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View Full Version : HELP! Washer problem - nasty smell I can't get rid of


mad hatter fan
03-08-2011, 01:23 PM
I can't get rid of this nasty smell :sick: coming from our washing machine. We have tried running it with vinegar and baking soda. Then we tried odoban which disinfects, and deoderizes. We also tried bleach. None of them worked. Then as a last resort, since the oder seemed to be coming from between the drums, my husband took the whole washer apart. There was quite a bit of yucky stuff between the two drums which we cleaned out thoroughly. After all that work, I thought for sure the problem would be fixed. But today, I started to smell it in the washer again! It can't be just a smell to the water because I cannot smell anything in the water taken from the sink next to the washer. The water going to the washer is taken from the pipes just above sink. The only thing I thought we could still check is the hose going from the pipes to the washer. What am I missing? :confused3 I do not want to buy a new washer. It is 12 years old but still works great. (except for the smell)

DebMcDonald
03-08-2011, 01:46 PM
Is it a top loading or front loading? Do you always leave it open when not in use to it can dry out? My front loader has an odor and I need to leave the door open.

PrincessSuzanne
03-08-2011, 01:59 PM
If it is a front loader, if you leave it pen to dry out, the odor will disappear. I have to remind DH to leave it open after he uses it or it starts to smell.

Suzanne

Cjmuma
03-08-2011, 02:02 PM
there was a commercial for tide front-loader cleaner on the tv a bit ago...

mad hatter fan
03-08-2011, 02:08 PM
It is a top loader and we always leave it open. We have never had this problem before and I have not changed how I do laundry at all. :confused3

Mickey1Fan
03-08-2011, 02:18 PM
I am interested in any solutions to this problem. My washer smells musty and I leave it open and it is a top loader.

Peanut Giggleface
03-08-2011, 02:21 PM
I've had some issues with smell before. It turned out it was mold in the nooks and crannies where water collected (this includes the hoses and such). What's worked for me is to run an empty load with some bleach on sanitize. I do this once a month and then leave the door open. If you don't have sanitize, run it on your hottest setting. HTH

juliebean
03-08-2011, 02:28 PM
Since you mentioned there was quite a bit of yucky stuff inbetween the drum...

As much as it is a pain to check - is there more buildup? I would guess that would be the problem - if you removed the buildup and the smell went away - which I'm assuming happened?

If it is - I'd remove the buildup again and see what your options are to keep it out - maybe smaller loads or a seal is broken? I do remember seeing something about this in the newspaper (maybe Heloise?) and it was usually stuff around the drum...luckily not a problem I have - just need one that can operate without a mom, lol so, sorry can't remember details.

cheerforchelsea
03-08-2011, 02:45 PM
I am always looking up how to clean different stuff on howtocleanstuff.net and so far everything that I have used one of their recommendations has worked. Good luck with your washer - that is one that I have not tried.:wizard:

QueenRocks
03-08-2011, 03:03 PM
I have a front loader and have always done 1 load with bleach each week for years. When my son went away to college, after a few months I started to smell a musty odor. I stopped doing the load of bleach when he left because I really didn't have a lot of whites. I just washed the whites with the lights. I figured the weekly bleach load is what kept the smell from occurring, so I started to do the bleach load again as well as kept the door open. After a few weeks the smell was gone.

mad hatter fan
03-08-2011, 03:04 PM
I have only done two loads since DH put the washer back together so there cannot really be buildup again yet. I will have him check the hoses tonight.

Promomx2
03-08-2011, 03:07 PM
I just noticed on my front loader washer that there the rubber gaskets around the drum are filthy. I tried wiping them down and some of the stuff came off but what can I use the clean the rubber? Is like this all the way around.

dzorn
03-08-2011, 03:23 PM
Our has a filter that DH cleans out every 2-3 months. Found this out when it was not draining properly a kids sock was cloging it. At that time the service man told me to only use powdered detergent as liquid causes the build up. He also said to wipe the gasket down with bleach once a month.

Denise in MI

luvthatdisney
03-08-2011, 04:40 PM
I had this same problem about a year ago and did a little research to figure out how to fix it. I found that most front loaders accumulate a gunk on the outside of the drum (that you cant see). The main culprit of this gunk is the liquid laundry detergent. Fabric softener can also cause it, but since it is thinner than the detergent it usually rinses away.

I decided to try powder HE detergent to see if that would solve the problem. If I remember correctly, it took only 2 loads for the smell to go away. Now I only use powder and the smell never returned. From what I have read there are petroleum products in the liquid detergent that do not get rinsed out of the machine and it accumulates. The powder breaks down better and does not have the same effect.

