Nothing beats the fresh scent of clean laundry; until that scent is overpowered by a washing machine that smells bad. For those with front-load washers, chances are you’ve wondered, “How do I get my front load washer to stop smelling?” We’ll help identify why your front load washer smells bad, pinpoint the source of the smell and prevent front load washing machine odor for good.

What to Do When Your Front Load Washer Smells Bad

The very things that make a front-load washer different from a top loader can often be the source of odor when a front load washer smells. Before we review some cleaning tips and steps, it’s helpful to understand what can create a bad odor in a front load washing machine.

Why Does My Front Load Washing Machine Smell?

Lots of detergent and water make for clean clothes, right? Not for an HE front load washer. Because these washers use less water and energy to clean clothes, using a non-HE detergent or too much in general can lead to a layer of soap buildup in your washer drum. Combined with the warm, moist environment of a washer, this buildup can become a prime setting for smelly front load washer mold.

Similarly, the rubber gasket that helps seal the door closed on a front load washer can also be a catchall for dirt and soap scum. This makes the perfect breeding ground for mildew and your washing machine smells like rotten eggs as it multiplies. With a lack of regular cleaning to combat these issues, a bad smell can easily take over the washer.

bosch washer smells bad

How to Clean a Front Load Washer Gasket

Fortunately, there are some simple tips and tricks to get rid of odors when your front load washer smells bad. We recommend these steps for how to clean mold from front load washer gasket:

  1. Open the washer door and peel back the rubber gasket.
  2. Remove any small objects, lint, and hair that may be trapped.
  3. Spray down the gasket with hot, soapy water and wipe away with a clean cloth.
  4. For persistent mildew, spray with a solution of 10% bleach and water or a 1:1 solution of white vinegar and water. Wipe with a clean cloth.

How to Clean Washing Machine Drum

When your front load washer smells bad because of buildup in the washer drum running a tub clean cycle can help banish odor. Follow the instructions in your user manual to properly use this cycle. If your washer doesn’t have a tub clean cycle, here’s how to clean the tub:

  1. Sprinkle 1/3 cup baking soda in an empty washer drum.
  2. Pour 2 cups white vinegar in the detergent tray.
  3. Run a cleaning cycle or regular wash with hot water.
  4. For persistent mildew, pour 2cups bleach in the bleach dispenser and run a second wash cycle.
bosch washing machine odor

Image from WikiHow

Preventing Front Load Washer Smells

With a little change in habit and regular cleaning, you can prevent future takeovers from front load washer smells:

  • Clean your washer’s gasket and tub regularly, every 2-3 months.
  • Make sure you use an HE detergent formulated for your washer.
  • Use the recommended amount of detergent with each load, refraining from adding too much or too little.
  • Remove washed clothing as soon as a wash cycle ends to prevent a moist environment for mildew.
  • When not in use, leave the door of your washer open to allow air to circulate.

Solar Appliance is here to help not only when your front load washer smells bad, but also when you need a washer repair service. Give us a call for all your appliance needs!