Thanks for all of your posts. JK

    Bookmark   October 21, 2007 at 2:53PM
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I read this on the Consumer Reports website a guy there that works for LG said to go to Home Depot or wherever and get some Whirl Out and put 4 Tablespoons in the washer run on HOT cycle Long wash time and it will get the smell out and maybe this will help your towels. You can't wash the towels in it but you may have build up in the machine and maybe the smell sticks to them more because they are a thicker fabric.?? BTW This Whirl Out is for spas, hot tubs to get the gunk out of them. The guy said they did this at an LG training class and showed the before and after and he said it worked very well. This is what LG recommends for their machines.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2007 at 4:21PM
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Try these steps:
1. Always leave the door to the washer open after use to let it completely dry inside.
2. Use baking soda in the wash cycle. See info. on box as to how much to use. It neutralizes odors in towels, etc.
3. Don't let your laundry sit long in the washer when the cycle ends or you may end up with mildew in the clothes which smells, especially in a towel you're drying your face with!
4. Dry clothing completely or hang items on a drying rack that has good air circulation to dry.
5. Run vinegar through the washer from time to time to clean it out.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 12:36AM
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I am finding that my teen son's clothes do not get fresh with only one cycle and have to run two quick cycles to get them clean, and I dare not put many items in. This works better than a two hour soak followed by a full cycle. The manual says two cycles of washing may be necessary for soiled clothing! I am NOT saving time with this FL -- although I like it for delicates.

Does anyone else have a different idea for getting perspiration smells from clothes that cannot take Hot water?

I had the same problem with sour smelling towels and switched to the hot cycle, even for red ones, and if they don't go immediately in the dryer, I wash them a second time and use softener. I am now using hot for sheets also. Never had in the past, seems to improve cleaning.

Also, I am using bleach on a small load a week and although that helps eliminate washer odors, I have now acquired a few spotted shirts from stray bleach droplets.

I think the FL, I have Bosch, is so efficient with water, there isn't enough to rinse or purge all smells, plus the enzymes the HE detergents rely on build up and can only be removed w/ bleach or vinegar.

Thanks for the idea about going back to powder, I'll try that.

I think the detergent industry needs to work on this problem as we try to be more environmentally conscientious by purchasing low water use appliances. Using bleach is not enviromentally friendly.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 9:57PM
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I am not sure if this will help, but it did for me. I switched to a true, all natural laundry detergent. (Charlies soap) what I have learned is chemical detergents build up not only in your clothes, but in your machine. This will make both smell sour. It's a long story, I will try to make it as short as I can.. a few months back, I bought a Laundry Pure machine. .the rep told me to let it run at least 3x's before I did a wash so I do not redeposit chemicals in my clothes. .ok .thought that sounded reasonable. .I put the machine on for my first time, and through the window, I saw a dark blue liquid going through ..I called the rep and asked if this was normal as I had no idea, first time using it. .anyway, I talked with her tech support and the first thing he asked me was if I used Tide. .I did! (HE no less and always the recommended amount) any way. .that was all the detergent residue build up coming out.. I was stunned! I had to run the machine at least 5x's before doing laundry. .well.. the laundry pure did not work out.. after I returned it, I went to all natural because I didn't want chemicals in my clothes after getting them all out.. I haven't had the sour smell ever again. .and yes..I have left clothes in the washer over night (by accident) and no smell! You may have an over load of detergent residue in your machine. .this will definitely cause that sour smell.. once you use all natural for a while, you will not have that smell, also you do not need fabric softener or dryer sheets...(if you feel you do on occasion, use a little white vinegar.. hope this helps!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 9:10PM
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You should try adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Borax to each load. It helps with the smells and cleans out the washer and helps control mold/mildew. Also the Charlies soap will really help clean out your machine,but if you don't plan to try it or switch try the borax. It does help!!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 11:20PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I have soft water and so have only been using about 2 Tbsp. of Tide HE. I also have run the machine on empty and will do that again to check on build up. Whenever I notice excess sudsing, usually on towels, I run them on an extra cycle w/o any detergent.

