Washing Machines & Dryers

Why Does My Front Load Washing Machine Stink?

When your front-loading washing machine smells, exposing it to more water and detergent won’t fix the problem. this step-by-step guide details how cleaning with the right methods and materials is key to eliminating odors and preventing them from returning. But first, let’s answer the question: “Why does my front-loading washing machine smell in the first place?”

What Causes Washing Machine Odor?

While these machines are highly efficient due to less water usage, less water also means that dirt and residue are not always rinsed away. These particles most often collect in the washing machine tub and the rubber door seal that ensures a tight seal when the door is closed. In this warm and humid environment, smelly mold can develop in no time, leaving your washing machine to smell like rotten eggs.

The following user errors can also contribute to odor:

Adding the wrong detergent:

HE washers, like all front loaders, require an HE detergent that can be easily rinsed with a small amount of suds. Using regular detergent in an HE washer can cause excessive sudsing that creates mold and mildew.

Adding unnecessary detergent:

Excess detergent leaves suds that encourage the growth of mold and mildew. Too much suds can even cause the washing machine to leak if it clogs the drain pump filter.

Lack of proper maintenance:

If you don’t clean your washing machine regularly, mold and mildew will grow every time you use them. So how do I get my front-loading washing machine to stop smelling? Cleaning the gasket and tub using the following techniques and materials can remove odors

Clean your Washing Machine Door Gasket

Cleaning the front-loading washing machine’s parts to eliminate odor starts with the rubber door seal. Why does my front-load pad smell if the seal is dirty? Dirt, dirt, and detergent residues often collect here and form mold.

Here’s the method to clean mold from a front load washing machine gasket:

  • Open the washing machine door and pull back the seal to expose the inside.
  • Remove foreign objects such as hair, paper clips, or coins.
  • Spray the seal with kitchen bleach spray. Leave on and then scrub thoroughly to remove any bleach. Do not combine different products when cleaning door seals.
  • To remove black mold stains, use kitchen bleach spray and a toothbrush to scrub each spot.
  • We recommend following these maintenance tips as often as possible to reduce the chance of mold growth. If the washing machine door seal gets too moldy, it may not be salvageable and will need to be replaced.


We recommend that you leave the front load washing machine door open after each cycle. This allows moisture to escape and is the best way to prevent mold growth.

Clean Front Load Washing Machine’s Drum

Why does my front-load washing machine smell when the drum looks clean? While mold and mildew may not be visible, the moisture in the drum encourages their rapid development.

how do I get my front load washing machine to stop smelling?

Here are the steps to clean a front load washing machine drum:

  • Add a commercial washing machine cleaner to the empty washing machine drum. Alternatively, you can make your own smelly homemade washing machine remedy. Pour ⅓ cup of baking soda into the washing machine drum and add 2 cups of white vinegar to the detergent dispenser.
  • If your washing machine has a self-cleaning setting, set the washing machine to this cycle. If not, select the normal hot water wash setting and let it run.
  • For persistent mold and mildew, add two cups of bleach to the bleach dispenser and run a second wash cycle. After the cycle ends, run a separate rinse cycle to remove any bleach residue.
  • Tips for preventing front loading washing machine odors
  • Regular cleaning and proper use and care can prevent odors from returning.

These maintenance tips can prevent odor and extend the life of the front-load washer:

Leave the washing machine door open:

This allows air to flow, which dries out moisture and prevents mold growth.

Use the right detergent in the right quantities:

Always use HE detergent in a front-loading machine. Check the package directions to make sure you are using the correct amount and measure accurately to avoid using too much or too little.

Clean the tub and seal it monthly:

 By using a commercial tub cleaner such as Afresh, you can ensure that mold and mildew are eliminated.

Clean the seal:

Wipe the seal after each wash to remove odor-causing dirt and debris.

Remove wet clothing immediately:

Leaving wet clothing in the washing machine promotes the growth of mold and mildew.

Does your washer smell even after a thorough cleaning? A professional eye may need to assess the problem. Schedule your front load washer repair with the experts!

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