Remember To Clean Your Washing Machine Monthly

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Added on 31 July, 2012 – “How to clean your washing machine with your homemade enzyme cleaners

Hi there, dear friends  :D

Do you know that you have to clean the insides of your washing machine thoroughly to avoid buildup of mould, mildew, scum and terrible odours (especially when almost all brands of front loading washine machines will have bad odours)? Well…I didn’t! :oops: It was only recently that I found out there is a way to properly clean the interior of our washing machines. Mine is a Zanussi front loading washing machine, and all this while, I have just been cleaning its detergent drawer, the exposed part of the rubber seal at the doorway and the external body.

Of late, I noticed an odour that is a bit mildewy and my detergent drawer was growing some black stuff, which I only knew after doing some research on the Internet. was BLACK MOULD! OMG! I was shocked and quickly found what I needed to do to get rid of this mould, gunge and slime ……and at midnight last night, I gave my washing machine a thorough cleaning. :roll: Now, my machine looks almost like new (although it is 5 years old), the glass door and external body is gleaming, and best of all, the mouldy odour inside is gone! :D

(Please READ HERE for my post dated 30 Sept, 2009 on  second method in cleaning the washing machine – a homemade eco or environmental friendly fruit enzyme is used instead)

 

For washing machines like mine that have not been properly cleaned for a long time -

(Note – Make sure the power supply is turned off before starting)

1) remove the detergent drawer and soak it in 1 litre hot water, 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup vinegar for 10 minutes. Give it a good scrub, and if there are persistent stains, spray some undiluted bleach on it. After rinsing, leave it to dry and put back later when you have finished cleaning the “hole” that you removed the drawer from.

2) make another batch of the baking powder-vinegar-water solution in a pail – use a long handled brush to clean the hole/compartment that contains the detergent drawer. There is a lot of black mould in there, which is not good for our health as it can easily spread to the rest of the washing machine and may cause allergies if we wear clothes that have black mould.

For harder to access nooks and crannies in the hole, I used a spray bottle to squirt the cleaning solution inside. Use a bottle to spray the water in to rinse off the dirt. My washing machine is located in my laundry room and I can use a hose to directly spray water inside. Make sure the cover to the drainage located on the bottom front of the washing machine is open so that the dirty water can drain out from the front, when your washing machine is turned off.

Then as I was not satisfied with the cleaning that way, I even squirted some undiluted bleach into the hole and let it stand for a few minutes, while I went on to clean the other areas of my washing machine.

The rubber seal at the doorway for my washing machine is folded and in the fold there was a lot of buildup of slime and gunge, which I was not aware and so I used the same baking powder-vinegar solution to scrub the whole rubber seal – outside and in the folds…practically every inch of it. The slimy scum was also contributing to the odours in the washing machine and the front loading models are very prone to these problems.

One way to avoid this scum and gunge buildup in the rubber seal’s fold is to wipe it dry with a cotton towel each time a wash cycle is completed.

3) I went back to clean the hole of the detergent drawer as it was sprayed with bleach earlier, and rinsed it with my water hose. Next, put back the detergent drawer.

4) for the last part, turn the power switch back on. I put in 2 cups of bleach, set the hottest wash cycle (no clothes inside) and let the washing machine “clean itself”…..and ….. Voila! Now, my washing machine is very clean, both outside and INSIDE, and there is no mouldy odours anymore! Be sure to leave the door open to air it as there will be a bit of bleach smell still from all that cleaning. :D

 

For regular maintenance/servicing of your washing machine, here is what you need to do once a month -

1) pour a cup of laundry detergent, set temperature for a hot wash, and turn on your washing machine for a whole cycle (but without any dirty laundry)

2) to remove odours – pour in 1 cup of white vinegar and put your washing machine through a hot wash cycle (without clothes). Some recommended 1 cup of baking soda.

3) to kill off bacteria and prevent buildup of slime, gunge and mould – pour in 1 cup of bleach and put your machine to a hot wash cycle (without clothes). Some recommended a combination of bleach and detergent.

