Washing machine smells? Stop shutting the door

Eww, your washing machine is stinky.

If you’re suffering from clothes washer odor, the solution could be as simple as leaving the front door open.

Front load washers clean better, use less water and energy and treat clothes more gently, but they’ve earned a smelly reputation. A frontload washer necessitates an airtight seal on the washer door to prevent water from leaking all over your floor. But the lack of airflow breeds that mildew-y odor in a washing machine.

Simple solution? Leave the door open after wash cycles, and teach your family to do the same. Then,  water remaining in a front loading washer following a cycle can dry out and you’ll go back to having the best washer ever.

To eliminate existing washing machine smells, try cleaning the washing machine with Affresh or run a vinegar cycle on the hottest setting.

2 thoughts on “Washing machine smells? Stop shutting the door

  1. My FL washer has a light that comes on when the door is open. There is no switch to turn it off and I really like the light so I don’t want it to burn out prematurely from leaving the door open all the time. I don’t want to waste energy either.
    I have an “old” Maytag Neptune that has never had an oder problem. Washer is in the basement with no special ventilation. We find the best solution is to wipe the seal with a terry cloth towel after the final load of the day to get the water out. 10+ years of stinky-free operation. I also know this works for newer machines that have a different door design.

    Another solution is a machine that has a “clean the washer” setting for Afresh.

    1. I guess it depends on your model. The light issue bugged me too, but I realized that when I hit the “cancel” button on my front-load Electrolux, the light turned off in a bit because the washer was shut off.

      But you’re very smart in knowing to wipe the gasket clean. That’s our other suggestion for maintenance cleaning — other than vinegar — though I probably do that less often because I leave my door open. I think your example would also work well for odor-free operation in other cases where homeowners would like to shut the doors, such as when the laundry’s in a trafficked hallway or visible area, such as the kitchen.

      Thanks for sharing you smart tips!

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