Mold, Mildew or Unpleasant Odors in Frontload Washers
Frontload washers are designed for high efficiency operation using low energy and water consumption. Unfortunately there is a down side to this energy-saving washer design. Some consumers have experienced mold or unpleasant odors being emitted from their front load washers. Because of the low water level, wash bacteria residue such as grime, dirt and even skin flakes build up on the rubber seal. This residue builds up between the seal and drum, or door gasket along with other parts of the washer. Over time, mold can begin to form and the washer can take on an unpleasant odor. Fabric softeners and detergent dispensers that do not do not fully drain can also contribute to mold issues. Once present, mold can be quite difficult to eliminate.
Mold and mildew build-up is an inherent problem with frontload washers and prevention is of the utmost importance. They typically require more care than conventional top load washers. The manufacturer may recommend running the cleaning cycle on a regular basis by using products such as Affresh washer cleaner or liquid chlorine bleach and running the cleaning cycle with hot water.
Normal required maintenance to remove mold and mildew stains is to dilute ¾ cup of liquid chlorine bleach to a gallon of warm/hot water . Wearing rubber gloves and eye protection, use this solution to wipe down all surfaces of the gasket to remove deposits that are causing any odor. (Be sure to fold back the lip of the gasket to get under the edge where residue can build up.) Wipe the gasket with a dry cloth and leave the door open to allow the gasket to dry completely. Never use undiluted bleach as this will damage the gasket. If the gasket cannot be cleaned properly, it should be replaced by a qualified appliance service technician.
The presence of a black or brownish colored residue may be an indication of an advanced stage of mold. This situation can worsen dramatically if the washer goes into storage or the access/door is closed for a period of time.
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