Remember to take care of your washine machine regularly! :wink:


With best wishes,

choesf :D

 

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77 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    yen1908 said,

    Good morning to you, choesf

    I came here to look for O tak perng but ended up reading your tips on maintenance of washing machine! Hmm….you are adding load to my already busy housework schedule today.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful tip!:) it’s time i give my washer a scrub too!:)

    take care
    yen

  2. 2

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Hello there, my dear yen :D

    You’ll be amazed how many of us can forget to clean our washing machines. :lol: But I noticed ever since I started cleaning my washing machine regularly, the mildewy smell in there is permanently gone. In addition, once my wash is finished for the day, I would remove the detergent drawer and leave the washing machine door open wide to air it, and I don’t even need to wipe the door at all. :wink:

    By the way, what is O Tak Perng?

    Good night!

    With love and hugs,

    choesf :D

  3. 3

    exponent said,

    Smelly Washer Cleaner is a completely organic powder that is used to clear fungus from any clothes washer. It works by disallowing cohesive properties between organic and synthetic compounds. The cleaner is used by adding a small amount (1 tablespoon normally suffices) to a hot setting in your washer and allowing it to complete the cycle.
    In order to remove fungus spores from towels and clothing use just one teaspoon of cleaner instead of detergent. Rinse and dry as normal.
    This product is super simple and works great! Find it at http://www.washingmachinecleaner.com

  4. 4

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    That sounds like a superb organic washing machine cleaner, dear exponent. Thank you for the tip. :D

    Have a great Sunday!

    With peace and joy,

    choesf :D

  5. 5

    GARRY WOODSON said,

    
    Hello,
    I start with much greetings to your company. My name is Garry Woodson from Chats & Co ltd Co. I found your add on web and am contacting you regarding some gas washing machine am looking to order. I will be glad in doing business with you if you could get back to me with the types or your website if you do carry washing machine so that I can browse through the type am looking for.
    Regards,
    Garry Woodson

  6. 6

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Hello there, dear Garry :D

    Thank you for dropping by here. However, I regret to inform you that I am not in the washing machine business and I was only writing about how to clean our washing machines. Otherwise, I would love to do business with you.

    Have a wonderful week!

    With best wishes,

    choesf :D

  7. 7

    phiilip said,

    I washed and polished my car using paint restorer too. Then I stupidly washed the dirty cloths in my washing machine. Now my laundry smells of car polish. How can i get rid of it.?

    Thanks for any advice.

  8. 8

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Hi there and welcome, dear Philip :D

    I am sorry to hear that your washing machine now smells of car polish. I am not sure if this will work but I’m thinking that if you can put your washing machine through a hot water cycle (without any clothing) together with 1 cup of baking soda and 2 cups of white vinegar, it is worth a try as they can remove odours :idea:

    Let me know if it works for you as we will both learn something new from this situation. :D

    Good Luck!

    With peace and harmony,

    choesf :D

  9. 9

    Js said,

    Never clean my washing machine!! So need to do it now. But….

    Mine is top-loading machine, use the same way to clean the machine? I dont have hot water for the washing machine, so just using the taip water will work? Or do I have to boil n pour the hot water in myself? :P

    Just me,
    js

    • 10

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Js :D

      If your washing machine does not have the hot water function, then try using just the cold water, vinegar and baking soda. It will work as well although not as good as with hot water. I’m just worried your washing machine parts like the plastic and rubber sections may not be able to take the hot water as it does not have this hot water function. :wink:

      Have a lovely weekend tomorrow!

      With peace and joy,

      choesf :D

  10. 11

    Beatriz said,

    Does anyone know if a washing machine and a clothes dryer stored for a long time, more than a year, deteriorate? Do they deteriorate because of lack of use? These set has been in my garage for over three months and I’m not even sure they were properly cleaned.

    • 12

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Beatriz :D

      Are you talking about brand new machines or used ones? I guess the only way is to test them out yourself. Perhaps someone here may have some advice for you. :wink:

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D

  11. 13

    lazy_ but_green said,

    good grief! what a palaver!
    also, all that bleach is terrible for the environment.

    i just put half a cap of tea tree oil into each wash & it keeps the nasty stinky bugs away. i buy it cheaply in 250ml bottles.
    also, i don’t use detergent, i use eco-balls, which prevents a lot of the scummy build-up (i live in hard water area so this would be normally a problem).

    when i used to use detergent, i found that adding a few drops of TT oil keeps the drawer clean.

