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If your clean laundry is smelly or you detect mold in your washer or laundry room, chances are you already have a washer mold problem. Front load washers by design seem to be prone to mold. And though there are some fixes such as those mentioned in comments on this post, or various machine cleaners - these are all temporary solutions.  The only permanent remedy for front load washer mold is WasherFan.  It's a little fan you attach to your washer to keep the interior dry.  It's the best and only permanent fix - everything else is a band-aid-type solution.

Update June 2013: A Washer Fan is now available for non-vented washers.

Learn more about WasherFan; read my WasherFan Review

Read more about this previous post with attached comments: Many consumers have had mold issues with their front load washers; maybe you can relate with some of these comments.

Hundreds of  helpful tips from readers on how to get rid of your smelly washer mold problems and some give instructions on how to get to hard-to-clean washer parts. This is a hot topic with many consumers who have left comments on this (updated earlier post).  And for good reason. They are trying to find a solution to the mold in their front-load washers.

Many thanks to Barry C. (comment 13) who gave directions on how to clean out the washer mold and to all the others who have either added to his instructions or offered helpful tips and alerted readers to this problem. Several people have taken Barry's advice and found a resolution, albeit a temporary one. Yes, unfortunately mold will more than likely recur.

This is such a serious issue and this mold problem is not unique to a particular washer brand. It seems to be occurring in several brands of front loading high efficiency washers. Why? There are many factors that can cause mold to grow in some low-water high-efficiency washers.

My tips on Caring for Your Front-Load Washer and Preventing Mold will help you understand why mold is occurring and how you can reduce this risk with a little preventative maintenance.

How do you know if you have mold in your front-load washer? Does your washload have an unpleasant odor? Do your towels smell moldy or smell like stinky feet? If your answer is yes, you may already have a mold build-up in your washer. If your washer is still under warranty, call for servicing.  Has anyone reported their moldy washer as an unsafe product to the CPSC?

I appreciate all the comments that have been left - keep them coming - they're helping. Please leave your comments on this original post to keep the discussion going - it's helpful to readers. Thanks so much!

Comments

October 9, 2007 at 11:39 pm
(1) Pained Duet owner says:

You not only need to leave the door open, but the dispenser drawer. Pull it open after EVERY load so the the water that sits in it drains out. If you leave it closed even once, the mold starts growing. It is disgusting.

October 11, 2007 at 4:04 pm
(2) Feel your pain says:

We have the same problem with ours. I was ready to get a new washer, but I found a powder product that you can purchase online called “Smelly Washer” – seriously, that’s the name. I had tried everything – baking soda & vinegar, bleach, bathroom cleaners, anything I could think of. Smelly Washer works very well and one package has lasted me over a year. I run a maintenance cycle every two weeks, and haven’t had any more mold problems since. I’ve also noticed a decrease since I changed laundry detergents, so you may want to experiment with that as well.

October 26, 2007 at 11:02 am
(3) steve says:

My Duet has mold problmes in the soap tray area. I tried to clean what I could. Which unfortunatley was only the tray. The section where the tray slides into was just as bad and there is little vent holes which I am sure have mold build up and I can’t get to them.
Whirlpool people say the odor is an ongoing problem with FL machines. I say its a design flaw. Do commerical FL have these issues? I think not!!!!! I suggest not purchasing any FL washers. side bar:I can’t belive the engineers and design people @(whirlpool)did not warn the marketing people about these problems before the product was launched.

November 7, 2007 at 8:52 am
(4) disgusted duet owner says:

I have been battling the same mold/mildew/odor problem both in the detergent dispenser area as well as the main wash tub. Whirlpool sent me a complimentary package of their new Affresh product. This did not work! I do clean my machine regularly,keep the door open when not in use, and run bleach in my wash frequently. I have filed a complaint with the CPSC as this is becoming a health issue for our family — all members are being treated for mold allergies! I have contacted my states Attorney General’s office and am seeking legal advice. If all the people who are logging complaints on blog sites would log their complaint with the CPSC and the state attorney general office – the manufacture will be forced to address this issue!

November 25, 2007 at 10:31 am
(5) caron says:

Not only do I have a black mold problem in my front load washer but we have found the sock monster! Two small socks had become lodged in the rubber ring at the front of the washer and began to decompose (that’s the best way to describe the stench). The smell eventually faded but the black mold is pervasive. Having severe allergies and asthma in our family this has certainly become a health concern that cannot be ignored. Previous comments mention trying a new detergent…would you mind sharing the brand that you have found to work?

December 10, 2007 at 8:08 am
(6) Beth says:

I would never advocate lying…but, I also had the Whirlpool Duet Washer up until about one year ago. I was frustrated and felt “stuck”. I didn’t want to sell the washer and pass on my problem to some other poor soul. And the dang washer was sooo expensive I couldn’t just junk it and buy a new one.
So…finally I called Whirlpool (again) and stated that “my son had allergies and asthma. He had been in and out of the hospital twice over the past two years”. (This is all true.) I then explained that having a washing machine that has a mold problem was unacceptable, bottom line. They instantly transferred me to another department, set up a FULL REFUND for the washer at WHATEVER price I said I paid for it. I no longer had the receipt so I had to guess. They instantly accepted my refund price which was around $950. ALSO they contacted a local service company to come in and remove my Duet washer at no cost to me.
I finally had to threaten with health issues and they responded NO QUESTIONS asked. They had a check to me and my washer removed within ONE WEEK.
Again I DO NOT advocate dishonesty but anyone wearing clothes that have essentially been washed in mold…it can’t be healthy for anyone. And $1000…which is about what you pay for the “convenience” of the washer is to much $ to throw away, at least for our family of seven.

Hope this helps,

Beth

February 4, 2008 at 10:50 am
(7) Kee says:

My 2 year old Whirlpool Duet washer has a terrible odor. I have always used the HE detergent so I don’t use the wrong detergent as they insinuate whenever we’ve complained. We tried the tablets and they did not work. We’ve also gone in and cleaned everything the dealer told us to try. We should not have to go through any of this with a new washer.

February 28, 2008 at 2:23 pm
(8) Sharon Yalowitz says:

I have the same mold problem as described above and nothing seems to work to get rid of it. I have developed asthma and am allergic to molds. I believe the washer is a contributing irritant. This is a very disturbing negative feature of the washer considering what we paid for it.

March 6, 2008 at 11:50 pm
(9) Maryann says:

Does “Smelly Washer” solution really work? There are mildew stains on the rubber part on my washer. Is it still safe to wash my clothes?

March 8, 2008 at 12:50 pm
(10) Very Dissatisfied in Canada says:

We also have ongoing problems with wahser mold. Nothing seems to take away the smell and the whole house reeks of it because our laundry room is on the main floor by the back door. It is a nasty odor that has infiltrated the whole house. These washers are very expensive and we should not have to put up with this type of problem. We purchased this machine because it was sold by a local business and we were supporting thier business. We will not be buying another whirlpool appliance.

May 9, 2008 at 10:39 pm
(11) Sharee says:

We have the same mold issues. It is completely nasty! I have been breaking out in an itchy rash all over my body where my clothes rub. I thought it was an allergy to something I ate, but I am beginning to think that it’s because my clothes are washed in mold. I have two children with severe allergies to mold and I am sure that is why they are always having sinus infections. I am disgusted that Whirlpool is doing nothing to remedy the situation. I have my washer pulled apart right now and have been scrubbing gunk off of the gasket and the inside parts. Does Smelly Washer or Affresh work? I think it is crazy that we should have to keep the tray pulled out and the door to the machine open. Additionally, I am tired of my house smelling bad!! I have had several problems with Whirlpool appliances in the last year: I am done with them!!!

June 9, 2008 at 9:48 pm
(12) Glad to know it isn't just us! says:

I’ve been battling with our Duet Washer and Dryer for years too. The mold issue is unbelievable. You expect better quality from a recognized firm like Whirlpool – better service too. I had to wait over 6 weeks for parts to have my washer repaired! I have steered everyone I know away from these washer and dryers and can’t wait until I can get something else!

BTW, Affresh does NOTHING to help the mold or the smell.

June 28, 2008 at 8:10 pm
(13) Barry C. says:

The dates in the threads of this post, indicates to me, this is a serious on going problem with these machines. Two years ago my wife and I purchased the GHW9150PWO Model Whirlpool Duet Washer and Dryer. Up until a few weeks ago, no problems. I started noticing a faint mildew smell. I just past it off that the wet clothes must have stayed in the washer too long before they were put in the dryer. The next weeks batch of towels was worse. It soon became pretty bad. It is horrible to get out of the shower feeling fresh and clean to dry off with a mildew smelling towel, that makes you smell that way too. After reading several posts about this problem, I will share what I did to the machine that seems to have fixed the problem. I just got out a load of towels that havn’t smelt this fresh since the machine was new.

Under the front lower panel, there are three T-20 Torx head screws that you remove to expose the drain pump, and large plastic filter screen. The end facing you of that plastic screen is the cap of that screen. Put a dish rag or hand towel under the cap to catch a little water and remove the cap. The screen is a part of the cap, and it all comes out together. Inside the screen I found large traces of black mold, a foul mildew smell, a small piece of plastic, and three pennies from somebody’s pocket. I also noticed that the clear plastic hose from the drain on the drum was holding a little water. It seems the piece of plastic and pennies were not allowing the drum to drain completely. Holding stale water, which is a good breading ground for mold. In the kitchen sink, I bleached the plastic screen, and wiped out the drain screen container with a dampned bleached rag. I removed the Detergent dispencer, taking it apart, and cleaned it inside and out, with a little bleach in warm water. I cleaned some mold also from the large grey rubber seal around the door. Fold back that small lip on that rubber seal that seals around the large glass bowl of the door. (I am a Heating and Cooling Contractor, and lacking on washing machine terms). Kill with bleach, any traces of mold that can be in that area too. I put it all back together. I then added a 1/4 cup of bleach to the dispencer and ran the machine empty, on Hot wash cold rince on heavy soiled clothes. After that I loaded some towels and they just came out of the dryer freash and clean.

I hope this works for you as well. I am a little concened about that water I found in the drain line. If these machines do not drain completely after each load, even with a clean screen, then the problem will return. I’m just going to keeping checking on that and see.

Good Luck.

July 13, 2008 at 1:23 am
(14) Lisa says:

I have had my duet for three and a half years and been fighting this for almost two years. We have tried everything. My husband suggested we try oxi clean. It worked for awhile but now the odor is back and now the dryer has a smell in it. we leave the door on both open all the time. My husband has had a constant ear infection for the last two years and the doctor doesn’t know what is the cause but we think it is the mildew odor in our clothes. We have thrown so many things out because the smell comes back when you dry off with a towel or you sweat. I told my husband that it must just be him but my brother lived with us and they both had the same sour odor when they worked up a sweat. This is the most foul smell you have ever smelted. I’m going to contact a lawyer now. I’m fed up with this. We now have thrown out all towels even new ones and bought only white so that bleach can be used each wash. It has cost us thousands of dollars for the washer and dryer and the clothing and towels we have had to throw out and not to mention the cost of the doctor for my husbands ear infections. One antibiotic was 250.00. It is a health issue. I know that maybe a class action law suit would be tough but it could be done if everyone would rally together.

July 15, 2008 at 2:04 pm
(15) Carla Vosburg says:

I too am having the problem with the smelly clothes. My towels reak and after reading all these posts now I know why!! The seal on my front washer is black in one spot and now I have water leaking from under my washer. I have called for reapair and here I sit for another week waiting for a service person to come out. At least mine is still under warranty. I think Whirlpool needs to be held accountable for selling such a cheaply made product with a big price. I am ready to file a lawsuit against this company.

July 16, 2008 at 5:35 pm
(16) Sharon says:

I have had all of the problems stated in the previous posts. I just want to say if you are considering purchasing a Whirlpool Duet system..DON’T! I have tried all of the remedies except taking it apart. None work for long and I have replaced multiple towels and workout clothes. The smell of mold is overwhelming and does stink up the rest of my house. I may eventually bite the bullet and replace the 2 year old set.

July 24, 2008 at 12:47 am
(17) C McLaughlin says:

Has anyone had a repair man come out and remove the metal drum and clean everything out and then start fresh or is it a viscous cycle. I have battled this smell for 3 years–Its amazing my asthmatic son is still alive.

July 24, 2008 at 10:47 am
(18) audrey smith says:

have a whirlpool washer only. thought it was only mine that did it. removed the screw in thingy at bottom front of machine to drain it,cleaned it out and noticed 2 x 5 cent pieces in it. think that was causing the smell,mould on rubber and inability to spin properly. water was being kept in machine. used it today and clothes spun better,no smell.have been told to use washing soda in machine for mould problem.

July 24, 2008 at 12:54 pm
(19) Mike T. says:

I have a whilrpool duet washer and dryer and have experienced the same problem with strong odor from the washer. I read the posting by Barry C. and decided to take the bottom panel off and check the plastic drain screen. I found three scotchbrite scrubbers and some coins plugging up the screen. I removed everything and cleaned it using 10% bleach solution. I then followed the instructions on page 18 & 19 of the owners manual regarding monthly maintenance and cleaning of the washer.
It is very apparent from the postings that this is a frequently occurring problem with front loading machines. So far the odor in my machine has been eliminated. I would recommend checking the plastic drain screen behind the bottom panel monthly as small objects such as socks,coins and other small articles in the wash can clog up this screen and prevent proper drainange of the machine. It takes all of about 5 minutes to get to it. Does anyone have experience with cleaning the underside of the stainless steel drum? If so how do you get to it?
Thanks Barry C.

July 30, 2008 at 11:32 am
(20) Catherine Kelly says:

We have 6 children in this house so we use the Whirlpool Duet a lot. I have been battling the mold problem, also. If you do not take the wet clothes out of the washer as soon as they finish washing the smell from the mould is overwhelming. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to rewash a load.
Now it seems that nothing is helping. I think we need a class action law suit.

July 31, 2008 at 9:46 am
(21) Tim says:

We have the Bosch front loader and have had the mold problem after 3 months of use, After weeks of blowing up the phone lines at Bosch and they denied that there was such a problem, I went back to the store and raised hell until they gave me a new washer. Three months later the same smell appeared. We since day one have done two loads of just hot water and bleach and cleaned out the hose at the bottom of the washer as well as wipe up all standing water in the door gasket and door and leave the door ajar. All just temporary fixes. I think that because these units use such a small amount of water it’s not enough to flush the system of dirty water and soap and once the nmold sets in your screwed.

July 31, 2008 at 9:15 pm
(22) Lisa says:

I was also having a foul smell after washing my clothes, and decided to take apart the
filter as Barry recommended. A large amount
of water came out when removing the filter,
and the filter was covered with black, slimy,
terrible smelling goop. I cleaned the filter and the inside of the filter area. My problem now is that there was a black, spongy round
piece that came out when I opened the filter.
Is this a part of the filter and if so, where
does it go when putting it back together?
I looked at the schematic of the GHW9400PWO, but did not see this piece. If anyone knows,
please help.

August 2, 2008 at 8:58 pm
(23) gail says:

We own a Sears Kenmore Elite HE3. We have all of the problems that are mentioned.

We cleaned the filter, which had the disgusting mold and slime along with some small stray items. I cleaned the soap dispenser and screen as best as I could. I always keep the door open. I do at least one bleach load per week. I’ve been using Borax along with the HE detergent with some success. I also add an extra rinse cycle to every load.

I’m very tired of the extra time, effort and expense that this “energy efficient”, “water saving” washer has added to my life.

Since the blogs lead me to believe that it isn’t just one brand of front loading washers, I’m at odds of what we should do. Maybe an old used top loader that is tried and true?!

August 3, 2008 at 11:02 pm
(24) Doug D says:

Thanks to Bary C. great post I will expand on it.
First of all, my machine is the Whirlpool Duet. It was fine for a year or so, but then our clothes gradually developed a slight moldy smell when wet. The machine had no smell in it.
After reading these posts, I followed the advice of Bary C. I did the following.
1) I found an area of mold (dark) in the front rubber seal. I cleaned it with Clorox spray and paper towels, I cleaned all around that rubber seal with clorox. I believe this was the primary source of our problem.
2) I took off the front lower panel (3 screws) as Bary described. Once off, you are looking at the drain plug which is easily removed. It took 3-4 hand towels to soak up the water. I removed the plug/filter assembly and found mold/gung on it. I cleaned with clorox and warm water. Here’s where a design flaw is very apparent.
When you look into the cavity where you removed the plug/filter, you see a hole in the back and a hole on the side. The hole in the back is where the drain water comes from the machine, Instead of a smooth drain line, it is “ribbed” line. Take a flashlight and look up that line. It holds water, mold and gunck.! Would have to be removed and cleaned out. The hole on the side is where the drain water goes out of this drain area through a 1 inch drain line. There’s a small pump that pumps it out. Problem is, the hole is not at the bottom of the drain area, its on the side, elevated about 1/2 inch from the bottom. There’s no way all the water can leave this area, so there’s always some there. This was a concern of Bary’s.
3) Finally, I cleaned mold from the detergent dispenser . Took it out and cleaned in a sink with warm water and clorox. I believe this also was a part of our problem.
So, after cleaning these areas, we did a load of white towels and the odor was gone!! So, I think I found the sources. I need to check that front rubber seal every week or two. I think that was the main cause.
I will post again in a week or two for an update.
Doug D

August 8, 2008 at 11:42 am
(25) Kay H says:

I have a question for Doug D and Barry C. I don’t understand where the lower front panel is that I’m supposed to remove? According to the model number that Barry mentions, GHW9150PW0, we have the same one, but I don’t know what/where the 3 screws are you guys are talking about to remove to get to the drain pump? Any additional help you guys can provide?

August 17, 2008 at 10:43 pm
(26) Ianic Brisson says:

We’ve been living with the problem for years not having the time to deal with it and refusing to bite the bullet. I had already done the filter cleaning a few years back an it only helped for a few months. Today I took it apart to see the extents of the damage and decide if we order new parts to replace the ones with mildew.

I am not sure I am going to spend time repairing it now that I’ve seen the inside. There is mold in every part that is in contact with water; the drain pump, all the pump lines… In theory, leaving the door open should not be required as there is a ventilation tube in the back. It’s about 1.5 inch by 2.5 inches and I was shocked to see that it’s almost completeley blocked by mold.

The drain system is flawed by design. The drain pump at the bottom of the washer must push water all the way to the top so that it can be drained. When the pump stops, whatever water remains between the pump and the top of the washer will not be drained and will fall back. There is a one way valve at the exit of the drum (before the drain pum) but it doesn’t seem to work as we often observe that there is water left in the tank. When I removed the one way valve at the bottom of the tank, water poured out of the drum. This should not be. You can leave the door open all you want, if there is this much water left in the washer, mold will inevitably grow.

I still have to open the plastic enclosure around the drum and depending on what I find, I will decide if I buy a new one or only replace some parts. Still, I know that the problem will eventually come back without a regular “heavy maintenance”. I’d like to fight for a refund but I don’t think I’ll find the time.

I would definitively not recommend any Whirlpool or Kitchen Aid appliance (they are the same). This is not our first problem with them and their customer service never aknowledges any serious problems.

Good luck

August 21, 2008 at 6:15 pm
(27) Julie Levis says:

I am having the EXACT same problems as everyone else on this post. When I called Whirlpool, they recommended bleach and water around the rubber. Its completely stained with mold and under the rubber is the same. Is anyone out there a lawyer? There are some serious health consequences here and I really think a class action law suit is in order. Both of my boys have been suffering horrible allergy related asthma since this problem has arisen. If anyone wants to take the reigns, please let us know. Whirlpool is unwilling to do anything about the problem and offering the solution to keep the door open on a $1000 piece of equipment does not cut the mustard! My son has banged his head on it several times. Someone help!!

August 21, 2008 at 8:30 pm
(28) Leslie says:

I have had the same issues with the mold allergies amongst other things with my whirlpool duet washer GHW9100LQ1. I reported them to the CPSC & will jump on board to get a lawsuit started. All of my family, including my dogs are being affected by this. I have spent so much money on zyrtec & pet medical bills for both my dogs, that it’s driving me crazy. I have hot spots & dry spots all over my arms & legs.The doctor couldn’t figure it out, but now I know why. It made me feel sane, when I read all these posts to know I am not alone in this issue. I took today off to get it serviced,..4 phone calls later, they said he couldn’t make it. I am fed up with this machine. It worked well the 1st year & slowly it started to malfunction. I do maintain it, but the mold keeps coming back. the rubber seal is broken. Water leaks. It started emitting a burning smell last Saturday & I am running out of clean clothes to wear! It’s been a week since it started collecting water in the softner dispenser. Whirpoool is no help & neither is the extended warrenty I bought for it. I have to wait until tomorrow for their safety dept. to call me back.

August 22, 2008 at 7:17 pm
(29) renee says:

I am almost in tears. Everything I’ve read has happened to me; I especially address this to Sharon and Leslie, above. We’ve had a Kenmore HE3t for 4.5 years now, since we moved into our current house. We have always been battling mold from the washer in the same way everyone has stated. Myself, my cat, and my dog have all been GREATLY affected. I became so allergic I was rushed to the Dr. after I broke out in hives and labored breathing. My dog sees an allergy specialist now, with home antigen injections, numerous meds, and special home made food. My cat; same thing plus prednisone (horrible). I have spent 4 months battling my allergies to the extent that I must wear a mask during the most mundane tasks. And now I realize what the root cause is as well. My allergist was so puzzled as to why the molds/type of molds were so high on my allergy list; I can finally tell him. I am having the washer removed from my house tomorrow; I need to buy a top loading, I believe, as it seems what I’ve been reading supports the thought that top loaders are less prone to this mold issue. Does anyone have anymore info on that?

August 23, 2008 at 9:58 am
(30) renee says:

Renee again here. I urge all of you who have experienced health issues related to this to see your Dr. And to get rid of the machine from your environment ASAP

August 24, 2008 at 12:34 pm
(31) anne says:

I have a whirlpool duet and have never had any of these problems. I always leave the door open between loads, always unload soon after washing is done, and wash a load of whites with bleach on hottest hot at least once a month. I also wipe down the door and the gasket (inside and out) with a bleachy towel. No mold or stink problems at all and I have had it for 3 years.

August 24, 2008 at 2:57 pm
(32) Richard says:

I have a top loading Whirlpool Calypso and I have been battling the same mouldy smell. I would do the bleach with soap and hot water and it would go away. Then it comes back again after 2-3 weeks. Im planning to do the bleach maintenance every 2 weeks now. I dont know if Affresh will work for my case.

August 24, 2008 at 7:57 pm
(33) Stephen says:

Hey everyone, I have a great way of eliminating mold from appliances. I used it when my air conditioner became moldy. I used it in a spray bottle.

stephenruggieri@yahoo.com

August 26, 2008 at 1:08 pm
(34) Janconst says:

I bought a duet washer in 2003, while they were relatively new,Never connecting my mold problem to the washer, I ended up moving out of a house because of the constant mildew smell, after moving and taking the washer the problem persisted in the new house, always moldy smelling laundry, especially denim. I have tried everything in the world to get rid of this, including leaving the door open etc, every kind of chemical, its an ongoing challenge but despite my efforts my clothes smell like they came out of a wet crawlspace. Myself and my 2 year old have chronic sinus infections, and I have been diagnosed with Restrictive airway disease. After reading all of the info here I see this is common. I followed the advise of removing the screen at the pump and cleaning it, but was disappointed to find very little black slime,however the water that drained out smelled horrible, like yeast water. I removed everything and cleaned it all and washed plastic parts including soap tray in the dishwasher and am hoping for some kind of improvement. I followed someone elses advise on this board and called whirlpool and described the health problems, and was transferred to the safety dept. they were very helpful though they only offered a pro-rated buyback price of less than half of what i paid, I cant afford to pay the balance to buy a new one so I decided to go with their alternative offer of having a technician come out and change the rubber boot and pump. I will give whirlpool some credit for these compromises on an older machine, though neither seems to be able to solve the problem completely. I have researched Black mold and it is very dangerous,possibly deadly. It gives off a toxic gas that can be very harmful. In the high humidity of a high efficency front load washing machine its ideal for the mold and mildew to grow. Its unfortunate that those of us trying to better ourselves as well as the environment have to find these things out after the fact and after we spent all that money

August 27, 2008 at 12:34 pm
(35) elgarbanzo says:

we have had our machine for a couple of years and the only advantage is the large load capactity…mold issue , however, trumps any advantages of machine and also the lack of accountability from whirlpool…BEWARE DO NOT BUY THE WHIRLPOOL DUET MACHINES!!!!!

September 1, 2008 at 1:38 am
(36) Stephanie Walls says:

Apparently there are way more people w/ this problem than there needs to be. Several years ago we purchased the GE Spacemaker because it was full size and could be stacked. I loved it! My clothes were clean, I saved water, and I started washing “gentle” clothes at home instead of taking them to the cleaners because of the front load, no agitator feature. Unfortunately, the plastic piece on the door hinge broke. The company said it could only be replaced as a whole, meaning the door unit, not just the clip that holds the washer shut. The cost….$400. I needed 2 repairmen because they were stacked. We decided that $400 for a repair was ridiculous, so we gave it away, sold the dryer and spent $1000 on a newer Whirlpool set. Within months the odor was unbearable. Finally we got rid of the mold and sold the unit for a smaller Maytag unit that would fit in our closet. It has been the biggest mistake we’ve ever made. The mold grew almost instantly and it cannot be removed. Everyone in our house has been experiencing sinus issues and our clothes stink! We have replaced our bath towels 3 times. A friend of ours has a larger unit that did the same thing. They actually contacted her about replacing the rubber rim because they had received a number of complaints. Good for her it had been less than a year and was free. Bad for us it’s been over a year and I will have to pay several hundred dollars to have it replaced. My tax money will be going to a new washer/dryer set. Definately not Maytag and definately not front load. I feel as though the money I am saving on water is not worth what I’m spending in doctor bills and new clothes. I am going back to the basics. A top loader.

September 1, 2008 at 7:17 pm
(37) Jessica says:

Wow, I was just searching on the internet to find out how to clean out our washing machine. We just got ours about 1 1/2 years ago. I started noticing how my husband and my clothes were starting to smell. For a while we have had black mold on the rubber rim to the washer and I have been trying to get it out. Thats not coming out either. Well today I got home and it smelled horrible. I wanted to throw in a load of laundry so I thought maybe I should try and wash our washing machine… yeah, I pulled out the tray… MOLD EVERYWHERE!!! DISGUSTING!! We payed a pretty penny for this front load washer drier set and for this to be going on is REDICULOUS! We have been getting sick a lot over the past year and as a matter of fact I am just getting over a really bad sinus infection and an ear infection. Its great to know my washing machine is a black mold producing machine! Until I ran into these posts I have never heard of anyone having problems like this! I cant do laundry here anymore now that I know how bad it has gotten. We are going to have to go to the laundry mat. Has anyone had success with contacting any of the companies for their front loaders? I would like to know. I believe ours are GE… but now that I know what is going on and how bad this could be… WE HAVE TO BUY NEW MACHINES!!! NO QUESTIONS ABOUT IT!!!

September 8, 2008 at 7:04 pm
(38) RC says:

We have the Kenmore Elite FL…and it is so disgusting I can not deal with it any longer. The smell is absolutely unbearable and my son has had sinus problems for months. It makes total sense now why as I read everyones post. It seems to be be all of the brands so I guess I will be buying something other than a front loading machine tomorrow.

September 13, 2008 at 12:34 pm
(39) Anna says:

Whirlpool Duet – Ditto to all of the above!

I’ll try the clean out method – but I agree that, for the money and health issues – the company should be liable. I’m in for a class action suit. How does one go about doing that?

I’ll ask a couple of lawyers I know at work next week and report back.

September 13, 2008 at 1:25 pm
(40) Lynne H. says:

Thank you lucky 13 post Mr. Barry! I have had my Duet Washer for 7 years. Lately, it reeked when you open the door. My husband has MS so I save his time and energy for his job, cars and daddy stuff!!! Soooo he’s on a golf trip and I had the time to research the stench. I wiped out the rubber seal inside the door. Followed the instructions to clean the drain/filter. Yes, I had a plastic piece, a metal pin AND a bra underwire (I knew that might be there…) helping to collect moldy gunk (I catch the $$$ before it’s washed!). The drawer was clean. The washer already smells fine, but I’m still running a bleach wash. I usually use Tide HE and will try a load after the bleach cycle. At some point I see if the Sear’s powder detergent performs better than the liquids (I’ve seen this in other posts). So 7 years, this isn’t too bad. I would just like cleaner fresher clothes & towels. I do think German appliances are amazing and hope to keep this another 7 years!! Thanks again for helping me shock my husband!!! 9/2008

September 13, 2008 at 2:49 pm
(41) Lynne H. says:

The only people who benefit financially from a class action suit are the attorneys: customer attorneys and Whirlpool attorneys. NEVER THE CONSUMER. Whirlpool obviously knows about the issues. There are many possible solutions to try before calling Whirlpool or even for service.

September 15, 2008 at 11:15 pm
(42) Frank says:

My wife and I noticed over the past year how our towels and cloths started to smell moldy when they became wet. Eventually even leaving the door open of the washer open (which should NOT HAVE TO BE DONE!!) Our washer now has a horrible sewer type odor when we have not washed our laundry in a couple of days.

After finally doing some research on-line, I was shocked to see the number of consumers that have experienced the same very thing. In fact now we’re starting to wonder if this is the reason our 4 year old daughter has been sick so much this year. She’s been in daycare since she was 1 but this year it seems to be living on antibiotics.

We have tried everything at this point and frankly I just want to rid of this washer. However I cannot sell this washer to another human being in good faith.

At this point, my next step would be to have the machine taken apart to see if there is any evidence of mold in the machine by a credible source and either video or document our findings. The next step would be to contact our local media with the hopes it gets picked up by other affiliates and lastly contact law firms who specialize in product liability.

If anyone hears of any law firms that are looking into this or doing any due diligence on this product please share the information. I will do the same… Whirlpool must have the evidence it needs by now to issue a recall. If they don’t have a corporate conscious… LETS GIVE THEM ONE!!!

September 16, 2008 at 9:02 pm
(43) Lori says:

I’m trying Barry’s idea .. sounds reasonable and solution orientated.
Will let u know…

September 16, 2008 at 9:56 pm
(44) Lori says:

Yep – Barry was right on, money in the drain, plus a rusty staple, plus some black gunk … also wiped down the rubber seal with bleach and vim with a scrubbie (not just a cloth) and used a flashlight to check to see that i got it all – and finally the soap dispenser did that too … what a difference.. i’m so glad i read these posts – nothing like self service with a smile :)
goes to show you – a little ingenuity can go a long way .. all those other posts should really give this a try – at least to get the obvious mould out .. it should help with your health issues.

all the best …
L.

September 17, 2008 at 10:15 pm
(45) housewares says:

My thanks to Barry C. (13) for his instructions on how/where to get all the mold removed. Thanks also to those that expanded on this solution and reported results.

Front-load washer mold is a serious concern and I agree with all of you that we should not have to deal with mold in our washers.

Please keep tips, solutions and advice coming in. Consumers need this help.

I’ve put together some tips on how to (possibly) prevent washer mold: Caring for Your Front-Load Washer and Preventing Mold. I’d like to expand on this so please comment if you have more tips.

For my own washer, I’ve resorted to running the cleaning cycle in my Whirlpool Duet Sport washer at the end of wash day every week, as opposed to monthly.
Although I’ve managed to ward off the mold monster so far, I intend to follow Barry’s instructions soon as preventive maintenance. I’m also curious to see what got past my pocket inspections.
Keep the comments coming and thanks for helping.

September 19, 2008 at 10:04 pm
(46) cheryl in canada says:

People,People even if you do what Barry suggests, you machine still has mold growth. We’ve all seen how mold grows. Are any of you worried that the manufactures of these machines have made a lot of money off all of us and handed us a faulty product. I am sick of cleaning my machine extra times, clothes extra times, using affresh and fighting with the dealer to give me an old stand- by- top loading machine. As this product was marketed as energy saving, environmentally safe product, who becomes accountable?. This is crap. No one takes responsibility. By the time all is said and done the warranty will have expired and then I’ll face another battle over replacing it. This stinks. (Litrally if you smelled my so called clean laundry.)

September 20, 2008 at 6:25 pm
(47) Julie says:

I’m with Frank and Cheryl from Canada. We should not have to go to such extreme measures on a machine that we spent $1000 on! I did the suggestion that Barry gave us, did find very gross smell and many items not supposed to be there, cleaned it out but the mold smell continues. Its in the rubber gasket and will not go away unless I replace it. My machine is out of warranty and Whirlpool will not do anything with my complaint. I do think that we can force something legally. I’ll forward these posts to our local media and see what we can get started. Good luck and I’ll keep checking back here for any progress.

