Created on: February 26, 2013
Front-loaders are efficient, money-saving machines. The one downside to front-loaders is they tend to harbor a funky smell, but don't be fooled into thinking you must buy expensive brand name cleaners/detergents to make that foul odor go away. You can easily clean your front-loader with ingredients you have on hand in your kitchen.
The reason your front-loader smells is because chances are, you're using too much detergent and fabric softener. If you use too much, you'll end up with a sludgy build up on the inside of the drum that you can't see but you'll certainly notice the smell. The damp, dirty smell is coming from the old, left-over detergent and fabric softener stuck to the inside of your washer.
If you notice a bad smell coming from your washer, all you need is vinegar, baking soda and fresh lemon juice. Put the baking soda into the detergent dispenser and about two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice in with the baking soda. Do not use lemon juice from concentrate, you have to use fresh lemon. Add about a 1/4 of a cup of vinegar to the drum itself. If you have a sanitize function set it to that and run the washer.
Run the washer again without any detergent or your homemade cleaner on a regular cycle. Next, before you wash any clothes in your front-loader, you should run the washer again with a small amount of regular detergent. This should be all you need to do to clean the washer and get rid of the funky smell.
If the smell is still there, go through the process with the baking soda, lemon and vinegar again, including the steps when you run the washer with and without detergent. Two rounds of this will normally do the trick.
Put yourself on a schedule to do this once a month, and you probably will beat the smell before it gets funky. If you feel you must use the brand name detergent cleaner, use it between the homemade cleaner and you'll spend less in the long run.
Keep in mind that you don't have to use as much laundry detergent for a front-loader that you do for a top-loader. So, use even a bit less than the detergent directions tell you to and you'll probably end up with less weird smells overtaking your laundry room. Also, don't leave wet clothes in the washer overnight or for several hours at a time. This will only contribute to the odors. Make sure you put your wash into the dryer as soon as possible.
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