    (btw, i recommend eco-balls – they are briliant but you do need to add some essential oil if you like a nice fragrant wash – i use lemongrass as well as the tea tree)

    • 14

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear lazy_but_green :D

      Thank you for your helpful suggestions. I’m glad you are able to buy tea tree oil cheaply where you stay. Here in Malaysia, tea tree oils can be quite expensive as they are imported.

      Since I posted this article about 2 years ago, I have found a new environmental friendly method to clean my washing machine – I now use homemade eco-enzymes. I don’t use bleach nor vinegar in my cleaning anymore. :wink:

      Do have a lovely weekend!

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D

    • 15

      tito said,

      hi there,

      could you recommend & post where you buy your tea tree oil?

      cheers

  12. 17

    Ivy said,

    Hi, Thanks for the tips to do a detox on the washing machine! I have 2 questions that I hope you could advised me on:
    1) The outflow water hose of a front load machine has to be fixed upwards to a flow out pipe to drain the water. When i try too put it on the floor, the water will not flow out so this is the construction of the front loading machine. My problem is that, there seem to be always water retained inside the machine (machine is very heavy and when i shake, i can feel the water inside moving). How do I empty the water completely from the machine after each wash?
    2) The rubber around the opening door has black mould all around. Can you please give me some tips how to remove those black dots/moulds on the rubber?
    3) Also, there is a yellow water stain on the outside on the front of the machine from the front loading door, how do i remove the yellow stain?
    Looking forward to receive some tips from you soon so I can try on my machine!

    Thanks.

    • 18

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Ivy :D

      Yes, for the front loading washing machines, the outflow water pipe needs to be higher that the drainage outlet, so that water can be retained in the drum for washing the laundry. Otherwise, the water will just flow out as soon as it fills up the drum. I’m not exactly sure about the water sound that you hear when you shake your washing machine, perhaps a technician may be able to answer you on that.

      For the stains and black mould….I find that using bleach works best. But some black mould are really stuck onto the rubber or plastic detergent drawer and may not come out altogether. Use an old face towel and rub some concentrated bleach on those stains/moulds. If the stains persist, use a brush to scrub at them. (Remember to wear gloves to protect your hands.) Then rinse off with water.

      Hope this helps?

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D

  13. 19

    well thanks for the tips ladies ,but about the bleach,surley this can damage the seals

    • 20

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Matthew Bevan :D

      I think the seals would be alright as we don’t do the bleach cleaning of washing machine frequently…only as and when the washing machine is dirty. My washing machine is now 6 years old and it is still running well. :wink:

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D

  14. 21

    Bev said,

    Hello, I have had a recurring problem with my last 3 washing machines and wonder if anyone can help.

    After having the machines for just over a year (just after the manufacturers guarantee runs out and with no insurance) I start getting a grey sludge on my clothes. It feels gritty but doesnt smell. I now wash most items at 60 because alot of the times 40 just doesnt get the stains out (I have 3 children). Yesterday I did a service wash on the hottest temp 95 and now my machine is full of this grey sludge. Ive done 2 rinses and its still there. I really dont want to keep buying a new washing machine every year, as I say this is the 3rd machine its happened to so it must be something I am doing wrong I just dont know what . I have tried various cleaning products but none of them stop the grey sludge. Any advice would be gratefully received

    • 22

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Bev :D

      I’m sorry to hear of the sludge problems you are having with your washing machines. It is strange you the same problem happened with your third washing machine, and despite changing the cleaning products. I suspect it could be due to your water supply?

      Hopefully someone here may have an answer for you.

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D

  15. 23

    [...] Choesf (blog user)(2007). Remember to clean your washing machine monthly (p.1-1) retrieved from: http://happyhomemaker88.wordpress.com/2007/11/04/remember-to-clean-your-washing-machine-monthly/ [...]

  16. 24

    BJAustralia said,

    I wanted to ask about Rice water enzyme. Is it safe? Uncooked rice can have spores of Bacillus cereus, bacteria that might cause food poisoning. When rice is cooked, the spores can survive. If the rice is left standing at room temperature, the sporesl germinate into bacteria. The bacteria reproduce and give off toxins that cause vomiting and diarrhoea. Reheating it doesn’t remove the toxins. It has made me wonder if it’s ok to use it in the kitchen and for washing up?

