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Do all F/L smell?

Posted by NJAnnRose (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 30, 11 at 11:38

I purchases a f/l Whirlpool Duet w/d about 5 years ago. I haven't had a problem with them at all except for the persistent smell from the washer. I use the maintenance cycle at least once a month and do a sanitary wash in very hot water once a week and keep the door open all the time yet I still have this problem.

We are building a new home and will be buying another set and am curious if there is a brand that doesn't have this problem. We are considering either Samsung or LG, but are open to suggestions. I was considering the Miele until I read about the fixed door. This will not work for me, so it's not an option.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Do all F/L smell?

Other brands will not make the differnce, it could be that you have a build up in your machine because water is sitting in the sump or the the tub is not drying out completely. Try using Citric Acid on the sanitary cycle or use a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Cascade and one cup of bleach on the heaviest white cycle to remove film.

Fill main dispenser with Cascade, start the machine.
After 5 minuete add bleach and chase with a quart of water and let the machine do it thing....

It maybe a possiblity that you must increase your detergent usage to prevent build up in the future.

Also Lemi-shine is recommend by some of our forum members.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lemi Shine

RE: Do all F/L smell?

I have had your pair for more than 6 years. Washer (Duet 9400 circa 2/2005) has remained showroom clean inside and out from the beginning. I have never had smell other than from products used. Suspect something in your procedures causing the smell. If that's the case, suspect you'll have it with new machine, too.

Can you say characteristic of the smell? Moldy? Sewer-like? Electrical? Is it different depending on last load washed? Can you say detergent used; how much; water quality, if known? Can you see deposits anywhere in the machine? Have you examined the trap before the drain pump?

RE: Do all F/L smell?

The smell is "moldy". I use Tide liquid almost exclusively. The machine looks spotlessly clean and I wipe it down regularly and occasionally pull out the detergent dispenser and spray that with bleach and scrub it.

When I first got the machine I used the cold water cycle quite frequently. And didn't use the sanitary much. Lately I've switched to the normal cycle of warm water and use the whitest wash and sanitary cycle every week just to see if that was causing a problem.

I must note that my machines are stacked and in a laundry area which is a converted closet so there's not a lot of space, but I do leave the closet door open for at least a day after washing and the washer door is aways open.

RE: Do all F/L smell?

Going to make three more suggestions. Two really easy, the other pretty easy.

1) Roll back the rubber boot around the opening and inspect under its edge.

2) Get a small strong flashlight, stick your head, arms, shoulders inside the drum and shine a light through the holes. Move the drum back and forth slightly while doing this and you will be able to examine the surface of the outer drum, heating element and drain hole. These are the places where mold or anything else will be growing or deposited.

3) Examine the "coin-trap" just upstream of the drain pump. Small white plastic thing with a screw-top facing front. You will have to remove three screws that hold on the bottom front cover of the machine below the door to get to it. Once you have access, spread a towel underneath to absorb the pint of water that will empty out when you unscrew the lid. What you're looking for is yucky stuff or, perhaps, a sock or something that's trapped in there and is growing yucky stuff.

From your description, mold is growing somewhere in there. Wherever it is, it will be visible. I'd love for you to find something in the coin-trap. A small clothing item caught in there can act as a marvelous medium for mold growth.

If you're willing to do these these, please come back and say what found.

And about the hot and sanitary washes.....have you verified the heater is working...that you're getting the 157F nominal temperature you're supposed to?

RE: Do all F/L smell?

I have heard from more then one person, that they had the same problem and was also using liquid Tide.. my sister in law would never use anything but liquid Tide and she had the same issue, she switched to Gain and says the smell went away. Might be worth a try to switch detergents.

RE: Do all F/L smell?

I tried the Tide Total Care on my bath towels. After that, the towels themselves had a musty mildewy odor every time I used them. They've since been washed in other detergents and the smell is going away. I mention this, only in case you've been using this particular product and might have the same problem. My washer smelled fine, and other items washed in other detergents smell fine. Just the TTC was used on the towels once, and the smell was noticeable.

RE: Do all F/L smell?

Not long after we switched over to liquid detergents our TL machine started to stink. I think liquid detergents leave a residue behind that mold loves to feed on.

We usually use hot water wash at least once during our weekly laundry process and everything else is washed/rinsed in warm water. We switched to powdered laundry detergent and have never had a problem since.
I also think that liquid fabric softeners also contribute to the problem. Also people who use cold water exclusively to wash their clothes usually have more problems than people who don't.

RE: Do all F/L smell?

I've never had an odor problem in close to 10 years. I've used Sears powder detergent the entire time and I leave the door and detergent drawer open after use until it's dry inside. I usually use warm water wash with an occasional hot load - maybe once a month.

RE: Do all F/L smell?

I have never had a smell problem either.And I use maximum fabric softner.

I use Persil powder/mega perls. White athletic sox and white underwear in sanitary cycle. Cold for black/navy blues and warm for the rest.

I wipe gasket and interior of glass portal dry and leave door ajar for half a day after use.

RE: Do all F/L smell?

We are doing a new laundry room too and I originally was going to go with a front load but after speaking with all my friends and the owner of a local appliance store I will go with top load. Here is why: with front load they will develop and odor unless you do laundry everyday. Also you must leave the door open to air it out. I am not sure if there has been an official scientific study as to why the odor develops but the majority of people feel it can come from the gasket getting moldy and how the water sits in the bottom of the machine. While I must agree the front load is esthetically pleasing , especially since you can place a nice counter over it for folding, the top load seems to make more sense for us. Top load for us provides: less laundry "stink" and ability to leave top open and not be in the way, ability to add items after the load has started (we always seem to do this), and lets face it who actually folds their laundry in the laundry room? I do it on the couch in front of the tv. Hope that helps!