I'll pick up Borax for starters b/c I have used the old-fashioned remedy of vinegar many times and that is only mediocre with athletic clothing smells.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 8:48PM
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Borax + powder detergent worked GREAT on removing perspiration from my son's clothing on a reg. warm cotton wash! Thanks. I used Surf, 1/4 cup, + 1/4 c. Borax which was plenty with our soft water. This will save me a lot of time and bother. Too bad I didn't figure this out during marching band season.

I even forgot a load of jeans overnight and having used only the powdered detergent found they were fresh-smelling and could go directly into the dryer. With the Bosch, the powdered detergent is flushed thoroughly with water as it is sent to the drum, so I am not worried about dissolving.

Julie of Minn.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 11:47AM
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I only use powdered detergent (Sears) now without any smelly clothes. I ALWAYS start a load of clothes before I go to bed and it sits all night before I put them in the dryer without any problems. I also use a scoop of oxygen bleach on really soiled clothing and can't remember the last time I washed anything twice. I have soaked items in a bucket with oxygen bleach before washing though.

I don't have any trouble with perspiration stains after washing-- and we get some pretty nasty tshirts that are worn under football uniforms.

If you are getting excessive sudsing on any load, you are using way too much detergent!!! It takes some experimenting. I use the Sears detergent and use less than 1/2 the recommended amount with excellent cleaning results (Makes it really economical too-- $20 on sale for 275 loads which will last me over 500 loads).

Once you figure out what works for you and your washer, you WILL realize there will be water, energy and time savings!

Good luck!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Interesting article on how HE and FLs work

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 1:17PM
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Leave the door open when the machine's not in use.

Also, remove the detergent drawer, you may be surprised by what you find. I remove my detergent drawer, take it apart, rinse it and let it air dry a few times a week. (It's not as hard as it sounds, takes 30 seconds.)

