Help me rid my washer of the mildew smell! - Mothering Forums
The Mindful Home > Help me rid my washer of the mildew smell!
Dazedstella 08:00 PM 07-29-2011

Ugh. I have a front load washer that I purchased new a year and half ago. I knew all the rules about making sure to switch over immediately, wiping down the gasket etc. We failed to do that a lot, especially switching over immediately because, well, a house is hectic with small children and our laundry is in the basement. I even occasionally run a wash of bleach and hot water with no clothes followed by vinegar and hot water, which worked previously but isn't anymore. It won't go away, it's gross and our clothes smell.


Do I have to buy a new washer? Or is there something I haven't tried yet?

mattemma04 05:29 AM 07-31-2011

Have you tried those HE cleaners? I think they are  a tablet you put into the machine,and it will clean up things.Only other thing I can think of besides bleach is maybe some pet  enzyme cleaner sprayed into the tub/hose/ring.After sitting for a while do a wash on the sanitize setting.

Katie T's Avatar Katie T 06:27 PM 08-03-2011

Have you tried dumping some baking soda in the gusset and tub when you are finished with laundry for the day? I don't know if that will help but worth a shot. 


Are you leaving your door open? Is it really damp in your basement? 

cameragirl's Avatar cameragirl 06:54 PM 08-03-2011
The best option is to run a cycle with no clothes, hot water, and 1 cup of bleach once a month. It will kill any bacteria that have built up in the system.

EDIT: I reread and saw that you've tried that. I would probably try an enzyme cleaner. Nature's Miracle might help.
Dazedstella 08:09 PM 08-04-2011

Thank you for your replies! I am going to try Nature's Miracle and the HE cleaners. Baking soda also might work, will try too.


We are leaving the door open, read: I am, but DH frequently feels the need to shut it when in the basement despite repeated reminders of why we can't shut it- he's also the main culprit for running laundry, not switching it and not telling me, until the next day, but at least he's trying, right?eyesroll.gif It is definitely not damp in our basement.


Right now it's a little bit better, I did two bleach/hot water loads, followed by two vinegar/oxyclean/ hot water loads and have switched from no fabric softener, just vinegar, to the seventh generation fabric softener so we get a little scent to help with any residual mildewey-smell. that probably doesn't help the mildew problem all that much but my clothes smell a heck of a lot better.

tightwaderin's Avatar tightwaderin 05:19 PM 09-02-2011

Originally Posted by Katie T View Post

Are you leaving your door open?

This is what we have to do.  Ours doesn't smell anymore since we started. Next time, I'm going back to a top loader.


mumkimum's Avatar mumkimum 08:59 AM 09-05-2011

If you have a way to let the vinegar/bleach soak (for at least an hour) while full of water in there it will help a lot (in case you hadn't been letting it soak already).  Ditto on trying to leave the door open as much as you can, and trying to get everyone else on board.