September 20, 2008 at 10:53 pm
(48) Kim says:

I have the Whirlpool Duet Sport Washer and Dryer set. I am experiencing the same mold/mildew smell as everyone else with the washer. I actually had a plumber come out because I thought the smell was coming from my pipes, but having read these posts and followed Barry’s instructions I am certain all sewer/mildew smells are from the washer. As soon as I removed the drain cap, the smell was really strong. I cleaned everything with Clorox, but I’m not sure I was able to get all the gunk/mold off the gray rubber ring. I wish I could remove it and clean it but that doesn’t seem to be an option. I always leave my washer door open when it’s not in use, use a very small amount of HE detergent and run the “clean washer” cycle consistently, yet mold and gunk continue to accumulate. Disgusting! I will start running that cycle once a week as recommended by some of the other posters. I love so many aspects of the front loaders but the mold/mildew issue is unbearable. I seriously thought it was my house and was beginning to think we’d have to move…I’m glad it’s just the washer! If anyone else discovers a good solution, please post. I will check back.

September 21, 2008 at 8:25 am
(49) Linette says:

I thought our moldy washer issue was an isolated incident…wow, was I wrong! How disappointing it is to find out that you spend that much money on a common household appliance only to have it turn out to have such a huge flaw. I will definitely try some of the solutions listed above, but am anxious to see if there are any others. I will contact Whirlpool, too.

September 23, 2008 at 1:31 am
(50) Todd says:

I have had this Whirlpool Duet washer for a little over three years, and the smell has become unbearable. I cleaned the rubber ring, the detergent compartment and used affresh, nothing worked. Whirlpool told me I probably did not use the care and maintenance I should have and there is nothing they could do.
I’m a full-time single Dad of 3 year old boy who has been unusually sick the past 5 months when the smell started to become horrendous, and I have asthma, which has also become worse. Whirlpool told me I probably did not use the care and maintenance I should have and there is nothing they could do.
I took off the top off the washer and found that the drain hoses were full of mold.
I don’t know what to do because I paid a lot of money for this washer and can’t afford a new washer. I thought Whirlpool was a better manufacturer than this and I will never buy Whirlpool again because they do not care about their “customers.”

September 25, 2008 at 8:37 am
(51) Brian says:

Leave dispenser drawer slightly open and the door also. Front loaders are a water tight system that needs to breath. Also Fabric softners are made with animal fats this does not help with smell. I found Affresh works really well with smell and removal of residues. But reminber open doors to let dry after using.

September 25, 2008 at 9:11 pm
(52) Victoria Mackin says:

WasherFresh solved the problem for me. My HE washing machine is quite a few years old. It therefore does not have a cleaning cycle. Since the residue was so built up I used the manufacturers recommended 3 pouches at one time on Whites, for the hot water.
Mold is gone. I now use 1 pouch per month as a maintenance precaution and no longer have to leave the door open.
Great product found at Sears Canada and is now available in the U.S. at Amazon.com search: HE washing machine cleaner.
Also, this product is safe to touch!!!!!!

September 27, 2008 at 1:51 pm
(53) Brenda says:

I also have the Whirlpool Duet and I have tried some suggested “quick fix” solutions from friends and from blogs such as the ones mentioned here. I read Victoria’s comment and decided to to try WasherFresh as I live in Canada as well. And you know what? It works. I tried the Affresh, but with this new one, the odor problem is gone. I would suggest this to anyone with an HE washer. I bought mine at Sears here in Canada, but I did check Amazon.com to make sure and it is available. All I can say is try it.

September 30, 2008 at 12:30 pm
(54) julie says:

I have a whirlpool front loader. Was having a leaking problem, called a service tech out and it was the boot ripped from 9-12 O’clock. When he repaired it I/we found : money, pencils, pens and some other items that had fell into the crack and gotten inside the machine. I too was experience that lovely smell. I asked the tech he showed me a clean out inside the machine that your supposed to clean every year or so. Well, we opened it up and I almost lost my cookies. Man did that smell no wonder every spin out I smelled that smelly smell. It was black nasty gross. The only bad thing is that you have to open up the bottom of the washer to get to it. But it’s better then smelly that smell. The clean out is right by the pump to pump the water out. I was glad he told me about this cause we also found a quarter in the clean out. Hope this helps. It did for me.

September 30, 2008 at 9:24 pm
(55) Elisa says:

Today my Fiancé and I went to check out washer and dryers since we are considering moving next year and want our own washer and dryer. Well he has read up about the mold issues people were having and brought this up to the sales person at Hhgregg, who was actually aware of this problem. He suggested an Electrolux brand that had an Anti-bacterial bar so it would not grow mold. I wasn’t sure if he was just trying to sell us something or not, so I came here to see if anyone else has seen or heard of that feature. I would be more than willing to support that brand considering they’re dealing with the issue and trying to get rid of the problem, but I am skeptical because I couldn’t find any info about it. I am having a baby next year and I really don’t want to have an issue with a washer that has mold that, who knows, could potentially harm my child. Any info would be of great help! Thank you!

October 1, 2008 at 4:55 am
(56) Natalie in Western Australia says:

I ahve a Bosch MAXX Classic that we bought lsat year and surprise, surprise, have the same problems. I have black stains around the rubber seal and cannot get them off. We had that awful smell which I deal with via a number of very hot washes with vinegar, bleach and powder (not all at once). I’ve rung the store twice and been told napisan will get it off, but it wont. The only thing thats come close to removing some of it is Harpic Bleach Gel for TOILETS! My sales rep now tells me she uses a chamois after each use and always leaves the door open. If I do that it blocks the exit door. If I had known any of this, I would have stuck with a top loader, which never gave us any problems. This baby cost us $900 and I cant afford to throw that type of money away.

October 1, 2008 at 4:37 pm
(57) LG owner says:

I am having the exact same problem with my front loading expensive LG washer. We have had the repair service iut twice and were told to use the sanitary cyle 3 times in a row with bleach. Well, each sanitary cyle runs for 150 minutes! So much for effiency!!After this, it smells clean for about a week, but my towels are all ruined, I have recently replaced them and the new ones are now just the same. I would not recommend buying a front loader from any of the manufacturers!!
I would love to join a class action suit and get my money back!!!

October 5, 2008 at 11:38 pm
(58) MC Golis says:

We just discovered mold in our front loading Whirlpool, too—we have a new baby and are very concerned about the moldy smell. We need to get the media aware of this growing problem…

October 10, 2008 at 5:21 pm
(59) Sharon W. says:

Hi,

I was going to buy the duet set until I read this page.

I believe I can offer a solution to you, although needless to say, I haven’t tried it out on this washer. The solution, which SHOULD work, is colloidal silver. You can buy it premade from places like Walmart or various health food stores, or better, you can make your own. A web search for colloidal silver generators will show you what’s out there.

Colloidal silver kills single celled organisms, including mold and mildew, as well as bacteria and many viruses. It is harmless to humans and animals. I’ve taken smelly moldy kitchen sponges, sprayed them with colloidal silver, and they come out smelling fresh as can be. You can also use it to wipe kitchen counters or any other surface you want to decontaminate. Just wipe it on and let it air dry.

In the case of these washing machines, I’d suggest pouring about half a pint into the machine and then running it through a cycle. The colloidal silver will gather in the “drain that won’t drain,” and should kill off the nasty stuff growing there. In the case of heavy contamination, you might need more or you might need to run it through more than once, to insure that you’re getting a good concentration of the silver in the drain.

Better yet, you might be able to pour the silver directly into the washer and let it dribble down to where the nasty residue is. Let it sit for several hours or overnight before running another load. If this works for you—and it should—try doing this once a week in order to keep the concentration of silver high.

Premade colloidal silver can be rather expensive. I make my own colloidal silver and produce a quart at a time for pennies, using distilled water and the 9.999 fine silver electrodes that came with my generator. Fine silver is NOT sterling silver. Sterling is 92.5 silver; fine silver is pure silver. The generator I bought cost around $100. and was well worth it. I’ve use it for nearly ten years.

Hope this helps.

Sharon

October 10, 2008 at 5:27 pm
(60) Sharon W. says:

One final note about colloidal silver: if you decide to make your own, it MUST be stored in brown glass bottles or it will lose its strength. You can ask your druggist for the bottles. Mine gave me half a dozen bottles for free.

Sharon

October 11, 2008 at 11:48 pm
(61) Shari says:

My husband and I went to look at front loading washers & dryers today at Lowes. Initially, I was thinking about GE or Samsung but the salesman cited mold problems with those and several other brands. However, he raved about the Whirlpool Duet and said that’s what he and his wife have. My husband was ready to buy Whirlpool on the spot but I wanted to come home and do a little research. After reading all these comments, I am having SERIOUS second thoughts about purchasing ANY brand of front loading washer! What to do…what to do?

Some here talked about starting a class action complaint against Whirlpool. Apparently there is already one in the works. Check out this link:

http://chimicles.com/case/whirlpool-front-load-washing-machines

October 12, 2008 at 12:36 am
(62) Sharon W. says:

Shari,

You could do what I did today. I bought the Whirlpool HE TOP-loader today, along with its mastching HE steam dryer.

October 12, 2008 at 12:44 am
(63) Sharon W. says:

Shari,

“What to do?”

You could do what I did today. I bought the Whirlpool HE TOPloader washer along with its matching HE steam dryer. I’ve scoured the web and found no reports of mold in the toploader.

Also,consumerreports.org gives the toploader a very good rating.

October 12, 2008 at 6:53 pm
(64) Ron says:

My wife and I built a new house just over 3 years ago, and in keeping with being “modern”, we purchased the Whirlpool Duet washer and dryer set. Within a couple of months, the new house smell was replaced with a moldy stench. Upon investigation, and removing the dispensing tray, we found a florishing mold colony in the tray receptacle.
We also found the seal around the door growing its own mold colonies.
I am a (currently non-practicing) respiratory
therapist, and am agast that the Whirlpool corporation would allow such a potentially harmful product to be introduced to the market. I have cleaned and bleached and dryed everything but the mold remains a recurrent problem. I will try the “Stinky Washer” product if I can find it, but I feel that Whirlpool needs to figure out a fix and then pay the cost of repairs for a recall!

October 12, 2008 at 9:49 pm
(65) Richard says:

Sharon W.

Hi. This post is for you. I posted earlier, see post #32. Its about HE top loader. I had the same mold problems that all of these guys were talking about. Guess what, I dont have the problem anymore! What i did, I poured 1/4 bottle of clorox (the medium size)down the tube that’s coming from the AC in the attic, which is the same tube that my washer drains to. Then, right after, I did the bleach maintenance wash suggested in the owners manual. Since then, I never let the washer door down. Its always up(open) to air it out and evaporate any remaining water inside after washings. Its been a few months now, and i have repeated the bleach maintenance wash just once, and I dont have the mold smell come back.
I just thought that i need to spread the word.

Richard

October 13, 2008 at 3:13 pm
(66) CHRISTIE says:

I was told to put the Tang Drink Mix in the detergent section of my front load washer and run it on a hot cycle (no clothes) and that would clean it out. Has anyone tried that? I was told to get mold/mildew off the outer part of the “boot” that I had to use mold mildew cleaner, but I have issues with chemicals so can’t do that.

October 15, 2008 at 8:47 pm
(67) Eric says:

I agree with Barry on the fix but want to add a couple of pointers to make this a little easier.Prop the washer’s feet up on a 2×4 in front to access the screws easier. Keep your shop vac handy with the vac’s filter removed instead of using up towels.We found a baby sock when we did this and our kids were 3 and 5. Yummy.Good luck all.

October 16, 2008 at 12:51 am
(68) Sharon W. says:

Richard,

Thanks for the tip. Fortunately for me, nothing else drains down the washer drain. But, nonetheless, my washer/dryer will be delivered later today, and I plan to do some preventive maintenance.

BTW, I still think colloidal silver will do the trick. Clorine bleach loses its strength when its agitated and it’s all gone in hours, but colloidal silver keeps on working.

Sharon

October 23, 2008 at 12:34 pm
(69) anonymous says:

you can try contacting the whirlpool saftey department for options such as buy back on your washer.

October 23, 2008 at 5:18 pm
(70) TJ says:

How much vinegar do you use to run thru a cycle in order to clean? and do you just pour it into the detergent section? I have a Frigidaire Gallery front loader and just noticed a brown residue along the rubber gasket/boot while wiping out some pet hair – ick. I have noticed a smell but I would not say moldy as much as it is just a sour, stale smell. I tired to wipe out all the brown but it seemed never ending. Any other suggestions? The location of the machine is in the bathroom and the bathroom door makes it difficult to keep the washer door and detergent tray open.

thanks!

October 27, 2008 at 9:42 am
(71) natalie says:

This is all very strange to me, since I grew up in Germany, where the only washer we had was the front loading washer. I wonder what the true underlying problem is, if it’s in the engineering of the product or something else, because I don’t remember ever having this issue. However, we also washed our whites on what’s considered the sanitary cycle here – boiling hot, 195F water. Unfortunately, if these washer cause health issues due to the growth of mold, then I can see them being pulled off the market down the road. Does anybody know if the Bosch washers have the same issue? That would give a clue as to whether it’s an engineering issue.

October 28, 2008 at 11:10 am
(72) Michael says:

Hello All-
I am a law clerk at a firm called Nagel Rice in Roseland, NJ. Our firm is currently investigating the issue of mold infestation in Whirlpool front-end loaders and is looking for individuals affected by the problem who may be interested in participating in a class action lawsuit against Whirlpool. If so, please visit our website (nagelrice.com) or call at 973.618.0400. We look forward to hearing from you.

November 11, 2008 at 5:36 pm
(73) Michael says:

Hello All-
I am a law clerk at a firm called Nagel Rice in Roseland, NJ. Our firm is currently investigating the issue of mold infestation in Whirlpool front-end loaders and is looking for individuals affected by the problem who may be interested in participating in a class action lawsuit against Whirlpool. If so, please visit our website (nagelrice.com) or call at 973.618.0400. We look forward to hearing from you.

November 12, 2008 at 7:54 pm
(74) jan says:

I also own the Whirlpool Duet Washer/Dryer. The mold/mildew and odor is becoming unbearable for me. I am noticing chronic allergies since this has occured. I have soaked the tray in bleach and scrubbed all the parts I can reach. The appliance store where I purchased this expensive mistake suggested I call the Whirlpool toll free line (1-800-253-1301) to complain since they have not been able to get Whirlpool to cooperate with them on the many complaints they have received from customers. I called and I was shocked at the response. I was told they have never heard of any complaints of mold/mildew and odor in their washers!!! I asked her to get real, that cannot possisbly be so since she was the consumer complaint line. I asked to speak to a supervisor and she also said she has never heard of this complaint. She then advised me to leave the door open and said they would not be responsible for replacing any parts to repair the situation. I could replace the “bellow” gasket at my expense. She then said she would send me “free of charge” the tablets that would help with the odor. I suggest everyone who has not called this number do so since they have not heard of this problem before!
I have just built a second home in which we will relocate to as we retire in a few years and I purchased the cheapest old fashioned top loading GE I could find. I love soaking my laundry and dirty sneakers again!! Jan

November 12, 2008 at 9:44 pm
(75) Brenna says:

I have a top-loading Whirlpool washer and for the past month or two, we have noticed a urine-like smell coming from it. It stinks up our clothes, especially my towels and I CAN’T get rid of it. We have also had a rat living in the garage (where the washer also is)during this period, but I don’t know if they are connected. I’m SOOO grossed out! Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks…

November 13, 2008 at 6:36 pm
(76) Lisa Murphy says:

We have a Whirlpool Duet & what a let down. It stinks even after I bleach it. Mold in the detergent tray and around the gray rubber gasket. DISGUSTING!! I had to replace everything that was dark colored because the smell would not come out, because I was unable to bleach them. Whirlpool should make it right & give us a full refund, then come and pick them up. I will never buy another whirlpool product!!! $2000.00 what a waste of money. I’m getting the word out too. I’m a flight attendant and I talk to as many people about this, as possible.

November 13, 2008 at 8:24 pm
(77) A Hanley says:

The Whirlpool duet was a big waste of money! The washer stinks most of the time. I get some relief after I run vinegar through the Hottest cycle but temporary only. Most of my clothes have that stink that just never goes away. I hate this machine and I have put up with it for several years now. Whirlpool also told me they never heard of mold issues and that was 4 years ago. Leave the door open ya right!

November 18, 2008 at 9:20 am
(78) Veronica says:

I too have had severe mold problems with my duet washer. My washer is 6 yrs old. I have battled this problem from the beginning of purchase. No one was willing to listen to me. The appliance repair people would come out and tell me another part was bad and needed replacement everytime. Then the dryer broke. It has been a terrible experience with the black mold. I too scrub every part of my washer daily. The detergent drawer and door to the drum are always left open to air. It is disgusting! I think that I should not have to clean this washer after every use! Whirlpool eventually replaced the dryer after 7 trips from the repair man. But it still only works on the timed cycle. As for the washer its a hunk of junk that we too paid top dollar for. I need a large washer as we have 8 in our family!

November 25, 2008 at 3:03 am
(79) Sherri says:

I bought the front loader washer and dryer and have had nothing but problems! My Husband has severe allgeries also and he has gone to many doctors for testing and can’t seem to find out that there is anything wrong with was he is doing he is doing. We have several medical bills and never even thought about the washer and dryer. We knew we had a problem with mold and yes I was going out and buying socks all the time because I never could find a match. After hearing about this I went and looked and there were several socks molded and stuck behind the washer rubber band. Also I kept hearing from family,friends and people from school that my child clothes always stunck!!! God forbid if it was a rainey day. I was so embarresed. I have repainted my home,had people come in a shampoo our carpet. I even went as far as spraying my children with Lysol spay before that got out of the car. I am very upset to know that this is the problem. I have been through hell!! Our power bill went up because I also have to used time dry everytime I dry clothes. This is NOT our Fault it is a defect of the product and something should be done. Why should we have to spend more money on something we put so much money into. My whole family has had heath problems and this is not aceptable!! I have done everything ask from the manual, like monthly cleaning but nothing has helped. I have a large family also and it may not mean much to some but we don’t have the money or time to keep trying knew things to fix something that I didn’t mess up. Further action will be taken! Good Luck to everyone that has had this problem and fight for your rights! My family comes first not a washer and dryer. Sincerly Sherri.

December 1, 2008 at 7:38 pm
(80) Susan says:

Jan…The Whirlpool operator lied to you as I have called and complained and was told to run bleach and water without clothing through my machine…no, it did not help. This problem is affecting my family’s health. I have migraines and my daughter has hives and welts. My machine is disgusting with black mold. We have had trouble with our Whirlpool refrigerater as well…I will never buy Whirlpool ever again….all they want is your intitial sale and then they do not back up their product. Their product is junk.

What is the number for the CDSC?

Sue

December 1, 2008 at 7:42 pm
(81) Susan says:

What about your front load dryers? Do yours dry your clothes faster? My dryer takes about an hour to an hour and a half to dry a load of clothes. It takes longer than our old dryer. Yes, our vents are clean.

Sue

December 6, 2008 at 3:19 am
(82) Luis says:

I have had the Kenmore Elite HE3 for about 4 years, in 3 years I got lyphoma and my 3.5 year old son has to take xertec for allergies every day and gets rashes all over. Everyone please affected please start fighting this. If we all fight maybe they will listen. I can’t afford to replace my washer I am fighting cancer.

December 10, 2008 at 12:19 am
(83) Robert in Indianapolis says:

NEW PART TO THE STORY. Read On.

Mold here too. Just took out the soap dispenser to clean it, popped off all the part and in the lower cavity found it full of black mold. Okay I said to myself. Bleach is clean and I’m good to go.

NOPE!

Here is the deal… while putting the dispenser back into the washer, LOOK UP inside the opening where the dispenser goes. If you had mold in the dispenser, I guarentee you will see a large black mold spot on the roof of the opening. On mine, all the mold is on the FABRIC SOFTENER side. The holes there that allow the water through were molded closed.

While we clean the dispenser often, never had I looked up at the opening. Even though I cleaned it all off, there must be mold inside the top water flow area. With the quantity of mold in the lower section of the dispenser cavity (if you work at it, you can pop it all apart) AND the massive mold in the top of the dispenser cavity opening in the washer itself… I am certain the rest of the washer is full of it.

Anyone find a lawsuit or real help yet?

Rob in Indy

December 11, 2008 at 10:46 am
(84) Shari says:

To Rob in Indy…

In my previous comment (#61), I gave a link I found regarding a law firm that is handling a class action lawsuit against Whirlpool regarding mold issues. Also, a law clerk from a NJ law firm posted 2 comments above about litigation his firm is handling (see comments #72 & 73).

Although I was fortunate to find out about the overwhelming number of complaints of mold issues in front loaders BEFORE I purchased one, I am still interested in the outcome for those of you who are having chronic problems. Good luck.

December 11, 2008 at 10:46 am
(85) Shari says:

To Rob in Indy…

In my previous comment (#61), I gave a link I found regarding a law firm that is handling a class action lawsuit against Whirlpool regarding mold issues. Also, a law clerk from a NJ law firm posted 2 comments above about litigation his firm is handling (see comments #72 & 73).

Although I was fortunate to find out about the overwhelming number of complaints of mold issues in front loaders BEFORE I purchased one, I am still interested in the outcome for those of you who are having chronic problems. Good luck.

December 13, 2008 at 9:02 pm
(86) Paula in Seattle says:

I hate to join this musty club, as it’s not a very fun one, but I’m afraid we have Mold City in our washer, too!

We’ve owned our Duet set less than two years, and I noticed the mildew smell really after only 4 or 5 months. As far as I can tell, I’ve played by all the rules. I frequently check under the rubber ring in front for stray materials, as the guide says. I wipe the door down and leave it open when not in use. I don’t use too much of the HE detergent, and use zero fabric softener. We even go the extra distance in some respects; we pin all our socks together, to cut back on the sock monster effect. And I’m pretty good at collecting change beforehand, so we don’t have a lot miscellaneous items floating around to clog things up.

My detergent tray doesn’t show any growth, but the smell of mold just totally emanates from the drum the second you open the door. I make sure to get my clothes out ASAP because otherwise they stink so bad, so fast. I wanted a front loader for energy & water efficiency, but what’s the point with this set? If you have to run a load again because you got busy with life and didn’t empty the washer immediately, even just an hour or two, it’s such a waste. It’s such a short window of time before the load is just ruined and you have to run it again.

I appreciate the helpful tips on maintenance, cleaing, and products to use that are posted here by other users.

Bottom line–as a few others have said…for what was paid for this highly touted product, we should not have all these troubles! My old school top-loading Kenmore worked great for a decade, no mold. The capacity and efficiency of Whirlpool Duet are wonderful benefits, but my often used-nasal steriod and “laundry headaches” are simply not an acceptable trade-off!

December 23, 2008 at 10:10 pm
(87) Melissa Burton says:

I have had a whirlpool duet front load since 2006. I have had problems with my towels smelling like mold ever since. My daughter has asthma ( age 8) and my 4 1/2 age son has had repeated sinur infections and a forever green runny nose. I called whirlpool while under extended warranty and they came out and replace the boot (unaware anything was wrong) and order the computer module replacement and noather part. when he came back out it did not need them and he told me to hang on to the parts I would need them! I have used Affresh and vinegar and bleach and hot water loads. This is ridiculas for the price you pay for these units. We removed the front today and check the (large object drain) it had one coing and a ton of water. Tons of mold. We cleaned everything:) I ran the next load and there is not water in the machine but water left in the drain line sloshing. I have a dog who also has severe allergies. We need a class action law suit against whirlpool. This is ridiculus. You should not have to babysit the washer. You bought it for convenience. I am a license insurance adjuster who has mold training; I am mortified to think I brought this mold problem into my home! HELP! Nothing works and everything smells. I had a friend whose husband had SEVERE mold allergies with a Maytage front loader. She got rid of it and bought a top load. He no longer has allegeries! Amazing- This needs to stop before the mold spores get out of control. Children cannot handle the mold in their lungs.

December 27, 2008 at 7:54 pm
(88) betty miller says:

Amen to all the duet problems. I hate this thing and I feel bad to say that my misery is a teeny bit happy to find company. I thought I’d bought the only lemon in the bunch. I can’t stop the mold and my dryer sensor stops the dryer from working. I’ll never buy another whirlpool appliance and am living for the set I have to die.

January 2, 2009 at 1:14 pm
(89) monica smith says:

i was wondering if anything has come about on this yet? my husband and i have been noticing this problem for quite some time and were wondering what it may be. my daughter has severe asmtha and the kids are always getting sick. i thought it was just my hubs at first but started to notice the problem too. we wash clothes and the smell is always there. it is lingering. we bought new towels for this reason thinking it just may be the materials. we’ll try calling but we bought w/o warranty. suggestions??

January 4, 2009 at 5:59 pm
(90) Melissa says:

Duet Sport…aka the spawn of mold

I too have had the same horrible problems! We bought ours in 2006 and have been fighting mold ever since. I first noticed the sewage stench. Funny thing though, my kids were 3 and 1 at the time and I kept blamming them thinking they pooped or did something they shouldn’t have. Then as it got worse, I realized where it was coming from.

After a year then I started noticing the mold. This was also the time my 1 1/2 year old daughter started having pneumonia all the time and my son had numerous sinus infections. Along with constant allergy symptoms. I also realized that my husband started getting migraines and I was getting migraines all the time. My own health was getting worse. Our pediatrician told us to see an allergist as something in the house was making the kids sick. So we went and found out the both tested positive for mold and mildew allergies! The funny thing about allergies is that you are not born with them, yet you develop them as you are exposed to the allergen. That meant my kids were constantly exposed to mold and mildew that lead to their allergies and illness. They were only 4 and 2 when they were tested.

So I went to my 4 year old town home that we bought new and though, I am not a dirty person, my house is clean and there isn’t mold everywhere. It then dawned on my that the washer is upstairs in the family room/playroom right by both of our bedrooms. It also occurred to me that I was getting migraines every time I did laundry. And thus the source of exposure.

I have contacted whirlpool, and I believe that because we have medically documented conditions, they sent out a repairman at no charge to me and said they would fix what needed fixing. The repairman replaced the grey front rubber seal in the door. It was covered in mold on the back side of it where you could not see it. The repair man told me that he had been in houses where you could smell the stench of the mold as you walked in the front door of the house. Mine has never been that bad, it has filled the upstairs, but I don’t have to remind anyone of how bad mold exposure is. He also told me that no matter what he replaces, it will comeback. He told me he actually preferred not to fix it as it was just a band-aid and didn’t fix the real problem. So great I thought, the repair guy has told me there isn’t anything you can really do.

We have done everything listed above. Save your money on the Affresh. It doesn’t work. If you have soap build up, try what a commercial laundry owner told me to do. Stick a 1/2 cup of Electrosol powdered detergent in your machine and run the clean washer or the hottest setting possible. It works to get out the soap but it won’t remove the mold.

I have gone to running bleach in mine as well, but ultimately it doesn’t take care of the problem either. The drain is a faulty design that doesn’t pass the smell test, literally. Thus it will constantly come back. Whirlpool knows this is bad, why else would they develop a product to try to “fix” or shall we say cover up the problem. I have contacted both attorneys above as something needs to be done about this. We all spent too much on these machines just to buy new ones, not to mention the health issues many of us have had because of this as well.

By the way, I would also suggest taking pictures of what you are cleaning when you clean it. You never know when that might come in handy.

As for the dryer, mine used to work well, but now the senor no longer works and I have to time dry everything. Did any of you notice that whirlpool now makes a dryer that adds steam into it? Stupid is as stupid does. Whirlpool can’t fix the moisture/mold/mildew issues in their washer and now they are going to add moisture into their dryers. Honestly they are a gluten for punishment.

January 6, 2009 at 8:41 am
(91) jan says:

i too have a whirlpool duet and the smell was awful. my husband started breaking out in rashes around his ankles for no apparent reason. we went to lowe’s where we had purchased the washer and dryer about 2-3 years ago. the manager told us to affresh and run bleach thru to see if that took care of the smell. it didn’t, so we went back and told them. they traded in our old washer on a new top loader with no more problems. they even delivered it free and took away that old smelly thing… lowe’s rule!!!

January 6, 2009 at 7:02 pm
(92) Leslie says:

I purchased my Neptune pair in 2005, just after the Class Action Suit was closed. With everything Maytag was dealing with, they obviously continued to produce these machines which build up disgusting black mold. Nothing gets rid of it. I am now looking into junking it and buying a top loader. Does anyone here have any ideas about going after Whirlpool to force them to make good on this company they have acquired? I think another class action suit is in order. There are plenty of Maytags like this still out there, and most were sold after the problem was already known.

January 7, 2009 at 12:07 am
(93) Kelly says:

Mildew here, too. And two other families I know who own the duet. Bummer.

January 11, 2009 at 12:20 am
(94) c.mandigo says:

All I can say is piece of crud! Mold, clogged fabric softner dispener and draining problems. I have had this washer for 1 year with nothing but problems. Clothes always look dirty even when I use bleach. I only use HE detergent and still nothing seems clean. For what we paid for this machine, I shouldn’t have to pull the thing apart to get rid of the mold when it is only a year old.

January 12, 2009 at 8:58 pm
(95) davek says:

I was shopping at ABT Electronics this week and asked about purchasing the Whirlpool Duet HT WFW9400SW. I inquired about the mold issue and the salesman said the they sold two versions of the washer; one made in Mexico, and one made in Germany ($200 more). He said that they havent had one complaint about mold form anyone who had bought the German model, and then went on to show me some quality issues between the two.

So my question is: do some of the people here with smelly, moldy Whirlpool Duet washers have the German made model?

January 16, 2009 at 12:43 pm
(96) Bella says:

Had the Whirlpool Duet for 4-5 years and had the same problems with mold growing behind the front rubber seal and terrible smell left on towels. Recently the hot water was leaking under the washer and the computer panel is not working so we have to use cold water presoak to get the cycle to wash then set the rinse cycle manually and stay nearby to do this manually.
The repair cost for the front panel will be minimum of $250 plus labor plus whatever else is wrong with the hot water not working.
We expected this washer to outlast and do a better job than the less expensive washers. Our last washer lasted 20 years. What a rip-off.

January 18, 2009 at 3:29 am
(97) Shirley says:

In the old days, before making a major purchase, you asked friends, relatives and the salesman for recommendation. I bet there are some salesmen who don’t like the internet. Selling front loaders is going to become a problem! I’m sorry to hear about all your problems, but thank you for preventing me from purchasing the Whirlpool duet set. I’ve had my Maytag washer for 30 years and will get another top loader. “Going green” will have to wait for the next generation of washers for me to purchase one.
With our “recommendations” and a class action suit, maybe we can prevent others from making a very serious buying mistake and risking health issues with our families. Thank you for all your postings.

January 18, 2009 at 9:09 pm
(98) tina says:

Rob in Indy…
Yuck…our dispenser has the same black mold over the fabric softener section. This machine is so gross. I too thought we had something in our pipes because of the terrible smell we would get at certain wash cycle points..now I am certain its the mold in the machine that we can’t get too. Whirlpool really needs to address this issue.

January 22, 2009 at 4:39 pm
(99) Larry West says:

We are having a mold problem with whirlpool washer. I just talked with a rep at whirlpool and he said they are producing a product to take care of the mold. The are producing the problem so we have to buy the product to solve it. They make money both ways.
MOLD IS DANGEROUS TO YOUR HEALTH. PRODUCES CANCER.
Lets all call TV consumer people and get this problem on the TV so everyone knows about it.
If we complain enough, they will do something about the problem…

January 22, 2009 at 7:31 pm
(100) Larry says:

We are having problems with a hazardous mold forming on and in a whirlpool clothes washer.
Whirlpool knows of this problem and does not tell people about the problem when selling the washer. When I talked to them about the mold, they told me they sell a product to remove the mold, but it comes right back. They sell a mold producing machine so they can sell a product to remove it…money both ways.
Lets all call a TV consumer person and see if we can get this advertised on TV…

January 28, 2009 at 11:50 am
(101) Larry says:

We are having the sever mold problem in the whirlpool washer. After talking to whirlpool several times they intend to do nothing.
ALL OF US SHOULD GET TOGETHER AND FILE A CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT.
My wife has already come down with cancer and I have bad allergies from this mold.

February 3, 2009 at 12:29 pm
(102) Victoria says:

My Whirlpool Duet I acquired with the house we bought. I bought at Sears Canada a product called WasherFresh, it worked. However, I do find it needs to be used once a month. But I don’t like leaving the washing machine door open all the time.

February 4, 2009 at 2:48 pm
(103) JoeP says:

I do not own this or any high efficiency washing machine, but really appreciate the feedback given by owners. Part of me wants to buy a HE set to save natural resources and energy, but the extra cost was the initial stumbling block.

Now that I read about the fact that mold forms on these models (and others), I am very hesitant to buy one even if the price is much lower. Add to this the extra effort of cleaning gaskets, cleaning the drain plug, buying cleaning solutions and running cleaning cycles, soap residue issues, and changing habits…I don’t see the value.

I’m not trying to start a fight here, but for all the stress these introduce, I’ll stick with my top loader until these are all resolved.

February 4, 2009 at 9:14 pm
(104) maggie says:

I’ve had my Duet for 3 years and until about 4 months ago shared all the frustrations described by other readers. I followed each and every suggestion to minimize the problem. Then, one day I was out of the liquid Tide HE detergent and the grocery store I went to that day only had the POWDERED He Tide. Almost immediately, I noticed a difference in the smell. The musky, mildewy smell was gone. After a month of nice-smelling laundry and not leaving the washer drawer and tray open and running the sanitary cycle…..I still had no bad smells. I shared my learning with a good friend who has a Duet also and had the same smell issues. She has been using the POWDERED He Tide and has had the same result as I have had. Give it a try!!