When the drawer's out, look around the compartment on the machine. I had lots of mold on the interior surface just above the detergent drawer. I sprayed it with bleach cleaner, let it sit, then used a spray bottle of water to rinse it thoroughly. (Drains right into the machine, so it's easy.) That was a few years ago and I've been delighted with my machine ever since.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 7:57AM
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I posted this on another formum on mold in FL washers (although this would probably work for TL, too)
I solved my stinky waasher problem. I have a Kenmore Eco-Care FL, bought about 5 yrs ago. About 2 yrs ago I noticed that towels smell after one use. (I do not use fab soft only vinegar.)Sheets and clothes also not very fresh. To make a long story short: Tried Febreeze,Vinegar,Smelly Washer, bleach, borax, baking soda, Cascade, Washer magic--nothing changed smell of towels and/or washer. I took all towels & sheets to laundromat and washed in original lysol then used vinegar to rinse. Then did clear water wash/rinse. Spent lots of $ that day. Then took apart washer and cleaned coin trap and hose/tubes in lysol solution. I thought this would solve problem, but it returned. Finally I decided to try a mildewcide (toxic, I know) because I felt that if I ruined washer it was no great loss as I decided to shop around for another washer anyway. I put in 1/2 cup of Zep Odor Control Concentrate (barely a smell to it) in the tub,set for hot water, allowed this to agitate for about 5 minutes--the washer filled totally with suds. I added manually another gallon of hot water. Agitated 5-10 minutes and turned off machine. I let this sit overnight and then in the morning agitated about 5 more times , off and on. I then let it sit until all suds receded and then went to rinse so all drained and then continued until end of cycle. Set it for another cycle with hot water (no additives). No smell in washer. I now do a few things different with all my wash--a bit more time and a bit more water: put 1/4 cup baking soda in tub, HE detergent in tub (bypass soap disp), fill washer with water at desired temp. Stop machine, add laundry. Return to start of cycle, agitates a few minutes then usually adds more water to load(or I stop machine and add gallon manually via soap disp). Complete cycle. Turn to cold water, add vinegar to bleach dispenser section (not fab soft section), complete cycle. Dry as usual. Finally no more stinky washer or laundry. I am still looking for new machine but right now, water bill still lower and I can take my time deciding. Initially I added baking soda in soap disp for second cycle as it took a few loads to get out the yucky smell. I now do this Odor Control "wash" about every 6 wks or so. I also leave door and disp drawer open and have placed a container of Damp Rid in the washer. If I need bleach, I have been using liquid non-chlorine and also add to tub before filling with water. I discovered that with this machine the bleach is not released into the soapy wash but during the 1st rinse. My feeling is that the bleach and soap should work together not separately.Also, the Odor Control can be used in laundry but if needed, I'd do this in the laundromat and not in FL due to suds. Ends my long 2 worth.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 8:53PM
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I started putting a scoop of Oxiclean, along with liquid Ecos Laundry Detergent in every load. I Haven't had any problems with odor since.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 6:23PM
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I've been lurking in this forum for quite awhile and finding the info very useful so now I have a question. I just got my new FL washer a few weeks ago and love it. Yes, they told me to use only HE detergent, but I've been using my good old Avon Bubble Bath that I've been using for years in my TL. It is the best thing for laundry in my opinion....and anyone else who uses it swears by it too. It not only cleans great but makes the clothes smell so nice. I was also adding So Clean Washing Soda too before as we don't have a water softener in our condo building like we did at our house. Since it's powder I'm wondering if it's safe to add a small amount of it along with the liquid in the detergent dispenser. I know the book that came with the washer (it's a Whirlpool) says you can't do that but then they seem to say there's lots of things you can't do.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 1:46AM
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I've never run into this issue myself in 6 years post college. (though I'm now thinking about tracking down what cleaning procedures I should be using on my washer&dryer)

If it is any help I just use Arm and Hammer detergent and I've never run into this. (that I know of anyway)

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 10:51PM
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You can certainly try using the Avon Bubble Bath product at a very reduced rate, but I'm not too optimistic that it will be satisfactory for you.

The reason for my pessimism is that FLs, unlike TLs, definitely need a low sudsing product in order to get the clothes clean and not foul the machine with excess suds. And a bubble bath product seems by definition created to promote suds.

Excess suds interfere with the washing action of FLs by cushioning the water and preventing good plopping or sloshing of the clothes as they fall back into the wash liquor after they are carried up along the sides of the drum. And, unlike a TL, a FL can create a great deal of suds from a small amount of detergent because of how it agitates.

In a FL too much suds can leave behind a film of soap on the innards of the washing machine which is likely sooner, or later, to grow a nasty case of mold.

The other thing to think about is that most FLs rinse so thoroughly that there should be nary a hint of the smell of the product left in the clothes. Most Americans have become accustomed to having a remaining smell of detergent in their stuff, so they miss it. But If you can smell the detergent, it has not been completely rinsed out and gradually will build up in your textiles.

So, that's why manufacturers recommend the HE products. However, I have to confess that I have never used HE products in my Fls and have had no problems with over-sudsing beyond my initial searches for a good detergent. I did have to give up my then-current fave detergent, ERA liquid, when I bought my first FL many years ago. I could not reduce its dosing level enough to avoid billows of suds and still get it to clean my stuff satisfactorily. I finally settled on an inherently low-sudsing brand name powder at a dosing rate of 1 tablespoon per load. This works perfectly well for my machines and my water, YMMV, of course.

Something you could try on your initial loads is using no detergent and seeing if you get suds from the build-up in your clothes. You will have to adjust your eye to the new machines because you should not really see the thick level of suds that most people are expecting from previous experience with TLs. In fact, I usually prefer to see only a thin veil of bubbles flowing lightly over the window. If you've got 3 or 4 inches of bubbles on the water, you have too much and that will interfere with good cleaning. Once you've got the residue out,, you can experiment with a small dosage of product and see how it performs in your machine, with your water.

