Hammer Dog (jaime59)

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Stinky clothes washer. Really stinky!   Non-Golf Folder (General)

Started Jun-13 by BOGEYSBGONE; 333 views.



Kenmore Front Load washer - about 5 years old...so basically "new" to me.  We had a Neptune for a bunch of years and I thought we knew how to clean it - but here's my process -and some questions for GEA3:

1) Noticed the tell-tale rotten egg/sour smell in some colored towels.

2) Pulled the front panel off the front/bottom of the washer, uncorked the drain tube and drained about 2 cups of water to drain the washer completely as per normal instructions  (water did NOT smell) and unscrewed the filter basket too.  Removed a hairball and wiped off the filter basket - no real smell either.  

3) Then ran a bag of Tide Washing Machine Cleaner/Affresh on HOT.   Then ran some clothes - seemed to fix the problem - clothes smelled fine after dryer and some that air dried.


4) About a week later started smelling that smell again - and was surprised WTF?.  I ran another TWMC again.  Ran a small load of clothes immediately after - 3 pairs of jeans and a dark towel and ran it hot water/heavy duty (about 1.25 hour).  I did NOT drain the water and I did NOT recheck the filter since I had done that about a week before.

5) After the test load - guess what?  SOB - I let the pants air dry over night - and by this morning -  STILL had only a little tiny bit of the odor but still noticeable.  

6) Sooo - I drained the washer tube again - THIS TIME - the water was all dark - and the water smell stinky (but hadn't done it before...) and I pulled out the filter and soaked and scrubbed it anyways.  Then I ran 2 cups of bleach through a hot water cleaning cycle for 30 mins.  



1) If the drain water did not smell the first time, but it did the 2nd time - is it possible that I dislodged some glob of yuck with one of the versions of TWMC?  That's the only thing I can think of.

2) if it still stinks...what else could I check?



HAX (CVeratanictu)

From: HAX (CVeratanictu)


Here is my advice.  

Get rid of the HE washer and dryer.  Go buy an old school Speed Queen 'non-HE' washer and dryer.  Now have clothes that actually get cleaned, no funk/stink, and in the event that the thing breaks down, they are SERIOUSLY easy to fix.  Kim and I got the last model of the all mechanical Speed Queens in 2015, and have had ZERO issues with anything.  They are worth every penny.

flatstik (gregf82)

From: flatstik (gregf82)


This is a common issue with front loaders.  We had one, and dumped it for an LG top loader.  But Hax is on to something to - all the BS they put on washers/dryers these days is just that.  


In reply toRe: msg 3



Top load commercial washer. 

par61 (Lawnguyland)

From: par61 (Lawnguyland)


After Sandy in 2012, we avoided the front loaders and went Speed Queen top loader and dryer. 7+ years and not a single problem. 

In reply toRe: msg 1



FIXED!!!   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fp4p3pBjGow    LOL

Operator error!   Thank god for that video - I've been doing it wrong forever!    There is a button that has 2 functions.  I wasn't holding the button down long enough to get it to access the 2ndary (cleaning mode) function.  That video cleared up a LOT of things.   Once I did it - the machine acted very very differently.

Bottom line:  It was operator error.  Didn't hold the button down, and had also poured the powder directly into the machine instead or the drawer so it was just wasting.    Followed the video by holding that button down long enough to have the button go into 2ndary function mode - which is "deep cleaning mode" which was 1.5 hours.   Machine had a whole nuther set of lights and messages - that was clearly different than before.   Yay f'ing yay!!!  Just pulled the laundry out - and smells beautiful.

As for your admonitions:

1) wife loved the convenience of the side by side - easier and not as heavy to load/unload laundry.   WTF do I know?  I just buy the thing and she's happy!

2) this machine compared to the Neptune we for 15 years - is profoundly better at anticipating and avoiding the smell - hence the drain plug and the filter -which the Neptune didn't have.    This is where an idiot-light would have helped me - I'm definitely one here.

3) Now that I know to hold the dang button for 3 full seconds - that's about as easy as it gets.   Thanks everyone.   Life makes sense again!




From: 82Cobra


Had a front loader and had same issues.  Did everything you did.  Finally found the culprit.  There is  large gasket that seals the door when closed.   Kind of unfolded it and found large build up around the whole gasket of what looked like chocolate pudding.

Dumped the nasty thing and bought a Speed Queen washer and dryer.  Well worth the money and quality of construction and satisfaction with performance...

Another tip: when not in use, don't close the washer door, let it hang open just a bit. I like the water efficiency since I'm on a septic system; if I had a city sewer, I'd have chosen differently (I put Electrolux in when I bought this house).


From: 73monte


Front loads have been nothing but trouble since day one. I had an LG, and had the serviceman come so many times, we became friends. He gave me an insider lowdown. The whole idea of using less water is a big part of the problem. There's just not enough water to dissolve soap or to clean clothes properly. Especially towels. Also, absolutely never use fabric softener. It won't dissolve properly either, and will coat the outside of the drum trapping moisture which will then grow mold and ultimately stink. You can do all the preventatives, leave the door open, wipe out the gasket, but ultimately front load machines are JUNK.  

Agree. Seems many people have issues with the HE/Front loaders.

In a perfect world i would want a top loading washer that only gives me one choice..hot or cold water.  That is it.  Having one set load size and washing mode is fine by me.

Anymore I buy the cheapest washer and dryer in the size we need.  The washer is top-load.  I then buy the 5-year extended  warranty.  So I figure a new one about every 6 years.  Sadly the 5-year warranty expired on our Maytag washer  last month.  Borrowed time.