    • 25

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there, dear BJAustralia :D

      You have got a very good point there. Thank you for letting me know. :idea:

      Yes, it is known cooked rice when left standing at room temperature is known to develop into nasty bacteria and cause vomiting or diarrhoea.

      In that case, I had better put this as a warning for those intending to use rice water enzyme. :wink:

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D

  17. 26

    BJAustralia said,

    Dear Choesf,

    Thank you. I made some today anyway and have added lavender flowers and rosemary herbs because you have said the rice water can smell bad. I will see if it turns out. Even if I just used it to clean outdoors it will be a help.

    I have also made a batch of eco-enzyme using rose petals, rosehips and orchids (from our garden). I will let you know if that works. I thought it might smell nice. I have made some with pineapple and lemons and another has pineapple, lemon and a little carrot. I am impatient and wish it to be ready! heheh

    • 27

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there, dear BJAustralia :D

      Wow, you are going to have wonderful smelling, aromatic cleaning enzymes! :idea: :D: As far as I know, you are the first to add in aromatic flowers and herbs to your enzymes – that’s one great tip you have there! :idea: I am also eager to know how your enzyme smells will turn out, but I am definitely sure that they will clean just as well.

      I had added lemon grass to make my enzyme smell better, and I am thinking of adding pandan (or pandanus) leaves to see if they can make the enzyme smell better. One thing though, I noticed that all my enzymes smell the same after a year – not too good. :roll: :lol: Perhaps I can add in fresh lemon skins or other aromatic peels and leaves to make it smell better at the point of time when I am using the enzymes, just so that they are more appealing in aroma. :wink:

      Looking forward to your feedback on your enzymes’ aroma and your cleaning experience with them.

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D

  18. 28

    biguggy said,

    In answer to the post from Bev on 28th April.
    I believe you may be experiencing the products of corrosion resulting from the interaction(s) of laundry aids and the aluminium alloy spider fitted in front loading washing machines
    Bad smells and spider corrosion in front load washing machines.
    When all other remedies for curing bad smells coming from front load washers have been tried and have not been found satisfactory I believe the source of the smell may well be corrosion of the aluminium spider with the products of this corrosion harbouring ‘water’ that turns foul as described below, or, should no corrosion have occurred the ‘water’ left in the recesses of the hubs of the spiders will, if left long enough, turn foul.
    Aluminium, and its alloys, are corroded when immersed in an aqueous solution with a pH value below about 4.0 (acidic) [nitric acid is a well known exception] or above about 8.0 (alkaline), most laundry aids, detergent including HE detergent, borax, bleach (sodium hypochlorite), sodium carbonate (washing soda), sodium percarbobante (found in Affresh and OxiClean), sodium hydroxide, Affresh and OxiClean can have pH values above 8.0 should the required concentrations be reached. At the normal operating levels found in washing machines these values are not exceeded. However when the machine is shut down any water remaining will contain, inter alia, soil from the laundry, products of the interactions between the soil and the laundry aids used, unused laundry aids, and the chemicals found in the tap water. As the water from this mixture evaporates the concentration of the ‘impurities’ rises until such time as a ‘smelly sludge’ develops and/or a pH level above about 8.0 is reached and corrosion occurs.
    Prime areas for these deposits to occur are, in my opinion, the recesses found at, or very near, the hub of some of the aluminium alloys spiders found in front load washing machines. The final spin, no matter how fast, will not, in my opinion, remove all the ‘water’ from theses recesses.

    To view a corroded spider (not to the point of catastrophic failure) and one with a build of ‘smelly crud’ please visit: –

    http://www.ripoffreport.com/appliances/electrolux-home-prod/electrolux-home-products-n-am-4cd6d.htm

    These spiders were removed from Frigidaire built ‘Kenmore’ machines.

    To see fractured spiders from Frigidaire built machines, Whirlpool ‘Duets’ and other manufacturers’ please visit: –

    http://fixitnow.com/wp/2009/10/28/front-loading-washer-corrosion-contagion-a-menagerie-of-metallic-misery/

    Or, for a Whirlpool spider

    http://www.mysears.com/aboutme/jpm0940

    Not all manufacturers use spiders with recesses, Speed Queen do not (Speed Queen call them trunnions) and photographs at: –

    http://www.automaticwasher.org/cgi-bin/TD/TD-VIEWTHREAD.cgi?30834

    show Miele spiderss without recesses. There may be others.