Switching to the completely different washing action in a FL is a definite change that may require some adjustment for you. But most pople wind up being very pleased with their new washers and I think the transition is easier if you are flexible about products and dosing.

I think the key to working out which product to use (whether HE or non-HE), and how much to use, is to be willing to try and reduce the dosage to the point that it doesn't clean well, and then raise it in steps to the point where you get good cleaning, but without too much suds. It takes time, and the willingness to rewash a few loads that don't clean well when testing a product to find the lowest, effective, dose. In the long run though, getting to that point will save you money (by avoiding unnecessary product), provide you with perfectly clean clothes and keep your machine from gunking up with detergent residue.



    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 11:15PM
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Use only dry detergent and not much of it. Liquid soap (HE included) contains animal fat which will cause an odor that builds over time. This information came from an appliance repairman.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 8:02PM
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A couple years ago my daughter was going crazy trying to figure out why her towels smelled okay coming out of the dryer, but very nasty and sour when she dried her face with them. I researched here and was able to give her some suggestions that solved the problem. I used a new FL for about 4 months before moving, and followed the suggestions below, and never had any odor issues. I'll do the same when we move into the new house.

1. Switch to Charlie's Soap. She'd been using smaller amounts of a regular detergent. After several washings, the towel odor lessened, and finally vanished completely, and hasn't returned. I know there's a difference of opinion here on the forum about CS, but both she and I swear by it now.

2. Clean under the seal -- she had soapy gunk built up there. I check it periodically to make sure it's squeaky clean.

3. Leave the door open until the washer is dry. For my daughter, this means leaving it ajar all the time, because she does at least one load a day, usually more. For me, it just meant leaving it open the rest of the day till I was sure it was dry.

4. My daughter doesn't do this, but I did . . . I made sure the detergent drawer was dry between uses.

5. I use about a TB of fabric softener and then fill the compartment the rest of the way with white vinegar. I've always used this combination and believe it produces very fluffy and soft clothes.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 1:33AM
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Smelly laundry can be caused by buildup in the machine from liquid detergents and fabric softeners. Fabric softeners contain waxy products, that what makes the clothes feel soft. It is also why softened towels don't absorb water very well. Switching to a powdered detergent can help.

An engineer for a large appliance manufacturer recommended this procedure for cleaning out the machine. Put the machine on the heavy duty cycle with all the options, and a hot wash. Allow the machine to fill. Stop the machine and add a quart of regular bleach, or 2 cups ultra bleach. Use real bleach, not an all fabric liquid or powder. You will be amazed at the amount of suds that you will see. You may have to repeat the process if your machine is really gunky. Do this cleaning cycle once a month.

To help reduce buildup, you can add a tablespoon of washing soda to a load of clothes. Washing soda is an excellent degreaser, and boosts detergent performance.

Go back to using the MelaPower detergent you loved. If it doesn't have instructions for the correct dose for a front loader, start with 1/4 the amount for a top loader. I have never used HE products in my front loader. You don't have to use HE products in front loaders, you can get excellent results with many products.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 1:26AM
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Hi there. I work at Whirlpool, and we recommend a product called Affresh to help eliminate washer odor. Affresh washer cleaner tablets break up many of the residues that bacteria, mildew and mold grow on, and it removes them, leaving you a cleaner washing machine.

For a limited time, theyre running a promotion on whirlpools website that will get you free shipping on a 3 pack of Affresh tablets! You just enter EAF822 as the promo code, and theyll ship you the packet at no cost to you!