RE: Do all F/L smell?

"...with front load they will develop and odor unless you do laundry everyday."


"...ability to add items after the load has started..."

I do this frequently.

"....water sits in the bottom of the machine..."

Water sits in the bottom of all washers....TL's, too...and your dishwasher.

"....who actually folds their laundry in the laundry room?"

I do this frequently, also.

If you want a TL, by all means get one. However, no need to spread this hooey. Many of your opinions, apparently taken from others, are quite mistaken.

RE: Do all F/L smell?


It's a chance that everyone may take, top loaders can have a mold buildup too, my best friend has this problem with his machine. Cold water washes and rinse, never use bleach, cheap detergent and never use fabric softener. What more can you ask for? Both machine can develop mold if the conditions are right for it to happen!

So for its been a little over two years with my machine, left clothes in the tub for two days with no ill smell to them. Also I never wipe the gasket to dry or open the dispenser draw to dry out. I do leave my door open! My town is on well water, water softener is being used. I do use liquid and dry detergent so I don't see any problems cropping up anytime soon!

I'm not trying to tell you which one to buy, top or front, but all machine has its own dirty little secret! LOL

RE: Do all F/L smell?

As I've stated in other threads, neither frontloaders nor toploaders are immune to accumulation of residue -- detergent/softener scrud and/or mineral deposits -- on outside of the inner basket and inside of the outer tub and drain hoses. Mechanically softened water is also not a guarantee of a pristine machine, although it surely does/can help minimize the accumulation.

I replaced the pump this evening on my F&P GWL08 that my grandmother has been using since 2004 (the first repair it has ever needed, at 12 years old). Removed the inner basket for access to fully bail-out the residual water. No odor, no mold, very little greasy/waxy scrud ... but the inner basket of gleaming stainless steel had light mineral deposits on the outside, and quite heavy on the outer tub along with some rusted hair pins in the outlet sump.

Trust me on this ... many people (note that I am NOT saying ALL people) who believe their washer to be factory-fresh after some years of use would be aghast at the sight if their machine was disassembled for an examination.

RE: Do all F/L smell?

@ dadoes, what about machines that regularly get a clean machine cycle? Would they be better?

RE: Do all F/L smell?

I"ve had a Frigidaire front loader since October 2006. Absolutely no odor at all, clean smelling. I have used POWDER detergents 99% of the time (Sears, Tide, and I have the rare new Cheere HE Powder I got at Sam's). I also use a tremendous amount of fabric softner. Warm washes and a couple of hot washes a month. NO COLD WATER WASHES. I leave the door ajar and the dispenseer drawwer pulled out between loads. I may not do a load for a week or more sometimes. I've also never checked the gasket either. I suspect liquids are a horrible culprit of mold and residue.

RE: Do all F/L smell?

boba1 writes: "I"ve had a Frigidaire front loader since October 2006. Absolutely no odor at all, clean smelling."

We (our family, including my now deceased mother) have used only front loaders since 1936. (Not a typo: nineteen thirty-six, that's right.) Absolutely no odor at all, clean smelling.

"I have used POWDER detergents 99% of the time (Sears, Tide, and I have the rare new Cheere HE Powder I got at Sam's).I have used POWDER detergents 99% of the time (Sears, Tide, and I have the rare new Cheere HE Powder I got at Sam's)."

We have used BOTH powder AND liquid detergents over the past three-quarters of a century, but have used liquid detergents exclusively over the past couple of decades or so. (For the last few years, we have used Biokleen All-Temperature liquid, plus powdered borax as a booster, pretty much to the exclusion of all other detergents but one; we do use Ecover delicate wash -- a liquid -- for some cold-water washes for "hand wash" kinds of fabrics.) Powder, liquid: for "smells," it makes no difference whatsoever. Anybody who tells you differently is no scientist. A simple positing of a hypothesis and testing of the hypothesis under controlled conditions will prove that there is no difference between classes. (Possibly, there could be some differences between specific products, but those differences do not carry over to generalizations between classes.)

"I also use a tremendous amount of fabric softner."

I confess, I never have seen any rational justification for waxing my laundry. We never have had any "softener" in the house, except for the promotional samples that occasionally come uninvited into our mailbox and are thrown into the garbage the same day. Fabric softeners are a solution looking for a problem that we never have encountered.

"Warm washes and a couple of hot washes a month. NO COLD WATER WASHES."

Some items to be laundered will not tolerate hot, or even warm, water. We let the laundry's tolerances dictate what temperature water we use in a wash, so we do run a fair number of cold water washes -- so?

Well over 90 percent of our loads are washed in warm and rinsed in cold. The last decade or so, when we have volunteered for weekly duty in a program to feed the homeless, we have washed the clean-up towels and tablecloths in hot water (with bleach), but that is a rather recent development relative to our long-standing use of front-loading washing machines.

"I leave the door ajar and the dispenseer drawwer pulled out between loads. I may not do a load for a week or more sometimes. I've also never checked the gasket either."

We have never closed the washer door to "click" (full sealed) between washes. But we never have left the door fully open between washes, either. We clean the gasket after we have run a load of the blankets/towels that our dog sleeps on, in order to get the dog hair out of the seal, but otherwise the gasket takes care of itself. The gasket need not be cleaned for smell purposes.

"I suspect liquids are a horrible culprit of mold and residue."

Your suspicions are founded on urban legend, which is not supported by the factual record.

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