    Unfortunately the only way to cure the bad smell and/or corrosion in these cases is to strip the machine down, clean it, perhaps modify the spider, reassemble and alter your laundry practices. Not a popular solution I would guess!

    • 29

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear biguggy :D

      Thank you for taking the time to write such an informative post. Your explanation was very detailed and sure helped those people to understand why their front loading washing machines persist in giving bad odours. :idea:

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D

  19. 30

    biguggy said,

    To happyhomemaker88 and anyone else interested.,
    Since making my previous post it has come to my attention that there are at least two class action lawsuits against Whirlpool with respect to their front load washers.One is in the USA and the other in Canada. The relevant websites are: –

    http://www.whirlpoolclassaction.ca/

    and

    http://www.lieffcabraser.com/cases.php?CaseID=126

    Whilst both of these are primarily concerned with the foul odours the Canadian one also mentions corrosion.

    • 31

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Thank you, dear biguggy, for the information on those 2 class action lawsuits relating to design flaws resulting in permanent foul odours in the washing machines. That will be interesting to those visitors here who encounter such problems with their washing machines. :idea:

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D

  20. 32

    jeannette said,

    My machine Bosche front loader also leaves a deposit on the clothes when I use the rinse cycle – it is fine if the clothes have been through a whole 30 dg cycle but if I handwash something then put it on just a rinse I get small spots of sludge marks on it – I have tried vinegar on 90 dg wash and also twice have used a commercal washing machine cleaner ! anyone have any suggestions! cheers!

    • 33

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hello there and welcome, dear Jeannette :D

      Have you tried to clean all the way into the folds of the rubber ring/gasket located at the opening of the washing machine. Even around the top and bottom, as far as your fingers can go into the folds. I have found a lot of gunge in there. Clean by wrapping your fingers in an old terry hand towel and go around the folds gently. Then run your washing machine on a hot cleaning cycle using baking soda and vinegar or homemade citrus enzyme to wash away all the gunge (make sure there are no clothes inside then). :idea:

      Good Luck!

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D

  21. 35

    One cup of White Vinegar to the hottest water no clothes added full cycle when done then you can use the washing machine, you can also from time to time do a maintenance cleaning with full strength undiluted vinegar on a clean cloth or sponge and wipe around the tub and pour in some vinegar in the dispensers to help clean and deodorize them your washer will be clean and odor free and also will last longer this will also clean the hoses and keep them free flowing if the above treatments are done on a regular basis like every other week or twice a month it can be done it also removes rust and limescale and will disinfect your washer Vinegar has been touted as being the best disinfectant in the world and it is safe to use Good Luck !

    • 36

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hello there and welcome, dear ocm :D

      Thank you for your handy tips in cleaning the washing machine. :idea:

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D

  22. 37

    Jennifer said,

    We have a TROMM front loading washing machine which is 5 years old. How often should we clean out the front hose and filter? We have hard water, kids and pets and do typically 8-10 large loads of laundry per week. I typically clean the rubber seal on the door with a cloth and water (sometimes bleach) on a fairly regular basis, but not the hose or filter.

    Thanks and best regards,
    Jennifer

    • 38

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Jennifer :D

      I am not sure how often we have to wash the front hose and filter. :oops: On the hose part, if we do the vinegar and baking soda wash about once or twice a month, that should help. On the filter…I usually check it now and then and give it a good clean. :idea: I do about 15 or more large loads of laundry a week and so, I have to clean my washing machine more often. :lol:

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D

  23. 39

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Kathy Kitty asked :-

    I have made the enzyme cleanser & want to use it to get rid of mold inside my HE Front Loading Washer. I don’t know how much to use & do I put it in the liquid soap dispenser or use more directly on the rubber ring inside?
    I haven’t seen any mention of it on your blog.
    Thank you! I hope to hear from you soon!!