February 5, 2009 at 12:05 am
(105) Bob says:

Quit using liquid soap. They contain 30-40% animal fat that leaves residue that promotes growth of “biofilm”, in Maytag (RIP) lingo. Use Powder HE only, such as Tide HE. How do I know? I fix this stuff for a living! Bob

February 7, 2009 at 1:33 am
(106) Patty says:

Suggestions at bottom – of how to possibly eliminate these problems.

Wow!!!

I am amazed to hear of all the problems listed.

I have had my Whirlpool Duet front-load washer for almost 2 years and have only had a “stench” problem once.

(I live in HUMID Florida, but my laundry room is inside.)

The stench culprit, baby socks, that had lodged inside the front seal and I had stopped checking the seal after each wash. When I finally found them they were disgusting – grey/black stinky.

I ran the Cleaning cycle with bleach and the problem was resolved.

The reason I was even reading this discussion thread is an acquaintance of mine (friend of friend) is going to purchase a front-load and I wanted to be able to give her the good the bad and the ugly.

Here are my thoughts as to how to AVOID these issues:

1. Fabric softener. DO NOT USE. A dryer sheet should be sufficient for anti-static and softening. I have never used fabric softener in my front-load washer.

2. Use the “Dye Grabber” made by Carbona. It is $5.00 and is good for 30 loads and it grabs dye and GRIME. (This product does not work well with fabric softener and tells you not to use it). Available at Jo-Ann Fabrics in the Quilting Department and at Winn-Dixie.

3. Use the “Washer Magic” product. Only after 2 years did I start getting any residue build-up on the gasket. This product removed it. ( I also use the Dishwasher Magic in my Bosch dishwasher with great results.) Available at Wal-Mart & grocery stores.

4. Use the cleaning cycle. I actually have gotten bad and probably only use it every 3rd month and I rarely use bleach with clothes.

5. I have used ONLY one detergent – All Free & Clear ( fragrance-free dye-free ) He liquid detergent in my machine. I suspect that all the “smell-good” additives in Tide and Gain and other products might be leaving too much residue.

6. Leave the door ajar and the detergent tray open. I ALWAYS do this. Top-loading washers don’t seal, so they naturally evaporate.

7. I have well water, with some sulpher and I get that horrid orange staining on the detergent tray, but luckily it doesn’t smell. I would love any tips on how to get the orange stain off the detergent drawer.

8. Try another detergent – like 7th Generation or Tide no perfume no dye.

9. I wanted to use Borax, but the help-line at Whirlpool advised against it unless I pre-dissolved it into water, so I haven’t used it. They insisted that adding the dry Borax or dry Baking Soda would cause a problem.

10. Take the time to remove items from pockets. Allowing coins into the machine is just silly.

11. Consider washing everything in at least warm water, if you are using city-treated water.

12. I wash a lot in HOT water or use the Sanitary cycle on towels.

I have a gas Rinnai tankless water heater and I laugh every day thinking about how much money I save by not paying for 60 gallons of water heating all day long (and I had 2 60 gallon water heaters replaced by one tankless water heater!)

*****

Now, I was interested in the made in Germany vs. made in Mexico.

I bought my Duet at Lowe’s after reading Consuemr Reports, etc. and found another model on-line that had one less feature (I think it was something like a wash-silk feature, I don’t quite remember, but it was a feature that I would rarely if ever use.) Anyway, they showed my model in stock and I went to the store and they insisted that they did NOT carry this model. I showed them the printout from the web-page and they went looking for it and evidently it had just arrived the day before and the salesmen were unaware of it. Turns out it was some type of special order for some other retailer, which I figured was CostCo or something. Who knows? So I do KNOW that my Duet is different and possibly pretty rare and they only had that model for about 2 months.

So I’m wondering if I lucked out and got one that was made in Germany.

hope this helps at least one person ….

February 7, 2009 at 3:16 pm
(107) Nancy M says:

After spending hours researching this problem (again – a month ago I did the cleaning cycle with bleach) – we took Barry C (comment #13) & Doug D (#24)’s cleaning advice – Thanks guys!! Amazing all the gunk (& ODOR!) inside the filter/drain & under the rubber gasket! I think we may have gotten rid of most of the mold (for now anyway). We vow to do this procedure at least once/month. I also clean out the detergent dispenser regularly now – take it completely out, take out the inserts -clean it & the area where the dispenser sits. I still wonder how much mold is still in there somewhere where we can’t get to…….. there is still a slight odor, nothing like before – it would knock you over when you walked in the door. Our machine is a GHW9460PL4. I could not find any manuals for our model online – it’s only 1 1/2 yr. old. The manuals for other models say to use the “cleaning cycle” – ours doesn’t have – found in one of the comments a way to set a cleaning cycle on our model:
Select “Drain/Spin” & “No Spin”;
Press “Prewash” twice (quickly). You should see a code C:O:O. I added to 1/2 c. bleach to dispenser & ran – it seemed to help. Myself & my son have mold allergies (mine results in asthmatic attacks) – we’re hoping this helps!
Thanks to everyone for the helpful comments – as the Whirlpool site was completely useless for this problem!

February 14, 2009 at 12:58 pm
(108) MIKE S says:

I FOLLOWED BARRY C(#13) AND DOUG D’S(24)ADVICE
AND NOW HAVE NO ODOR AT ALL. I THINK THE HOSE
THAT CONNECTS AT THE PUMP AND GOES UP TO THE OUTSIDE DRAIN LINE IS THE REAL CULPRIT. MY HOSE
ACTUALLY LOOKED GRAY FROM ALL THE MOLD THAT WAS
INSIDE OF IT. I REMOVED THE TOP COVER OF THE WASHER (3 TORX SCREWS LOCATED ON THE BACK)SO I COULD GET ACCESS TO THE HOSE CLAMP
ON THE UPPER END OF THE HOSE,THEN REMOVE THE CLAMP AT THE LOWER END OF THE HOSE WHERE IT
CONNECTS AT THE PUMP. I FILLED A UTILITY TUB WITH HOT WATER AND BLEACH AND LET THE ENTIRE HOSE SOAK FOR ABOUT 1 HOUR.THEN HOLDING 1 END OF THE HOSE UNDER A FAUCET I FLUSHED OUT THE
HOSE WITH HOT WATER. I WOULD ALSO BANG THE HOSE AGAINST THE SIDE OF THE TUB WHILE RINSING
TO HELP LOOSE THE MOLD FROM THE HOSE. AFTER SEEING NO TRACE OF MOLD IN THE HOSE WHICH NOW LOOKS CLEAR I REATTACHED THE HOSE AND RAN THE
WASHER.(BE SURE TO CHECK FOR LEAKS BEFORE REPLACING THE COVERS.) WOW! IT NO LONGER STINKS UP THE LAUNDRY ROOM WHEN IT DRAINS.I HOPE THIS HELPS OTHER WITH THIS PROBLEM. ONE LAST THING, IF YOU STILL ARE HAVING AN ODOR WHILE IT DRAINS AND YOU KNOW THAT YOU CLEANED EVERYTHING WELL,THE PROBLEM MAY BE IN THE HOSE THAT CONNECTS OUTSIDE THE WASHER AND DRAINS AT YOUR UTILITY TUB OR WHATEVER SET-UP
YOU HAVE FOR DRAINING.THAT HOSE MAY BE A POSSIBLE PROBLEM BUT I AM SURE A REPLACEMENT
WOULD BE AVAILABLE AT ANY LOWE’S,HOME DEPOT ETC.

February 22, 2009 at 7:18 pm
(109) paulbier says:

did the procedures per post (13). no debris found but still kind of sludgy & real smelly!

thanks Barry!

February 24, 2009 at 12:02 am
(110) Larry Rhoads says:

Barry’s post #13 followed as he describes gives good results. However, there are a couple of things that can be added to help. First of all many thanks to Barry for a good write up in post 13!! I agree with Barry that the discharge pump is not well designed – not enought slop to the hose from the wash tub and a smooth hose rather than ribbed would have allowed the hose to drain dry after use. In addition, the pickup of the discharge pump should have been at the lowest point in the pump filter housing. However, since Whirlpool didn’t do these things, I have implemented a new procedure after the washing maching is not to be used for any period of time. Wait about 10 minutes for all water to drain down into pump area (probably won’t take that long) and then put 15 to 20 ml or 3 to 4 teaspoons full of bleach into the washing drum where you would normally put clothes to be washed. This will drain down into the drain hose and will flush the water left in the rubber ribbed drain line and spill some of the bleach over into the filter housing, thus, holding down the build up of mold (no it won’t bleach your clothes the bleach is already in the drain line). This filter housing still should require cleaning at least once a year or maybe even every 6 months depending upon usage. Like Barry, I found some unexpected things in my filter housing; a dime, a penny and a pocket comb in my filter houseing and they were really stinky and ready for the outside trash can. Another thing I found was black mold on the front right top of the cavity that the detergent & softner drawer fits into. In fact, that entire cavity was loaded with scum that needed cleaning out. It’s not easy to get to, but paitence pays off. I’m hoping my body itch now stops and I can stop going to an allergist. If my body itch doesn’t stop, I still will have nice smelling clean clothes now. Many thanks to Barry C. for his post #13

February 25, 2009 at 12:27 am
(111) Erica says:

I purchased my duet washer and dryer four years ago before my third child was born. For the past three years, he’s been battling upper respitory issues. Just this evening I was on the phone with the on-call nurse due to the fact that he stops breathing throughout the night. After reading the comments posted on this site, I ran in and looked inside my washer. It is full of black mold. I had noticed it before and thought it was just rubber residue. I’m scared of what this has been doing to my family for the past four years. I’m sure this is contributing to the medical issues my son is battling. I will be on the phone with Whirlpool lodging a complaint to start the process and then consulting with a lawyer as to advice moving forward. Even though this was an expensive purchase, I would rather ditch it and get something safe than put my family at risk any further. Thank you so much for all the comments as I have some additional information to share with all the doctors.

By the way… I agree, all of the comments should be sent to Whirlpool. I will make sure to copy this link and reference it in my call and letter to the CEO.

Erica

March 10, 2009 at 5:09 pm
(112) Laura says:

I agree totally with Patty (#106). I majored in textile technology in college, so I basically have a degree in laundry! Most people use WAY too much detergent, and fabric softeners are totally unnecessary. Plus they make your towels water-repellent.

I have a front-loader (not sure what brand) that is four years old have have had no problems. Love it! My clothes love it, too. I do suffer from the occasional migraine, but no more than a few times a year, and I’ve seen no correlation with owning this type of washing machine.

I use Charlie’s Soap from the health food store instead of detergent, and it leaves my clothes soft and fresh without artificial scents. I never need to use any gooey softeners that are usually based on petroleum products. The first time you use Charlie’s Soap, you will need to run a load of old rags to clean the build-up out of the inside of your washer if you have been using heavily-advertised grocery store brands of detergent (that contain lots of colorings, scents, and thickeners to make you feel like you are getting your money’s worth.)

BTW, the “need” for fabric softeners is a major marketing scheme perpetrated by companies like Proctor & Gamble. I do not use dryer sheets either (can’t stand them) but if you must, tear them in half and use more than once before discarding.

Hope this helps someone. This will definitely help the environment, too, and you will save money as well.

March 10, 2009 at 8:06 pm
(113) Janet and Chuck Rutherford says:

My husband just changed the seal on the door of our washer as our’s had a split in it (poor workmanship and quality control). The seal was full of mold. Yech. Never again will Whirlpool get any money from us – their customer service rep could not have been ruder.

March 11, 2009 at 4:14 am
(114) washing a washer! Unbelievable says:

My 5 year old son has been sick since we bought our Duet 4 years ago when we moved into our brand new house. He has seen several doctors and finally an allergist tested him and he is allergic to mold and cats. We don’t have cats but after reading this I realize we have mold. Honestly I was about to have our entire house professionally tested for mold costing me $4000. I just happened to google Duet and Mold and WOW! Our clothes don’t smell bad so I never thought of it being the washer. I did smell the moldy smell and had an appliance worker come look at it. He replaced the rubber boot for $150 and that was about a year ago. Nothing has changed and the smell is still there. It even smells like a gas at times. I even called our gas company to see if we had a leak or something. I never connected the dots. I have been dressing my son in mold every day. Laying his head at night on a moldy pillowcase, covering him up with moldy sheets and drying him off with a moldy towel. I feel like a bad mom and now I am going to take my anger out on Whirlpool. I am going to get a new washer tomorrow and call Whirlpool and my attorney. I can only hope my daughter barely 2 does not develop this same allergy. And I look forward to see my son without his watery red eyes, contant sneezing and exhaustion. I would never take apart my washer to wash it. I spend less time maintaining my car. We should expect more from a leading manufacturer. When I find out what we can do as a group I will get back to you. Even if that is true that Lawyers get the money in a class action lawsuit, better them than Whirlpool.
Ripped off customers UNITE!

March 12, 2009 at 4:08 pm
(115) Joe S says:

Also bought Whirlpool Duet washer and dryer. First the washer vibrated like crazy, second we also noticed the mildew issue with months of purchase. We followed directions which included keeping the door open after use, and cleaned with bleach once a week. I found mildew around gasket, as many found here. I knew this was a factory design flaw. I checked the internet and yes like you found numerous complaints. So I called Whirlpool, and there were arrogant and told me this would not be a warranty call. So I called Lowes where we purchased the product. They too had heard of the problem and suggested that we exchange the product for something else which we did and bought a samsung washer and dryer. No mildew problems and we had it over a year and half. So Whirlpool has a problem with these units but failed to own up to it. Shame on them.

March 12, 2009 at 4:35 pm
(116) Michael says:

Hello All-
I have noticed from these posts that many of you have tried all of the so called “solutions” to the mold problem, only to find that nothing really eliminates the mold on a long term basis. I am an associate at a firm called Nagel Rice in Roseland, NJ. My firm specializes in class action litigation and products liability work, and we are currently investigating the issue of mold infestation in Whirlpool front-end loaders and are looking for individuals affected by the problem who may be interested in participating in a class action lawsuit against Whirlpool. If so, please visit our website (nagelrice.com) or call at 973.618.0400. We look forward to hearing from you.

March 13, 2009 at 9:11 am
(117) Susan says:

I have been using FL washers for 5 years now. First Kenmore at my old house, and now Whirlpool since we moved. It was a learning process for me all the way, but I no longer have a mold or smell issue. First of all you MUST leave the door open after every load, the washer NEEDS fresh air to completely dry it out and prevent mold from growing. You can also leave the dispenser open too if you have an issue with mold in there. If your bellow (the rubber part around the door is beyond cleaning, then GET A NEW ONE INSTALLED. It’s worth the price to be able to use your washer without a mold issue. Also ALWAYS remember to clean out the inside of the rubber part when you’re done doing laundry. Check for stray socks, or baby items in there, … they can easily slip inside. I also use a paper towel to sop up the little bit of water that remains in the bottom of the rubber part, just to be sure. I have absolutely NO smell,and absolutely NO mold in my washer any more. My first washer was awful! I did nothing correct to maintain it. Also you MUST use a HE detergent, they are MADE to break down differently within the washer. Personally I stay away from Tide (my repairman suggested that too). It creates too much soap that doesn’t rinse away. I use Gain or Wisk HE anymore, both with no problems. Alos if your washer has a “Clean Washer” cycle, USE IT! I use that cycle every week or so. You simply put Clorox in the dispenser, and run the cycle. It glistens when it’s done, and smells like new! Hope some of this advice helps you. But I strongly recommend getting replacement parts for the areas that are too moldy to clean…. start with fresh parts and maintain it properly. Good Luck!

March 17, 2009 at 12:00 pm
(118) Nancy in Canada says:

Try WasherFresh, I’m in Canada and purchased it at Sears Canada. Works well, but I do have to use once a month to control the mold growing back. It may help if I left the door open, but with a small dog and cats I don’t want any small critters cralling into the washer.

March 18, 2009 at 8:23 pm
(119) Bill says:

I am shopping for a washer/dryer and was impressed when I saw the Duet a few hours ago at Best Buy — atleast until I read this forum. It’s interesting, almost 2 comments/week since this thread started 18mos ago. Gotta wonder about all those who haven’t posted here.

While it may not console any of you, and will probably go un-noticed by the manufacturers, based on what I’ve read here, I will NOT be buying a Duet W/D. Thanks to all who have posted.

Hey Whirlpool… are you listening ?

March 22, 2009 at 4:06 pm
(120) Paul Flynn says:

To a certain degree there is mold present in all clothes washers. It isn’t a model specific problem but is noticed more in front load washing machines because of the lesser amount of water used. The severity of the problem is increased by overuse of liquid detergent, use of fabric softeners and low water temperature used for washing. The blog page at smellywasher.com explains the problem more in detail and give advice on the cause of and the cure for washing machine odor and stinky towels.

April 16, 2009 at 10:23 pm
(121) RAUL C. says:

WOWWWW!!! These comments answer a lot of my questions. My wife has been taking my 2yr old son to the doctor for the past 3months trying to figure out why all of a sudden he is been having this persistent cough – to no avail. My son has had this persistent cough shortly after that “moldy smell” started in our clothes. I feel like throwing this stinky Duet out the window. I just finished searching keywords in Whirlpool’s website, and no hits – they are clearly not accepting there design flaws. As soon as I get a chance, am switching to another manufacture. Those of you who are switching make sure your not buying from Whirlpool’s family companies. For the money I paid for the washer and dryer, I feel raped.

April 29, 2009 at 10:47 am
(122) Dan says:

I too have the dreaded smell. My washer is well out of warranty and I had enough of the smell. I’ve battled it for 18 months. I am fairly handy, so I decided to take the thing apart and find the mold that I knew was hiding in there. To my surprise, there was caked, calcified sludge on the back of the drum. My power washer would barely remove the buildup. I know it’s extreme, but what other choice was there. There is no possible way that Affesh, bleach, vinegar, etc. was going to help this problem. Prevention is the only key, so keep those washers clean, and use the preventative measures from the start. Otherwise, call your maintenance main for a cleaning job.

May 9, 2009 at 11:49 am
(123) L.A. Weaver says:

I have the same problem and it has been very frustrating. I leave the door open and the soap drawer open. I will try the Smelly Washer solution and buy some new laundry soap. I spent quite a bit of money on the set and am disappointed that I want a new set now. I am wondering if Whirlpool has settled any claims regarding the defective drainage issues.

May 23, 2009 at 6:53 am
(124) laura says:

We have a frigidaire full size front loader and after 7 months started experiencing all same issues. Still under warranty so repair guy came out and gave me sample of affresh which does not work. Washer is still under warranty. Has anyone been able to return for this problem alone? Have lg front loader also and no problems yet. anyone experience problems with lg??

May 25, 2009 at 3:11 pm
(125) john says:

I can not believe what I’m reading. I’ve spent the last hour digging mold out of my whirlpool w-d. Nothing like spending thousands of dollars for the right to soak your clothes in mold, mind you nice deep black gunk mold. For the love of all things WTF + is this not the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard of ? Putting dirty clothes into a mold infested bowl, then drying that wet molded towel – oh babe, nothing like getting out the shower and wrapping youself in a warm moldy (spelling)towel. No wonder I have an uncontrollable itch- to think I would ask my wife if she had changed washing detergent- thinking it was allergic reaction – NO SHERLOCK it is the “washed in three pounds of caked on mold” problem. This is, again the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard- make a washer that is a mold breading ground- and ask triple the price !!! And dang – I fell for it- I better go, ifeel the mold that’s caked under my nails, from the last hour of cleaning, may be carrier of swine flu- and I’m not kidding, how the heck can what I just saw in my washer not cause some kinda somthing ? Mr whirlpool should put a big plate of thid mold,gunk,mildew on a commercial and say “wash your clothes in this” that’ll sell

June 7, 2009 at 7:03 pm
(126) Karen says:

OMG! I cannot believe all the posts I just read on this Whirlpool Duet washer! I have religiously following my own steps for washing clothes for the last year.
First, I have to search for socks and small garments that are constantly stuck under the lip of the front seal. After I ring out those and hang them to dry, I then take bleach and a rag to clean the inside of the seal to remove scum and mold. I check the soap trays and always make sure the door stays open when not in use. It’s actually a comedy when you think about adding all these steps to my laundry routine. I should have sent Whirlpool the rags from the first time I cleaned the inside of the rubber rim. I actually became nauseous. I have never encountered a laundry problem like this in my life, and I have been doing laundry a long time. No one should have to pay for a machine like this. Make a call and complain. They know it’s a problem. By the way, I spend $20 on their tablet cure Affresh as well. Another joke.

June 10, 2009 at 9:46 am
(127) Mary Beth says:

I am sooo sick of dealing with this moldy smell on my 3 year old Whirlpool Duet!!! I have used the tablets, what a joke.I remove the detergent tray after every wash to drain the water, wipe out the rubber ring every wash, leave door open at all times. I scrub the mold with bleach, cannot remove it all. I am now getting ready to clean out the filter, trying to prepare myself for what i will find. First though I have to go and buy a special wrench to unscrew the panel!! My husband has had horrible allergies for the past 2-3 years and it is just dawning on me that this could be the problem. Would love to ditch this machine ASAP.

June 12, 2009 at 10:01 pm
(128) Wendy says:

Thank you everyone! This smell has been bothering us for 2 years now. I’ve tried bleach but it only made the smell worse. I thought I’d get online and see if any one else had this problem. I can’t believe what I am reading. My husband has allergies and for the past year or so he has had trouble sleeping. The laundry room is next to our bedroom. Now I’m wondering if its the washer.
My husband is taking the front panel off as I type this. I’ll let you know what we find….

June 15, 2009 at 12:21 pm
(129) Tracy Tsaousis says:

GROSS!!!!
Have had it for 6 yrs.
My girlfriend had it for 6 month and have already done the easy to get to parts. SHE DIDN”T ASK ME BEFROE BUYING. BUt when people do – i tell them to steer clear.
We are in NC (well) and my sisiter-in-law in florida (town water) and as you know… SMELL-a-roma. PLUS!! HOW DISCUSTING it is to think you are “cleaning” your clothes but know it is goign thru the “Mold cycle” with every spin! I AM planning on getting in touch with the CC- something dept and register a complaint. I cannot believe with all the calls and complaints and this blog that they continue to make these machines. Could you all please register a complaint – POWER IN NUMBERS YOU KNOW!! Off I go! (with my clothes going thru the Mold Machine as I write! UGH!)

June 16, 2009 at 1:53 am
(130) Darrell says:

I have mine for just under a year and have similar issues. After reading these comments I had to remove the lower cover and inspect the drain and it had some residue and a horrible smell. I too am wondering if this is having an effect on my family. My 4 year old son has allergies. My basement also has a mold smell which it never had. I think it is time to call Whirlpool and complain.

June 18, 2009 at 10:52 am
(131) Dawn says:

I have had the duet sport for about two years now and noticed the gasket getting moldy which a bleach solution wouldn’t take off. I tried the bleach gel pen and it works, just rub it on and let it dry after you are done laundry. It will leave a white residue, but that can be cleaned off with a damp sponge or paper towel. I haven’t seen the mold return yet. (It’s been a few weeks)

This is the first time in the two years that I have noticed it and I wasn’t leaving the door open (oops), I also learned the hard way where the drain catch is. I will be leaving the bottom panel off from now on.

Here are some tips for those that can’t afford new washers while we wait for the class action lawsuit and a recall.

Don’t use fabric softener – I never use the stuff as I am severely allergic to it as well as Tide, but that’s another story. I only use All free and clear because it is the only thing that I am not allergic to. I do use dryer sheets, but again one made for allergies.

Put all small items in a laundry bag and check the drain regularly. I found four kids socks, 28 cents in change, and a little bit of moldy gunk. If this is the real culprit by a flawed design in the pump there will be evidence of it here. Spray with bleach and let sit. Bleach dissipates on its own, so just let it dry. Put a rag or a lipped cookie sheet down to catch the water out of the drain and to keep the bleach from the floor if you are worried about it staining anything.

Leave the doors open a crack. It shouldn’t have to be all the way open, just enough to let air circulate around and dry everything out. I also only do laundry once a week, about five loads back to back all day (one of white, two of colors, one sheets, and one towels.) and I have a family of five plus two dogs. Anything damp during that time gets hung in the shower to dry before heading to the laundry basket to wait on laundry day. This allows the washer about a week of drying before the next use. I have done this since college when I only had the weekend to do clothes and it still seems the best way for my family.

What I see as the biggest issue is the mold growth would be informed consent. We owners should have been informed about the issue as to make an informed decision and have a full regular maintenance written by the companies of these machines to prevent the growths in the first place.

If we had read the manual and been given a break down on true cleaning of our washers, we could have made the choice to return it or clean it as per instructions. But as they have not and most of us are learning by experience, I would say that they have some compensation due to those that are suffering severely by the health effects of these machines. Also, the design of this drain pump (which should be able to leave next to no water after its cycle and should have a clean out that can be accessed without the removal of the panel, the drum gasket (which should drain into the drum without the lip like the commercial machines), and the soap dispenser (which shouldn’t have that much water left in it after use) should be addressed and redesigned not only for new models but as a recall and replacement for those of us that need it.

I am going to try the bleach in the drum to flush out any mold growing in there just to be safe, but I think the socks weren’t helping matters any. Hope this helps someone that, like me, can’t afford to replace their unit.

June 27, 2009 at 5:58 pm
(132) Vince says:

I had noticed a mildew smell in our front load so when I washed a pair of tennis shoes I added a couple caps full of Mr Clean with Citrus along with the detergent. Have not had the odor back and that was two months ago.

June 29, 2009 at 6:55 pm
(133) esther says:

I cannot believe I have lived with this smelly mold problem for this long and thought it was just the machine wasn’t working properly, the wrong setting, or wrong detergent. It’s MOLD. I removed the panel and we were horrified by the smell. Mold everywhere and a horrible smell that engulfed my whole house. No wonder our clothes never smelled good no matter what I put in. I tried every detergent on the market to no avail. I am so frustrated to have spent so much money on this machine and for this to be a problem now. I think I read that there is a class action lawsuit filed in June of 2008. Does this mean there may be a recall or compensation of some sort?? I cannot tell you how many towels and clothes I have had to throw out because I couldn’t take the smell. How long does a class action suit of this type take to get resolved?
Thank you. I am in the process of cleaning the machine now, i’ll let you know how it turns out.. I’m so excited at the prospect of having fresh clothes again!! imagine that

June 29, 2009 at 7:43 pm
(134) Tom says:

We’ve had our Duet set less than a year and occasionally, we find an odor when moving wet clothes from the washer to the dryer. My wife assumed she was leaving the clothes in the wash too long. I followed Barry C’s instructions and found a safety pin. We did have water in the drain but the smell was not strong. We only found traces of mold on the drain cover. We wiped everything clean with clorox, closed it up and followed the 3 washloads of affresh.

We haven’t had our washer as long as some of the others who have posted but we think that if you are diagnosing a problem its important to really think about your situation. Where you live, how heavy your use is (you may think you wash a lot of clothes until you listen to someone who has five kids not 2)

After reading everyone’s post we came to the following conclusions:

We need to make sure we run the clean cycle once a week, run a cycle with affresh once a month, and periodically check the drain cap.

We also will be diligent when it comes to cleaning out the rubber seal and check it after every load, wiping it dry – the entire inside with a towel to dry it. don’t let water stand.

We also cut back on the amount of soap which seams to work just fine although we might try the powdered tide free. (We were following the washer’s instructions on soap and we feel switching to the soap without animal fat makes sense. We also stopped using softener and our clothes are fine. We clearly needed it in our upright washer, but the low water use of a front loader doesn’t require it.

Another issue we want to mention is the sensor on the dryer. Before you decide to call a repairman, make sure you are following the instructions for drying loads. Balancing the load is important – when we don’t balance it (teens never follow these rules) the clothes take two cycles to dry. This could easily be mistaken for a bad sensor.

In the end we determined to make our financial investment work.

good luck to all. This forum is a great resource.
Tom

July 2, 2009 at 11:23 am
(135) kate says:

Use 1/2 cup of old fashioned BORAX with every load-try it. Sure solved my smelly mold issues. I tried everything before reading this tip on another site. I continue with all the usual-not daring to stop for fear the odor will return!
Leaving door & dispensor draw open
Stopped using the dispensor for detergent now only use for bleach
Avoid fabric softener
Do hot wash weekly with bleach
Always do second rinse-so much for saving water!
Rotate drum after load
Never leave a wet load over night
Dry the rubber inside the door
Good luck.Kate

July 6, 2009 at 10:49 am
(136) Amy says:

I have a Whirlpool Duet washer with the same issue. It smells so bad that now my whole house stinks. It gives me headaches and makes me sick to my stomach. I have always left the door open when not in use. However the smell is so bad that I’m now closing it just to cut down on the odor. I have tried bleach, vinegar, baking soda, bathroom cleaners. I wipe down the rubber seal but nothing helps. I am at the point of buying another washing in fear that all of our clothes are going to start smelling. We have a 3 year old and I’m also concerned for his health.

July 8, 2009 at 4:28 pm
(137) Theresa says:

We are having the same mold issues…I FOUND A SITE FOR A CLASS ACTION SUIT AGAINST WHIRLPOOL…PLEASE GO THERE NOW AND SIGN UP!Whirlpool need to make this right…there is strength in numbers!!!!Good luck to all of you.
http://www.lieffcabraser.com/contact/contact-whirlpool-duet-mold.htm

July 14, 2009 at 11:50 am
(138) LUCY says:

DON’T LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN, IT DRIED UP MY RUBBER AND NOW WASHER LEAKS AND THEY SAY IT CAN’T BE FIXED . MINE IS 5 YRS OLD. I TOO HAVE MOLD ON RUBBER THAT WON’T CLEAN EVEN WITH BLEACH .

July 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm
(139) Janet Thorup says:

Oh my goodness. I have been pulling my hair out! I cannot believe that I purchased this Whirlpool. The nold and smell is so bad. I clean and clean. For a period of time I didn’t realize where the smell was coming from. I did contact Whirlpool and they are sending out some kind of tablet so that I can run a cycle through. This is just a qick fix for a problem I believe will be on-going. Is there any kind of solution to this problem?

July 19, 2009 at 5:55 am
(140) Patty U. says:

I have had a G.E. front-loading machine for about 2 years and noticed the smell about 6 months into it. I, too, thought it was because of an occasional load that was forgotten overnight. Tonight I ‘searched’ online for mold smells in washers, and I am surprised to find such a ‘support group.’

Thanks for all of the ideas. I’ve done the bleach, vinegar, and ammonia. The bleach helps for a couple of weeks, but the smell always comes back. I guess a hot bleach wash once a week might be the answer.

We’re not able to take anything apart on this machine cuz the screws need special tools, so we’re stuck just faking it. I did take out the dispenser, and it was a little slimy but there wasn’t any mold. The rubber seal around the drum plugs up really easily, and I do have to check that routinely.

I really resent having to leave the door open on a machine that could have been designed better. Our washer happens to be near the garage door, so we’re always banging the two against one another – and the door already droops from being bumped.

And, no matter what we like to think, an open washer is an invitation for young children – while playing, they can shut one another (or a pet) inside and not realize the danger. I’m not being hysterical – my husband is a pediatrician, and a child here died that way about a year ago.

Anyway, it’s good to know that I’m not alone in hating how I’m gonna smell after a shower!

July 20, 2009 at 9:36 pm
(141) Becky says:

Hi everyone,

This is the most supportive and informative blog I’ve ever read!! I THOUGHT I had diligently researched frontloaders before I purchased a set at Lowe’s YESTERDAY, the Frigidaire Affinity. I haven’t seen that brand mentioned here, but I already knew mold could be a problem, and thought just wiping down the bellows, leaving the door open, and running a bleach cycle once a week would prevent the mold from forming. Obviously, I didn’t do enough research, and am so glad I found this blog.

I don’t know what I’m going to do now–keep or return. I have had asthma and migraines for 20+ years, and strong smells of any kind can cause my asthma to act up, or cause a migraine. I bought this machine in order to conserve water, and the 4 loads I did today showed me that I will be doing that, but at what cost to my health? Such a lot to think about.

I am so sorry, and feel so badly, for those of you, and your children, whose lives have been changed forever by this black mold. I do think the class-action suit against Whirlpool will be won, too much evidence out there for it not to happen. Other manufacturers will have to change their designs, as well, I would think.

I really needed a new washer and dryer, and Lowe’s will usually deliver the next day. So, and this is the funny thing, I walked into that Lowe’s and was prepared to by the Whirlpool Duet Sport–YES!!! They had the dryer, but not the washer, but could get it in two weeks. I said, no, I didn’t want to wait, and chose the Frigidaire Affinity washer and dryer. If I had come upon this blog, and had the Duet pair sitting in my laundry area right now, there would be no question they’d be going back tomorrow! BTW, one of the Lowe’s salesmen told me that the mold problem seems to be worse in ANY front loader larger than 3.1-3.7 cubic feet. I don’t know if that’s true, but I steered clear of all of the larger washers after he told me that. He did not deny that mold was a problem, to some degree, with all front loaders.

