Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fresh Laundry 2.0 [Smelly Washing Machine Solution]

Ever since I posted about getting the musty smell out of your towels and laundry, I've realized that I created  that post in the wrong order.
Using vinegar will help keep your laundry smelling fresh..once you rid your washer of the smell.  But the question I've gotten most is what do you do when your washer ALREADY smells?
Apparently it's a common problem with high-efficiency washers, both top-loading and front-loading alike.

Today I have the answer;
Here's how to kick that nasty smell to the curb:

Bacteria can build up in the drum, and in front-loaders, in the seal along the door. If you have a front-loader, you can lift the rubber seal and clean it with a water and bleach solution. Clorox Wipes can work well for this, too.
For both top and front loaders, you'll just need 2 other things:

Washer Cleaner

I used the Tide brand of washer cleaner, but there is also another product out there called Affresh that supposedly gets the same results.

Dump the cleaner directly into the drum of your [empty] washer.
Add bleach to the detergent dispenser.  

We have a large-capacity washing machine, so I used about 3 cups (a little more) of bleach.  For a smaller capacity washer, use 2 cups.
The bleach will kill the existing bacteria and the washer cleaner will exfoliate the residue away.
Run one cycle on your washer's "Normal" setting, but switch the temperature to the hottest wash you can.  
Once the cycle is done, keep the washer door open and let the drum air out.

Repeat this process once a week for 3 weeks, then from there just do it once monthly.

You will notice an immediate difference - I've only had this problem once.
I followed the above steps, and it hasn't been an issue since.

Fresh-Smelling Laundry for Everyone! :)

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  1. I have never heard of washer cleaner. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for the tip. I am doing this tomorrow!

  3. I've never heard of washer cleaner either. But I do keep my door open on my washer all the time now and it really helps to keep the bacteria down. Thanks.

  4. Simple yet efficient is how I describe your blog. Anyway, we had the same problem a few weeks ago. My husband and children were somehow complaining that their clothes smell a little bit funky. I indeed noticed the smell. I poured baking soda into the washer, and washed it with a bleach solution. Thank you and good day! :D

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  6. You say to pour the bleach in the detergent dispenser, but the diagram illustrates the bleach dispenser. I assume that the bleach should go into the bleach dispenser, as the detergent dispenser has a limited capacity. Is this correct? Thank you.

    1. Actually, on my washer the dispenser that the arrow is pointing to *is* the detergent dispenser. I put the bleach in there for this process so it comes out earlier in the wash cycle, rather than later like the bleach would if it were dispensed from the bleach dispenser. Hope this helps!