If your washer really stinks, you might have to do three straight cycles with just an Affresh tablet in the washer in order to get rid of the odor.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 4:25PM
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Here's another vote for Charlie's Soap. I have been using it since I got my FL washer about a year and a half ago, and I've never had any kind of odor or sour smell in my clothes or towels, even when I have forgotten a load in the washer overnight. I've also never had to use any type of extra cleaning product to "de-smell" my washer. I think if you have to do use a product to clean your washer then you are not using the right detergent. You know, treat the problem, not the symptom. Just my opinion.

I don't think sour towel smell is strictly a FL issue, either. Years ago I had trouble with it when I had a top loading machine and I didn't have the laundry forum to help me figure out the solution.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 6:27AM
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If you look at the ingredients on the Affresh package, its active ingredient is sodium percarbonate. The same active ingredient in Oxyclean, Sun Oxy Wash, and many other of these products. You could more than likely get the same results with a few scoops of Oxyclean, at a much friendlier price to boot.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 12:32AM
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It seems consumer reports has at least recently acknowledged that there is a "problem" with mold (see link) and FL machines, but this brief article/blog entry really does not help much as I consider this $1600+ purchase. Would like some more solid answers because the negative reviews are really scaring us away from the FL machines. I really don't want to be signing up for complicated repairs, extra cycles, additional chemical treatments/products, and constant maintenance and bleaching of inner parts. Who's happy with their FL machine and what is your make/model? And what sort of detergents are you using?


    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 2:13PM
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I've had a Whirlpool Duet since 2003. No odors, no mold, no special cycles or products. I use Sears Ultra Plus HE powder detergent, white vinegar instead of fabric softener, and Oxyclean in the appropriate loads. I always leave the door open when not in use. I love my washer.

I don't know why people have so many problems, but I suspect it is because they leave the machine door tightly closed all the time and use too much fabric softener. That's just my guess. I've learned everything I know on this forum (sorry Mom).

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 10:17PM
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I think a lot factors into smelly laundry and machines. Water temp used, type of fabric, water quality, detergents and/or fabric softeners used.

I have used Borax without detergent and softener in the past when it came to odors. Has taken care of it everytime I have used it. Then again I do not get too many odors because I clean my machine every week or two. But a good soak in Borax in the machine does it everytime if there is a prob.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 8:58AM
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Over 3 years and zero smell in my Neptune now that I switched to powdered detergent, use correct amount, rarely use liquid fabric softner, at least two loads are hot wash each week, at least one has bleach.

One of the best improvements Maytag made with the Neptune was to add a door ventilation system. I dont need to keep it open. I has a large vent hole that protrudes into the drum area and vents on both sides of the top of the door. The rubber boot has zero discoloration or mold, largely helped by the boot drain and correct use of detergent. These are improvements all washers should integrate had the industry learned from its prior failures. Bottom line is all they care about anymore.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 10:47AM
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Combination of too much or too little detergent and other chemicals, laundry not properly rinsed, luck of HOT wash cycles and not leaving door open in between cycles.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 2:34AM
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Intermittent or persistent odor in cleaned laundry, especially towels, is a sign of remaining odor-causing residue in the "splash area" just above the normal water line where suds and soiled water splash up but don't get rinsed out. Rather than calling for repair, clean it yourself by adding 2-5 extra gallons of hot water AFTER the washer has filled itself into a hot cycle. This water can be added either through the door, lid or slowly through the detergent dispenser. This is done in order to raise the water level to include soaking the "splash area".
For more serious cases a long soak with a washing machine cleaner may be needed. If your washer does not have a soak cycle you can push "pause" to stop, unplug the unit or shut off the circuit breaker or try opening the door to stop the cycle and allow to soak.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 3:49PM
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After being laid off, I became a stay-at-home Dad. And yes I let the laundry set for a couple of days. What a stink! After baking soda, vinegar and all of the other tips I went searching for my own answer. Listerine did the trick. It's an antiseptic and it will kill the germs, mold or mildew. Pretty simple and did the trick. I had to wash them twice to get the Listerine smell out but there is no more odor from mildew.Good luck

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 10:12AM
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