Thanks again to all of you, for being willing to share your stories. You helped me, and probably countless others who will choose not post here. Many of you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

July 20, 2009 at 9:54 pm
(142) Becky says:

Hello again, one more thing I meant to say. My mother has ALWAYS told me to leave the lid up all the time on a top loader machine, or mold will grow. She has done this for years and years, and reminds us kids from time to time not to forget to do it. So, I have. Now, if I keep this front loader, I don’t have a choice, I have to do it. My laundry area is in the bathroom, like someone else posted. I’ll have to keep the bathroom door shut all the time, to keep my cats from crawling it, as they will surely do, if given the opportunity. Just one more thing to remember to do…..

July 25, 2009 at 5:12 pm
(143) Jim says:

I solved this problem easily by getting rid of my smelly washer and just wearing the same clothes every day. Now all I have is my cool Metallica T-shirt, some shorts, socks and my lucky underwear. At night I wash them in the shower then I wash myself. Dude, I’m tellin ya no headaches and I save money too.

July 29, 2009 at 9:10 am
(144) Katie says:

I can’t believe we all have been duped. I purchased a Frigidaire Gallery a couple of years ago. I kept blaming my teenagers for smelly towels and incorrect laundering methods. I believe it may is the cause of several urinary tract infections because of moldy towels! I’ve spent the last six months on antibiotics, and now I do believe I’ve found the source of my infections. Yuck! I will be contacting the consumer safety board.
I only shared this personal info. because I hope it helps other people who may have experienced similar problems.

July 30, 2009 at 8:41 pm
(145) erica says:

I can’t belive all the things we have to do to own a washing machine that cleans our clothes I spent good money on the duet 3 years ago and have the same problems all of you have. I have gone all the way to the V.P. of whirlpool and they won’t do anything. I see all the post about try this try that well nothing works and I can’t belive we are all making our laundry duties take 10 steps to have this machine I hope we can all ban togeather and make them make this right.

August 3, 2009 at 8:10 pm
(146) Mike says:

Two things come to mind with these wash machines and lingering odors. The first is to look behind the rubber door ring. Things can get stuck in there an smell. Dry it out with a microfiber rag. The second requires more work. There are three screws that hold the piece below the door. Remove that piece and clean the trap. Fabreeze is a good friend in humid smelly places. There is a product for sale to remove wash machine odors as well. Good luck

August 20, 2009 at 7:31 pm
(147) Robert says:

We bought the pricey Whirlpool Duet washer and dryer almost 3 years ago. Can’t remember when but we noticed mold on the gray rubber seal, not where it folds back, but at the top where you can see when you open the door. We folded the seal back and it was all gunky in there too, some mold too. We performed a cleaning cycle as per the manual and do that about once every 6 months. Also, every day we (or I should say I) wipe the washer out behind the seal up on both sides and dry any water that’s visible. Since then we’ve never really had a problem there, although the seal is stained black from mold and won’t go away. But it’s a pain to have to dry the machine out daily, or sometimes multiple times a day. Last week my wife noticed black spots in the detergent dispenser, so I cleaned that with CLR cleaner as well as diluted bleach solution after. There was no mold growing from the top. After reading the horror stories on here and post 13 I decided to open up the front panel. Surprising it was actually clean! No mold at all. If there was mold in there my wife would have ordered the machine out right there and then!!!

Last night I also ran a cleaning cycle with Tide Washing Machine Cleaner, specifically made for HE machines. Machine smells pretty clean. Had to dry it out after though, again! Ugh!

My wife does a pretty good job of cleaning out pockets. I think that’s important. A lot of people with gunk/mold build up had coins and stuff in the filter. It also seems that daily maintenance is required in order to prevent a smelly moldy front seal. Doing a cleaning cycle as per the manual seems to keep things in check too.

Seems like a pain, but seems like it’s the solution to keeping the machine healthy.

August 24, 2009 at 6:22 pm
(148) Lyzz says:

I can’t believe all the complaints regarding this dryer and nothing has been done about it! I too have the awful moldy smell. This is ridiculous :(

August 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm
(149) james says:

We’ve have the Duet for about a year. Just noticed a slight odor on the towels after washing. Having been alerted to the problem by a friend with the same machine I swung into action. I ran a Hot Wash with bleach this AM to clean things out. This helped with the next load which did not have the smell – so if your odor problem is mild this would the first step I would take.

Next thing I opened the front as per post #13. Mine did not have Torx screws on it – just three small headed hex screws. I did not have a small enough socket to remove – but Home Depot sells a mini socket set from Husky for $5 and that did the trick.

Upon removal of the filter screw I found a build up of hair and what looked like tissue paper residue. There were no coins or anything large. There was also signs of the start of some black mold. Not a lot. But a perceptible amount with the accompanying nasty smell. Out with the bleach and a sponge and it all cleaned up.

Upon inspection I have to agree that this unit has an inherent design flaw – the ribbed pipe into the filter and the fact that the filter drains out half way up the filter body seem designed to trap water in the system after every use. I cant see any way that the system would ever drain dry. Based on the amount of water that came out when I removed the filter I cant see that leaving the door(s) open would help much. I dont see a path back to fresh air for the water that is sitting there. It probably can’t help – but if you’ve got ANY mold in there already I don’t see it curing the problem.

So – thanks to all for the posts here.

It’s certainly annoying to have to put so much work into keeping an expensive appliance functioning properly but I would encourage anyone with early symptoms to check the filter ASAP. It only takes about 10 minutes and I certainly feel better knowing that the gunk that was in there is now no longer festering underneath my washer.

Best of luck to all.

August 30, 2009 at 10:04 am
(150) Samantha says:

I have an LG for 10 months. So far no smelly problem. However, with few exceptions I only use WHTIE VINEGAR for the rinse cycle. I read that fabric softener is a coating on your fabrics and makes it difficult to remove soap. My towels smell wonderfully fresh.

Although, I’m not having problems with mold/mildew I AM HAVING OTHER PROBLEMS WITH THIS LG MACHINE WM0642H. Even though, my hot water heater is set at 120 degrees and I do laundry way after we shower and wash dishes, the wash water temperature is not hot enough. On the HOT CYCLE (the machine brings in hot water and cold water) the TEMPERATURE OF THE WASH WATER (in the tub) IS ONLY 91 DEGREES. Same problem with WARM CYCLE…. the TEMPERATURE OF THE WASH WATER (in the tub) ranges between 67 degrees and 83 degrees. I read that HOT should be at least 130; and warm should be 90 – 110 degrees; cold should be 60 – 80 degrees.
Has anyone else checked the temperature to see if they are getting the proper temp. I read you need a certain temp for detergents to work and I believe also to dissolve the detergent so this mold problem doesn’t occur and also need hot (130 degrees) to kill dust mites.

September 1, 2009 at 11:38 pm
(151) Ed says:

Addition to Number 13 posting

Under the front lower panel, there are three T-20 Torx head screws that you remove to expose the drain pump, and large round plastic filter screen located in the front center of the unit. The end facing you of that plastic screen is the cap of that screen. Put a dish rag or hand towel under the cap to catch a little water and remove the cap Or revove Torx scerew in the lower center of filter unit and slid forward over a pan to collect excess water. The screen is a part of the cap, and it all comes out together. Bleached the plastic screen, and wiped out the drain screen container with a dampned bleached rag. Removed the Detergent dispencer, taking it apart, and cleaned it inside and out, with a little bleach in warm water. Cleaned any mold also from the large grey rubber seal around the door. Fold back that small lip on that rubber seal that seals around the large glass bowl of the door. Kill with bleach, any traces of mold that can be in that area too. Put it all back together, adding Silcon to the Black Gasket on the strainer to prevent leakage. Then added a 1/4 cup of bleach to the dispencer and ran the machine empty on sanitize cycle. Remember Never leave damp clothes in the unit and always leave the Door ajar when not in use, and open the dispneser tray

September 2, 2009 at 12:33 am
(152) Ed says:

Update to 13 and 151

After removing the Detergent dispenser, also clean out the top of the dispenser area. If you use a liquid fabric softener you will find a mold coated slime left from the rinse cycle and the fabric softener. Fresh rinse water passes through/over this area on every rinse cycle coating you clothes with moldy fabric softener residue. We stopped using Fabric Softener and the smell and slime buildup has gone way.

September 11, 2009 at 4:05 pm
(153) Dave Sass says:

Interesting forum. We are moving into a brand new home and guess what washer/drier they have in it. You guessed it – a Whirlpool duet. Apparently the builder got a real good deal on these from a factory direct outlet. I let him know about the issue and told him to tell the place he bought them from to pick them up. We are currently using a Maytag FL washer and drier. They are about 2 years old and are now owned by whirlpool. Apparently ours don’t have this issue as we have never had a mold problem with it. We are planning on moving ours over to the new home. If the builder won’t replace them, someone else will have to deal with these.

September 11, 2009 at 9:09 pm
(154) Robert says:

Wow, After all these years, I thought there was something else going on! ! me and my wife bought a Duet Washer/dryer in ’04 hot off the shelves, and We’ve had funky clothes and mildew towels for years! Constantly replacing clothes and thinking one of us left the stuff in the washer too long, or the dryer didn’t dry completely, etc. We’ve been making excuses and lots of grief for nothing! Is it too late to complain to whirlpool or get anything done about it ? we’ve had them 5 years now ?! Thanks!

September 12, 2009 at 7:47 pm
(155) barbara says:

We too bought our whirlpool duet about 4 yrs. ago. Our clothes have smelled badly for about that long. We have thrown clothes away, and have seen a doctor thinking we had some type of perspiring problem. We may take Ed’s advice or return them to Lowe’s. Anyone suggest another front loader?

September 16, 2009 at 11:37 am
(156) Sunrise says:

This problem is NOT unique to Whirlpool at all. We have a Sears Kenmore which is only 2-3 yrs old and have had these problems since shortly after the first year. I blamed myself and never contacted the manufacturer. Are there any front-loads that ARE safe? We are building a new house with 2nd floor laundry and were considering a Samsung because the drum is not belt-driven. Should we maybe just totally abandon the front-load? Thoughts?

September 24, 2009 at 1:11 pm
(157) Lori Perry says:

I am also fed up w/ smelly towels. I have a Kenmore front-end washer/dryer. Have tried everything – calling out service man (no help – did nothing but give me Affresh), tried Affresh tablets (no help), use only HE detergent, don’t use too much detergent, leave door open, run “Clean Washer Cycle” at least once a month…. Someone PLEASE HELP! This is ridiculous, for what we paid for these applicances!

September 24, 2009 at 1:32 pm
(158) Judy Feller says:

We bought our Whirlpool Duet set sev. yrs. ago & have the same complaints as many of you–moldy, gunky build-up on washer door & other parts; smell in laundry area & even when you walk in the front door;clothes don’t come clean;fab. softener dispenser quit working within wks. of purchase;I have daily sneezing sessions,body itches–& after follow-up x-rays for melanoma 20+ yrs.,latest x-ray shows “granulomas” in lungs–due to mold spores!

September 26, 2009 at 11:43 am
(159) ThomasLue says:

I would like to try #13 Barry’s procedure on my Duet washer. Is it possible to add a photo on this site to explain where to find the Torx screws? Or maybe someone can post a link to a schematic drawing (shop manual) of a Duet washer? Thanks!

October 1, 2009 at 8:30 pm
(160) Sue says:

What has been Whirlpool’s response to the mold problem? How are they going to fix this for all the thousand’s of customers with mold in the Duet’s.

October 3, 2009 at 2:06 am
(161) A Concerned Citizen says:

ALL Whirlpool produced front load washers are prone to Biofilm on both commercial and residential models. Not only is Whirlpool aware of the issue, they have contaminated some of their own employees. the issue is potentially catastrophic financially for the entire industry, representing BILLIONS in liability exposure.

Whirlpool knowingly placed contaminated washers in the benton Harbor MI school system. This happened as a result of middle managers not understanding the severity of the problem. Once the severity was recognized, Whirlpool worked quickly to dispose of the remaining washers and documentation of the contamination. As of today no effort has been made to recover the contaminated washers from the Benton Harbor High School.

The more frequently the washer is operated, the less likely it is to form a toxic biofilm. It is also recommended that if the washer is used infrequently, that the door remain partially open after use to increase airflow.

Whirlpool has advertised a position for an engineer to design a fan forced air system for all front loads to eliminate the issue, but what about the millions of units already sold?

How many people are already sick and do not know the root cause?

Talk to your news anchor, congressman, senator, BBB, Consumer Protection Agency and blogger. Get it out there that front load washers present a serious health risk to the public at large.

October 3, 2009 at 12:17 pm
(162) Sabrina Robertson says:

I am completely exhausted and feeling sick after reading all of these comments. I can’t believe there are a few that can possibly defend the obvious issues of owning front Load washers manufactured by Whirlpool, etc. I own a Sears Kenmore Elite HE3T that I purchased 4 or so years ago. I have experienced all of the problems mentioned including illness (myself and 5 year old grandson). I joined a class action lawsuit mentioned under one of the reviews. Hopefully our voices will be heard at some point. In the mean time I am going to buy a top loader and keep the lip open when not in use. There are no words to describe the contempt I feel for a manufacturer of a product who continues to market goods that can lead to sickness and possibly death.

October 3, 2009 at 7:01 pm
(163) Shop Maven VA says:

Do the Steam version of these front load machines have the same mold issues? I’m hoping that the manufacturers added the steam for that very reason… My old top loader broke yesterday after 17 years — need to buy something new. Husband wanted front loader, I’m afraid of mold. Is the new steam feature the solution to the mold problem?

October 8, 2009 at 2:27 pm
(164) Valerie says:

We had previously had a maytag neptune washer and dryer combo and had these problems with the washer the dryer had other problems they are now sitting in my husbands shop not being used at all and I paid alot for them as well. We now have the whirlpool duet washer and dryer combo and I have not had any problems with mold in the washer but I do leave the door and the soap dispencer opened when I am finished washing the clothes. I do however have a problem with a bad smell in the dryer am I the only one? I do not want to get rid of it because I like this set I just need to get rid of the smell. How? Thanks for any solutions!!!
I have not called the company. These are alot better than MAYTAG BY FAR YOU CAN’T EVEN GET ANYONE FROM MAYTAG TO ANSWER YOU.

October 16, 2009 at 5:41 am
(165) Tony says:

Writing in from New Zealand. I’m finding this quite interesting, as I’ve had my (Italian) Ariston front loader now for 8 years, plus I know others who have European front loaders too. We’ve never had mold issues, if anything, only those who didn’t wipe the rubber door gasket.

Your issues in Nth America sound very serious. As a mere observer, I’m keen to find out what is contributing to this. Design faults (inexperience of US makers in front load machines vs. Europeans who’ve had them since the ’50s), water temperature (do your machines have on-board water heaters that maintain wash temperature), consumables (liquid detergent vs. powder, fabric softener use), use of cold wash (I never wash cold, always 40C/104F for most items, and 60C/140F for whites and sheets).

I only found out about maintenance washes (I do mine at 90C/203F) a few months ago, and opened my filter/drain for the first time early this year, only out of curiosity. A bit of gunk, but that’s it. Ariston is not known as a quality brand in Europe, but your problems make my machine look like a Mercedes in comparison.

I hope that US makers get their act together and design them right to start with, as there is merit to front loaders — water and electricity are very expensive outside North America, half a billion Europeans and others can’t all be wrong. I can’t see why Nth Americans shouldn’t get the benefits everyone else is enjoying.

October 16, 2009 at 4:34 pm
(166) housewares says:

Thanks so much everyone for all the helpful information and tips you’ve been providing. Dealing with mold in our expensive front-loaders is such a terrible situation, we can only be proactive with maintenance and learn from each other.
As one commenter mentioned, images of what to do to get inside the washer, would be very helpful. If someone wanted to send me images, I’d try to get them up and link them to this thread. Please ensure images are yours to share and include whom I should credit them to.

Send them with instructions to housewares.guide@about.com

Thanks again everyone and keep the tips coming.

October 16, 2009 at 7:53 pm
(167) Linda says:

I have the same problems that everyone has stated. Will try #13 recommendation when I am ready to stomach the grossness. I probably will also replace the rubber seal just to reduce the amount of mold. Is this something I can do myself? Truly disappointed and pray we don’t have serious health risks later in our lives. Filed a complaint with Whirlpool and added my name to the list for the link above.

October 21, 2009 at 8:30 am
(168) john price says:

i have a hotpoint first edition front loader and have had a smell in my kitchen that has had me clean out the fridge, cupboards, bin ,floor with bleach and other cleaning products to no avail, then to find black mold not in the soap draw but in the draw holder and on the outside of the draw all out of site was a shock .I have spent the last hour cleaning all the components with bleach in a hope that the problem may clear up .

October 27, 2009 at 12:57 pm
(169) marla says:

has anyone tried sharon w.’s suggestion about the silver as per post #59? we have been thinking about frontloaders and in doing research came across the samsung silvercare models that have a silver bar that releases a trace amount of silver to kill 99.9% of odor causing bacteria. you can read about it here: http://products.howstuffworks.com/samsung-silvercare-wf337aa-front-loading-washer-review.htm

someone out there try the silver (as well as 13′s suggestions) and report back. in fact, i have a friend who has an lg with the stink problem, i’ll have her try it.

October 27, 2009 at 1:41 pm
(170) Will G says:

I followed Disgusted Duet Owner’s advice and filed a complaint with the CPSC.

Given the number of complaints about this washer, I think Whirlpool should be forced to recall it.

Enough is enough!

October 28, 2009 at 9:35 am
(171) Greg says:

yup – same issues – whirlpool duet from 2005 -called whirlpool and the main customer service, guy said “no recalls if this is a safety issue i can transfer you to safety dept” talked to them, my healthy kids are getting mysterious (not anymore) respiratory problems and ear infections!!! they are sending a technician (no charge) to inspect the machine. i am basically following the steps to get a full refund and/or lawsuit. this is absolutely crazy!! i have done the front panel thing a while back and cleaned debris but it has persesited and gotten worse. please keep posts coming!!!

November 5, 2009 at 11:58 pm
(172) Stacy says:

#13 thank you for the advice! We’ve always noticed a smelly problem, and smelly towels -we just tried the method (opening the front bottom panel -what a pain to have to remove these different type of screws ever so often, for upkeep!). I was disgusted at what we found -same thing everyone else had found (slimy gunky black grose stuff).
Theresa -thank you for posting the class action link -I definitely filled out the form. I’m glad we found this page.

November 6, 2009 at 2:42 pm
(173) Dave R says:

Has anyone talked with a lawyer about the problem with the front load Whirlpool/KitchenAid/Sears washers?

November 6, 2009 at 6:27 pm
(174) Dave R says:

My family has been getting a lot of eye infections. Doctors can’t figure out were there coming from?

November 8, 2009 at 5:33 pm
(175) hanners says:

about the MOLD: this was my main concern before buying these appliances because of the many issues that users have had with mold.

But i have not read a response to these reviews that bring up the issue of HIGH EFFICIENCY DETERGENT. In the instruction manual for the whirlpool duets it specifically says that failure to use HE detergent could result in mold in your machine.

I have enjoyed my machines for several months and have had no problems with mold. I have only and always used HE detergent – which is NOT more expensive, just more limited in selection.

Just some FYI for someone out there who may have these worries like i did. Don’t worry. Just read your instruction booklet before using and FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS.

happy laundering!

November 9, 2009 at 8:19 pm
(176) liz says:

Thank you for all your comments. I am looking for a new washer and dryer and will avoid the front loaders thanks to you all. I also have a huge concern about the quest for energy effiecency. While I strongly believe in protecting our environment I also believe in killing germs. I am trying to buy a washing machine that has a hot cycle that reaches atleast 110 degrees but the hottest hot cycle on the market only reaches 80 degrees. Sure they keep the settings the same (hot,warm,cold)so we the American consumers don’t get upset. And we wonder why we have a swine flu epidemic. We are no longer allowed to wash our clothes in hot water in America. As I have stated they still have the hot option on the machine dials but the new hot is the old warm, the new warm is the old cold. My forehead is hotter than 80 degree water. This is fraud. I was told by a whirlpool service rep. to connect a hose to my kitchen faucet and run it to my washing machine(hello!this is not 1950!) and then told that the duets had a sanitizing option in a rinse cycle that reached 155 degrees and would be a great fit for me. So I found your web site and glad I did. It doesn’t sound like your sanitizing option works to well. It is criminal what you have been through. I’m so sorry for the heartache, headaches, illnesses, and frustrations you all have endured. God bless you all. And thank you for saving my family the same outcome.

November 18, 2009 at 3:32 pm
(177) svenska says:

I also have the same problem with mold in my whirlpool duet front loader. Have had it for years and just found out my 4 year old son is highly allergic to mold. I keep the door open ,but still I get mold and it smells in my laundry room. Disgusting!!!! payed a lot of money for this thing and I wish they had recall on this.

November 21, 2009 at 12:26 am
(178) Alice says:

Haven’t had a mold problem yet. We purchased our LG FL washer & dryer about a month ago. We replaced our frigidare top loading washer and dryer because of smelly clean clothes. Little did I realize by buying a front loader I might have the same problem again, but at a much higher cost. Did check, wipe and drain everything as suggested in previous posts. Also, at least once a month with our top loader, my husband washed his detailing cloths in a solution of 1 cup ZEP purple cleaner, 1 cup Simple Green and 1 cup clorox in hot water, including soaking and resetting wash cycle and we still had smelly clothes. So I’m not sure these products would work for an existing FL mold problem?? Maybe as a preventative measure, since it didn’t help our top loading washer. Will stop using liquid soap and fabric softener. Does anyone have any thoughts about “green” laundry products. Do they help?? If so which products. Apparently from previous posts, regular liquid soaps and fabrics softeners are so high in animal that they may contribute to the mold problems. I appreciate everyone taking the time to contribute their experiences; I am shocked that the problem is this widespread. With our top loading washer, I thought my husband was imagining the problem and I would get upset at him when the threw clean clothes back into the laundry. Not anymore.

November 23, 2009 at 10:02 am
(179) kelleyhome says:

Same problem as stated. I use cold water, Oxyclean instead of bleach, elcheap-o Costco soap, and no fabric softener. About 3 loads/week.

I noticed mildew right away and had been regularly cleaning the rubber gaskit that you see when you open the door. Still mildew smells.

The soap dispenser was moldy in places that you can’t see. My husband found a penny in the filter but very little mildew in the drain trap.

The manager at the grocery store has the same problem.
He said the mildew/mold is on the inside of the steel drum between the sleeve and the drum (where you can’t reach). They run a cycle with 1/2 Gallon (yes half gallon) of bleach about once a month.

Because the washer is level water sits in there AND the drum stops in the same place every time. So you can just turn it a half turn.

1/2Gallon? That seems excessive. We have septic so I didn’t try that. Instead I ran the White’s cycle with 1C oxyclean powder and 1/2 baking soda. The drum came out smelling clean.

Next time, I will put a towel or two in there also. Because there was nothing in there, nearly all the water drained out before the spin cycle. Don’t know if that made a difference.

I’m not sure how much of this is urban legend. Maybe someone can confirm the stuff I just posted.

Our Eurpean friends are right. This ‘green’ econo non-sense is …non-sense. I’m polluting MORE, not less.

November 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm
(180) Ruth says:

I have the Electrolux set–pricey, but love it. I have had it for over a year. It is front loading and very large. 4.0 cu feet washer and 7.0 cubic feet dryer. The only mold I’ve ever had is on the rubber gasket. Maybe the foreign brands are better?

December 4, 2009 at 1:38 am
(181) Al says:

I opened the washer up as described by others and found no mold, but did the cleaning anyway. There is some brown/black stain on the rubber ring on the washer opening but no trace of mold on or above the detergent dispenser. Perform the maintanance with bleach in the drum and bleach in the dispenser and ran a Whitest White cylce ( no cleaning cycle on my Duet).

My washer is about 6 years old and have never used any fabric softener as I do have water softener system. I have never performed any maintanance or left the door open after wash. However, if I left a washed load overnight,then the load will dry with some bad smell and need to be rewashed.

A word of encouragement for existing or to be frontloader owner. The frontloader does seem to be used with extra care on what is being poured into it. Liquid fabric softener seems to be a deadly combination with the imperfect engineering. Just be careful with how you use or what you use in it.

December 6, 2009 at 9:46 pm
(182) Christy says:

To the comment that the German models do not have problems- HA Our model we just moved out of the house bue to the mold problems casueing chonic sinus infections, skin problems and enlarged tonsils in my 3 year old and my 18 month old diagnosed with asthma and allergies due to mold. This product is toxic, I am waiting for a call from the safety department at whirlpool and I am filing a report with the CPSC which everyone should do.

December 12, 2009 at 6:45 pm
(183) Laurie says:

There is always water sitting on the rubber gasket in the door and sitting in the rubber gasket. There is also always water in the dispensors. Is this normal? I have a GE WHCV6800 and wonder if its working as designed or needs repair.

December 28, 2009 at 2:52 pm
(184) Tammy says:

Oh my goodness, I have the same stinky problem. I got a GE front loader 2 years ago and I just can’t get to the bottom of this stink. I just received a call from the appliance man that I bought the washer from and he is telling me to run washer macgic soap in it every 2 to 3 months. I am off to the appliance to to buy some. I hope this works!

December 29, 2009 at 12:19 pm
(185) J says:

Have been getting the same smell in the clothes after wearing them – mildewy smell.

Cleaned the lower filter and it was a little moldy but had more junk like scum. Seemed like gray soap buildup but we use the HE stuff and no softeners. Found coins and hairpins which caught debris. A little training to empty the pockets will help with that. But it did stink like mildew.

Also removed the pump assembly and washed and bleached thoroughly.
Also removed the flex hose because it was very discusting inside. It seems like a water and dirt trap but the hose has to be designed like that to accomdate the motion of the drum. Maybe the pump could be mounted on the drum assembly instead but something has to allow movement. I do agree that the intake should be at the bottom of the bowl and not on the side.

Never had any mold in the soap dispenser – it is always clean. But always wondered why there was water in there after a cycle. It seems like there is water in there a days after a cycle even when there was no water in there before – like a valuve leaks allowing water to flow to places when not in use.

I am curious about the locations that most with the worst mold have their washers installed.

We have ours in the house where humidity is low- not in the basement, garage or bathroom. Just wondering if the mold problem is greater is a higher humidity area.

Also to those that say they are getting sick from the mold. How is this happening? Just curious because I have one daughter that is always having sinus infections but we related it to allergies not mold(she tested negative to mold allergies). Are you getting sick from airborne mold or from the clothes or what? Trying to to understand that connection.

Thanks to this thread for directing me to clean the lower filter. I wish it was easier to get to. It should have a door and not require a unscrewing three screws.

January 2, 2010 at 12:16 am
(186) Sophia says:

I have the same the issue and I am frustrated and thought mold was part of doing laundry in this machine. I had no idea that I was one of many. I say class action suit! Also, my washer fills up without any help. It is off and on any given occassion it fills up and does not drain. I have to run it several times to drain, costly. I am stuck and with headaches for several days at a time. I am not sure if that is stemming from this mold issue that has occupied my home for almost a handful of years. I did not know what to do but to leave my laundry door open daily when not in use. Help!

January 3, 2010 at 12:07 pm
(187) TeamWelsh says:

Hmmmmmm…troubling. Just got back from the appliance store to do my own research. The salesman raved about the Duets. I have to assume no design changes have occured to prevent this issue?

I was all excited to go high efficiency, now I want to guard my 13 year old traditional equipment!

January 4, 2010 at 10:56 pm
(188) Rich L says:

I have had the Whirlpool Duet since 2003, about 7 1/2 years, and I noticed a slight mildew smell inside the washer. There is no transference to washed items. It really is not a problem, but if I can eliminate it I would certainly prefer that.
After reading the posts on this site, I took off the front cover and removed the pump screen. I only found 2 pennies, no gunk of any kind, otherwise clean. I peeled back the door gasket and found a very small amount of lint, no evidence of and mold, black marks, etc. anywhere.
I want to say that until I read this post I was not aware of any monthly maintenance procedure, so needless to say I have never done it.
The rear drain tube appeared clean and completely free from any build up.
I have only used Sears powdered detergent since I bought the machine, non HE type. I was told to use only half a measure of the little spoon, I would say about 2 tablespoons, and it has always worked great. I have spent less than $10 a year on detergent! I rarely use softener, about once every 50 loads, bleach once every 25 loads. We do approximately 1 load every day.
We have the machine on a pedestal in a dry pantry within our main living space. Overall I am quite satisfied with my 7 + year experience. I will try the maintenace procedure to see if it deals with the slight mildew odor. I noticed that Tide has come out with a Washing Machine Cleaner product, I might try it too.
I am sorry to hear about the bad experiences others are having, based on my experience it would seem that it is something like the detergent, softener or the machine’s environment that may be the issue.
Rich

January 12, 2010 at 12:57 pm
(189) Denise says:

I AM FINALLY RELIEVED THAT THIS IS NOT JUST ME. I WISH I HAD REVIEWED THIS MACHINE BEFORE WE DROPPED 1000 DOLLARS ON IT AND HAVE CONTINUALLY HAD MOLD & MILDEW ISSUES. I HAVE HAD TO THROW OUT SETS OD TOWELS THAT NEVER SEEMED CLEAN AND SMELLED SO BAD WHEN YOU WIPED OFF AFTER A CLEAN SHOWER. NOW I KNOW WHY. WE WERE DRYING OUR CLEAN BODIES WITH MOLD. BLACK MOLD WHIC CAN BE DEADLY. WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR WHIRLPOOL TO STAND BEHIND THESE WASHERS DEFECT? A DEATH?? THEY SHOULD BE ASSHAMED OF THEMSELVES TRYING TO PUSH OFF A TABLET TO CLEAN THE “SMELL” BLACK MOLD CANNOT BE CLEANED OUT. ALSO, I HAVE SUFFERED FROM SEVERE ALLERGIES THIS PAST YEAR AND WAS SKIN TESTED AND POSITIVE FOR MOLD. I HAVE ALSO SUFFERRED FROM BREATHING ISSUES THROUGHOUT THIS TIME AND LIVE ON ALLERGY PILLS YEAR ROUND AND HAVE BEEN SCHEDULED FOR DESENSITISING SHOTS BECAUSE MY ALLERGY IS SO BAD. PLEASE FOR YOUR FAMILIES, CHILDRENS AND PETS SAKE….DO NOT BUY THIS MACHINE. I AM GETTING MINE OUT OF MY HOUSE IMMEDIATELY. SHAME ON YOU WHILRPOOL. SLEEP WELL AT NIGHT KNOWING YOU ARE POISONING INNOCENT VICTIMS ON A DAILY BASIS AND MOST ARE UNKNOWING, AS I WAS UNTIL I GOOGLED THIS YESTERDAY AND FOUND THIS NIGHTMARE.

January 13, 2010 at 10:45 pm
(190) Jantina says:

THANK YOU BARRY …. oh my god … a sock, a kids necklace, some good coins and a lot of gunk – UGH!!!! My machine actually stopped working and I happened upon your comments – My hubby says THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! It had actually not drained a whole wash load worth of water … so for future fixers …. be careful in taking off the cap!!!

Also I do have a lot of probs with the boot – always having to wash it out with bleach or something very strong.

January 14, 2010 at 6:39 pm
(191) DW says:

I have the front load GE washer. They are 2 years old. The past several months the smell is getting worse. I keep it clean. I have tried all the tablets they sell, bleach. They dont work. My son 12 started developing body rash. I thought it may be food allergies. But think it may be from mold allergies. Endless Dr.s visites

January 16, 2010 at 8:45 pm
(192) karen says:

We just bought 1/12/10 Whirlpool Duet washer and dryer , bought a samsung and heard that they were having part problems and not returning phone calls ,so we canclled the order. Now we see all these e-mails . OMG now what do we do ? I had a Maytag Neptune set for 10ys. no problems,except tiny mold prpblem. Now my next question is ,nobody mentions what lanudry soap they use and how much?And do they use Fabric softner ? I really think that might be the problem … My girl friend uses the most popular one and she had problems with her Maytag Nuptune .(6yrs)I think it gunks up stuff.

January 17, 2010 at 11:43 am
(193) Rich L says:

I am sorry folks but I hate to get scientific on you…I have had a heavily used Duet front loading washer for 7 + years with no problems.
Fo mold to grow you need 2 things… moisture and food.
Mold is every where and we only notice it when it is able to multiply out of control. Getting back to moisture and food, you obviously have the moisture in all washers…now for the food part….there is nothing in the parts of the machine that are food for the mold. So the food must be coming from what you put in the machine.
There so many variables involved, i.e., water quality, do you know what is in your water?, detegent brand, detergent quantity, fabric softener, brand , amount used, machine location, etc…
my gues is there is something not completely washing out of your machine at the end of every wash, which mold finds appealing to eat, my initial guess would be the fabric softener. It is designed to coat whatever it comes in contact with. Also, if you are using the product maufacturer’s recommendation as to how much product to use, you are using 200- 400% too much , remember, the more you use, the faster you have to buy more. So something is building up in the machine that mold likes to eat, I would try the clean out procedure and then stop using fabric softener for a few months, my guess is your problem will go away.

