Washing Washing Machines

Maybe I’m ignorant or maybe I lead a very sheltered life as a child, but I had no idea one had to regularly wash washing machines.
A couple weeks ago I noticed a slight mildewy smell coming from the washer. Soon after, I noticed there was a “tub clean” setting. Putting two and two together, I realized that perhaps there was a way to wash the washer.
After ignoring the problem for two weeks, just hoping it would fix itself, I followed the cleaning instructions found in the washing machine manual. I wiped the inner part of the glass door, around the rubber around the door opening, and then ran the “tub clean” cycle with some liquid bleach.
Apparently, this is something that should be done quite frequently. Who knew? This was the first time I’ve done it since we bought it two years ago. My bad!
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Comments on: "Washing Washing Machines" (14)

  1. I think that this may actually be specific to front loading washers? I have a top loading washer and I haven't seen anything like that on mine.

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  2. At least you were in time! A friend of mine had her washer stopping on her. When the mechanic came he took the thing apart finding a large amount of mushrooms growing IN the washer 😦 So thats why the thing stopped working on her. Mushrooms. In the machine!

    You don't need that specific setting, however you do need to clean you washer every once in a while using the setting that is the hottest, combining that with bleach.

    Ever since I know the story (and I know the person, I know it is true!!!), I clean mine every half year, just to be sure. Mushrooms 😦

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  3. Good Witch – that makes me feel a bit better, because this is the first front-loader I've used.

    lin – Mushrooms? Seriously!? That's insane! I think I'll even schedule the cleaning in my calendar.

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  4. Yes, it's generally just front-loading washers that require actual regular cleaning. When I had one, I would wipe down the inside of the glass door every time I used it, and leave it open so it would dry completely, instead of shutting the door when I was done (mine didn't have a tub clean cycle).

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  5. After our first stinky front-loading washer experience, I've vowed to never use one again. Leaving the door open does help immensely, but Monkey loved crawling in when we did that. In the future, I think we'll look for a top-loader that's high efficiency.

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  6. Hm… I have not cleaned our front-loader, though occasionally we'll run cycles with vinegar, and we always leave the door open when not in use (as per the instruction manual).

    I will keep this in mind in case the washer gets stinky!

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  7. I did a lot of research on this when I bought a second hand front loader that was slightly smelly. I have never before washed a washing machine and never had the need to. Even in this case I just ran some hot cycles with vinegar, avoiding the bleach.
    My main conclusion after all the internet searches was that top-loading people will never understand the real value of a frontloader …

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  8. Real value of a front-loader: My 5 year old can do laundry!

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  9. Sugar Scientist – the instructions do say to wipe it down after each use. Whoops! I do leave the door open though.

    Dr. O – I don't mind doing a tub clean every few months. Luckily, ours is in the basement, so Evan can't get to it.

    nicoleandmaggie – I would consider running cycles with vinegar as cleaning 🙂 And, yes, a 5-year-old doing laundry is wonderful 🙂

    Nina – Glad you were able to get rid of the smell! I really do like the front loaders!

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  10. OMG I had no idea, Alyssa! The house we just bought has a front-loading washing machine and I have no idea what I'm doing, so this is a great tip! Gonna go check and see if there is a tub clean setting…..

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  11. This is crazy talk. Next you'll be telling me that I need to wash my windows even though it rains on them all the time

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  12. Cath – I know, right?? Or that you have to wash towels that you only use when you're clean!

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  13. I just discovered this in March, and cleaned ours for the first time since we bought it almost four years ago. I'm horrified by that mushroom story, and now am paranoid that I may have missed something important in the cleaning process!

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  14. Liberal Arts Lady – I'm sure you would smell something before the mushrooms kick in (or I hope so anyway!).

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