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Oders in Front Loaders

Pay now or pay later, 

 The problem is

1) people leave damp clothes in the machine for more than one hour ( This is not a problem  in top loaders have a air gap that allows the standing clothes to continue to dry, but if left in for a day of two, they will still mold ) 

2) people do not always use HE washing soaps that cause the outside of the drum to get damp and mold starts where it can't be cleaned easily.

3) people do not leave the door open after they take the cloths out. Many manufactures owners manuals suggest you leave a small towel  in the door to make sure it says open.

4) The design of the unit does not create air movement to dissipate any condensations that might build up in the unit and cause a mold build up inside the unit  not the inside of the drum.

5) The laundry room does not have sufficient air movement to allow the machines to stay dry.

6) small cloths items get by the gaskets and start molding, Only to be remove by disassembling the machine and finding the offending piece  

7) ....

Front-load washers are designed for high efficiency operation while using low energy. But unfortunately, there is a down side to this energy-saving washer model. Some consumers have experienced mold or unpleasant odors developing in their front-load washers. Once present, these issues can be quite difficult to resolve. With a little extra care, you may be able to prevent these issues from occurring. It should be noted that not all high efficiency front-load washers have had this problem, and I would assume that design modifications have been implemented to prevent, or at least reduce the risk of such problems with newer models. What Causes Mold, Mildew or Unpleasant Odors?Because of the low water level, wash residue such as grime, dirt and even skin flakes, along with water softeners and detergents do not always fully drain out of a front-loading washer. Using cold water for most loads can also add to the problem. Residue can build up in the rubber door gasket, soap/softener dispenser or other parts of the washer and over time, mold can begin to form or the washer can take on a smelly disposition.
Tips for Preventing Mold & Smelly Problems:
  • Always leave the door and dispenser unit slightly ajar after the laundry is done. Front-load washers and the detergent/softener dispenser drawer must dry out.
  • Never leave a wet washload in the washer overnight; remove it when the washing cycle is complete and leave the door open.
  • After a load is done, always rotate the drum with your hand to see and remove all items. Some could be sticking to top or sides of the washer drum.
  • Use softener sheets in the dryer instead of liquid softeners in the washer.
  • Liquid detergents may leave less residue than powdered formulas which may not dissolve properly.
  • Use less than the recommended detergent level for your load. Too much detergent can cause a residue build up. Experiment until you find a minimum measurement that delivers a clean wash. This is also a money saver.
  • Occasionally wash some loads such as whites, linen and towels in warm or hot water to help flush out wash residue. ( make sure that the water is HOT, as because the units use so liitle water the water from the pipes nevers gets HOT . Run the faucet  in the laundry room until the water gets HOT then start the machine or add hot water by hand)
  • Always clean your washer as per your product manual. High efficiency front-load models have a cleaning cycle and it's imperative that you periodically run this cycle as directed.
  • Check the gasket just inside the door opening and remove any visible debris. You can also wipe it to speed the drying process.
  • Always use HE detergents with high efficiency front-load washers. Specially marked HE laundry detergent is low sudsing and is recommended for these low-water washers.
If You Already Have a Front-Load Washer Mold/Smell Issue:
  • If your front-load washer is still under warranty, contact the manufacturer for repair or replacement. You may need to take a firm stand with your dealer or manufacturer to ensure they remedy this problem.
  • If your warranty period has expired, your first line of attack is to try and clean the washer to remove any offending mold. Some consumers have had good results with products such as Affresh® which is designed to clean high-efficiency washers. However, some have had no success with such products.
  • If the gasket appears to contain mold, replacing it may solve the issue.
  • Read what other consumers have tried and learn what has worked for them.
  • There have been legal class action cases regarding such issues and some may still currently be before the courts. For this reason, it's difficult to get definitive answers from manufacturers. Contact your Consumer Protection Branch to log a complaint. Inquire if there are any legal proceedings for your particular brand of washer. You may be able to participate in such a claim and receive a settlement

Are These Problems to Be Expected With a Front-Load Washer?

Not necessarily. But prevention is of utmost importance and you should be aware that this washer model requires more care than top-loaders. Front-load washers are considerably higher priced, at least double, if not triple the cost of a traditional top-loading model. That being said, they are beautiful to look at and are fun-to-use laundry appliances with great convenience and energy-saving features.
However, they are designed to use very low water levels and this can cause problems with expelling wash residue. The appliance design also is a hindrance when its components never dry out completely. Repairs may also be higher over the long run, than with those associated with top-load washers.

Problems with mold and odors have been occurring in some models since these were introduced, but may not be typical of all front-loaders. Since washer use and care varies with different appliance owners, one may have problems, while another may totally enjoy their high efficiency washer without serious complaints.

I cannot stress enough the importance of preventing mold or odor problems from developing. But if the situation already exists, finding a resolve as quickly as possible is very important. These issues are not only nasty and inconvenient, but could lead to severe health issues.

When buying a front-loader you should be prepared to give your washer a little extra care to prevent such problems by adhering to manufacturer recommendations regarding running the cleaning cycle, using only HE detergents and following the above tips to prevent any issues from developing. Buy from a trusted source and inquire on the retailer's return policy and how warranty repairs are conducted should the need arise.