January 27, 2010 at 12:28 pm
(194) hanners says:

Rich L, I also have never had problems with mine and besides using HE detergent only, I don’t use fabric softener either. Maybe that’s the key! I also live in extremely dry climate and leave the door open after I’m finished with it.

January 29, 2010 at 3:08 pm
(195) crystal says:

There is currently a class action lawsuit being filed for this. Does anyone else also suffer with the dryer in this set not drying clothes in a reasonable time? Here is the link to the attorney:http://www.lieffcabraser.com/

February 2, 2010 at 12:00 pm
(196) Kati says:

Well, we have had our Duet washer and dryer for over 2 years. Just recently I noticed a musty smell in the washer. I did the Clorox cleaning cycle but the odor persisted. So, today I found this site and read all the comments and experiences. I have just cleaned the dispenser compartment with Lysol Mold and Mildew Remover and found a bit of black mold on top, but nothing significant. I then sprayed the inside of the drum all around with the Lysol, as well as the inside of the rubber sealing ring, etc. I did have a small (about 2″ long) mildew spot on the lower front of the rubber ring, but it came right off with the Lysol. I opened the front per #13 instructions, and undid the drain cover. Nothing significant there except a bit of soap residue (or could have been fabric softener residue as I use that all the time), so I cleaned it out with the Lysol also. Now the washer smells fresh and clean and I do feel better about the entire thing. Perhaps I caught mine very early, and I will surely run the cleaning cycle, stop using fabric softener, and be more vigilant about the other things from now on. All in all, I love my washer and dryer and hope I can keep it from having the issues many of you have with such severity.

February 8, 2010 at 4:57 pm
(197) Stan says:

With the health issues associated with MOLD and the pervasive problem, I ask WHERE is the Trial Lawier seeking a Million $$ case? This appears to be a Class Action Lawsuit BEGGING for a Champion.

February 12, 2010 at 7:36 am
(198) Joe says:

I have purchased the Whirlpool Duet HT WFW9400SW washer on August 2007. The problem is that the washer leaks every time I use the bulky items or sanitary cycle. Also, it leaks during the normal cycle set with hot or super hot water temp in spite of the fact that I use HE detergent all the times. Any clue?

February 14, 2010 at 2:13 pm
(199) Tom says:

Wow! Had the same problem and now it’s gone! Pulled the front cover and opened the pump filter. Found a cloth frisbee that came in a kid’s meal, a decorative button that goes on a pair of crocks, some paper, hair, lint and one of those white platic knives! All molded. How in the world did this stuff even get that far down into the machine.

February 19, 2010 at 9:58 am
(200) Keith Raab says:

Hello guys and gals,
My wife and I are looking for a new washer and dryer front loader. I am steering more towards either the Whirlpool Duets or Maytag Performance series. My aunt bought her Maytag in 2006, NEVER does anything (i.e. leaving door open, taking anything apart) and she has had no problems. When I told her about the mold/odor problems she then said to me, “You know what I don’t know if it’s because it didn’t bother me since it was so faint or what, but there is a very slight odor.” I just spoke to a non-bias appliance guy, sears, whirlpool customer service and also maytag even though they are the same company now and they all said that the newer Duets and Maytag have an internal drain by the seal somewhere that helps drain excess water out. Therefore, coming to the conclusion that there shouldn’t be a mold problem anymore.

I really appreciate everybody’s comments/tips on cleaning. From all these posts I gathered the following:

1) Don’t use fabric softner, use the dryer sheets that do the same thing
2) Just to be on the safe side leave the door open and dispenser drawer out so that it can all drain/dry
3) Like that one post said, it’s all scientific. Just try your best to reduce the mold anticipators such as food/moisture etc.
4) I thought also that it was just the older models, but like i said before, my aunt/uncle bought a maytag set in 2006 and LOVE THEM. They are a little more pricey than the basic whirlpool duets right now but idk which one to go with. IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THE FOLLOWING:
1 – Where you live
2 – Where your w/d machines are located in your house
3 – Do you leave the door open and detergent dispensor drawer open just to be safe?
4 – How often do you follow the maintenance and care instructions?
5 – How much detergent do you use/What kind and brand also?

If anyone has any suggestions please email me @ kthraab@gmail.com. Thank you. We are looking to buy a washer/dryer this weekend or even tonight.

March 1, 2010 at 4:58 pm
(201) Sonia says:

Was just going to go out and buy the Whirlpool Duet Washer. Guess I will rethink after reading all the horror stories here. I will stick with the old traditional top-loader!

March 2, 2010 at 10:19 pm
(202) kevin n says:

Barry C. From post 13 should be a whirlpool tech. I followed his advise and found our problem. After pulling off the lower cover and opening the drain cover i found two pads from a womens bathing suit top, some loose change, a bolt, and a green rubber frog blocking the drain. After removing all that and cleaning the plastic filter all is well. THANKS BARRY C.

March 4, 2010 at 5:48 pm
(203) Paul Flynn says:
March 12, 2010 at 1:18 pm
(204) Casey Dent says:

We too have this problem and i will be trying some of the suggestions that i have read on this site.
We have had alergy issues and i had an unexplained skin rash that lasted for over a month.

Also, here is a contact for the class action lawsuit, which i came across.

March 19, 2010

http://www.lieffcabraser.com/defects/whirlpool-duet-mold.htm

March 15, 2010 at 8:32 pm
(205) Mold Avenger says:

Whirlpool corporation has been aware of the formation of Biofilms inside their washers for many years. In the 1990s, a flapper valve was added to the pump on top load washers to prevent waste water from rolling back through the drain house and accumulating between the washbasket and outer tub. At the top of the outer tub, a ring of slime, called “scrud” would commonly form depending on usage, water temps, soil type and installation. The “scrud” ring would sometimes grow to the point where it would impare washer operation, requiring a service call to remove the “scrud”. Part of the “scrud” was of course a biofilm. The rotten smell in the washer was often what prompted the customer to call Whirlpool.

In the front load washers, a fan was proposed in the product development process to eliminate the problem, but it was considered “too expensive” and no action was taken. Whirlpool historically has been more interested in cutting costs out of product through the life cycle than product improvements, especially after product launch. About a year ago, after millions of front load washers were sold, they finally posted a job for an airflow engineer to design a fan forced air system for the front load washers to eliminate the issue. Of course the fix WILL NOT be made available to the millions of machines already produced, as the cost would be prohibitive in the eyes of the internal bean counters.

Another example of this is an inherent defect in EVERY Whirlpool top load washer produced from 1987 until about 2000, and it still exists today in some models. Try this at home: when the washer is filling with water, reach in and tilt the tub all the way forward, some water will leak on the floor. They know about it, but if they admit to the issue they would be liable to fix MILLIONS of washers produced from 1987 on. Dick Conrad at Whirlpool will not let that happen, as it will make his product development organization look bad. A fix was created and implemented. The fix has over 20,000 cycles on it in the field with only one failure. Why did it not see production? Call Whirlpool at 269 923-5000, ask for the executive resolution line and ask them…

March 17, 2010 at 7:54 am
(206) Connie says:

ouch, sorry to hear of all of your trouble… sounds like some may be just putting in your laundry and fuggedabawdit… it takes a bit more care than a top loader. mine is brand new although its a GE. what i would recommend for the front loaders is to use 1/2 as much detergent, no fabric softener whatsoever, and wipe out the gasket and leave the door open and let dry after use…that and run basketclean on a weekly basis and open the small trap door at the bottom every month or so. ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. i’ll let you know how it turns out.

March 24, 2010 at 12:51 pm
(207) Smelly Clothes says:

To help you solve your washer smell problem, I’ll save you the trouble of reading for an hour by summarizing the great advice above:

-The manufacturer isn’t going to help you

-Don’t leave clothes in the washer when the cycle is finished

-Use liquid detergent

-Run a hot clean cycle with a product like;
Bleach
“Affresh”
“Smelly Washer”
Colloidal Silver
Vinegar

-Leave the door and dispenser open to dry out when not in use

-Use no fabric softeners in the washer

-Clean the filter on the pump (see comment #13)

-Clean the rubber seal inside the washer and wipe dry after every use

I’m going to sell mine, sorry if your the guy I sell it to.

April 13, 2010 at 4:45 pm
(208) Denise says:

I was having the same problem for a while, but I found that if I put some baking soda in with each wash (1/4 to 1/2 cup) AND left the door open after each load, then the mold problem disappeared. I also occasionally wipe the door down, and run an empty load just to keep things clean.

April 16, 2010 at 12:42 pm
(209) QN of Vertine says:

I purchased my Whirlpool duet washer in June 2005 from Costco. The odor and mold problem was present after the first year. When I complained about this problem, I was told they had never heard of this problem and it must be something I was doing wrong, I love blame shifting. Recently, I found this web site and all the comments. Amazing, so I’m not alone. Since day one, I’ve kept the door to the washer and detergent drawer open after use, as well as wiping down the door area. The problem has only gotten worse over the years. These machines are not inexpensive. I knew there was a problem when Whirlpool sent me a flyer and coupon for Affresh washer cleaner. I’ve used a bleach solution wash cycle with little affect. I can’t tell you how many towels, clothing items have been thrown out because they smell moldy. Now I have bad mold allergies, chronic cough, and a smelly laundry room. I’ve always used less than the HE detergent recommended and never used liquid fabric softener in the machine. I tried the remedies the other users have tried; wiping down under the rubber door seal, wiping down the washer compartment, taken apart the front panel and cleaning the drain area/tubing, as well as used all of the various washer cleaner solutions. It seems okay for a few days and then the odor returns. Biofilm was found and cleaned away, I had no “items” blocking the drains (thankfully). At this point, I am going to approach Costco and see what they will do, as it seems Whirlpool is ignoring the issue. I am getting rid of this smelly washer and going back to a top loader machine, which I’ve previously used for 30 years without a problem. I am thinking about pursuing a small claims court case for some resolution, we’ll see. Also, when in a home improvement store and I see someone looking at these washers, I will share my story as well as give them this web site so that they can read the reviews and problems. Thank you users Barry, Doug, Mold Avenger, et al for your helpful advice.

April 16, 2010 at 4:16 pm
(210) Kate says:

I started using only powder in my front load washer. No more nasty smell

April 17, 2010 at 7:44 pm
(211) Judy says:

We have a Kenmore he front loader washer for 3 years now and I use affresh each month – after we had the drum and motor and gasket replaced last year. Motor was under warranty – gasket and drum was not. Still get that scum in the gasket – even with using the affresh each month and need to clean it out with bleach. The repair man told me that the soap gets flushed/blown out through the motor – that’s why ours stopped working – and I suspect that will happen again – that’s just how this model was made. Pretty stupid design if you ask me. When this one goes I’m going back to the old fashioned top loader with no problems. Also – don’t feel our clothes are as clean with this front loader – I liked the soaking in the top loaders better. I’ll find other ways to conserve water in other areas.

April 21, 2010 at 11:54 am
(212) momof2cuties says:

I have had my Whirlpool Duet for over 2 years. Had I known then what I know now I would have never purchased it. I have the same mold issues everyone else is complaining about starting around the 1 year anniversary of my purchase. I called them and of course I got the same lines as everyone else. I bought Tide’s version of Affresh, which I can’t even seem to find here but it’s only a very temporary solution. I have black mold on my gasket which seems to be permanent since several cleanings with bleach does not remove it. I also have the mold inside my dispenser tray and underneath the gasket. I always leave the door open, use only HE detergent, no fabric softener, and do the clean cycle(ok not as often as I should). I plan on inspecting every part of this machine this weekend with the help of my husband. I would like Whirlpool at the very least to replace the gasket since I think it’s permanently stained with mold. I doubt they will but since hubby is better at complaining than I am he will be making the call. If it were up to me I’d want a refund or replacement of the machines since I don’t believe anyone should have to jump through hoops to keep their washing machine clean(we have enough to clean already, right?). Oh and I don’t love my dryer either. I almost always have to run the cycle twice and that’s just for a normal load of laundry. If I was my comforter or a load of towels I sometimes have to run it 2-3 times to get it dry! Where’s the efficiency in that? I’d glady replace my supposed HE highly costly front loaders with inexpensive, tried and true good old fashioned top loaders. My parents are about to move into a new home and I told them flat out NOT to buy front loading machines. I also sent them the link to this page. Thanks for all the great tips and info! I’m glad I’m not alone but wish we didn’t have to deal with this in the first place.

May 1, 2010 at 3:54 pm
(213) dardar says:

This blog is an absolute mirror of the problems we have experienced with our Whirlpool Duet (purchased in 2002). It’s bad enough that we have to try and deal with the smelly, black, slimy mold that lives in this thing and cannot be extinguished. We also have health issues. I have migraines and they have been unable to diagnose the cause. They have had me on every type of migraine medicine, did an MRI, and I had to go on FMLA at work due to missing so many days from the migraines. It never occurred to me that the Duet mold problem could be the cause of this, until I started reading the comments out here. Funny, the migraines always seem to come during the weekend WHEN I HAVE STARTED THE LAUNDRY. I don’t usually do laundry during the week, and coincidentally, don’t get migraines during the week. They start on the weekend and can last for days at a time.

My husband develops a rash which causes his face to break out horribly. The doctor could find no reason for this. He has no allergies. We thought it was fabric softener so we stopped using it. Rash still persists.

I always dread starting the laundry because the basement smells like a sewer while the washer is running. We, too, thought it was just sewer odors sneaking in through the pipes.

Our 7 year old son has allergies, persistent cough and breathing problems. He doesn’t have asthma. Could this also be due to the black mold which permeates every inner surface of our Duet? I am now feeling sick and uncomfortable about washing our clothes in this thing any longer. It seems like we may be poisoning ourselves every time we run the machine, put on our clothes or use a towel. Needless to say, I now want to go out and buy a new top-loader.

I have checked out the website for the class-action lawsuit. Do we have to retain an attorney to be part of this lawsuit? We don’t have extra money for this type of thing, but I’d really like to be one more voice against these killing machines. Can anybody who has joined the lawsuit give me any info about what is required to be involved?

May 5, 2010 at 8:29 pm
(214) Hal Turner says:

I followed the directions by Barry C. in post 13. It is very easy to do. Total time is about 30 minutes. The only screws you have to remove are at the bottom at floor level. They are facing you as you look at the machine. I propped the machine up with a large frying pan and removed the screws. The bottom front panel comes off. The filter Assembly is facing you and has a handle. Simply unscrew it and it will come out in one piece. I cleaned with bleachy rag and removed all debris. All is well so far.

Cleaning the door gasket with a bleachy rag is equally as important. I could visually see black mold. Be sure to get it all.

May 7, 2010 at 10:51 am
(215) Robin Lee says:

does anyone own an LG? I have the same mold problem, did what Barry C. said and it is still smelly. what do I do now?

May 10, 2010 at 7:41 pm
(216) Lorne Foster says:

Hey – We have a Duet that delivered a moldy smell to our laundry room. I read “Barry’s” comments explaining how to get rid of it. As per Barry’s directions, I removed the front lower panel (with a Torx wrench) and then cleaned out the filter. Then I went a step further – I removed the “boot” that drains the drum down to the filter – that “boot” (with accordian type ribs) had lots of “slim-type gunk” that had an awful smell. After cleaning it thoroughtly, I re-installed the boot. Our laundry room is now a treat ……. it does not “stink” like it did before. So – I think this is a maintenance thing that should be done every 5 or 6 months or so. Like Barry, I found cents (in addition to scents) in the filter – I found a dime … I got paid a few cents for my efforts !! …. Lorne

May 29, 2010 at 12:18 pm
(217) KC says:

I am so excited!!! Now I know why our towels have smelled bad for so long!!! I can’t wait to tell my husband, and now I’m a little sad we are going out of town cause I wanna stay home and take apart the washer! Every day I think to myself, I am throwing these towels away and starting with new ones. And THEN in the last couple of weeks, my kids’ clothes have smelled sour, and I thought my husband (who generally does most of the laundry–good guy) might have left the clothes in the washer too long. This smell happened in our old top loader stackable (also, now I am thinking, coincidentally it was a Kenmore), so now that I know what it is, I know how to try to fix it. This is HUGE! Thanks to all for sharing and solving the mystery. Whirlpool Duet owner not quite a year yet.

June 2, 2010 at 7:30 am
(218) PRW in Oviedo, FL says:

This is CRAZY!! As much money as these Duets cost, I feel you should not have to do so much maintenance. This is a design flaw! As busy as all of are with our families, who wants to be taking the washer apart to clean scum out of it? We have had our Duets since 2004 and I think I am going to go back to a top load machine. So many of our clothes have a musty, moldy smell that I can’t get out even with bleach. I have tried…Affresh, bleach, vinegar, ammonia, tilex etc. nothing works.
Very dissappointing:(

June 7, 2010 at 4:51 pm
(219) ed says:

Yes, same stinky washer. Ours is a 2006 Whirlpool Duet. I took Barry’s advice, and finally just pulled the whole thing apart and cleaned every last part that was a gasket, hose, tube, filter, drain and could be reasonable removed. And boy did I find some gunk! eek! Upon removing the plastic filter found below the front loader door per post 13, I found a an old jeep key, kids hair clippy, lego, and a mat of dog hair, mildew, and wet paper that smelled like, well, that pesky odor that had been plagueing our 1000 Dollar washer since 2008. Barry must be a bit handier than I though, because I just spent about 2 hours de gunking every last inch i could find. Bac out, bleach, and a some elbow grease. I shortened the drain hose as well since those ribs just collect material – think matchbooks, lost notes, receipts, and all that cellulose just building up. And the thing about front loaders, is that they use much less hot water and hence less energy than the good old buy it once and forget about it for 20 years top loaders. It appears this is a classic case of unintended consequences of legislation to green up our appliances – remember, the appliance companies were told to reduce the amount of energy consummed and so they rolled out all these consumer grade front loaders and obviously they tend to build up material inside the components. Now that I’ve cleaned it once, I’ll just keep an eye on it (or a nose), and treat it like an oil change for the car. I could have spent the same 2 hours on the phone with whirlpool, but for me, some good old fashioned fix it yerself was much more satisifying. Thanks all! You are not alone.

June 10, 2010 at 11:12 am
(220) Lynn says:

I had a musky bad odor in my WD and used borax powder and ran a wash/rinse cycle with it. Haven’t had the problem any more. I imagine one could use the boarax powder to wipe down the gasket with as well.
I am not suggesting anyone do this as it might void the warranty but if the warranty is out it may be a solution to the problem.
It worked for me.

June 14, 2010 at 8:38 pm
(221) QN of Vertine says:

QN of Vertine here again. Follow-up to Post # 209 on 4/16/10. Well I did not go to small claims court, buy a new top loader washer, or tear all of my hair out. I am grateful to Barry & others suggestions to help with the problem and continue to implement these maintenance tasks. However, the smell never totally went away. I was just about to buy a new washer (rebates are a good motivator) when I stumbled upon Nu Fresh. This is a product available online at nufreshnow.com. I figured what the heck, it was worth a try and if it didn’t work, I’d bite the bullet and get a new washer. I ordered the Nu Fresh, followed the shock treatment instructions and then the follow-up for regular wash loads. The odor is GONE, GONE, GONE. YEAH!! No more smelly laundry room, linens, towels, or clothes, everything is fresh smelling. My cough and allergies are gone. This product WORKS. I tried Affresh, the Tide product, and others to no avail, they did not work period. I am on my second order for more Nu Fresh and giving some to my daughter who also has the same smelly washer problem. Go online and read the info on the product and give it a try. It beats buying a new washer. Nufreshnow.com If anything changes, I’ll post again.

June 15, 2010 at 10:14 pm
(222) Sean says:

I own the Duet Front Loader which I purchased back in Nov09. We keep the door open when not being used, run a cycle on the Affresh every 4 weeks, etc. Since changing over to these machines, my sons have had constant allergy symptoms leading to ear infections. My oldest son actually is on his second case of pneumonia. He shows no signs except a bad cough, which is the odd thing about it. I am starting to wonder if this machine is the cause after reading the stories on this site.

June 20, 2010 at 12:57 pm
(223) Stinkyclothes says:

I’ve had my duet washer for since 2004. I am the same like other consumers. Don’t want to get rid of it cause of the mold and odor, dont/cant buy another due to the cost. So i constantly use bleach, leave the door open, etc .I thought I was the only one. I agree that Whirlpool Duet should have a recall. It’s unsafe, unhealthy, and burdensome.

June 21, 2010 at 2:30 pm
(224) David F says:

Please visit ‘fixitnow.com/wp/2009/10/28’ and scroll to the end of the photographs, there is a spider from a ‘Duet’, now I believe the corrosion is due chemical reactions between the aluminium spider and concentrated remnants of laundry aids left after the final spin. Please see my write up after the pictures. As I state in the write up I also believe that these recesses in the spider can harbour left over water, which will turn foul if left. We did not get rid of ‘the smell’ in our Frigidaire built Kenmore machine until it was stripped down, due to bearing failure, and the products of corrosion removed. I believe that the products of corrosion also create an environment that promotes the formation of mold and mildew.

July 7, 2010 at 3:47 pm
(225) housewares says:

Has anyone tried a new washer cleaning product called Fresh Wave? So far, I’ve been able to avoid a mold problem so it wouldn’t accomplish much by testing this product, but I’d love to know if anyone has had success with it.
Go to: http://www.fresh-wave.com to learn more about it. It sounds like it is very different than some other machine cleaners and you have to add it along with the detergent.

Please let us know if it works (or not).

Thanks to all who have posted; it has been a great resource for consumers dealing with this nasty mold issue. Keep the tips coming.

July 11, 2010 at 12:42 pm
(226) DuetStinker says:

Ok lots of Good info here………..thanks to Barry I think it was that mentioned the bit about removing the filter unit , good call.

We were early adopters i.e. 2006 and this problem escalted about a year later to the point where we got nowhere with the peons at whirlpool in terms of a solution.
We have used liquid detergents in small amounts as recomended by the manufacturer, never used any fabric softeners and this machine does a good 10 loads min a week. We started wiping out the fuzz like goop every month or so from where the Drum and gasket meet as thats where we traced the odor to.
We even started leaving the door open to help dry the thing out as much as possible…….still stank and got rank………kind of gave up despite the number of publicized complaints about this. But things really got smelly again as the summer humidity tends to increase the conditions for mold growth here in Toronto. The advice given here to clean the filter is great. There is a major Caveat here that cant be stressed enough in that make sure that you stuff as many absorbent towels in the area where the cap comes ( GLAD I TURNED OFF THE POWER) as theres some major amount of water in there for 2 reasons.
If things are stinkin youve got some backup in the drain.
Reason 2 is because the engineers that designed the filter as its been called here decided that the hole through which the water should be pumped through should be way higher than the bottom of the container into which the water flows.
Duh !!! of course the water is going to stay there.
Ive snapped some pictures of this along with the panel removed, the area where the filter cap unscrews from and so on……..see http://s1019.photobucket.com/albums/af319/DuetStinker/

The flexible rubber boot that attaches between the bottom of the drum and the drain / filter assembly has so many areas in which fibre ridden gunk rinsed out of clothes will accumulate. I used a large bristled bottle washer and shoved it up its you know what and this grey nasty rotten mop left to rot in dirty smelling grey slimy crap just kept on coming out of there. Past experience with factory installed fittings made me leave the rubber accordion gizmo attached rather than risk damaging it and gave it a thorough colonoscopy with the bristle brush. So to summarize
1. Turn off the power
2. Pop the cover
3. Sacrifice as many Towels you can to absorb the water……it really really stinks, youll be glad you did……..this nasty stuff ran all over the inside across the front frame and down both sides of the machine in addition to pooling across the top of the pedestal so that had to be dissasembled to get the water out of there & BTW if this happens to get the pedestal drawer out the screw at the front of the slider by the front panel on each side has to be removed.
4.Get the longest bottle washer or remove the rubber boot to clean it.
5.Button and dry everything up wait a day IMO B4 putting cover back on.
6. Give the machine a good empty run or 2 with whatever magic solution you believe in.
7. Repeat the filter emptying process as any cleaning solution is just a deodorizer IMO you have to get the nasty goop that accumulates out of there.

Good luck…………..

July 14, 2010 at 4:06 pm
(227) Disappointed in Whirlpool says:

I have owned my Whirlpool Duet since 2007 and have experienced mold from the beginning. Originally I tried Affresh, bleach, bathroom cleaner. In my experience, customer service does not acknowledge any issues and blames you for not following the cleaning instructions. I have spent more money and time trying to keep the washer clean and dry. I WOULD NEVER buy another Whirlpool product. When I vacation, I use the cleaning cycle and extra bleach so I do not come home to a horrible odor and mold build up.
Also found this class action lawsuit online. Not sure if it’s legit:
http://www.lieffcabraser.com/defects/whirlpool-duet-mold.htm

July 28, 2010 at 12:26 am
(228) Keith says:

Okay…I have read numerous…almost 100 post of information about F/L washers. I never understood why I had moldy smell on our clothes until reading this. But I did do something I hadn’t done in the 4 years I’ve owned mine (Whirlpool Duet 9250). I cleaned the drain trap under the front of the drum. I was SHOCKED to see the amount of stuff in it. I didn’t even know I was suppose to do that. Dryer lint trap sure…knew that. I wonder how many people know there is even a washer trap….? Well It has so far fixed our problem, but can’t say that my son’s allergies and my sinus problems over the years weren’t from that. Don’t know. What I will say is that I will watch to see the changes now that i’ve bleached the tub, cleaned the gasket and cleaned the pump trap. I guess it’s like a car…it requires basic maintenance and a little bit of time. While I AGREE with MOST of the complaints, (it was hard on me too), wondering why the stench was so bad), I believe that a monthly (easy) maintenance program works. I do believe that the f/l washer companies should make it more clear on requirements to maintain it though. I also believe they should make it clear, very clear on the discrepancies and complaints or fix them when they occur, but of course that cost them millions of dollars a year. It really comes down to millions of dollars vs. a few disgruntled people. I dispise that mentality and will NOT buy another Whirlpool because of it. But I will maintain it in accordance with the owners manual now that I have read it. I just think that they (whirlpool, not capitolized out of disrespect) know what product they produced and failed to fix. I sort of think I’ve fixed (my families) problem, but will see in time to come. I would join a class action law-suit, but money is only made by the attorneys and the company itself (believe it or not). Good luck and as soon as I can afford another set, I will buy another brand and type of washer/dryer. Probably a top load again

July 29, 2010 at 8:10 pm
(229) Kathy DeFever says:

I am on my second Whirlpool Duet washing machine – it takes about a year for the odor to build up, but once there, I can’t seem to eliminate it. I HAVE discovered that the ribbed hosing is a HUGE part of the odor problem – you can fairly easily remove the hosing on the outside of the machine, and sort of clean it with a dryer brush after soaking it in bleach water for a while. You will not believe the black, nasty stuff that is being caught in the ribbing. The problem is that there is ribbed hosing throughout the inside of the machine that is not accessible. I am going to try to replace the exterior hose with a “smooth” flexible hose to see if that helps. I am also going to try to clean the trap, per Barry’s advice. Didn’t even know that existed! As everyone else, this is the last front loader I will buy.

August 3, 2010 at 2:27 pm
(230) Victoria says:

Prior to buying the whirlpool Duet Washer and Dryer I would always say to my husband – Who does your laundry – it smells so wonderful”. After purchasing this Whirlpool set all my clothes and towels smell sour and I find it disgusting. There is always “a nssty slimy substance in the rubber ring and I am constantly wiping it after each load of laundry. This should not be with the amount of money we paid for this washer. Also do not like the way the dryer senses that the clothes are dry when they are not. I tell everyone I know not to “invest” in this product. Shame on Whirlpool!

August 5, 2010 at 10:49 pm
(231) becky miller says:

Thank you soo much…I have been dealing with this STINKY problem for years and my duet washer is under warranty! Sears just keeps on giving me the run around…well, they are going to get an earfull tomorrow morning!!!!!
I have done ALL the above and the odor returns – if u are stuck with yours – I have found that using VINEGAR in the bleach dispenser with dark cloths helps quite a bit!!!!

August 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm
(232) C'mon Whirlpool! says:

My 4 1/2 year old Whirlpool Duet 9150 has just started to smell.

I found this site and am just amazed at how many people have this problem.

I still have my online manuals, so I looked up troubleshooting to see if Whirlpool addresses this very pervasive problem.

Guess what? They don’t. They address issues like “Residue or lint on load” and “Load is Wrinkled”, but not What to do if your machine smells from mold. I looked online to see if this problem was so big that people were writing into forums about it, but alas, I couldn’t find any.

Whirlpool seems to put the onus on the consumer to come up with their own solutions to deal with the mold issue instead of dealing with an obvious design flaw.

Consumer Reports wrote in their Feb 2010 issue, “Readers tell us about mold and odors developing in their front-loaders. Our Annual Product Reliability Survey found that 8 percent of front-loader problems were caused by mold or mildew…”

Since I participate in their annual survey and didn’t have this problem last year, I think the number may be much higher.

I plan on trying Barry #13′s fix. Thanks to all who came before me to this site with great suggestions.

August 16, 2010 at 7:10 pm
(233) C'mon Whirlpool! says:

Oops! In my previous post I wrote, ” I looked online to see if this problem was so big that people were writing into forums about it, but alas, I couldn’t find any.”

Just to be clear, I meant that there were no active online forums for people to complain about the problem of lint residue on clothes.

August 20, 2010 at 10:11 pm
(234) marv40handyman says:

Comment #13 is right on the problem. I removed lower panel unscrewed strainer cap and found a nickle etc. Cleaned all the pipes,and tubing up to the house drain. I then started cleaning the rubber seal at the door. I found it can be pulled up to expose all the mess that accumulates under there. This is the main cause of the smell. Lots of soap and dirt was deposited below the rubber seal. I have had this washer 7 years and never realized this area could be (should be) cleaned every month or two. In whirlpools defense every design has limitations. This seal at the only opening (the door) and has to pass water. It reqires maintenance just like the top edge of conventional upright washers.
Barry C. thanks for the help.
Mariette thanks for the blog.
Washer smells good now. Marvin, handyman

August 21, 2010 at 12:57 am
(235) kevin says:

While comment #13 is just a small part of the problem, I am confident that the problem is much more. I just cleaned my drain filter out tonight. It was not clogged, and only had a small white plastic object in it.. which I suspect might be part of the washer. It did have some moldy looking junk.. but not nearly enough to clog it.
I just found this forum tonight.. and also have been suffering with the disgusting mold/mildew/sewer smell that the washer has and places in everything that it washes. I cringe every morning when I reach for a newly washed “fresh” bath towel.. and rub that smellying thing over my clean body to dry off, not to mention donning my clean “fresh” clothes. I used to think my wife left the towel ripen in the washer.. even though she swore she didn’t. It was the washer’s design flaw all that time.
Tonight I finally found the large void beneath/behind the main rubber door gasket and saw massive amounts of mold growing. I used a 10% bleach/water solution on a white terry cloth towel to wipe it out. It took a good 20 minutes before I got 99% of it out. The white towel showed brown/black nasty mold/mildew. After cleaning the drain filter and cleaning all around and behind the gasket I ran a strong bleach and hot water cycle to hopefully rinse it out. I hope this will at least temporarily help the situation. Whirlpool should stand behind their $1000 washer and send a recall notice to all who bought this lemon, or at lease begin a service campaign to remidy this defect.