    • 40

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Kathy

      For general cleaning of the whole washing machine interior and the pipes, you can use 1 to 2 cups of full strength enzyme and run a normal laundry wash cycle (without clothes) on a warm water setting. The enzyme works best when the temperature is around that of humans. :idea:

      For the rubber ring inside, it is harder to get rid of the gunge stuck all the way inside the folds… usually, I would use an old terry cotton towel, dip into some enzyme and water (half-half portions) and rub gently inside the rings. Be careful….if your inner rubber ring is old, it may tear open at the folds. Do this step after the enzyme wash for the washing machine above. Then the washing machine run on just the rinse cycle only to remove any gunge that has been loosened in the rubber ring. :idea:

      Hope that helped … :wink:

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D

  24. 41

    rheaseo said,

    Last week all of my washing wass coming out dirtier than when it went in There were horrible black marks all over it. It was under a warranty so got teh engineer out. There wasn’t actually anything wrong with it apart from it was dirt He said that nowadays because peeps are using lower temps and liquid detergents instead of the powder the clothese are getting clean but the dirt is staying inside the machine. We had to do about 5-6 boil washes with conventional washing powder to give the machine a good clean out which worked fine. His advice was to do a boil wash once a month to stop this happening again, he thought that everyone did taht nowadays.

    I had not heard of this before so just thought I would let you all know so you don’t get the same problem happening.

    • 42

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there, dear rheaseo :D

      Thank you very much for sharing your tip from the engineer on how to keep our washing machine clean on the insides. I have a new washing machine now, different from what I had shown here…I will try out the method you taught here to clean it. :idea:

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D

  25. 43

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Hi there, dear friends :D

    My washing machine/dryer technician were at my house just now to repair my dryer. I asked them how we can avoid those mildewy smells that seem to be a problem with front loading washing machines.

    They said to :-

    1) use only powder type of laundry detergent because the liquid type have stronger chemicals (this tend to make the lifespan of the washing machine shorter also) :idea:

    2) to use as little as possible liquid fabric softeners as over time, there is a buildup of the softer in the hoses and drum and will result in some weird smells later :idea:

    With best wishes,

    choesf :D

  26. 44

    Mariana said,

    REALLY HELPFULL!!!!!! I felt so ashamed since I have my Washing machine for so long (almost 6 years) and I’ve never washed it before. I don’t really had Odour, because I Sometimes wash towels with a little bleach. (but I actually put it for the towells, and not for the washing machine) As for the black mould in the Rubber on the door… I Felt sick when I realised how much (and for how long) it was there… Now I have a Clean Washing Machine and I’m very happy (and my clothes will be as well) =) GREAT POST!!!! THANKS!

    • 45

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Mariana :D

      I’m glad you found this post useful. Better late than never to clean our washing machine. :wink:

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D

  27. 46

    biguggy said,

    You have only cleaned the bits you can see. Think about the bits you cannot see!!

  28. 47

    Toobusy said,

    OMG……I have had my top load washer for 8 years & never knew to clean it. For quite some time I have noticed a foul smell and thought all along that it was just from the hard water. Yesterday I just noticed what looks like black mold……..OMG!!!!!! What’s worse is that just this year my allergies have gotten 100 percent worse & I have developed symptoms that I never previously had. Even my puppy has allergy like symptoms. Could black mold have been developing all along in parts of the washer not readily visible? Could this be the problem with our allergies? Is it too late for my top load machine? Should I just have it removed and buy a new one? Please help!!!!!

    • 48

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hi there and welcome, dear Toobusy :D

      Thank you for your comments. I was not aware that top loading washing machines have a foul smell problem, too. If you have severe allergies and can afford to get a new washing machine, it is better to change to a new one as yours is already 8 years old. Then, give that washing machine regular cleaning to keep the black mould and smell away as much as possible. :idea:

      I find that for tough cases, bleach and 1/4 of the recommended amount of detergent and then the hottest wash cycle selected have the best effect of cleaning away the gunge and removing the smells. After that, use baking powder and vinegar over the next few days for a week…or until you notice there is no more smell from the washing machine.

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D

  29. 49

    Kelly said,

    Just finished this myself, I can only imagine how my clothes (and house) will now smell. I kind of got a thing for cleaning appliances that clean!

  30. 50

    Kelly said,

    Next, pull apart your toilet seats, and vacuum heads x x x x

    • 51

      Hi there, dear Kelly :D

      I so agree with you! There are many hidden areas of dirt and bacteria which we are unaware of :shock: – toilet seats and vacuume heads are some.

