Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Washing Machine Stinks (literally!)

Seven years ago I purchased a Maytag Neptune washer on the recommendation of one of RC Willey's finest piranhas/employees. It has been an okay washer considering how I feel about laundry.

The first red flag came several years ago when I received a class action settlement letter in the mail. Apparently the Neptune front load washing machines have a tendency to grow mold and actually smell like mildew. So what was my piece of the pie? I got a 10% off coupon for my next Maytag washer and dryer. Yippee! whatever.

So fast forward a few years and my washer just flat out stinks. Fresh towels that I have washed on hot and put in the dryer within minutes of the buzzer going off--come out smelling like mildew. Some of my gym clothes stink before I've even worked out in them! There is nothing like getting out of the shower and putting a clean, fresh, warm towel to your face that smells like a dirty gym sock.

I went online and apparently this is a problem with most front-load washing machines. The manufacturers now recommend that you either leave your washing machine door open after every wash to let the inside dry completely, or wipe it out with a towel after every wash. As if.

Am I the only one with this problem? Are your front-loading machines decent? I'm ready to walk into the Willey and lay down 400 bucks for an old school top loader. Is there really any advantage to the front-loader?

25 comments:

Ashley said...

I just wrote about death and doom and now, reading this, my post feels a little heavy. I've never had the privilege of using a front loading washer so I don't have much advice. I have always had fine experience with top loaders. Since your washer is behind closed doors, I think you could get away with one that is not a looker. Go top load, and use the money you save to buy some fresh towels and by fresh towels I mean new jeans.

Laura B. said...

I have an old school top loader that occasionally smells like mildew. It came with the house, so I'm blaming the previous owners...not me.
But, my mom has a front loader and that thing REEKS like mold. She leaves the door open but still...it stinks.
If no one sees your washer, get a top loader. And use the excess to gift yourself.

Brandi said...

When my mom bought her frontloader at RC's they told her to keep the door open at all times. She has done that since she bought it, and has had no problems. It's a little late to find that out now! Sorry your clothes stink, your family at least looks good. Do you really need to smell good too?

Lisa Cannon said...

Your post has finally brought me to comment. I have LG front loaders and I had the same problem as you. Do you use fabric softener? That is or was the culprit of my stinky towels. I quit cold turkey and haven't had a problem. I know, I love the smell of Downy, so I buy Downy fabric sheets for the dryer.

I finally ended up throwing out all of my old towels. But I read online that if you add vinegar to the wash, the smell goes away. And it worked. I just added the vinegar to the bleach compartment. I do leave my washer open when I remember and that seems to help to. But, I'm telling you, it is the fabric softener that is the culprit.

Good luck!!

Jessica said...

I have the same washer and have had it for about 6 years and haven't had any problems (though I might start leaving the door open now). I don't understand how a front loader would get mold/mildew more than a top loader. A front load washer is supposed to be gentler on your clothes (no agitator to get caught on and the clothes don't get as tangled) so they don't get stretched or get those little holes in them. If the washer is working fine, I'd try the vinegar idea or even get a bottle of mold on mildew cleaner like X-14 and throw it in and run the machine.
Good Luck!

Jacqui said...

I love my front loading Bosch set. Love them. I do leave the doors open to dry out and I've never had a foul smell come from my washer. I also wash all my colors with a cup of vinegar. It helps the colors to stay set AND I don't have to use a dryer sheet. That might help with the mildew smell.

Don't go back to a top loader. The clothes don't come out as clean or spun as dry. You save money on the water of a front loader and the shorter dry time.

The Mostess said...

Aha!! I knew those front loaders were just a lame-o gimmick. That's just gross about your washer. You should just get a good old top-loader--mine has never given me problems.

Christie said...

I love my front loader and have had no problems with it. But then again, I don't use fabric softener in the wash (dryer sheets only) and I do keep the door open.

LAME. I'd be so mad if I were you. Nothing worse than spending money on stuff like that!

Julie said...

I have to say that I love my front loaders! (Yes, I have two) We have had them over two years and I have not had a problem. I do leave the doors open, but my kids are on door patrol most of the time and shut them before I can figure out what is going on. Ditch the maytag and go with Kenmore! Justin and I have been loyal fans for years (around 12). And as far as front load or top load, I say whatever gets the job done without you smelling like a sour fish when it's all said and done! Good luck!

me said...

Okay, so I have been a lurker on your blog. I am a friend of your SIL Sarah. I had to comment on this topic. Have you tried using Affresh? You can buy it at Home Depot in the area where you buy washers and dryers. They come in a pack of three little hockey puck shaped discs. You toss them in your washing machine(no clothes) set the cycle to hot and away it cleans. Probably for your machine you would need to do it twice in a row. Then you use it once a month from here on out. I think if you use Affresh and keep the door open it will fix your problem. I hope. Let me know if it works.

Kristin

HAPPYHANERHOME said...

Well, my top loader stinks too, so explain that. I have been leaving it open after every wash (like I ever have an empty washer for very long) and it does seem better, and I have not noticed the actual smell transferring to the washed items, just the top ring area stinks. But it's probably just a matter of time.

Jill said...

I would be very unhappy about this! I guess it's fortunate that I have a very old, top loading washer and dryer.

Kelly said...

I haven't read the comments, but get rid of your front loader and go buy a 400 top loader and you will be happy all your days.

And pass my message along. There may be few and far between who are kind of happy with their front loaders, but EVERYONE could be happy with the 400 top loader that actually uses water.
Amen.

Mandee said...

Brooke,

once again, we live identical lives. I was just thinking I needed to 'google' this problem. I've had my front loader for 2 years, and the odor seems to get worse. AND I leave the door open after every wash. My top loader never had that problem.

Thanks for venting- I don't feel like such a disgusting laundry pig anymore. And also thanks to 'Me' for the Affresh tip. I'm buying that tomorrow.

nic said...

My front loader stinks too. That is funny. It drives me crazy. I have to leave it open always if I am not washing. What do we do. I have to have a front loader with my set up. Let me know if you have any sollutions.

Anonymous said...

I have a front loader and the water collects inside the door. I use a turkey baster to pull the water out and then leave the door open overnight. I've never had a problem with mold, mildew or smelly laundry and I've had it for 4 years.

Joeflick said...

I'm with you brother....Putting my Kenmore front loader in the garage and I'm about to buy a top loader....I shouldn't have to soak my head bands and work out clothes in vinegar, I shouldn't have to put Affresh biscuits and run empty cycles to clean out odors, and I shouldn't have to walk around an open washer door everytime i go in the laundry area....and to top it all off , I do this an my clothes still smell. They started selling these before they had the technology perfected...its kind of a bummer.

Jeannie said...

I was researching this problem last night and today and found this spot. It said to clean the water pump filter. http://www.ehow.com/how_2117193_front-loader-washing-machine-odorfree.html You have to pull the bottom front off and find it. It is the source of stink on our machine (GE Whirlpool- 6 years old), anyway. It was filled with a broken pencil, a penny, pins of various sorts, sludgy black stuff and STINK. This is the very smell I would smell when I did a load after a couple of days w/o washing. There is also a youtube video that some investigative reporter checked out the products like Affresh. One sort of worked, the other did not. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua6OJPn0-fU
I think you have to clean the pump filter, use some bleach, wipe any stuff of the Plexiglas that is on the inside of the door, the bottom edges, clean the dispenser unit regularly, and maybe what Lisa said about "no liquid softener", she is on to something? Anyone else find a good fix?

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