August 24, 2010 at 6:13 pm
(236) Steve from RI says:

Did a search last nite regarding smelly towels, moldy smell after wash. Found this blog and read over 200 comments about HE front loaders. I too have a Whirlpool duet and have smelly towels after drying up. I guess my clothes would smell too if I used them to dry up also, I haven’t tried, yet! At first we thought we left them in too long before drying, maybe using too much detergent, ect. I’m sure these things have happened to all of us, but when you start doing everything to the “T” to find out, and you find out it is your $1000 washer you are ticked off! After reading all your stories last nite, I removed the front cover and found the filter and removed it. My wife kept saying “are you coming to bed tonite or what”, “not now honey I may be on to something big here!”
She eventually got up to check it out, we found a coin, a finish nail, some other metal object and lots of crud. No mold though, really. The water did not smell bad either, but the holes were blocked. We cleaned the filter and the seal around the tub and called it a nite. This morning I took the top off and saw the discharge hose (mostly toward the top) filled with brown crud and sludge. I realized the “ribbed” design of the flexible hose was not helping at all. My wife said “see if you can change the hose honey, you can do it”. I was just afraid that the washer would never work again, and then I said, “okay that would be all right too. After reading some of the stories, I can’t believe it. Well, I went to Lowes and bought some clear soft tubing and commenced cutting off the molded 90 degree elbows off the moldy hose. The trick is to use the existing elbows so the hose lays natural, and not to stiff. Doing this allows the hose to kind of “fall” into place when it is time for the clamps. Before attaching my new “hybrid” line, I took the filter out again, and the black bellows drain hose from the bottom of the tub off. This funky drain hose goes right into the back of the filter housing. All this cannot be done unless the front, back and top are removed. I forgot to mention I took the back off too. Leave the panel above the back cover on, just slide the cover down and out. There are screws and 4 plastic “locks” that also help hold the cover on. Getting back to the bellows type hose, it had some stuff in it, but nothing “black” so far. There is a ball float in there that must have gotten stuck one time because we had water on the floor sometime last year. I looked good for any leaks, but never found one. I “chanced it”, and ran a load without any leaks. It has not leaked since either. But, now I can see what may have happened if that ball float got stuck. This is good thing to clean while you are in there. Only 2 clamps and it is off. The plastic ball cannot come out of the hose, so just keep turning it and inspect for crud. I soaked this unit in warm water with a little bleach, and a little “CLR” you can buy at Lowes also. It was kind of strong so do it outside or near a window. I used a toothbrush to clean inside the hose also. After installing all, I did a test run with some new “Green” liquid detergent and 5 bath towels. No leaks, and everything drained properly. I left all 3 covers off for at least 5 loads to make sure my “hybrid” line held. I don’t want any surprises later. Be careful with the covers off, just don’t stick your hands in there anywhere. Keep all children and pets AWAY through this whole process. That belt and wheel in the back can take fingers off I’m sure. Just look at all your re-clamped areas with a good flashlight. You will see water on the first run, I’m sure. The towels smelled so-so after they came out, so I ran a cycle with no clothes and 24 oz of “Washer Magic” I also bought today at Lowes. Follow the directions on the bottle. 40 minutes later when I opened the door, I wasn’t impressed yet. I ran another cycle with 2 cups of bleach I poured right in the tub. Finally after this cycle, the tub smelled “fresh” when I stuck my head in there. I am now doing 5 more bath towels with the “Green” detergent I bought today. I really won’t no anything until we dry up with some of these towels. I did my best today and hope I see some improvements, if not the woman who said in her post that it could never be fixed or right again, may be correct. If this is true, I can feel good about at least trying everthing I could think of short of puliing the pump out! They are a sealed unit anyway, no way to open it (I think). Those mornings when I used to step out of the shower feeling clean and fresh may be over yet! As soon as that stink bomb towel hits your flesh, you smell just like it! What a cruel joke!!

I will let you all know how I made out, I promise.

August 27, 2010 at 10:47 am
(237) Sara Denbo says:

Oh, gosh. Our Maytag front loaders are set on top of pedestals. I guess I will have to have the repairman come and clean ours in the front bottom. Neither my husband and I are very mechanical or handy. I must say that I have religiously followed the instructions from day one: leave door open after use, leave detergent drawer open, do not leave wet clothes in washer, wipe inside rubber gasket with clorox, never use fabric softener, only use a tiny bit of “liquid” HE detergent. Our model doesn’t have a clean cycle, but the instruction booklet says to run the sanitary cycle empty to clean the washer with hot water and clorox. This really didn’t help, neither did the Affresh, or Tide front loading washer cleaner. Our clothes and towels still stink when they come out of the washer. Hopefully, my extended warrenty covers this. What a problem this has been for everyone! Thank you for all of the cleaning tips, and the suggestion to use powdered HE. I am sorry I bought this unit for one daughter, and recommended it to the other.

September 1, 2010 at 9:39 am
(238) Kat says:

I am having the same smelly problem with my Duet Washer and called Customer Service last week and this week. I find it infuriating that I can find over 200 posts about these washers on just one site and the CS people act clueless! They recommended Afresh which did nothing. On my own I removed the front panel, unscrewed the “filter” (I think that is the correct term) which opens the pump, and more then 2 cups of foul smelling water drained out! I didn’t have anything clogging it up and no objects, just black gunk between the portion that “turns” and the portion that is the filter. Soaked it in bleach water. The water out of the pump smelled like sewer water! I have always done the recommended maintenance on this washer, left the door open, etc. I am disgusted by this company! Just read all these posts this morning so now, on to the hoses as others have recommended. Actually, I think I will call them back and demand they do the maintenance since they know it is all a MAJOR problem. I probably wont get anywhere!

September 8, 2010 at 8:32 pm
(239) Kelly says:

Yup, you guessed it. I have had the same problem for about 2 years now. With the smell and the mold. I have tried cleaning all around the rubber seal, cleaning out the dispensing tray, running different cleaners thru it, leaving the door open all the time and still I get out of the shower and dry off with a nice smelly mold infested towel.

September 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm
(240) Rachel says:

I’m glad I know this now. Thanks.

http://www.ESSENCEOFSILK.com 100% silk & satin pillowcases, hair wraps, do rags & more…

September 12, 2010 at 8:49 pm
(241) Twilla says:

I have a whirlpool duet sport washer and dryer. I would not recommend this washer to anyone. I have the same problem with mold and stinky clothes. Not to mention that this washer has flooded a portion of my home twice. Thank God someone was home at the time. I will go back to the good old fashion top load tub washing machine anyday.

September 13, 2010 at 9:47 am
(242) Dianne says:

I have battled this mold/mildew/horrible smell since we bought the duet washer several years ago. I hate this machine and wouldn’t recommend it to anyone! It smells so bad in my laundry room I can’t stand it. We should not have to take such extreme measures. Whirlpool should just come clean (pun intended) that there is a known problem!

September 13, 2010 at 9:14 pm
(243) John says:

Had a terrible smell problem. Towels were extremeley bad. I promise you the following works because we were 1 day away from junking the front load washer. We now have had 1 month of good smelling and whiter clothes:
1.) Shock washer – put a few OLD towels in the washer and put 2 Gallons of white vinegar in the drumon the towel (I’m not kidding). Put CASCADE automatic dishwasher in the soap dispenser with 1 teaspoon of salt. Run an entire cycle on the HOT HOT cycle.
2.) Throw away your liquid HE detergent and find a powder HE detergent. We went with Seventh Generation Free powder.
3.) Put a scoop of Nu Fresh (www.nufreshnow.com) with detergent. Don’t overdo detergent.

THis has worked for us. I promise you, I do not work for the Nu Fresh people. I just ordered some more, and I think they have changed to TechnoFresh. Whatever, the stuff really works after the shock.

They say you may need to shock once a month, but we haven’t had to yet. This has really given us new life for our very expensive machine. Please note that we did not have gasket mold. THere are different issues there, I think.

If you are ready to give up, try it. I was atonished.

September 27, 2010 at 12:40 pm
(244) Nigel says:

Glad I found this place – just about to turf the Duet!

I had no idea about the pump trap. I just cleaned it and found the same junk that other people have. If you have got the stink problem with these washers – no amount of adding stuff to the wash cycle will get rid of it until you clean and disinfect this trap. If you can use a screwdriver it only takes 10 mins. I will be doing this every few months from now on. This is clearly a design flaw in this model.

October 1, 2010 at 3:48 pm
(245) Marcie says:

I too have a front load washer(frigidaire afinity) and have the same probs…this is cheaper model but from all the posts that Ive seen, it doesnt matter whether you buy cheap or expensive…the front loaders have mold growing in all sorts of places. I am going to try some of those remedies and see if I can get this under control. I dont know if the mold in the rubber gasket around the door can be remedied. Washer works good but everything stinks because of mold. I think the mold is causing my family health probs too. We cant breath and I have a rash on my abdomen. I have never had a rash before. I think I know the culprit now. After reading all these posts, I think it is related to the mold in my front loader. I am shocked that manufactures are even making these machines knowing all these facts from consumers. They should ban them until they get the mold issues resolved. They shouldnt be allowed to even sell them. It seems manufactures of these front loaders have stuck their heads in the sand. Money is more important to them than the safety of the consumers.

October 3, 2010 at 6:43 pm
(246) Jenny says:

All of our towels always smell moldy. I thought maybe it was a problem on my end–not putting them in dryer quickly enough. But discovered that this was not the case. The entire enside of the washer smells completely moldy. Towels especially absorb this smell. Nothing ever smells fresh anymore. Has anyone tried any of these remedies presented?

October 4, 2010 at 9:12 pm
(247) Lori says:

I’m so glad I found this site! I thought I was the only one. The smell of my Whirlpool Duet washer is nauseating! I’ve had my washer since 2006 and for the past 2 years it’s had that moldy stench. It’s driving me crazy. Whirlpool’s repairman told me to run vinegar through a very hot load. It worked for maybe a week, then the smell came back. I threw away all my old towels and bought new ones, but they smell now too! I always use HE detergent, and leave the door open when not in use. I’m definitely trying all the suggestions I’ve read. Hopefully they’ll work because the moldy smell is spreading through my whole house!My whole family has developed allergies. I definitely am checking into the class action link above. Thanks for all your suggestions.

October 6, 2010 at 11:58 am
(248) Lydia says:

I have had my Duet washer for several years now and the odors are getting worse each year. I actually do a blank load (sometimes two) every washday using bleach and the Afresh cleaner prior to starting my wash depending upon the smell. The rinse water contains these slimy black globs. It helps for that day’s loads only but beware you have to do the wash loads consecutively with no time exposure between loads otherwise you have to start over. I too have asthma and the attacks are getting worse and I can’t help but think the sewer smell/mold is the culprit. I too have contacted the manufacturer and was told that I was using too much detergent and sofener or that maybe my water source is the problem. To make matters worse, I actually have two of these machines, another one at a vacation home. How dumb was I? If there is ever a class action lawsuit, please contact me. This is so frustrating. It appears that getting rid of the machine is the best option.

October 6, 2010 at 11:44 pm
(249) Ingrid says:

Frontloaders are used in Europe as far as I can think back.
I have contacted friends and stores and had asked them about mold in their frontloaders.
Seems noone has ever heared about it.

Why can European companies manufacture mashines
without this problem? Maybe the manufactures here
should brainstorm with the ones overseas.

October 25, 2010 at 5:51 pm
(250) Ann says:

My washer is disgusting! I have cleaned it on a regular basis over and over with absolutely everything I can think of! Bleach, vinegar, baking soda, Affresh, OdorZout. Nothing works!!!! The rubber ring catches little socks too. I am getting rid of it! I am afraid to buy any other front loader for fear of the same problem!

October 26, 2010 at 8:05 pm
(251) Karole50 says:

I have this same problem and attacked the detergent/softener unit today. I took it all the way out and scrub all the black mold off it. While I was scrubbing, a part popped off, it was the back of the softener part. It was completely filled with that stinking, gray black glooby stuff. I have read most of the post and haven’t seen anyone mention this part of the detergent/softener unit. Tomorrow I do the filter. I am so dissappointed in this washer, I begged my husband to let me get one, and now all we have is smelly clothes!! I would like to see a recall.

October 27, 2010 at 10:14 am
(252) steph says:

I have this VERY SAME issue and it is GROSSING me out. My towels are ruined! Has Whirlpool offered to rectify this at all? My laundry room is so foul smelling because of the mold. I have to leave the door to the washer wide open to dry every night.

November 3, 2010 at 10:13 am
(253) tammy says:

I not only have the mold problem, when I use the bleach, it doesn’t rinse out completely, causing many items of clothing to be damaged. UGHHHHHHHH

November 11, 2010 at 5:24 pm
(254) Vanessa says:

I have a frontload Maytag Neptune. Black mold grows on the rubber part on the front. I’ve used Tilex Mold and Mildew to clean it off with a scrubber. It’s gross! It also created holes in the rubber. The detergent/softner tray is always “globby”, like a prior post stated. I clean it regularly but it always comes back. Plus the towels all stink! I thought I was doing something wrong. Maybe not letting them dry long enough in the dryer, or letting them sit damp too long in the washer. NOPE! I’ve tried adding a little bleach with the towels and washing in hot water. This just makes them smell like bleachy mildew. Even more disgusting. I’m so over this machine. It sucks that so many other people are having this same issue, but I am glad to know I’m not going crazy blaming a machine! Also, my son is a year old and had bronchitis at 4 mths. He has asthma like symptoms and has to have breathing treatments whenever they act up. Thank goodness, it’s not frequent, but I would hate to think that it’s the stupid washing machine that would aggravate his symptoms.

November 13, 2010 at 11:29 am
(255) Jackie says:

Wow, I thought I was crazy till I found this site. My towels smell really bad and my clothes are not clean. I have hated my front load washer from day one. Thought I just needed a bigger more expensive model. Glad I didn’t buy!! I am going back to a top load. How are you saving water by washing your clothes over and over because they smell!! Just more energy not to mention your time cleaning the machine. It amazes me how everything jumped on board with these front load machines.

November 18, 2010 at 8:54 pm
(256) Angel says:

So this may seem a lazy comment but after reading this I am feeling very apathetic. I do not want to do this level of maintenance on my appliances, I am tired I work all day and hardly can get to laundry and do not want to have to deal with this crap. And yes, I have all the above problems and yuk smells! and ruined towels and sheets. So who wants to get together and fed ex our nasty machines to the big guy at whirlpools home as a wakeup call. I can not in good conscious sell these units to anyone. I will just buy new something. Geeze people mold kills! compromises our longterm health physical and mental. this sucks!

November 19, 2010 at 12:47 am
(257) Liorah says:

I am really sorry to read about the problems so many people are having, but I’m grateful to you all for posting about them. I need to buy a new washer and dryer and was researching front loaders vs. top loaders. I will definitely go with the top loader! Mold is horrible and I had no idea this was a problem with front loaders until I read these posts. Good luck to you all, I hope the problems are resolved!

November 20, 2010 at 8:40 pm
(258) Seth Cochrane says:

Hello All,
First of all we have ovned our Duet Sport wfw8410sw for just over 3 years. Recently my wife complained of a rotten egg smell she checked and the odor was defitely was coming from the washer. This is our second Duet we privously had the HT full size model and for various reasons ending up giving the set to a reletive and buying the new sport set in fall of 2007. My wife loves here washer and so being takes very good care of it follows all of the directions in the ownwers manual etc.
I have found some through some investigation what may be a help to others here. After reading of the potential for moldy buildup in the drain filter I disassembled the drain assembly and found that there was a significant amount of black mold in between the plug the filter in the area where they friction fit together. I wanted to see if there was any buildup in the hoses that connect to the pump assembly so I removed the pump. I did not find any significant buildup in the lines. I went one step further and removed the impeller assembly from the pump and what I found was disgusting. The seal for the impeller had failed and allowed liquid into the housing. there was a black soupy goo thay absoutely reeked. I cleaned it all out and put it together and ordered an new pump. I hope this takes care of our issue and may help others.

November 21, 2010 at 12:58 am
(259) Rowena says:

IN regards to the odour and mold problems with front loaders.No one has ever asked the question ,what is your water authority adding to your drinking water so it meets health standards.You may be experiencing a chemical reaction with the washing liquid /powder you are using thus creating mold and other problems.Its worth thinking about.In Western australia cholrine is added to kill bacteria.

And always hang your damp wet washing out side to air out ,dont allow it to accumulate all damp in the laundry.it will start to smell mouldy and stinky.Thus transfering the ouders to the washing machine.

November 27, 2010 at 11:38 am
(260) GD in PA says:

To Rowena– are you kidding me? Did you read any of these posts? Do you think all these people have the same crummy water system? Do you honestly believe musty smelling clothes can “transfer” odors to a washing machine?

November 29, 2010 at 3:37 am
(261) biguggy says:

Bad smells and spider corrosion in front load washing machines.
When all other remedies for curing bad smells coming from front load washers have been tried and have not been found satisfactory I believe the source of the smell may well be corrosion of the aluminium spider with the products of this corrosion harbouring ‘water’ that turns foul as described below, or, should no corrosion have occurred any retained water will, if left long enough, turn foul.
Aluminium, and its alloys, are corroded when immersed in an aqueous solution with a pH value below about 4.0 (acidic) [nitric acid is a well known exception] or above about 8.0 (alkaline), most laundry aids, detergent including HE detergent, borax, bleach (sodium hypochlorite), sodium carbonate (washing soda), sodium percarbobante (found in Affresh and OxiClean), sodium hydroxide, Affresh and OxiClean can have pH values above 8.0 should the required concentrations be reached. At the normal operating levels found in washing machines these values are not exceeded. However when the machine is shut down any water remaining will contain, inter alia, soil from the laundry, products of the interactions between the soil and the laundry aids used, unused laundry aids, and the chemicals found in the tap water. As the water from this mixture evaporates the concentration of the ‘impurities’ rises until such time as a ‘smelly sludge’ develops and/or a pH level above about 8.0 is reached and corrosion occurs.
Prime areas for these deposits to occur are, in my opinion, the recesses found at, or very near, the hub of some of the aluminium alloys spiders found in front load washing machines. The final spin, no matter how fast, will not, in my opinion, remove all the ‘water’ from theses recesses.

December 1, 2010 at 10:58 am
(262) cheryl d says:

Thought I was going crazy with all my alergies acting up and my husbands shirts and clothes smelling ucky. The guests at my house said the towels and sheets smelled bad also. Tried different softners, detergent, and ddryer sheets to no luck. My son said it was mold I was smelling and the kidney infections I keep getting are problably from the moldy clothes I was wearing. Please if you have anyone who gets sick all the time, Urinary tract infections, kidney problems, and have a front end washer let them know about this problem with the washer. I just spent 3 days in the hospital and 5 IV injections of medicine
while on vacation all from mold problems. I came home last nite and have scrubbed and cleaned all the mold I can find in my washer, ran the washer with bleach and vinegar three times and am now washing every towel, sheet, clothing we own with detergent and vinegar. I have only had this machine for 3 yrs.. Tomorrow I go to the doctor at home to discuss this issue, have blood test run to make sure that the problem with the kidney is better, and then start my next attack with the company. Anyone with me?
they need to resolve this problem and fast.

December 3, 2010 at 10:23 pm
(263) nigel says:

Know what’s remarkable here… that people will take the time to leave a comment and not take the time to read the posts where the problem has been resolved – or at least significantly improved. Look folks… no amount of additives vinegar/salt etc is going to cure this problem and it’s not the water!!! and the rubber door gasket smell is not good – but that’s not what’s making your towels smell bad… if you take a few minutes to read how to remove the trap – you’ll know immediately what I mean. You will have to leave the room it smells so bad. Remove it, clean it. You’ll have to do this often. It’s a design problem in the washer.

December 5, 2010 at 9:27 am
(264) Pete says:

Folks: My wife and I have owned a DUET HT for ~6-7 years now and have had the same issues with smelly towels, mold growth on the inside of the dispenser tray, etc, etc, although we don’t really have the bad smell some people are experiencing. When we first bought the unit, we used powdered HE soaps (cause that’s all our local supermarkets had) and we never really saw a problem; we weren’t using liquid softeners either. Its only been after we switched to liquid soap and softeners that all the mold growth began. I took off the front panel and retrieved a few pennies from the trap, but those shouldn’t have caused a drainage problem.

After reading the postings here (and elsewhere) I switched back to powdered detergents, ran “Smelly washer cleaner” through the system and started to use either 100% “smelly towel cleaner” (or a bit of it mixed into the normal powdered detergent loading) for all my cleaning now. The only softener is in the drying sheets. The black mold is gone from both the dispenser tray and the roof of the dispenser area; there is no smell of moldiness in the washer tub and my towels and clothes smell really good again. As one engineering-type described it, the problem with the water sparing washers is that they don’t flush enough water through the dispenser system (or the washer as a matter of fact) to really rinse out the system. My personal guess is that the liquid softener is the bad guy in these types of washers.

December 12, 2010 at 2:04 am
(265) AuntPenny says:

I AM STUNNED! I HAVE OWNED F/L FOR OVER 10 YRS. SAME sickness same as others-eyes that watered all the time, mold allergies, ect. The 1st load always smelled like poop.Over the yrs- YES: towels always smelled like mold. I discovered the pull-out tray dispenser (Kenmore model) spent up to 12 hrs w toothbrush to clean. MORE…

December 12, 2010 at 2:13 am
(266) AuntPenny says:

cont: Fast forward- early Nov 2010: the discharge hose into tub looked like someone dumped a carton of cigarettes in machine & it was coming out! In clothes. NOW I’ve had it. Called my “service-man” (more later). He came & said: “you need to clean this mold off of & around/behind the boot/gasket”. WHAT A DISGUSTING MESS! EVEN AFTER HRS & HRS & USING WASHINGMACHINE-MAGIC (which he sold me)- Nothin’. I cleaned again..getting deeper & deeper into the bowels of “the boot”.After all of this & washing 5-6x in HOT water & scrubbing I though “it’s gotta be clean”. CONT..

December 12, 2010 at 2:16 am
(267) AuntPenny says:

Part 3 (sorry but took 3 parts to get all in)-I took a paper towel w hot water from washer & WIPED THAT STUPED BOOT 1 LAST TIME: IT LOOK EXACTLY LIKE THE 1ST TIME (not to be gross, but imagine doing a “# two in bathroomand looking at toilet paper”. That was it for me & I haven’t done laundry since.
SOME GREAT ADVICE: I SIGNED UP FOR “THE PLATINUM ENERGY PROGRAM WITH GREENBACKS” WITH MY LOCAL ELECTRIC COMPANY. WORTH EVERY PENNY: THEY COVER ALL APPLIANCES U CAN THINK OF IN UR HOUSE WITH NO “TRIP CHARGE” & COME NEXT DAY. The “GREENBACKS” part is they will PAY YOU $$ if they can’t fix the appliance. EVERYONE SHOULD CK W LOCAL UTILITY COMPANY FOR THIS PROGRAM! It also includes maintenance on appliances, ect.
So: 1st guy came (as explained above)- told me to NEVER GET A F/L!! ONLY GET THE “NEW DIRECT-PUSH -DRIVE” TYPE (trying to learn abt that)- says old F/L worked on syphon system-always left water in there (ahem). New type has a moter to push it up & out. He said they look like “… big round front sticking out…kinda a hybrid of top and front loader..”
DOES ANYONE OUT THERE KNOW ABT THIS?
ALSO: BEST THING I EVER GOT: This repairman (no dog in race due to utility company)- installed A UV LIGHT INTO THE PRE-AIR INTAKE TO MY FURNACE! The bulb is inside, totally safe- kills all pathogens, replace UV bulb 1x/yr. Cheap. You can get on-line. TOOK MIN’s TO INSTALL! IN 10 MINUTES MY HOUSE SMELLED GREAT, MY NOSE STOPPED RUNNING, migraines stopped! HIGHLY RECCOMMEND TO THOSE W FORCED HOT AIR! I love it-works w AC; blower to purify house.THEN:After work mentioned & gross crud still on boot.I call my “Program” again. New guy,He says boot torn w bad bearings.Tomorrow will buy NEW T/L?-BYE MEDICAL MONSTER ONCE & FOR ALL! THATs how I found this site. Thanks to all! Unless I get what this “DIRECT PUSH DRIVE” is. I will keep you posted.

December 20, 2010 at 2:07 pm
(268) Tennessee Mom says:

My installer told me to place some tang in place of the Affresh, and according to the retailer will not causea problem with the warantee.

December 23, 2010 at 7:16 pm
(269) wen says:

We own the whirlpool duet washer and dryer for about 2 years now. The spot under the rubber seal is smelling and kind of yucky. I try to leave the door open and kept the rubber seal open but it still smell. Now the washer leaks too. I guess all the time I try to make the washer less smelly it put wear on the rubber. Now the washer smell and leak and i need to find way to replace the rubber seal. The hindge on the dryer door also is “broken”. Everytime I need to lift the door up and close it then it will lock for dry cycle. A repair came and look at it. shake his head and say did not have part for replacement. What a bad investment into expensive appliance and not have them work out.

February 2, 2011 at 10:17 pm
(270) Peggy McKinney says:

I have had the whirlpool duet w/d for many years & have advocated because of the water/energy savings. But there is something wrong with the odor & mildew/crap that accumulates in the gasket and drum. I purchased early when they were top dollar and now I’m ready to trash them & buy something different – like a cheap old fashioned top load. I have never had a mildew problem with any other washer/dryer. I do not intend to regulary “clean” my clothes washer so that it doesn’t stink. A top load washer can be used properly to save water/energy. Sorry I fell for propoganda if whirlpool & other manufacturers don’t intend to step forward and help with the issue. You’re not “going green” if you’re exposing you’re family to MOLD

February 24, 2011 at 11:21 pm
(271) Joann says:

I can tell you from experience we have tried it all and Nothing has helped..my very costly three year old machine is going to the dump. I am tired of trying to get rid of the disgusting moldy smell that has taken over our brand new home. We are very concerned for the health risks associated with mold. THANK YOU Whirlpool for costing us a ridiculous amount of money not to mention the allergies, headaches and embarrassing smell. We are planning to contact an attorney and join the classs action suit. We will discourage anyone from owning this brand in the future.

February 27, 2011 at 7:31 pm
(272) colleen says:

We’ve had our Duet for probably 6 yrs and have had nothing but problems with mold on the rubber in the tank around door since the first month. We have called the store we bought it from and the manufacturers. Of course it’s everyone elses fault but theirs. I have never used anything but HE in the washer. I have also tried using the “cleansing solutions and tablets they recommended, they do not work. I will never buy another front loader again! It would be nice if the manufactures would stand behind their product and help us all out.

March 4, 2011 at 8:09 pm
(273) becky pyle says:

I have a Bosch front loader , about 3 years old, and after 3 years of dealing with the black moldy, stinking gasket I guarantee that I will never, never, EVER buy a front loader again! Doesn’t the washing machine industry listen to consumers? Apparently not. Next time I’m going to buy myself a big ol’ top loader that uses plenty of water to get my clothes clean and fresh smelling before some government agency outlaws them.

March 12, 2011 at 10:41 am
(274) Debbie says:

We too have had the whirlpool duet for 6 years. Was also told by Whirlpool, it’s because we live in Florida. Funny it’s the only washer I have had in Florida with these problems. Beside the mold problem, our clothes never smelled fresh or felt clean. My husband had it and last week went and bought a top load speed queen. Wow, what a difference. The clothes not only smell wonderful but feel softer. Never will buy a front load again. Whirlpool suck it up and admit your product is the problem.

March 21, 2011 at 6:46 pm
(275) guest says:

I have the smaller Whirlpool Duet Sport set same as the writer, but I have always had serious mold problem. I have done everything but havent found satisfactory solution yet.

March 22, 2011 at 10:46 am
(276) Shannan says:

I have the big one…i HATE it. and Whirlpool doesn’t care…just got off the phone with them. trying the bleach once more. they don’t me, “you can’t believe everything you read on the internet.” when I told them this is a common problem. I said, you can when it’s happening to you too!

March 22, 2011 at 1:03 pm
(277) Laura says:

Whirlpool…shame on you. WE WILL NEVER PURCHASE ANY TYPE OF WHIRLPOOL PRODUCT AGAIN. Given the lack of servicing these horrible issues, not caring about your customers and their health issues. Have speard the word to friends and family about these issues we are having and hope they follow our lead…

March 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm
(278) Pam Powell says:

My machine did have the same molded smell. I’ve found that if I just leave the front door on it open a little, it doesn’t smell anymore

April 13, 2011 at 11:55 pm
(279) Tim says:

There is such a simple solution to this problem: never close the washer door. I always leave the door propped open when not in use, and the vapor dries naturally. We have never had a single mold issue.

Hope this helps!

April 23, 2011 at 12:07 pm
(280) Linda says:

We leave our Duet washer door open every single time we use it and wipe it all down AND we live in the desert where it’s DRY – it’s becoming unbearable. Our clothes smell moldy no matter what we do – we’re off to buy different washer…

April 28, 2011 at 1:06 pm
(281) missn3priss says:

I absolutely hate my washer. My husband has had to throw away so many of his t-shirts because of the smell. They smell clean and then once they get wet or you sweat, it smells horrible. It is embarrassing. I have a new baby and two other daughters, their clothes smell awful too. I don’t have the money to replace my washer and I don’t have the money to replace our clothes!!! I hate that I made such an investment in the washer and have had nothing but problems.

Also, it takes forever to wash a load of laundry, I get a F error beeping sound and I have to pause then restart the washer, it takes HOURS to wash one load!! So much for less water etc.

I wish I could afford to buy a new washer for my family, this one is awful but I can’t do anything about it plus the fact that is has ruined our clothes.

May 4, 2011 at 10:16 pm
(282) G says:

Have have been having black spots (some dots others look can be an inch or longer. What is this all about?

May 19, 2011 at 5:43 pm
(283) Dee says:

I have the Whirlpool Duet since 2003. I live in the west where its dry. We have started having mold issues on the rubber part about a yr ago. I took out the soap drawer and found a little mold. Next we will check the trap as advised by previous poster. I will never buy another front loader if this problem isn’t addressed. My sensor on dryer went out as well. Have to use time dry.

May 27, 2011 at 4:45 pm
(284) Sheila says:

Thank you!!! I have had my Whirlpool Duet for 9 years and only a year ago did we start to have problems with mold smells. I have survived with an occaisional bleach wash but things are getting worse so I am going to look at the drain as suggested here.

Funny enough I have had a rash on an off for about the same length of time!

If you had asked me a year ago I would have said how very happy i was with this machine.

May 31, 2011 at 12:54 pm
(285) JO says:

My mold issue was finally resolved after almost a year of trying everything Whirlpool had to offer.

They had a repair service remove the stainless steel drum and plastic barrell it rides in — and on the back of the stainless steel drum was masses of mold that looked like the barnacles on a boat motor. They replaced the stainless steel drum and plastic drum it rides in and the smell was finally gone!!!!!! Prior to that, I spent more time trying to clean my washer than it spent cleaning my clothes!

I took pictures of the back of the stainless steel drum and wish there was a way to include them here.

It wasn’t until I was put in touch with the safety department at Whirlpool (because I told them mold was a medical issue for my husband) that I got results.

June 11, 2011 at 12:51 pm
(286) Ruby says:

I’ve tried bleach, Tide washing machine cleaner, and vinegar to get the smell out. No luck. I used to leave the door open which helped keep the odor at bay. But now I’m afraid to do that because the machine has occasionally start filling all by itself which causes major flooding. To heck with environmental-correctness, I want a washing machine that doesn’t stink and that works. I don’t want to have to run a bleach cycle before I wash clothes.

June 17, 2011 at 11:33 am
(287) Winona A says:

I have had my Whirlpool Duet for about 6 years. I regularly run a cycle on hot with bleach. Most loads that I do I also add a product called odoban. It will not kill the mold but inhibits it from growing. After reading this we will be cleaning the machine this weekend.

June 17, 2011 at 12:07 pm
(288) walso says:

I leave the door open and use bleach on a regular basis. I have also been using a product called odobon (not with bleach loads). It prohibits mold from growing and makes everything smell fresh.

June 17, 2011 at 9:43 pm
(289) Cis says:

I’ve read every post on here and my question is has anyone had any satisfaction with help from any of the makers of these toxic machines. I purchased mine in Feb. 2010 and have been having many of the same issues. I am livid for the fact that my elderly mother is suffering from the mold issue with respiratory and skin issues. She will not eat or drink for me because she says it hurts to swallow. I need answers and there are none. Shame on all these big companies. I’m not giving up, have calls into every environmental health dept. public health, consumer product safety commission. the university of Chicago has an environmental clinic, with some good options, contact them 24/7 @ 312-413-0369.

I’ll check back here, keep us/me posted. Thanks

June 18, 2011 at 5:59 pm
(290) Amy says:

Whirlpool is awful. Same with KitchenAid. We had a cheap top-loader, but thought we should replace with a more enviro machine. All the clothes closets smell awful, sour, sweaty. Our stove (KitchenAid) would randomly turn on the highest setting for the gas broiler. Yikes! What’s up with the class action lawsuit? Never had problems with our cheap washer, or our cheap stove/oven, after years of use. Replaced them with high-end KitchenAid and Whirlpool appliances, and had headaches since.

June 29, 2011 at 6:42 pm
(291) Ken says:

Be careful with any noise associated with the spin cycle as it could be a bearing problem. My inner tub bearing failed during the spin cycle causing the front outer tub to melt. My wife’s arm got burned when she attempted to remove the clothes from the washer. We never had any bearing noise indication just a burning smell before all hell broke loose. Both inner and outer tubs have to be replaced under warranty at a cost of $900 to whirlpool. I’m on the hook for the labour ($366).
Has anyone had similar problems with this Whirlpool model?

July 2, 2011 at 3:17 pm
(292) Carie says:

I’ve had my GE front load washer & dryer for 5 years now. I wanted them so badly and paid premium to get them. Every year I have had to have the washer or dryer serviced. The first time I experienced the odor problem was six months into my ownership. The GE service person told me – “This is not the washer’s problem. You need to read your owner’s manual and learn how to use your washer correctly.” So I thought, ok…it’s a new machine maybe I did something wrong. WTH? What was I thinking? I maintain my things correctly! The odor always comes back even with strict adherence to everything that’s been stated by everyone above. My 10 yr old top load washer and dryer cleaned much more efficiently than these so-called “top of the line” appliances and I NEVER had a problem with them. I will get rid of these as soon as I am able and get normal a normal old fashioned washer and dryer set. I also have a GE Profile side-by-side fridge with endless problems. I HATE GE! I wish I never wasted my money!

