Asked on Dec 18, 2018

How do I remove mildew from front-loading washing machine door?

Nancy TurnerWilliamOliva


8 answers
  • Sally Wiese
    on Dec 18, 2018

    To begin with, you shouldn't even have any mildew there. Reason is because you leave wet clothes in the tub and don't take'em out right away. Naughty. Set an alarm so you don't do that. Vinegar should take away the mildew. Maybe mix with a little water. Perhaps it might not hurt to run a cycle using this. You probably have mildew inside your machine too. I think TIDE actually has some cleaner to run thru the cycle for this.

  • AmAtHome
    on Dec 18, 2018

    Hi Jerry,

    I helped my daughter with hers and this is what I did: I used a cloth/rag (and a butter knife!) to remove the gunky stuff under both seals of the door. I also removed and cleaned all the dispensers, lint trap, thoroughly cleaned the drum, and also drained the trap/pump using these instructions:

    Here is how you can clean your own trap:

    1. Unplug your washer.
    2. On the front or back of the washer there should be a little door.
    3. Place a small bowl by the little door to catch drips.
    4. Pry open the door using a flathead screwdriver or a coin.
    5. There will be a black tube inside the door. Gently pull the top end of the hose out and pull off the plastic cap.
    6. Drain the hose in the bowl.
    7. Place a towel in front of the door.
    8. Beside the black hose will be the trap cap, also called the filter cap. Twist it to the left and pull it forward.
    9. Clean out the trap and replace the trap and hose.
    10. Close the little door and you're done.

    These directions may vary depending on the year and model of your washer. Be sure to check your owner's manual before attempting to clean your washer's trap.

    We put bleach (about 1 cup) in the detergent dispenser and ran the "clean" cycle. I also read that try to avoid using too much detergent and any liquid fabric softeners or anything other than HE detergent. Also, the more you can leave the washer and laundry doors open the better. Good luck!

  • Judy
    on Dec 18, 2018

    Wipe with vinegar and a cloth diluted with a bit of water. Bleach may eat away the seal after a while.

    Rinse well and it will be fine.

  • Lisa
    on Dec 18, 2018

    Hi Jerry,

    Have you tried bleach? There is also a product in most hardware stores that is specific for removing mold and that will work too. Secondly, I'd like to suggest a way to prevent it from returning: when you are finished with the wash, either take an old dry towel and dry out the washer and the door and behind the rubber liner, or leave the door open and let the machine air dry. Every so often, run the machine without clothes, using washing soda or similar product, on hot water.

  • Vickie Dotts
    on Dec 18, 2018

    A appliance technician told me to run a long cycle on hot pouring 2 cups of vinegar where you put the detergent once a month. It will get rid of awful oders. Also, as already stated in the previous answer, take a rag and wipe in and around rubber gaskets. It really works. You don't have to use any products to clean your washer if you do this.

  • Oliva
    on Dec 18, 2018

    Hi, Jerry, before you run your machine with bleach, PLEASE take the time to read the entire washer usage manual, as bleach is contraindicated in some LG front load washers.

    Follow the above advice from the ladies and always prop open the detergent drawer and the washer door when machine is not in use. If you use liquid detergent, you'll frequently find water or residual liquid in that compartment, after washing. Remove the insert for liquid detergent, dump it out, then wipe dry.

  • William
    on Dec 18, 2018

    Why your washing machine smells, and how to clean it

    When we think of washing machines, we think of clean, fresh-smelling clothes. Laundry is supposed to have a comforting aroma—one that’s so well-loved that there are even colognes designed to mimic its scent.

    But what do you do when your front-load washer, well... stinks?

    Before you resign yourself to a musty, mildewy, sour-scented existence, consider this: Your washer probably isn’t defective—it just needs some TLC. A few simple steps could help eliminate that stench forever.

    That’s right, my friends: It’s all smooth, fresh-smelling sailing from here on out. Grab your hampers, keep your heads high, and scrub stinky clothes from your life for good.