I think the new "front loader cleaner" is just powder detergent. I am not sure of that, but from what I saw on TV that is what it looked like. If I were the OP I would buy a box of power HE detergent and use it and see if it solves the problem :)

stacie_d
03-08-2011, 04:53 PM
Have you tried to clean out the drain, assuming that it has something similar to my front loader? I noticed a bad smell, and then one day got an error message. After some googling, I figured out I needed to take the front lower panel off. There was was a white plug to twist out...some sort of drain. Thanks to the internet I had a bucket ready. The water that poured out was black and smelled horrible! I cleaned out that drain/trap and was really surprised by some of the stuff there...including a baby sock and some coins.

Apparently you are supposed to clean this out once in a while...I had no idea. Once done, bad smell was gone.

Kitten0819
03-08-2011, 04:54 PM
there was a commercial for tide front-loader cleaner on the tv a bit ago...

I just saw this too! I didnt even know they got dirty like that. I have a top loader though.

John Tag
03-08-2011, 05:02 PM
Keep Lid open is great to always do. Also run 2-3 loads with nothing but bleach, Then repeat 1 time every 4-6 weeks. We also for garbage disposal cut a lemon in 1/4s and use 2 in garbage disposal to prevent oder. We also use 2 where drain tube is on washer. They also make lemon tablets and sell them at lowes for same purpose but lemmon is $1 and tablets are $6.

The Moonk's Mom
03-08-2011, 06:14 PM
I have only done two loads since DH put the washer back together so there cannot really be buildup again yet. I will have him check the hoses tonight.

I was going to suggest you check the hoses. Our old washer did the same thing...I cleaned the heck out of it...finally got tired and went and bought a new washer. We had just moved, and our old washer was at least 10 years old, so I was ready for a new one, but the old one seemed to work other than the smell. When we were switching them out, we realized the drain hose was too far down in the waste water pipe causing it to siphon the dirty water back into the washer. I still switched the washers anyway....really wanted a new one...but I think for sure that is where the odor came from. Good Luck!

a1tinkfans
03-08-2011, 07:40 PM
I just saw this too! I didnt even know they got dirty like that. I have a top loader though.

I think that after all the hype about how great the front loaders were, there were many angry people about the musty smell that came with the new models. "keep door open, close door, run bleach and on and on....

Now they've come up with something else for people to buy. :rotfl:

I would not be surprised if eventually some class action suit as to the "musty issue" (mold issue???) that seems to come with many of the front loaders. ;)

dzorn
03-08-2011, 08:20 PM
Have you tried to clean out the drain, assuming that it has something similar to my front loader? I noticed a bad smell, and then one day got an error message. After some googling, I figured out I needed to take the front lower panel off. There was was a white plug to twist out...some sort of drain. Thanks to the internet I had a bucket ready. The water that poured out was black and smelled horrible! I cleaned out that drain/trap and was really surprised by some of the stuff there...including a baby sock and some coins.

Apparently you are supposed to clean this out once in a while...I had no idea. Once done, bad smell was gone.

Yes that is the same filter that we clean out occasionally.

Denise in MI

englishteacha
03-08-2011, 08:49 PM
Sounds like it might be the drain to the washer. Hope you find the cure!

mad hatter fan
03-08-2011, 09:03 PM
He's down there cleaning out the washers drain pipes, etc. I hope this works!

PrincessSuzanne
03-09-2011, 09:47 AM
I just saw this too! I didnt even know they got dirty like that. I have a top loader though.

Yeah, your supposde to run something like that through the front loaders once a month to keep the soap from building up, that is why they make the He detergent also. I didn't read any great reviews for the Tide product, but Clorox makes one that I use and I love it, and it is less expensive than the Tide packets.


Suzanne

disneychrista
03-09-2011, 10:49 PM
Have you tried bleach?

My washer has a basket cleaning cylce that you are suppose to run monthly. You pour bleach into the tub and then the cycle runs with hat water. I have never had a stinky washer, in the year or so that I have had the washer.

ChickieToo
03-09-2011, 11:04 PM
We had a similar problem with our ice maker. At one point there was kind of a funky smell to the ice, and eventually it gave the water kind of a funny taste. Come to find out, the hose the water traveled through from the water source in the basement up to the freezer was breaking down and the chemicals or whatever was leaving that smell. replaced the hose and the smell was gone.

Do you have rubber hoses? Maybe you should replace them.

arieltoo
03-10-2011, 07:35 AM
Sorry, I read through this quickly, but if you have an older top load with an aggitator in the middle "crud" could be lurking in that area. A friend had a similar problem and found the yuk when she pulled off the fabric softener container attached to the top of the aggitator.

bcvprincesses
03-10-2011, 09:38 AM
I had the same problem and I finally found a product called Smelly Washer. I bought it on amazon and after a few treatments it really worked. I had tried everything and nothing else seemed to work at all. Good luck I also use smelly towels about once a month on our towels and no more funky odor.