      The other scary one is cloths used to wipe dining tables and kitchen counter tops, etc. I like to boil those cloths in a pot over the stove with water mixed with a tablespoon of bleach and 1/4 cup of laundry detergent. I use only white cotton towels so that I know how dirty they get and they are easier to bleach clean again.

      Happy Holidays!

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D

  31. 52

    tammy earnhardt said,

    how d
    o u clean the despencer where u add fabric softner? mine is top load and i have noyiced lately that the softner is on clothes after being washed

    • 53

      Hi there, dear Tammy :D

      I’m sorry, I have never used a top loading washing machine and therefore, I don’t know how to clean the fabric softener dispenser. :oops:

      Maybe you can refer to your washing machine user manual or find out more in the Internet. :idea:

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D

      • 54

        Av the Little Cleaner said,

        I used to have a top loading machine, it’s good to pour bleach right into it and do a cycle where it will rinse, you can also take a bottle brush and try to get as much as you can off by hand, in addition to cleaning the stem in the middle with a scrubbing brush, because softener builds up there, too..
        Hope that helps..

  32. 55

    ST said,

    Hi HHM88,
    I read your whole tread.. But I still have a problem, I cleaned the rubber seal but I can see grime on my front loaders drum, how can I detox the whole machine? Thanks, so looking for good advice with this..

    • 56

      Hi there, dear ST :D

      I’m not sure if this will work for cleaning your washing machine :idea:

      Set your washing machine to the hottest temperature and a normal wash cycle WITHOUT any laundry in washing machine.

      Add in the following :-

      1) 1 cup of bleach

      2) 1/4 amount of the laundry detergent that you normally use

      Start the washing machine and let it run the whole wash cycle.

      See if this helps…

      Good Luck!

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D

  33. 57

    Dina said,

    Hi, I have the same problem and all the suggestions sound great but I have a septic tank, so using bleach isn’t good for it so any other solutions for not using the bleach???

  34. 59

    Feedback from Mendy, GA, USA on using 2 cups of homemade cleaning enzymes to rid her washing machine of stinky smells :-

    http://happyhomemaker88.com/2009/05/02/recipe-for-homemade-citrus-enzyme-a-natural-cheap-effective-all-purpose-cleaner/

    Hi Choesf! I am back to report on the washing machine after being cleaned with enzymes and doing laundry for over three weeks. I am happy to say that the stinky smell is GONE! I am amazed. The washer still smells fresh and clean. We cleaned the machine as stated in my comment #327 (copied below) and it really worked! I have to also mention that my daughter says she used white vinegar in place of fabric softener for every load, and when not in use, she always leaves her washing machine open now. Thanks so much!

    Comment # 327 :-

    Natalie, we ran 2 cups in a regular wash cycle in cold water (cold water in GA in this hot weather is closer to the suggested temp safe for enzymes- 98 degrees). It is a top loader so we didn’t have the rubber rim and soap drawer, but cleaned everything we could get to. When the cycle finished the washer definitely smelled fresh. But I will have to let you know how it is after she runs a few loads of clothes. Best other tip i can give you is to leave the washer open when not in use. Also use Chosef’s link http://happyhomemaker88.com/2007/11/04/remember-to-clean-your-washing-machine-monthly/ for more good info. Hope this helps!
    Mendy

  35. 60

    kathy said,

    how often do i have to clean the filter on my front load washing machine?

    • 61

      Hi there, dear Kathy :D

      If you have a lot of laundry to do daily (like my family of 6), then it is good to clean your washing machine monthly – to prevent mildew or scum buildup inside. However, if you don’t have so much laundry to do, then perhaps once in 2 months will do for you?

      Leaving the detergent drawer and front door open when your washing machine is not in use helps to air the washing machine and slows the process of mildew/scum and odour buildup :idea:

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D

  36. 62

    biguggy said,

    With reference to my earlier post (#28) and leaving the washer door open to ‘let it air out’.
    Sodium carbonate (washing soda) is found in most powdered detergents and ‘OxiClean’ powder. It is also found in the washing machine cleaners ‘Affresh’ and ‘Tide Washing Machine Cleaner’. In addition to the corrosive properties of sodium carbonate I discussed in the above post it is also hygroscopic, meaning that it will attract moisture from the air.
    Therefore any of this chemical left in any ‘water’ remaining in the machine at the end of the final rinse cycle will not allow the machine to dry out completely but will keep attracting moisture from the atmosphere leading, I believe, to problems with foul odours and, if present on the aluminium alloy spider, corrosion of that component.
    You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t, leave the door open that is.