    Why your front-loader stinks

    I took an in-depth look at the relative performance of front- and top-load washers, and found that front-loaders are superior in virtually every way. That came as no surprise, since front-loaders are designed not only to be more efficient, but also to be gentler on clothes while cleaning them better.

    But it's that efficiency part that can cause some headaches when it comes to smell. See, high-efficiency front-loaders use a lot less water than their top-load counterparts, since they fill just the bottom of the wash tub with water. Since the drum rotates on a horizontal axis, your clothes tumble through the water, eliminating the need to fill the tub up all the way.

    That's all fine and dandy if you use high-efficiency detergents, but when you douse your laundry with the wrong kinds of soap and softeners, the smaller amount of water can’t fully rinse them away. The drum ends up getting coated with a layer of soap scum, which is itself peppered with debris and dirt from your clothing. In the heat and damp of your washer, this scum makes a happy home for mildew, bacteria, and mold.

    The stinky situation is compounded by the fact that front-load washers use a rubber door gasket to keep water from leaking out. Dirt, soap, and bits of fabric can get trapped under the gasket, creating yet another breeding ground for nasty smells.

    How to get rid of that smell

    1. Bring out the baking soda.

    Your first inclination may be to reach for the bleach, but I prefer to use something a little gentler. I suggest mixing 1/4 cup of baking soda with an equivalent amount of water. Add this solution to your machine’s detergent container.

    2. Bring out the vinegar.

    Pour two cups of white vinegar into the drum, then run a normal cycle at high heat—without any clothes, of course.

    The baking soda and vinegar should break up any residue stuck to your drum and kill any mold that might be present. They’ll also help remove any foul odors.

    3. Scrub away any remaining grime.

    If stubborn spots remain, attack them with the rough side of a kitchen sponge and a mixture of one part white vinegar, one part water. Ta-dah, good as new!

    You can repeat this cleaning method once a month for maintenance if you’d like, or try some other odor prevention techniques.

    How to keep your front-loader fresh

    Your washer is finally free of nasty odors, and you want to keep it that way. But how?

    1. Break up with your old detergent.

    If you own a front-loader, you should always use detergents made for high-efficiency machines. Normal detergents simply produce more suds than your front-loader can handle; less suds means less scum for stinky lifeforms to cling to. Liquid fabric softener is also off-limits for front-loading washing machines, so do yourself a favor and ditch it.

    1. Keep the drum dry

    Once you’ve got the soap situation under control, it’s time to make sure the drum doesn’t stay damp for long periods of time. Always remove your laundry promptly after the cycle ends, and be sure to leave the door open when it’s not in use, so the moisture can escape.

    You can also run a fan in the room where your washer lives to improve airflow, and consider investing in a dehumidifier. Remember: You don't want bacteria or mold to feel at home here, and nothing invites bad smells quite like wet, stagnant heat.

    3. Clean the gasket.

    Even with the correct detergent and anti-humidity efforts, there's no guarantee your washer drum won't develop some mold-friendly buildup. The rubber seal around the doors is especially problematic, so you should regularly remove any debris you see trapped in the gasket and wipe it down with a cleaning solution made of one part white vinegar and one part water.

    Finally, be sure to dispose of any lint that may have accumulated in your machine’s drain trap filter. Once a week should do the trick.

  • Nancy Turner
    on Dec 19, 2018

    Any HE machine is made for less water in the wash, necessitating less detergent, even if it is HE detergent. I have a top load HE, have since they first came out, Wanted a large load capacity which I couldn't get with the front load. The kids bring home too much laundry to do. I can't use fabric softener due to skin sensitivities with a number of family members to soaps and softeners. I always fill the softener dispenser with vinegar, it helps cut the soap foam that can get caught in folds of heavy fabrics (the white streaks you can find on dark material like sweats). it also helps fight the mold/mildew from forming and the nasty smell you can get. You can get the same smell in the top loaders, too. I had it once and poured just a little vinegar in the tub and left it in there for a couple of hours and it was gone and hasn't returned. I always leave the washer open so that it can't stay moist inside.

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