Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cleaning Your Front Load Washer

I've had some requests lately for ideas and any tips for getting that nasty, musty smell out of front loading washing machines.  Even if you don't leave laundry sitting in your washer and you leave the door open, you will eventually still have "the smell." When your clothes smell worse coming out than going in...it's time to do a deep clean!  Tammi and I have noticed that our front loaders have been going a little longer between cleanings since we started making our own laundry detergent.  If you are buying laundry detergent make sure it says it is for "he" washers. I will have a new liquid recipe coming soon. I think it's a winner but have a little more testing washing to do!
Here are a few tips that we have:
Pull back the rubber seal
  • Always check your manual for the best way to clean your specific front loader, these are just general tips that we use, my manual says to wear eye protection and rubber gloves...that's up to you.
  • Always leave the door and detergent dispenser open when your not using your washer
  • We started using white vinegar in the softener dispenser when we wash clothes instead of fabric softener, this seems to help considerably and the clothes come out softer, whiter and they DON'T smell like vinegar...really!
  •  I have tried products that are for cleaning front loaders, they do freshen it up but usually it's not the tub that stinks, the smell is usually lurking in the rubber seal. 
  • This is the nasty part, I will spare you the pictures! However, I don't know what the black mucky stuff is but you need to pull back the rubber seal from the drum and use a damp rag or paper towel to wipe it out. I use a toothpick, toothbrush and/or skewer (carefully so you don't damage the seal) and poke the clogged drain  holes, to pull out the"residue"
  • Wipe down the door opening, door seal and door glass with white vinegar and a cloth, you can also use diluted bleach I don't because I am accident prone and my family would not like to have their clothes covered in white spots. If you use bleach it has to be diluted with water or it will damage the gasket. My book says 3/4 c bleach with 1 gallon of warm/hot water.
  • This should be done monthly, I do wipe off the door and check the gasket after I am done doing the laundry. I did find a little sock that got lodged in there one time!
  • If you still want to freshen up your washer, I have tried a couple products that seem to work. Tide makes a washer cleaning powder, it comes it a packet that you put in the soap dispenser. I have also ordered a cleaning powder from www.smellywasher.com that seems to work pretty well.  You are still going to have to do the dirty work and clean the rubber seal and door but it does help freshen it up and remove some of the buildup in the tub.
Good luck and Happy Cleaning!
~Simply Angie

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