July 12, 2011 at 12:26 pm
(293) smellywasher says:

The area of heaviest buildup is invariably on the inside of the plastic outer tub just above the normal waterline where suds and soiled water splash up and don’t get rinsed out.

To soak this “splash area” extra gallons (2-5) of hot water need to be added to the washer AFTER it fills itself into a hot soak or cleaning cycle. These extra gallons of water will raise the soaking or cleaning water level to also include this splash area. This buildup can get quite thick so it may take repeated applications. There are 24 treatments in every bottle of Smelly Washer Cleaner, Smelly Towel Cleaner and Smelly Dishwasher & Disposal Cleaners!

July 14, 2011 at 9:44 pm
(294) Joan Z says:

Yes bleach is the best solution for mold, but what can be used if you have a septic system that will be destroyed by chemicals such as bleach?

July 17, 2011 at 5:13 pm
(295) Jackie C says:

So This whirlpool duet front loader sucks. My dad has been have sereve allergic reactions lately to nothing! He woke up numerous times covered in mold. I am getting sick on a regular basis and have never had health problems. I tried to clean the washer to get rid of the smell. It still smelled then when getting down on my knees and looking at the drum I saw that the front portion in between HAS BLACK MOLD!!! I was disgusted and relieved that all of our weird health problems had a cause. I will be contacting whirlpool and demaning that they come and take this washer out of our home as it has now become a health problem. I have older parents who would have just kept trying to make the smell go away. I am disgusted to go online and find so many people with the same problem. I want a refund and this thing taken out of my house ASAP. I will let you all know what happens after I call. I will also be writing to my local paper about this and anyone else who will listen. It is disgusting that something that is supposed to keep us clean is infecting us

July 21, 2011 at 1:15 pm
(296) Sheila says:

Finally got rid of the smell!

I followed the instructions found here and cleared a few items (coins pen top etc) from the drain area below the machine but I could not believe that these few items could be the cause of the mold as the holes were many and large for drainage. I also cleaned the seal with bleach and did a major bleach hot wash.

I cleaned everything out that I could with bleach but you can not reach all the locations. What I started to do instead was run my whites with bleach every time I do a white load. In the UK they have used front loaders for decades and I never heard of this problem BUT I remembered that their detergent contained bleach.

I have not had a problem since.

So thrilled to get rid of that smell!

Sheila

July 22, 2011 at 10:00 pm
(297) Not feeling so Minnesota nice! says:

I am so fed up! Children’s hives no longer a mystery! Will try the maintenance suggested on here but won’t it just happen again?! Saved to buy a bit of a luxury item which in turn has caused nothing but more work! Seriously……..does the smell ever ce out of the clothes or do they all need to be thrown? Do not buy the Whirlpool Duets! Disgusted with many problems!

July 23, 2011 at 11:44 pm
(298) Richmond says:

when I bought a MIELA washer set (for my MOM) the sales REP told me to NEVER use “cold water detergent AND cold water washes and to use warm/Cold OR Hot/Cold wash/rinse cycle and to use POWDER detergent and he threw in a box of detergent from Germany and it called for ONE TEA SPOON ONLY and it does work and the machines have worked perfect + I used the same detergent + ONE tea spoon in my Mayteg “superstacker” that already had been re sealed due to mold and it has NEVER molded up again and I do NOT leave the door open as I can NOT due to the room size
the powder is “persil” and is/was sold @ edmonds appliance in Vancouver Canada and I assume any Appliance seller that sells Miela

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persil

[quote]Upscale German appliance manufacturer, Miele, acts as a direct importer of Henkel’s Persil products into Canada and the United states, where they can only be purchased at licensed appliance dealers. It is marketed as a premium German import that is the “officially recommended” detergent for its washing machines. Due to this exclusive importation status and specialty positioning at appliance dealerships, it retails for up to $40/box CAD. Specialty importers also exist in the U.S.[/quote]
I had found this article as I wanted to know about the Duet VS LG both on sale (duet unmatched pair 950 /LG matched 1200)
and have dropped the Duet from my list as they appear to be as bad as the “superstacker” I left behind and any opinions on LG 4.0 Cu Ft washer pair VS Samsung 4.0 VS Bosch AXXES Europe sized set thanks

July 25, 2011 at 7:53 am
(299) Helder says:

I had allt he above problems and got rid of them in an easy and evironmental way!
I happened to test using SOFT SOAP, the old original product made of pine oil and kalium salt.
This may be avalable in most drugstores.
It killide the fungus and I even use two drops in the last rinse to innoculate the washer and get a fresh small for my clothes.

:)

August 15, 2011 at 1:56 pm
(300) housewares says:

I’ve posted this comment on both washer mold discussions.
Thanks again for all your helpful tips. After six years of averting the smelly washer syndrome, it has hit our household. My Whirlpool Sport was emitting a mold smell and washload was very smelly, even with my usually good preventative care. I had slacked off a wee bit on care. So it can happen to anyone.

I took Barry’s advice (13) and took the front panel off. Found a few little things in there (obviously missed some pocket debris), lots of gunk and of course black mold too.

To add to Barry’s instructions, the screen and cap assembly comes apart and there was more mold inside of there. The soap dispenser also has several parts that can be cleaned and reassembled easily – more mold there.

On the inside of the front panel we found a taped on instruction sheet which should be kept there for Whirlpool technicians. However, it had more concise care info that was not included in the manual. So you may want to have a read if you have one of those tech sheets tucked in there.

I’ll proceed with a full machine cleaning with 2/3’s cup of bleach and hope that the mold monster retreats. But lesson learned, you CANNOT slack off on the machine cleaning, leaving door open and cutting down on soap, etc. I plan on changing from liquid to powder Tide Free, next time I shop.

See my full tips on preventing washer mold.

Please keep comments and helpful tips coming – this is a recurring problem for many and advice is most appreciated.

August 16, 2011 at 11:33 am
(301) Bruce T. says:

This problem is not a small one. The law firm of Leiff, Cabraser, Heimann, and Bernstein is processing a class action lawsuit to represent all Whirlpool Duet owners. Check it out as you may be interested in representation to solve your problem.

August 19, 2011 at 3:33 pm
(302) Sue says:

Wow #13 this is great….I got rid of my first front loader because of the smell. – no one I mean no one ever told me aobut the panel in front with the filter. I always leave the door and the dispenser door open when not in use and also clean under the rubber seals now I am excited to see what ‘treasures’ the filter will hold for me. Going to arm myself with bleach and tackel it this weekend. THANK YOU #`13 :)

August 22, 2011 at 12:15 pm
(303) Margaret says:

My whirlpool duet steam had a foul odor. Not so much mildewy smell but just a really stinky smell. I was told it was from detergents/oils fabric softeners building up. The service guy I talked to told me to try Cascade(just regular, no rinse agent)in the Clean Washer cycle. I put 2 little dishwasher detergent pods in the machine and ran it through the cycle. It took doing this 4 times but it finally worked. Yeah!! I had tried everything & was about to get rid of this machine. Hope this helps, I know the frustration!

August 22, 2011 at 2:45 pm
(304) AH says:

Finally validated. Blown off by everyone I’ve told regarding the odd buildup in my washer, now I know why it’s there. However, I’m horrified by what it means. I’m a neatfreak and careful about everything from laundry to sunscreen to food my kids eat. Makes me feel simply disgusted.

If ever there was a case for a class action, this is it.

August 25, 2011 at 4:40 pm
(305) Mary F says:

WOW, WOW, WOW. We bought our Duet set in 2005 because front loaders were recommended for septic systems. I HATE THE PAIR. What bothered me the most at the beginning was how tangled the clothes were, sometimes requiring me to dump the entire load onto the floor to untangle them and how much more ironing I had to do. The dryer doesn’t dry clothes in one cycle even though it stops like it has finished. I’m ready to have my husband hang a clothes line outside.

But, we have the smell problem too. Towels smell moldy. Clothes smell like they’ve never been washed. I’ve started washing half loads and double rinsing everything. I’ve always left the door of the washer open. My allergies have gotten worse. I cough constantly. Thought it was due to dust mites. Perhaps some of the problem is caused by them. But, this mold business is probably much to blame too. I’m almost afraid to open the bottom of the washer. Get the clothes pins ready for my nose. I will follow many of the suggestions on this forum.

Oh, to be rich and able to dump the pair and buy new. NEVER EVER ANOTHER FRONT LOADER FOR ME.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 29, 2011 at 11:38 am
(306) Lynn says:

Very enlightening discussion, I have a burning smell and have service coming this week. But also really hate this duet pair I’ve had for 4-5 years – the clothes don’t get clean, and when using liquid bleach for gym towels it doesn’t get mixed properly with the water and has made holes in my whites. Thinking of tossing it and going back to top loader if I can find one. Disgusted with Whirpool.

August 29, 2011 at 11:06 pm
(307) Tim says:

FYI in addition to Barry’s comment #13:

I additionally removed the ribbed drain hose that flows into the filter compartment and found per prior comments that was the source of my smells/mold as it has collected bio-film over the many years. It is easy to undo multiple hose clamps and pop the whole assembly out. Clean it out along with the rubber seal around the door and that should help a lot.

Also, as for cleaning agents, some recommend using citric acid crystals both in the washer and in dishwashers. Any comments there?

September 3, 2011 at 7:01 pm
(308) Anita M. says:

I have the same smelly problems as the rest of you! I have contacted Whirlpool and they will not do anything to help. I did get them to agree to have a repairman come and replace the grey mold covered door gasket in leu of getting a 20% discount or $175.00 towards a new $1000. machine! So we followed Barry’s advice and took apart the washer. We pulled the clear drain (lack of drain) tube out and bleached the heck out of it. I am running a cleaning cycle now and I guess in the future I will dry the heck out of the grey gasket and check every couple of months to see it we have to pull the back of the machine off and clean that tube again. Good luck everyone I hope this helps. The only way to get rid of the smell is to clean those tubes out along with the gasket etc. What a shame you spend all that money and the maintenance is next to impossible!

September 6, 2011 at 3:48 pm
(309) matt says:

well we all take a cars in to the shop for oil and lubes. why is it that cleaning a 1000.00 dollar washer is harder then a 40000.00 dollar car . come on folks new models require new care . they are the same machines from eurp. and they dont have these problems maybe it us not the machines.

September 8, 2011 at 10:53 am
(310) ebarnes says:

Drainage Problems and other’

To reset Press the end cycle button and Cancel button at the same time.

Hopfully, this solve your problems. Our serviceman gave us this advice for $75.00.

September 10, 2011 at 9:35 pm
(311) Mikel says:

Far out – I didn’t realise just what a problem these front end washers are. I have a Miele and it’s been problematic for the last year including smelly washes and marks on white clothes when I was at a higher temperature.

I discovered a lot of mould around the rubber seal at the front of the drum but have discovered, thanks to all these posts, there’s mould everywhere inside almost all the parts of the machine that have contact with water.

This seems amazing to me and I’ll be going back to a top loader from now on.

Odd thing is, all my friends in Germany have front loaders and don’t complain about these issues.

September 13, 2011 at 6:36 pm
(312) Debby says:

We have had our duet for one and half years and are experiencing the mold problem. I have tried to clean this to no avail. This is absolutely terrible for the amount of money we have spent.

September 13, 2011 at 11:07 pm
(313) JC says:

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Whirlpool for the Duet washer mold problem by Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP. “We have filed a lawsuit on behalf of owners of Whirlpool Duet, Duet HT, and Duet Sport Front-Loading Automatic Washers who purchased their washer in one of fourteen states (Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas). The lawsuit alleges that the washers have a mold and/or foul odor problem, that the problem is caused by the faulty design of the washers, and that Whirlpool has failed to honor its obligations to consumers. Our case has been consolidated with cases filed by other law firms asserting similar claims; the consolidated case is In re Whirlpool Corp. Front-Loading Washer Products Liability Litigation, 1:08-wp-65000 (N.D. Ohio).
If you own one of the above-listed washers and are experiencing a problem with mold and/or foul odors, your rights are protected by the above litigation if: (1) you purchased that washer in one of the fourteen states listed and; (2) you purchased your washer for household use. You do not need to take any action right now to be a part of the class action.”

September 23, 2011 at 12:40 am
(314) Carol. says:

We have a Samsung HE front load washer, less than two years old. I began having the mold problem during the first year. After contacting Samsung, I was told to use Affresh. It really didn’t work very well and the mold smell continued to come back. I cut back to 2 tablespoons of detergent during the first year but problem persisted. I have been reading all the reports from others with various models of washers and while doing the research I found a product called Technofresh which I will be trying as soon as it arrives. That website is: http://www.technofresh.net/html/buy_technofresh_now_-.html
I will report back after trying this to say how well it works. Meanwhile, I feel this issue of mold in front load, high efficiency washing machines needs to be addressed and the public needs to be informed. Mold is nothing to fool around with!

September 28, 2011 at 10:49 pm
(315) Fed Up says:

We have the Whirlpool Duet Sport Washer and Dryer. Had mold problem after one week! Gave to use beach to run thru it once a week. Already wipe it down; pull dispenser; wipe out dispenser, etc. after Each wash. The dryer has been a piece of crap from beginning-takes avg of 3 hrs to dry ANYTHING, no matter size of load! Will trash these pieces of junk as doin as possible!

October 5, 2011 at 12:24 am
(316) Mickie says:

I have the same problem as everyone else and I am glad there is a class action lawsuit for these machines, however I do not live in any of these states. I live in Iowa and I am about sick of this on going cleaning and mold problem. I am getting rid of my washer and dryer soon because I don’t think I can handle it anymore. Thanks for getting this lawsuit rolling, but since my state is not involved, I guess I better move on.

October 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm
(317) v8kate says:

PART 1 Hi from the UK. This mould problem isn’t just in US but may be not quite so bad in the UK? Most houses in UK are on main water which is treated with chlorines & other cleaning chemicals to purify it, most of the UK also has ‘hard’ water which leads to limescale build up in kettles, coffee machines, washing machines etc. I don’t recognise many of the detergents you use – we have Persil, available as bio, non bio, powder, liquid or gel tabs. Our main manufacturers are Proctor and Gamble and Unilever to help with comparable brand names. Fabric softeners are commonly used & a concentrated (thicker, harder to flush through the detergent dispenser) version is manufactured for most brand names. We have a huge (excessively so!) selection of laundry products. A lot of washing machines are made in the same factory & simply built down to a price with changes to number of wash programmes, styling etc. Most machines in the UK are front loaders these days – ‘twin tub’ top loaders used to be available & we can get some of the US top loaders from Costco etc but few people have basements to set aside for laundry rooms so FL are more popular. All new products built to be sold in the EU have to meet far tighter energy & environmental levels, the biggest downside is finding a machine that does that proper hot wash (mine apparently does 95%) & also that the water saving features now make a wash take a good half hour longer, as well as new machines only taking a cold water supply instead of hot and cold. We get bombarded with ads from detergent manufacturers about washing at 30degC using their supposed brilliant products with no mention that this does not kill moulds & bacteria, instead they add stronger perfumes to these low temp products to mask the body odour smells lingering – stupid really!

TO BE CONTINUED

October 8, 2011 at 5:11 pm
(318) V8KATE says:

PART ONE Hi from the UK. This mould problem isn’t just in US but may be not quite so bad in the UK? Most houses in UK are on main water which is treated with chlorines & other cleaning chemicals to purify it, most of the UK also has ‘hard’ water which leads to limescale build up in kettles, coffee machines, washing machines etc. I don’t recognise many of the detergents you use – we have Persil, available as bio, non bio, powder, liquid or gel tabs. Our main manufacturers are Proctor and Gamble and Unilever to help with comparable brand names. Fabric softeners are commonly used & a concentrated (thicker, harder to flush through the detergent dispenser) version is manufactured for most brand names. We have a huge (excessively so!) selection of laundry products. A lot of washing machines are made in the same factory & simply built down to a price with changes to number of wash programmes, styling etc. Most machines in the UK are front loaders these days – ‘twin tub’ top loaders used to be available & we can get some of the US top loaders from Costco etc but few people have basements to set aside for laundry rooms so FL are more popular. All new products built to be sold in the EU have to meet far tighter energy & environmental levels, the biggest downside is finding a machine that does that proper hot wash (mine apparently does 95%) & also that the water saving features now make a wash take a good half hour longer, as well as new machines only taking a cold water supply instead of hot and cold. We get bombarded with ads from detergent manufacturers about washing at 30degC using their supposed brilliant products with no mention that this does not kill moulds & bacteria, instead they add stronger perfumes to these low temp products to mask the body odour smells lingering – stupid really!

October 8, 2011 at 9:59 pm
(319) Lynn says:

I have a GE Spacemaker front load washer that I purchased in the Fall of 2007. I have tried to keep up with mold prevention by wiping dry the rubber gasket inside the door whenever possible, and occasionally leaving the door open (although I have safety concerns with doing that). I’ve run the washer with bleach without a load a few times per yer. But at this point, the smell and mold are disgusting and we all know black mold is a health hazard. I have emailed customer support, but haven’t heard a peep in response to date. Has anyone had any luck with having the gasket replaced? My clothes do not smell clean after being washed, and I am getting increasingly concerned to point that after only 4 years I may have to add to my debt and buy a new washer. Please comment. At my wits end.

October 14, 2011 at 10:02 pm
(320) Gail says:

i have a frigidare dual set. The front loader washing machine is disgusting. It is located in the bathroom in a way that will not allow me to leave the door and detergent drawer open. After reading a lot of these blogs, i now know it is not me – i have friends that say they love their front loaders….i am constantly pouring bleach into the gasket and still can’t get it clean. I take out the detergent drawer often and clean it but tonight i took it out and looked up – the most disgusting globs of mold are everywhere. tomorrow i will take apart the bottom panel and look around… this set was very expensive and i hate throw it away…i also had the bathroom built so it can only take a stacket set…so i don’t know where i can put a top loader…

October 16, 2011 at 8:21 pm
(321) Peggy says:

I have maintained my Whirlpool HE Duet washer as the manual recommends as well as being in an air conditioned environment with the door left open. Soon after purchase I detected the smell of mold and mildew. My repairman says this is a chronic problem with these machines. He removed the “boot” which is the rubber large gasket just inside the door. Underneath it, mold and mildew grows rampant – even with proper care. I took pictures and actually sent a piece of it wrapped in protective plastic to the CEO of Whirlpool. I wanted to believe he would care that there is apparently a flaw in the design which does not allow this area to properly dry and thereby creates a fertile environment for mold and mildew. His response was to have his executive assistant call me and say that they had never heard of such a problem and implied that either I was a) lying or b) not taking proper care. She said they would love to hear if anyone else was having that problem but, so far, I was the only one to contact them. If you are having this problem, I urge you to contact Amanda @ Whirlpool Headquarters 866 817 5404 x 7820.

October 17, 2011 at 4:36 pm
(322) Kendra says:

We own a 6-year-old Kenmore front-loader with all the same problems everyone else is experiencing. So I’m really ready to switch to a top-loader. Has anyone heard of such issues with current top-loaders? Do top-loaders require such attentive cleaning?

October 18, 2011 at 4:14 am
(323) Hannele says:

My LG has the same design as all other front load washers. My independent repair guy replaced the corrugated type hose that leads to the filter with a smooth hose and cleaned the drain pump/filter – the corrugated hose to the filter trapped tons of fabric threads in the wells that ended as huge clumps of mold.
He said the fault is with the design and the internal hoses not moving the debris cleanly to the filter. The debris that is supposed to get washed away with the pump gets trapped in the wells of the hoses before it even gets to the filter and pump. He advised to use the little hose to drain away all the water once a month as well. Then wash out the machine with borax or baking soda because it effectively kills mold.

October 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm
(324) housewares says:

Kendra #322, as far as I know, top loaders do not have these mold issues that frontload washers tend to have, because of the different design and less places for water/detergent to sit and grow mold.

We’ve had to take our Whirlpool Sport Duet apart lately because laundry was starting to smell. We did find some mold under the detergent tray and in the bottom section of the washer. Followed Barry #13′s advice and other reader comments here. Not as bad as I expected, but we had avoided the mold monster for almost 6 yrs – which I thought was pretty good.

If mold issues were to worsen or the washer breaks down in future, I will be very tempted to return to a topload washer.

October 22, 2011 at 6:13 pm
(325) Peter says:

In Canada, class action site against Whirlpool is here:
http://www.whirlpoolclassaction.ca/

October 23, 2011 at 9:16 am
(326) Bee says:

I always leave the door open when not in use so the drum can dry out. I drain my water line at the bottom of my LG about once a month and clean & check the filter to make sure nothing is trapped in there AND here is the big tip… use Cascade DISH washing machine detergent (not liquid), in both detergent trays (remove the liquid holder if your machine has one) and run a hot cycle. The phosphates in the Cascade, break away the mold in the machine. Yeah no more stale clothes or towels. I hate to run the machine empty, so I’ll wash the cleaning rags when I do this. Twice a year should be fine if you’re doing the other parts like, leaving door open and draining filter area. All the best!

October 23, 2011 at 10:00 pm
(327) Michele says:

thank goodness for all this input and information! i was wondeirng if carol had ever tried the technofresh? i searched the site but couldn’t find a list of the chemicals/ingredients used >>does anyone know what they are or where to find them?

October 24, 2011 at 4:09 pm
(328) Anna says:

I have the same problem and another one. My Whirlpool Duet does not fill with enough water during the wash cycle. It puts in enough water for the clothes to get wet, and I see no suds. Then during the rinse cycle, a lot more water is in the drum. The clothes never get completely rinsed out. I have to run them through at least one more cycle. I use the right amount of HE detergent also. The “clean washer” light comes on every 2 weeks and I use Affresh. There is another website
http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=6533643064352455329&postID=3554533296329639016
that deals with this. He believes it is the soap residue left over in the washer that causes the mold to grow. I have just started adding a few gallons of water (through the dispenser) to the wash cycle to dissolve the soap. I am waiting for my washer to die! (it’s only 2 1/2 years old and it will be my last F/L.

October 25, 2011 at 11:01 am
(329) inge guerra says:

Six month ago i bought a Samsung Front-Load washer. After a few month it started smelling bad. I had a LG Front-Load washer before, and I never had this problem.

October 28, 2011 at 11:08 am
(330) pat says:

We have a GE high end washer & dryer that we bought 2/2010 ago for a deluxe beach house…Irene hit the island, and no one was in the home for 7 weeks…now there is a horrid mildew/moldy smell in the washer…I have run bleach through on hottest/longest setting twice, to no avail…any new ideas/suggestions?

October 28, 2011 at 3:38 pm
(331) Marti says:

Own a Maytag front loader washer which I purchased in August 2007. Experienced mildewy smell within approximately 1 year. Eventually went online and saw advice on cleaning the gasket, drum and detergent drawer. I clean around the gasket once a month, and there is always black gooey mold stuff growing. I called Maytag and of course they refused to admit they had a problem with their frontloaders, actually telling me that my responsibility is to clean inside the gasket and other areas after every load. I asked her if when they advertised their front loaders, they informed consumers of their responsibility of having to clean the gasket in order to keep black mold from growing and she refused to answer. If anyone has an interest in starting a class action lawsuit on Maytag front loaders, you have a list right here of interested parties.

November 8, 2011 at 9:00 pm
(332) Laura says:

Hi I have a (kenmore elite quiet 9 /HE 5t) .
Before you mess with drainage cap, it’s a good
Idea to unplug not only wall plug but drain motor circuit plug you
Take metal front off u will see round white
Plastic part with screw cap- on right of it
Is drain motor, at end of this is door that flips up you
will see white plastic clip with wires
Squeeze clip and gently pull away.
Not sure if all washers hold electricity but
Computerized/digital ones hold electricity.
The last service guy to come out was awesome,
He also showed me how to disconnect main
Power board and get in bin! Although now
Can’t remember that part! Any one know? And
If I remember I will get back to u.
think u lift top?Clip is on “mother board” .
then there is small door to
Unscrew on bin that let’s u in there?not sure

November 11, 2011 at 10:02 am
(333) Elizabeth says:

Purchased Whirlpool duet front loand washer and dryer about a year ago. Noticed smell in washer not long after.. did eerything on here to get rid of it. Has Sears man come out ( bought extended warranty) for maintenance, and wanted to see what was in my washer, and he took of bottom part, and took out the white srain piece, and it was disgusting. There was this black goo, and the smell was so bad, it made me step backwards, got a huge waff of it…. and I had to leave the house. That night, I had a very big scare, which was a anaphaltic shock experience. I woke up feeling like I was going to throw up, my airway was closing up, and I had this red hot rash allover me, that itched like nothing you would believe. I was scared to death. Almost (should have) called 911. Took pics of balck gunk, and having sampl tested at a lab through an enviormental company. Not funny. I am still having some itching, had some hives above my neck line, and am seeing Dr. today. Need epi pen in case it happens again. Just found out this weekend about all of this online (problems with these washers)…cannot believe it. Affresh does nothing. I don’t use fabric softner or bleach in anything, and even with keeping door and tray open, it did not do anything as to what we found in the removable drain piece. Also, water with gunk came out of it as well, when we opened it. This is ironic as I usually run the drain and spin cycle after washing cycle is complete to make sure excess water is getting out. This really sucks. The Sears guy told me it was soap build up. And he is qualified to know this how? I don’t think so. I’m still itchy today. Very scary.

November 13, 2011 at 10:16 pm
(334) Doug says:

Our Kenmore Elite (made by Whirlpool) was fine until we started using liquid detergent. Is anyone having this problem that is using powdered detergent?

November 17, 2011 at 2:59 pm
(335) Daisy says:

Maybe I’ve dodged a bullet!

I bought my Kenmore front-loader 18 months ago and feel fortunate not to have these problems! I live in Seattle where mold growth is a constant problem.

As a single retiree, I run four or five loads every week or ten days, all at once. I’ve used Gain Original HE powdered detergent from the start — the least amount necessary — though it’s not easily available in this area any more. I don’t use fabric softener or bleach and transfer clothes pretty promptly. While reading the scary “mold reports” I realized with a shock that I haven’t run a Cleaning Cycle or checked the drain filter in at least a year. Yikes! I just ran right down to check them both and everything is clean and clear. Whewww! Maybe my brand of washer is better designed than others.

The only real precaution I take (after the last load) is to thoroughly towel off the inner glass door cover and the two depressions of the inner rubber door gasket (using my finger to press the towel into the grooves and running it all the way around); then I leave the door completely open until the next wash day. I also snap out the bleach/detergent drawer, dry it fairly well and leave it to air dry on top of the machine until the next use. I dry the inside space where the drawer rested, wrapping the same hand towel around my hand, reaching in and squooshing it against the top, sides, back and bottom of this grooved opening, mopping up a fair amount of water. Perhaps also important, I have a dehumidifier running 24/7 in the basement laundry area. Remember, I live in Seattle. This has been my practice for years to prevent general mold growth and to speed drying for line-dry clothing.

My sisters think I’m nuts to go through this “drying off” procedure at the end of each series of loads, but for a few minutes worth of attention, maybe it’s been worth it.

November 17, 2011 at 4:59 pm
(336) Elizabeth says:

Ok….. I had the black stuff in the bottom drain thing (inside) tested, and it was ALOT of different bacterias. Tell me that isn’t disgusting. Having repair people come back to look at lint filter and the black gasket ( wearing a face mask of course )…. DISGUSTING.. I will try to find out exactly what the bacteria(s) is/are, but a certified lab does not lie. I am now getting black spots around the door seal, and despite doing what I am supposed to be doing……inregards to cleaning it… well I will just have the repair guy do a complete autopsy on it, and report back. To have such a severe reaction to it (see above post) is not acceptable. At all. Anyone else have anything tested? By the way, the black stuff was not any kind of mold. YUCK!!!!!

November 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm
(337) Kevin Bozman says:

I’m thinking about starting a website to gather data on this whole topic. I’d love to get some totals on the number of people going through this whole ordeal. I have a samsung washer and am going through the exact same problem as everyone else. I ordered a top loading machine today, one that you can actually manually set the water level. This mold thing is just disgusting and has to be a health issue. I’d love to see maybe a local university do some kind of tests on the mold. I’m also in touch with an attorney. He told me they are in the middle of a pretty large class action lawsuit. I just want clean laundry. Is that too much to ask for in the 21st century!

November 21, 2011 at 7:24 pm
(338) Michael Wisdom says:

Yes I too have had this problem of the mold build up. I bought my unit in 04/05 to my recall and the Duet washer worked fine until the smell arrived. Just like Barry C. I took my lower front cover off and clean the drain trap as he indicated then put it all back together and noticed the problem went away for a while. This year the problem came back, and like Barry I notice water in the drain tube that was left behind. I feel this is normal though based on the design of the drain tube pushing upward and out. What I discovered was the pump motor would chatter when in drain/spin mode. I took the pump out and with the power still connected to the pump. I turned the motor up & down & heard chatter constantly. This led me to believe the pump motor was not effective enough to push out most of the water as we would like. I purchased a new drain pump motor and problem has gone away. P.S. motors on ebay from $48-$150 for complete assembly. I hope this helps for everyone. The machine trap is a good idea if you think about it. But because most people don’t know about it and older machine never had traps this became the primary problem/culprit.The debris get caught is trap, when it is full the debris flows over into the impeller on the drain motor causing it to bind & possibly thus straining the motor in the end.

November 25, 2011 at 11:45 am
(339) kim says:

I have BLACK flat mold on my Frigidaire Affinity front load. I have already had the gasket/rubber seal replaced once. I run AFRESH, leave door open after each use, use bleach, use cascade, use HE detergent only (powder was advised, not liquid) and STILL have black mold again in my washer. It’s like buying a car and having the car manufacturer saying to clean the engine every time you turn the car off. It’s crazy and I have asthma, so I am sure it’s a health issue with me wheezing. I am so mad that consumer Reports recommends these machines. :( Frustrated

November 25, 2011 at 10:33 pm
(340) Judi says:

Have been battling the mold problem for years. Always leave my door open when not in use. Run a hot load with bleach monthly. The rubber gasket gets caked with mold. Have to take paper towels and bleach and wash the gasket to kill the mold. Just found out about the little trap…it was full of small items and surprise – mold. This week, the drum stopped turning – we’ve done the simple things to fix it but nothing has worked. So rather than spending almost 150 dollars to “diagnose” the problem, my husband has decided it’s time to buy a new one in stead of throwing good money after bad. Checked this out to see if the mold probems still exist and sure enough they do. Considering that we were told by salesman they are only made to last 6-8 years, I’m thinking I should just buy an inexpensive model. I mean, one of the selling points of the FL is how well it cleans. But how clean can it be if it’s leaving mold and mildew on my laundry. I am amazed that consumer reports treats this problem so lightly. Going to look at other options. Thanks for all the info folks!

November 28, 2011 at 11:24 am
(341) moldy towels says:

My wife has noticed a moldy smell from our towels. It became quite noticable after doing our sons laundry that he brought home from school on thanksgiving break. I saw a small drain hole on door gasket that seemed to be plugged. Take a straw and wrap a small towel around base of straw to protect tour eyes and blow through the straw. You will be amazed at the amount of moldy goooy water that comes out . Repeated this a couple of times then use some household bleach spray and do the same. Running washer through a sanitize cycle now cross your fingers. CAUTIONS: wear saftey glasses & mark the clean end of the straw no one likes a mouth full of moldy bleach!!!!!!

November 29, 2011 at 2:50 pm
(342) BoschOKBadDuet says:

Have Bosch FL washer and dryer purchased new in 2005.

Used bleach and Tide HE liquid with hot water to do clothes. Darks washed with CloroxII and cold water. Peformed monthly maintenance using bleach and no clothes. Left door open.

Never a problem untilllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll came back from four week house hunting trip. Washer used by three college students. ‘Nuff said.

Can not believe this problem hit so quickly. Rubber rim covered in black mold. Washer SMELLED LIKE A DEAD BODY IMMERSED IN WATER FOR WEEKS. . . Yes I know what that smells like.

Removed lower front panel…no screw, pops off. (Similar to fasteners used in car door frame upholstery) There is saucer sized panel with tiny hole in it. Insert small screw driver into the hole, and push gently into hole with screwdriver and rotate the panel to the right (counter clockwise. Similar to removing a ball from old track ball mouse.)

Note: If you are as uncooridinated as I am, the sheet mettle around the opening is sharp. I have the cuts to prove it:)

You will see a slotted “T” handle. Turn the handle counter clockwise to loosen and remove filter assembly Assembly comes out in one piece. (Assembly is slotted to come out and go back in one way.)

About two cupfulls of black water leaked out. Old towels or paper towels are a must. Helps with the blood also:) Not as much debris as described by others with the Duet…German engineering comes to mind.

Lots of bleach sprayed into opening and removed with towels.

Let sit and dry.

Reassemble by reversing above process. (Do not cut yourself.) Plate with tiny hole has tabs that fit in the opening one way. Use screwdriver in small hole and turn 1/8 turn clockwise. Snap large colored panel back into place. You are done.

One load without clothes and chlorine bleach. One more load with a product “Smelly Washer” and again without clothes. Washer loves it. You will hate the utility bill.

