How to stop your washing machine from stinking.
A few simple tips to keep your washing machine fresh and working.
One of the most common questions I get asked when I'm out on a call fixing an appliance is if I can take a quick look in their washing machine because it stinks a little. In fact this is one of the most common complaints about new front load washers. While these washers do an incredible job washing our clothes while using less detergent and water limiting our environmental footprint this issue can develop in some of these washers. Thankfully it is easy to solve with the tips below:
1. Use Only HE (High Efficiency) Detergent
HE detergent is specially formulated to work with the low water washing machines and keeps the suds to a minimum. If HE detergent is not used in these modern, low water-use washers, residue or scum will accumulate in the outer drum and emit a foul odour. It is also important to only use at most the recommended amount of detergent and often less for smaller loads.
2. Run the "Tub Clean" Cycle Once a Month
Use of either regular detergent or too much HE detergent will result in scum building up in your washer between the wash drum and tub. To remove this scum you need to regularly run a product like Affresh through your washer. If your washing machine does not have a self clean cycle use a hot water cycle
with the highest water level setting. When running a Tub Clean cycle with Affresh, do not add any clothes or detergent. Just hot water and Affresh.
3. Reduce Detergent Use for Soft Water
Softener Soft water will cause over-sudsing even when using HE detergent. To prevent scum buildup, the amount of detergent used in each wash needs to be reduced to prevent forming suds during the wash cycle. If the water is very soft, the detergent usage may need to be reduced even below recommended amounts.
"But I like to see lots of suds in my washer because then I know my clothes are getting clean!"
You have to start with the understanding that the tumble action of high-efficiency washers (i.e., front loaders) produce more suds than the agitator action in top loaders. Now most of people think, “Oooo, sudsy, that’s good!” No, not good. Suds do nothing to clean your clothes and are actually an undesirable by-product of the detergent’s chemical interaction with the water.
General detergent guidelines for any front load or agitator-less top load washer with tub sizes 3.0 cu ft and larger is as follows (adjust as needed to eliminate undesirable sudsing):
4. Ensure Drain Hose is Installed Properly
If the washers rain hose is not installed properly, the unit will not drain properly. Additionally, if the washer drain hose is pushed so far down the drain pipe that it's submerged in the standing water in the pipe, it will do two things:
Never extend the drain hose more than 4 inches beyond the end of the elbow, and drain hoses should never be inserted more than 6 inches into drain.
5. Keep Washer Door Open or Lid Raised when Machine is Not in Use
This is is probably the most important one. After a cycle, small amounts of water are left in the machine. When finished with the unit for the day, dry the gasket (on a front loader) and leave the door open for a couple hours to allow the moisture to evaporate and dry out. On top loaders, just leave the lid raised.
Periodically, check the door gasket on a front load washer for mildew buildup. this can cause an odor but can be easily solved with a simple environmentally friendly cleaner like Simple Green. Spray the simple green on a cloth to wipe out the gasket. If you're a bleach fan, mix 3/4 cup bleach with a gallon of hot water. Use this bleach mixture and a cloth to wipe out the gasket. (Do not use bleach alone. Undiluted bleach will damage the gasket.)
If the mildew cannot be removed, the gasket will have to be replaced, Just call or book online your appliance repair team at Appliance Force and we can replace that gasket for you just remember to have the brand and model number of the unit handy.
6. Clean the Drain Pump Filter Regularly
Most front load washers have some type of "coin catcher" or screen for catching debris that you don't want going into your pump. This drain pump filter should be cleaned about once a month to prevent odors. This filter is generally located behind a small door at the bottom or side of the washer. Be prepared for a small amount of water left in the tub to come out when the filter is unscrewed. Some manufacturers models do not have customer serviceable filters and require a professional technician to remove and clean the filter. Check the manual and if this is the case we'd be happy to come and help.
Hopefully these tips help your washer and clothes be fresh and clean every time. Feel free to email me with any other ideas or questions you may have for our blog at JonD@applianceforce.ca
And remember to Call Appliance force or book online for all your Calgary appliance repair needs.
Here is a video on some great washer tips. However we do recommend using a less hash chemical then bleach when cleaning the gasket. We've found simple green to be one of the best.