  37. 63

    Av the Little Cleaner said,

    I have an HE front loading washer from samsung. I clean it regularly to avoid smells. I have “dog towels” which are older yard towels that I use for drying the dog, and drying the car, I highly recommend throwing in an old towel or two into the machine because it gives the machine something to rub on as it spins, and cleans it deeper.

    Tips in short:
    -Clorox bathroom cleaner, removes scum and buildup, just make sure you run hot rinse cycles.
    -throw in an old towel when doing the machine cleaning wash so the machine will be cleaned deeper (it does not in anyway interfere with your machine getting cleaner)
    -always leave the door open when you take wet clothes out, if this is not possible due to pets or little hands, be sure to wipe the entire inside dry
    – clean the filter (usually at the bottom)
    -be diligent, don’t let it build up… Fabric softener in particular will cause a lot of build up, but the dirt from your clothes naturally cause a lot of scum and gunge…
    -remember how important it is, and make it part of your monthly to clean list, because mold is extremely harmful, and your family can become sick from wearing clothes or sleeping on sheets washed in a moldy machine…
    -if you’re not into vinegar, TIDE makes a washing machine cleaner that I’ve used, it works well, but it’s expensive and I prefer to bleach everything…
    Have fun cleaning and I hope this helped…

    • 64

      Hi there, dear Av the Little Cleaner :D

      Thank you for your very good tips there on cleaning top and front loading washing machines **2 thumbs up** :D

      I especially love your method of using a bottle brush to get at those awkward and hard to reach areas like the detergent drawer hole, I’ll be sure to do that the next time I clean my washing machine. :idea:

      Do have a wonderful weekend and Happy New Year!

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D

  38. 65

    ganjardenis said,

    Thank you for your tips. I was about to do that, but i’m not sure about the bleach. Do you use the liquid bleach (like clorox)? Where do you put it? In the detergent drawer or directly in the drum?

  39. 67

    Nancy said,

    Hi, my washing machine doesn’t have hot water, will your method work just as good with cold water?

  40. 71

    Shirley said,

    Thanks for all the comments. I just purchased an Sears Elite washer with a steel drum. Could the vineagar harm the steel drum. I just got rid of my Maytag Neptune Washer. It was stinky. I found I feel black mold in it. I had an ongoing cough and sinus issues and feel it came from that machine. I like to be as organic as possible. Thanks

  41. 72

    Shirley said,

    I forgot to mention that the Neptune was a front loader and the Sears Elite that I just purchased is a front loader also. Thanks

    • 73

      Hi there, dear Shirley :D

      The drum is made of stainless steel and the vinegar is diluted, and therefore, I don’t think the vinegar would harm the steel drum. :wink:

      The rubber gasket/ring around the front door has folds and mould/gunge can build up in the folds. One way is to always wipe of excess water from in there after each wash cycle, but that can be quite troublesome to do. So, using the baking soda and vinegar once a month to clean the washing machine does help. :idea:

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D

  42. 74

    Biguggy said,

    One of the most common faults people make with the front load washers is using way to much detergent, a couple of tablespoons full is the most that should be needed even for a heavy load of relatively heavily soiled laundry and cut that down for only lightly soiled items.
    The first three digits of the Kenmore machine’s model numbers identify the actual manufacturer thus:
    417 = Frigidaire (totally owned by Electrolux)
    110 = Whirlpool
    796 = LG
    Last year, in a Canadian court Whirlpool admitted what they had done to try and alleviate problem. The relevant details are here on pages 15 to 19 inclusive:

    http://classproceedings.ca/files/2012/09/Whirlpool-Certification-Denied-Reasons.pdf

    You may find them to be informative.

  43. 75

    Thanks so much for the post. Could you tell me which bleach you use- Is it laundry bleach or the common toilet bleach. thanks!

  44. 77

    Mr Parker said,

    Yeah its very necessary to clean the washing machine in regular time period.


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