December 6, 2011 at 11:37 am
(343) Julie says:

We have a Whirpool Duet Sport and have had nothing but problems with it. The rubber gasket does not drain the water after washing and is completely moldy and smelly. I have tried all the recommended cleaning methods. I do not believe I should have to take apart a washing machine to clean it. The black mold is a serious health hazard that the Whirlpool makers should admit it a design flaw in their machines. When we called them they said that they do not get reports from other consumers that this is a problem, although the first technician had a 4-5 step plan for it. This was supposed to be a money and time saver as advertised by
Whirlpool and it cost more time and money than any other previous top loader. I will be junking the machine and buying a top loader.

December 10, 2011 at 12:49 am
(344) Walt says:

Hi. I have the Maytag FAV6800 Neptune Top (Front?) Loading washer.

It’s a good 7 years old now.

About 6 months ago i started noticing a very, HUGE odor coming from the machine but only AFTER the water started to fill the tub.

At first i thought it was the drain but i have confirmed it’s not. I poured a gallon of water down the drain with no smell.

The smell ONLY comes when you first turn on the washer.

IS this the same thing that others here are referencing?

I’ve tried at least 6 different washing machine cleaners, bleach and more.

I try to keep what i can see clean but i too have noticed that the rubber gasket that goes all the way around the top of the washer is black spotted all over.

I figured it was age. I’m guessing not.

So i’m back to the smell. I’m now thinking its the drain hose.

When the washer has sat for a few days unused, you’d never know it was there. You cant’ smell it.

When you load the washer and are working with it, again, you’d never know there was an issue.

The the minute you press START and the water starts running… it’s time to leave the room. Within 5 minutes the room smells absolutely rotten!

The smell goes away, it isn’t present the entire time, so it does go away and by the time i’m doing the 2nd load of wash, again, it’s like a normal washer.

So it’s the first load and only after the water starts to fill the tub.

Any thoughts? Any suggestions? I’m a touch concerned about pulling the machine apart for fear i won’t get it back together! LOL

SO my thought was maybe the drain hose on the back of the machine is dirty???

Any suggestions or thought would sure be appreciated. Thanks!!

December 11, 2011 at 5:01 pm
(345) Antonia Turner says:

In response to the suggestion to leave the washer/dryer door open to prevent mould build-up: What if you have small kids in the house and there is no door for your laundry? There’s no way I’d leave our front-loader open at our house!

December 11, 2011 at 5:42 pm
(346) ernie says:

Yes I have the same problem.Whirpool doesnt care or doesnt know what the problem is.Just some questons I am on well water which is fairly hard.Are all the people with problems on well or city water?Does anyone with a water softener have the same problem?Contact your friends in europe and find out what they are doing different.The lawsuits will get us nowhere lets get together and solve this ourselves

December 19, 2011 at 10:12 pm
(347) Walt says:

A FIX…

I posted earlier. I have the Maytag Neptune FAV6800AWW Washing machine.

I got a bottle of Lysol foaming bathroom cleaner with bleech, a brush and rubber gloves.

I as i was cleaning, i accidentally discovered that if i get my hands between the tub (the part that holds the clothing) and the top metal of the washing machine and lift up, the entire top of the machine lifts up. IT’s hinged in the back so i only needed a small wood block to hold it open.

I was then able to clean under the top of the washing machine, i was able to clean the lid thoroughly as it came in 2 parts, i got the tub super cleaned, all the detergent/softener trays, etc.

I used about 10 gallons of water and several scrub brushes and was a bit concerned due to the amount of black gunk that i got off, but after several hours of scrubbing and cleaning and rinsing with towels… the machine was really quite clean.

The cleaner i used also had bleech and i was able to get to areas that you can’t get otherwise for again, the entire top of hte machine just lifted right up! THat was soooo cool!

So i got every nook and cranny.

I then ran at least 8 quick washes through with just water and watched the discharge. Once i saw no more black specks or dirt or sand come out, i figured i was good. So i ran a cup of bleach through with hot water, 4 more rinses… discharge was all clean and i called it good.

I was truly floored by the build up of the black gunk, soap scum and more. IT was truly nasty. I also had elbow long gloves!

I just did my first load of wash since then and i’m happy to report that there was no smell! NONE.

So, anyone with this model… get in there and lift up on the top of the washing machine, from the inside. The entire top will lift up, it’s hinged in the back so it’s not going anywhere… and you can really see everything. LIterally!!! A good thorough cleaning and i’m good.

December 20, 2011 at 9:33 am
(348) hey says:

dilute all liquid soap and softner by half! even your bleach!

There is not enough rinse water to remove the soap residue.

this allows for soap build up, and mold becomes immune!

I dilute by half and use half of the amount recommended.

i havent had the problem since

December 22, 2011 at 2:51 am
(349) Kim says:

I bought a Bosh FL Washer I was tickled pink thinking I was doing the right thing! It was bigger then my old washer and I could now wash my delicates and everything else that I needed to take to the cleaners at home…. I didn’t see it coming! I have had my washer for 2 years and yes it is still under warrenty. I have been sick ever since I bought it. I was diganosed with breathing problems. I couldn’t figure it out. I was always pretty healthy… I noticed a couple of times a funky order in my clothes – I just thought I had mixed up the clothes again. -Then I saw black spots on my rubber gasket…. I started looking closer and So I started leaving the door ajar after the last load – I have to prop it open because it is so heavy it automatically closes… I started reading and I am not alone! Now at the end of every landry day I hit the XXX sanitary setting and load with bleach hit extra rinse and walk away. In 2:50 min. I go back and prop the door and go to bed. This has helped some. But not solved the problem…. I never should have bought any FL machine. I knew better… They just don’t get the clothes clean….
Sorry just a personal note. Now I stop and ask myself – What would your mother do? It puts a whole new thought though my mind and I have wound up doing much better… Mother Always knows best! LOL!!!!

December 23, 2011 at 12:56 pm
(350) kip says:

we use Nixall Disinfectant Cleanser it works fanstastic and the odor doesn’t come back. Nixall kills all mold all bacteria, viruses, ecoli..
Just a cap full in your wash will do. Know of lots of people that spray the door seal on the front load washer and a spray inside; odor is gone. Check out Nixall.com.

December 25, 2011 at 12:07 pm
(351) Patrick says:

We have a 4 year old Frigidaire front loader. It’s just the two of us and we do a couple loads every two weeks. When the first wash pumps water into the laundry tray it smells like a sewer but, the smell is gone after that. The smell is from the stagnant water in the washer drain hose. To eleminate the smell we mix an ounce of bleach with a cup of water and dump it into the empty clothes barrel after the last wash. We set the washer for ‘SPIN ONLY’ and start it. The first thing it does is pump the water out and as soon as it does that we stop the cycle, open the door and detergent tray and shut it down. Two weeks later there is no smell from the first load since the bleached water kept the stagnant water from smelling.

January 6, 2012 at 3:19 am
(352) Jun says:

Buy a new brand sophisticated washer, I guarantee that mold problem will be disappeared.

January 6, 2012 at 11:54 am
(353) Sean says:

We have a Duet WFW9400SW unit (made in Germany, not Mexico) purchased in 2008 which we haven’t had any major odour issues with other than when someone accidentally leaves a damp load sealed inside it.

I’m not sure why we’ve been spared the aggravation others have described here, but in case it helps anyone else troubleshoot our usage case is:

- run most days (5-7 loads per week for 2 adults + 3 kids)
- door left open after each use
- NEVER any fabric softener
- installed in an unfinished basement which is coolish in the summer and downright cold in the winter (we’re near Toronto)
- well water with water softener and iron filter installed upstream of the unit
- only non-perfumed HE detergent used (mostly liquid, sometimes powder and we tend to be sparing on the quantity)
- high temp (sanitize) cycle used (e.g. for towels or socks) a couple of times per month
- bleach used for washes very infrequently
- clean cycle + bleach used a couple of times a year if we happen to notice a musty smell
- door seal checked regularly for socks and other detritus
- 4 small drain holes at the bottom/inside of the door seal checked occasionally

I opened the pump clean-out for the first time in 4 years last night and pulled out a bit of lint and a few paper clips, but didn’t see any mould at all. I also checked the door seal and detergent dispenser and everything looked clean.

January 6, 2012 at 5:50 pm
(354) Sarabella says:

We have an LG Tromm Steam Washer and have had constant problems with it. The main computer component broke twice in a year, we had wiring issues, a major water leak, and mold/mildew problems for years. I clean my washer regularly and nothing took care of it. I called the Home Depot where we bought it, so many times and they were of no help. Neither were the manufacturer or the extended warranty company. Finally I had enough and contacted the Attorney General. We paid over $1000 for this stupid machine that was making us sick. We have horrible allergies and asthma, and my son has had croup 6 times in the course of a year. Croup is caused by allergies and asthma, and I’m convinced this was the problem. Our entire laundry room smelled like mildew, as did our clothes. When we took the clothes out of the dryer, the blast of air smelled like mildew. It was inexcusable. Within a week of contacting the Attorney General, I got a response from a very nice woman at Home Depot headquarters and she made a few calls. Finally, even though it wasnt’ covered under warranty, they paid for someone from LG to come out and replace the hoses and gasket, which was causing the foul smell. It wasn’t until after the repairman was here that I knew to look in the detergent compartment for mold. They shouldn’t make products if they’re known to be a health hazard. I hate this machine, and even though I’m thankful it is fixed, I would have rather had them refund our money. It’s broken down so many times and it’s never been an easy fix. We have to wait weeks for any type of repair! Still, even with these new parts, the solution is temporary. The mold will come back. The repairman told me it will. Washing machines are supposed to make our job easier, but this isn’t. Our next washer will be a top loader without a doubt!

January 10, 2012 at 1:26 pm
(355) kim says:

I have a whirlpool duet fl washer with a serious mold problem. I have cleaned it, scrubbed it with a toothbrush and stright clorox and the mold will not go away. I too paid a lot of money for this washer, only to have smelly closthes and towels. This mold is causing a problem with my family (3 kids) and whirlpool refuses to do anything about it outside of sending a repairman out. Well, I dont need a repairman to tell me I have mold. I am not stupid. Even if the inside rubber piece is replaced, the mold will still be there in other parts of the machine and on our clothes. They tried to tell me it wasnt mold that it was soap scum. Soap scum will clean off,… this black mold will not come off with stright clorox. All these tips and solutions listed on the internet are only temporary because the mold comes back. What whirlpool needs is a good lawsuit against their product and sent all the dr bills from having to take our kids to the dr because of the mold problems in their washers. I have no other mold anywhere in my house. I am very diappointed in whirlpool and how they hold up to their customers problems with their products.

January 10, 2012 at 6:49 pm
(356) Kevin says:

Top loading washers are now available, which use the same weight sensing technology to minimize the water used; but allow everything to drain out, reduces the spots mold grows, no more door gasket, etc. Can’t wait to sell my LG front loader POS and get something better.

January 16, 2012 at 9:49 pm
(357) Borax Kid says:

A 1/2 cup of Borax in each wash does the trick for us. Affresh worked barely.
Try it.

January 21, 2012 at 12:53 pm
(358) jamie says:

after dealing with this problem for over a year and using everythign from bleach, vinager, and leaving the doors open i finally realized the problem. you must use powdered detergent because the HE machines dont use enough water to flush that thick heavy liquid detergent out of the lines and this causes buildup that in turn causes mold and the smell. so… run the tide washing machiner cleaner through your machine twice (found at lowes) on the sanitize cycle with and then start using powdered detergent. I have never had to use the cleaner again in 4 years. this has solved the problem. there is no need to leave doors open and add special stuff to your machines on every load. that is just crazy. it is simply the water vs liquid detergent issue.

January 21, 2012 at 2:04 pm
(359) BuBu says:

We have a New Duet HE Washer. I was mortified to find all the problems people were having with them.
I immediately noticed that the washer put barely enough water in to get the cloths wet, let alone rinse, even when minimally using HE detergent.
So I started searching for solutions to the problem and I found a BLOG called “Mike’s Duet: Austin’s Duet” (URL Below”.
Since the HE washers are Manufactured to California’s strict water saving and energy saving laws, they don’t normally work well in other states or with water softeners.
When I called support their claim was that the water softener was causing the problem. They even told me the water fill was timed. BUNK!
It turned out that I had to adjust the Pressure regulator.
So instead of getting 1.5 gallons of water it got 5 gallons.
See the Blog above…If you have one of the new ones with the Oval Pressure regulator, it’s the TOP screw.
See: http://mikes-duet.blogspot.com/2008/11/austins-duet.html

I have no problems now and use Surf. I like ERA (about a teaspoon), but now only use it in SOAK. Then do a Normal wash without adding any other detergent. Works like a Charm.

Although, I had some eccentric relative put a full scoop of Surf in the machine and I had to run it through a Cleaning cycle with a box of salt and a full fabric softener dispenser (of fabric softener), and then a rinse and spin to get the excess soap coating the outer Drum out.

Cheers,
BuBu

January 21, 2012 at 9:35 pm
(360) Julie says:

I think I am going to cry! I cannot believe what I have read so far on front loading washing machines. I sold my top loading washing machine and dryer last year for a front loader washing machine and dryer. I am starting to wonder if I did the right thing. About a month ago, my washing machine started to smell musty, but also my whole house smelt musty. I truly thought that there was something wrong with our house and couldn’t figure out where that smell was coming from. As soon as you walk in the house it would hit you in the face. I also was going to call someone to have the house tested for mold. After reading all your comments, clearly I know now that it’s my washing machine. I was just recently off sick from work with bronchitis and I even think it may be a pneumonia. I am still coughing and now I think it’s from my stupid washing machine. My husband has also been getting a lot of headaches. This is unbelievable, here I thought my clothes were going to smell better and cleaner. I am so glad I took the time to read all of your comments, now I know what I’m dealing with.

January 23, 2012 at 6:19 pm
(361) Julie says:

Have had my duet washer for five years. Mold problems for four. Serious health problems the last two years. Nine sinus surgeries the last thirteen months. A type of black mold found in my frontal sinus during surgery was cultured. On IV antigungals for this for six months. Sinus headaches. my immune system is starting to be compromised. I had no health problems before this. My numerous doctors told me to get home inspected for mold. We did. There is none in our home other than in our washer. Think it will do me any good to call whirlpool and demand a refund? Even $50 would be better than nothing because this washer can’t stay

January 23, 2012 at 11:41 pm
(362) Lori Gladstone says:

Same problem as everyone else. I have Whirlpool duets and the washer has mold build up on the rubber. Just realized that it is all on the bottom side and can’t even get to it. I have tried 8 different things to try and clean it, but it still wont come out. How are you supposed to get the mold out of the rubber? And if it ever comes out how do you keep it from returning on the inside of the seal where you can barely get to it? My machine is only a few years old and very expensive, would be a pity to have to buy a new machine. This machine is located right near my baby boys room and I don’t want him to get sick. What is everyone doing about this problem?

January 24, 2012 at 5:06 am
(363) Kate says:

Victoria, Australia

I have a Bosch Maxx Classic and a 10 month old baby. We have had the very bad smell for almost a month now and we have the black mold build up in the rubber lip of the washer.

We have health problems in our family which I now believe are linked to the washer. I am so greatful to all the other people who have left comments from which I have been able to educate myself.

I have just purchased “smelly washer” on the internet and I’m about to go to the supermarket to buy Harpic toilet bleech to try NOW! I have previously tried scrubbing out the gunk but it won’t come out.

Fingers crossed something works because I worry about my baby’s health.

Thanks all xox Kate

January 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm
(364) Marian says:

I just finished cleaning out large amounts of gunk and mold from my Frigidare Front Loader. I knew about the mold problems and had been cleaning the gasket regularly and using Smelly Washer, but I missed the inside lip of the gasket which was hiding the terrible gunk.
I’m so upset about this situation and just sent an email to Electrolux asking them to resolve this issue. Has anyone had any luck with getting Electrolux to act on this?
Also, I’d like to take apart my washer as described by Barry in comment #13. Does the process he describe for his duet apply to Frigidare or is there a different method for getting to the drain?
Thanks for all your input and suggestions. I’m so tired of moldy towels!

January 25, 2012 at 3:09 pm
(365) Nolefan says:

I own a 2006 Kenmore Elite HE3 and I am amazed that these manufacturers continue to get away with this. I am so disgusted, I finally was able to wedge a tiny toothbrush back behind plastic front cover that the metal drum sits in. The nasty black and brown goo that came out is horrifying. I’ve tried to keep the gasket and detergent drawer cleaned every couple months, but had no idea there would be mold in hidden places that you can’t reach without completely taking apart the machine. It is unreasonable to expect the customer to get down on hands and knees and clean this machine every month with a toothbrush. We are a family of 5, I do laundry every day and I leave the door open, clean the mold and I can promise I will never buy a front loader again as long as I live.
Unbelievable.

January 29, 2012 at 12:17 pm
(366) Daryl says:

Thank the US Government for your problems!!!

I just disposed of a GE washer & dryer after 25 years. Not a single problem — ever! New water saving regulations and energy saving regulations have given us this mess with moldy washers and inferior products. Govt should get out of the washing machine business. Every HE washer I research before I purchase has a gazillion complaints. I don’t know what to purchase. All I know is that new regulations resulting in HE appliances have caused multiple headaches for millions of consumers.

Government: Get out of my Laundry Room! Bring back the old standards that actually cleaned clothes and did so without mold!

February 3, 2012 at 8:55 pm
(367) Debbie says:

I have a Samsung front loader. Paid around $900 for it. I have all of the same problems as everyone else. I have terrible allergies. We thought it was from the “city” water, but now I know better. I’ll never buy a front loader again.

February 3, 2012 at 9:06 pm
(368) Bob Dakin says:

We purchased the Whirlpool Duet Serie 2 seven years ago. Thought they would last for life. At least that’s what we were told by the saleman. $1000.00 per machine Washer and Dryer, Mdl.# GHW9400PWO After six years the washer broke down, flashing codes F-11 and F16, F14, F-6, a repairman came to our home and said it would be $800. dollars for the repair?? I went on line purchased the part I needed, and fixed it myself in 15 min’s ! Worked great for 1 year ? Same problem? Out the door and out of my life it went! No kore aggrevation, purchased a GE normal oil fashion Washer, top load three cycles,..life is good again! The modern electronics don’t hold up to power surges, power outages, and brown outs, burns the electronic boards up. Even with a Surge protector, they fail. It’s all high priced Junk !

February 7, 2012 at 1:19 pm
(369) Cinzi says:

I purchased a top loading Whirlpool Cabrio less than a year ago. It’s another low water HE washer similar to the front loaders. As of now, I see no visible mold, but the clothes have a distinctly musty smell and are clearly not clean. There is visible white soap build up on the clothes, even with a routine extra rinse that we use for every load. They clearly don’t have enough water to clean the clothes, or to rinse out the very small amount of HE soap that I use. Don’t be fooled by the top loaders – they have the very same problems. No help from Whirlpool – they continue to send out repairmen for a poorly designed washer.

February 19, 2012 at 6:31 pm
(370) Tom says:

Hi Everyone! I too have a smelly Whirlpool Duet Sport FL washing machine. I followed (13) advice and found a load of mold in the drain cap and inner rubber ring closest to the drum. In our case, the smell isn’t on our clothes, just permeating the laundry room and house. I cleaned each area thoroughly with bleach and Tilex. The detergent drawer had just been cleaned, but I cleaned it again, put it all together, ran then clean washer cycle with bleach and thought I had won the mold war… nope. A few days later after leaving the door and drawer open to air/dry out, I put in a load of clothes and within 10 minutes, the smell was back. I noticed the smell building as the water rushed through the detergent drawer.

After the load was finished, I took the top panel off the washer and discovered a ribbed black rubber hose that runs from the detergent area to the drum itself. It has a spring clip attachment on the drawer compartment and a flex fit into the drum. I took this off and looked inside… it was full of mold spores. I thoroughly cleaned it with bleach and a flexible scrub brush and reinstalled it.

I just ran a new load and the smell has been reduced by about 90%. After this laundry day is over I’ll run the cleaning cycle again and report any changes/improvements.

Hope this helps!

March 16, 2012 at 3:55 am
(371) April says:

Ive had my duet since 2007, I had the mildew smell as well, I found the simpliest of all answers, I simply left the wash machine door open. I dont ever close it. Since 2007 I have NOT noticed a mildew stench at all EVER. Also I take out the soap area and clean it once a month as it does stay wet and dark in that area and all of it is easily removed. I KNOW this works, so try it with yours!

March 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm
(372) Pat says:

I have a Whirlpool Duet washer. Before this washer I had a Neptune, and GE front loader. I use a scoop of OxyClean in every load which sweetens the load as there is so little water used to wash and rinse it will become sour. I know without a doubt if I had all the health problems mentioned by others here even mentioning their pets and I thought it was the washer doing it to us the thing would be in the drive for take away before night fall. I can not imagine having something in my home which I believed made the entire house sick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Throw the stupid things out.
The mold mentioned on the rubber seal is a problem with ALL brands for sure. But after you have cleaned the seal and the mold is gone the stains will remain. Just like with clothing which has mold stain you can’t get it out of the seal. Don’t get me wrong I too am frustrated with the monsters too but if it was making me sick out with it!

April 3, 2012 at 12:20 am
(373) Laura says:

I live in an apartment complex with front loading washers in our community wash room. The last two years I have suffered from terrible skin rashes in very personal areas. My docter has run tests and I have kept a food diary but yet we cannot find the reason. I am wondering if it could be the machines. All my towels smell gross. I just threw out a bunch and bought all new ones. Has anyone else had this problem? I’m not sure what to do.

April 3, 2012 at 1:04 am
(374) Laura says:

I should mention that since I live in an apartment complex I cannot take the machine apart to clean it and I have complained to the management but nothing seems to get done.

April 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm
(375) Mariette says:

Laura, don’t throw your towels out. Smelly towels are a good sign that there is a mold/mildew problem with those washers.

Even if you run the cleaning cycle just prior to your washload and do a second rinse, it might not help if the problem is severe. Since your apartment complex owns those washers, your only recourse is to use a laundromat or else convince the landlord about possible mold so he can bring in someone to clean them properly. Unfortunately mold tends to recur over time.

If he needs convincing, try printing out these hundreds of comments from readers for him to look at.

Until manufacturers address this issue completely, this will be an ongoing health problem for consumers. Some companies have made design changes, but obviously not enough has been done.

Check comments here, there have been tips regarding legal recourse, though some health problems like rashes might be difficult to attribute to washer mold.

My frontload washer has about 6 years of use and I’ve had to tear it apart once but I’m noticing a smell again in the laundry so I guess we’ll have to do it again.

April 5, 2012 at 9:07 am
(376) Mariette says:

Laura, by saying don’t throw your towels out, I just meant that constantly replacing towels is not the answer. The problem is still there. You might be able to successfully remove the odor and any evidence of mold on your washload, but you do need to find a solution to doing your laundry in mold-free washers.

April 10, 2012 at 5:58 pm
(377) Kristin says:

I read many of the above comments and settled on attempting to follow Barry’s (13) advice and remove the front panel to get at the plastic filter. What we found was a small washcloth (the kind many of us moms use for bathing and washing little kids) was trapped in there and completely covered in black mold and slime! We removed it and cleaned inside as much as possible. The next step would be to get at the black hose (however, what is the best way to get the black clamp back on, after you have removed it?)
So my advice to anyone with little children, put those small cloths in a mesh bag before washing to avoid them getting caught.
The first load after this clean didn’t smell, keeping my fingers crossed.

April 22, 2012 at 3:27 pm
(378) Andrea says:

Our 6 yr old Duet washer needs a new basket for $400 so we’re getting a new washer. I’m wondering if all these mold issues are with the older front load washer models or if the newer models have the same issue. We’re trying to decide on another front load or a top load. We’re hesitant to get another front load as we’ve had the mold smell issue too.

I’ve taken a “strong-stream” spray bottle of bleach water and sprayed it into the area where the soap dispenser goes. There are little holes where the water comes down that are hard to get cleaned. I also pulled back the rubber seal and sprayed it down real good and scrubbed it with a scrub brush. That seemed to help a lot, but this is something that would need to be done periodically. I also try to keep the door open & take out the soap dispenser between uses.

I think it’s ridiculous that you have to clean a washing machine. You pay that much money for something you shouldn’t have to baby it like that. My old traditional washing machine never had these types of issues and lasted a LONG time.

April 24, 2012 at 2:21 pm
(379) Lacy says:

I found this discussion to late as I bought this pair just 4 days ago. I love them….right now but of course it’s only 4 days into it so it’s to early to tell or give a fair “review” on them. I bought these because my son has serious allergies……there is no returning them so my plan is to wipe the rubber gasket out after use, pull the dispenser out when not using the washer and dry it all out. Since I don’t wash everyday I have been running vinegar through on the hottest setting (I put vinegar in the soap compartment, fabric softner comp and the bleach comp) after my last load of laundry when I know the washer won’t be used for a few days and I usually do 1 load of whites with bleach a week and leave the door open when it’s not being used. I can only hope that by reading all the great ideas posted here that I can stop a mold/mildew problem before it starts because mold or mildew could be a very serious life threatening problem for my son.

May 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm
(380) George S. says:

Well this was very helpful. particularly Barry C. (#13) comments. Thank you!

Like many, this issue continues to bug me though to no end. Specifically:
1. On on Maytag (MFW9700SQ1) model once we cracked it open we found the “FOR TECHNICIANS ONLY” manual. so we read it and then found a ‘maintenance procedure’ to clean the washer “ONCE A MONTH!” This involved entering some secret code that you could only find in the manual. However, we’re not able to get this code to work. meanwhile there is no mention of a monthly maintenance cycle in the instructions.
2. What this indicates is that a) the mold issue is a very well known problem and b) Maytag (or Whirlpool) has lapsed greatly on quality control otherwise they’d mention this more prominently.

Which is a big shame cause this seems like the best nomination for a class action suit that I’ve ever heard.

May 14, 2012 at 9:14 am
(381) housewares says:

I too have had washer mold, but not as severe as many of those who have posted here. I follow my own tips to prevent mold and was able to avoid to smelly washer syndrome for several years.

But it eventually happened. I have tried cleaners and though some seem to provide relief, they are short-term solutions at best. I want to fix this problem for good.

There’s a new product out called WasherFan. It’s a small fan that you install at the back of your washer. We have just installed one. It helps to circulate air to reduce the humidity level in the washer, killing existing mold and reducing the risk of it recurring.

The WasherFan was easy to install, runs so quietly we cannot hear it and hopefully it will be a long term solution to this health hazard.

I will be doing a ‘progressive’ review on the WasherFan and will post a link on this comments page when it is up.

For those of you at your wit’s end trying to find a more permanent solution to the mold issue, you may want to give the WasherFan a try.

The WasherFan model you need depends on your brand of washer, as you’ll see on their site. There is a good amount of information there too, including videos: WasherFan.com.

The concept makes sense and this product seems like the best long term solution out there. I’ll post a review link here soon and I’d love to hear from others who also install this WasherFan.

May 25, 2012 at 11:08 pm
(382) Empty says:

Do yourself a favor, get MOLD & MILDEW STAIN REMOVER by Mold Armor at home depot. It comes in spray bottle. Awesome awesome awesome!!!!!

May 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm
(383) Allan in Peoria, AZ says:

I followed the great advice from Barry #13, and that has worked to some extent. Seans post #353 is good as well. I have taken it a step further. If you remove the top cover from your machine and lower panel, you will notice the internal drain hose that leads to the top of your machine, and connects with the external drain hose. There is also a hose that runs from the outside of your machine to the drain. BOTH hoses in my Whirlpool Duet are corrugated(have grooves on the inside of the hose). This is where alot of the ‘funk’ and smell is coming from, and I replaced both of them.

I spent a total of $20 at Lowes and purchased: 1. a generic brand grey washing maching replacement drain hose that does NOT have grooves(corrugated) on the INSIDE of the hose, 2. purchased a black hose that was the same diameter(1 inch fitting) and a 5 inches longer as the internal drain hose(which I discovered was full of gunk even though it was still allowing water to drain), 3. two new hose clamps(the factory clamps are worthless). When I installed the new internal hose, I had to use a different path inside the machine to route the hose to the drain, which is why the new hose is longer that the factory drain hose. The outcome: the smell is gone.

Two other things to note on a regular basis besides the things mentioned in the other posts on this webpage: 1. Make sure you do not exceed 1/2 a CAP maximum of fabric softner when you wash. 2. Run the clean cycle once a month. I have used Affresh, Tide’s new washer clean, and WasherFresh. Tide and Washerfresh worked the best, although Tide left a residue after the clean cycle was done.

June 3, 2012 at 5:22 pm
(384) Pamela says:

I endured using all the cleaning products for the Whirlpool Duet washer to absolutely no satisfaction. Then started getting F 2 error messages. (drainage)

I took the drain hose off the back and cleaned/bleached and readjusted. I baby sat loads thru continually getting the F 2′s, then readjusting the load till it would spin.

In doing so I ran across a video (self help repairmen type) and discovered what Barry C. mentioned earlier. Upon opening the actual drainage cap I couldn’t believe what I found. Pure stench/gunk. No amount of bleach is going to absolve that. Cleaned it out/bleached again. Did a vinegar soak and drain.

Laundry is coming out like it’s a new machine. Fresh – no household odor! It’s apparent that this needs to be cleaned out on a regular basis. Whirlpool should be ashamed of placing this in such a way, most will have to call a repairman to get to it. If it were in easy reach, I would be cleaning that particular area on a weekly basis.

I won’t ever buy one again – but at least I can resume and get the usage until I can jump for joy and just buy a new replacement.

June 4, 2012 at 2:54 pm
(385) Christopher says:

Everyone….

Due to the inherent design of a front loader mold will be a problem if the unit is not maintained in accordance with the manufacturers instructions. It does NOT matter which manufacturer you choose to use.

Top loaders can also develop mold especially if they’re in areas where there is little to no air circulation (ie basements).

Rule #1: Remove everything from pockets which can clog drains.
Rule #2: Run a “clean” cycle monthly and inspect door seals for mold growth.
Rule #3: Leave door ajar to allow air circulation.

June 4, 2012 at 6:27 pm
(386) housewares says:

Finally a permanent solution to washer mold. As mentioned in post #381, I too have had recurring mold problems. So I installed a WasherFan last month. It was only a couple of days before the washer tub smelled better and after a few washings, even my towels now smell clean.

Washing machine cleaners are really band aid solutions to this front load design problem. Though proper machine care is important, you need to reduce the humidity in the washer to fix the root of the problem.

The WasherFan site explains why there’s mold and how this little fan can help. It was easy to install one and it’s a big relief. Read my WasherFan review to learn more.

June 7, 2012 at 4:57 pm
(387) Kathleen says:

Holy – I was going to rush out and get a new set of front load washer and dryer … thank goodness I did a bit of research! I am going to go back to my plain old agitator. Good luck all of you and I hope you find success with the class action law suits.

June 8, 2012 at 12:37 am
(388) April says:

We have a 5 month old GE FL. Had a Frigidaire FL for 12 years and had mold in the gasket, but no other problems.

For several months we’ve had a horrible odor in the house and spent a lot of money trying to figure it out. I think it infected the central HVAC – have you heard of “dirty sock syndrome”? We also had bad smelling towels, sheets, and some clothes.

I don’t have mold on the gasket. Finally web searched on smelly towels. Wow. I realized it had to be the washer.

I ran a washer clean cycle with bleach and it took care of the horribleness of the odor, but left a strange odor, like mildew, so I kept trying things – anything. In the past 3 weeks I have used a whole bottle of Washer Magic, Affresh twice, Smelly Washer 5 times, Cascade dish washer detergent once. I have washed at least 3 loads of towels and clothes in Smelly Towels with hot water and a vinegar rinse.

I installed a Washer Fan and looked at the internal discharge hose (saw some mold at the top, have ordered a replacement). I cleaned the drain hose – it had a few spots, but nothing major and didn’t smell. But my wash still doesn’t smell good.

I just ran the SuperShock as described by TechnoFresh on their website, while I wait for my order. I am amazed – the SuperShock is working. My first load smells terrible – like vinegar and something bad – they describe it as a fishy odor. I am out of one of the ingredients or I would be running another one right now.

So there seem to be several places in a FL washer that could be a problem – a buildup behind the drum or mold in the drain pathway: internal discharge hose, drain line, front drain access, and the pump.

My next challenge is what detergent to use. We have a septic tank – so use liquid. Or use powder to fix the mold. Or it doesn’t matter, just don’t use too much. So please keep posting what works for you and I’ll learn. And don’t give up – no solution seems to work for everyone.

June 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm
(389) andrea says:

I took Barry’s advice from his comment June 28, 2008 and cleaned out my drain pump- I could not believe how this stunk and was so filthy with mold. I even found a quarter in it. We followed his instructions and now will see if it took care of the smell. If you follow his advice I would suggest unplugging just in case before you begin. I can see why we had such a horrible smell coming from the machine. After you remove the front lower panel, it’s a pretty easy but yucky job.

June 18, 2012 at 8:33 pm
(390) tm says:

I’ve doing what Barry C recomends for years, 2x a year. should do it more but too buzy. detergent dispenser comes out and goes into dishwasher! Affresh doesn’t work @ all and should be free to peeps with this issue. I’m tryin the health issues from washer sucking call to whirpool!

July 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm
(391) Toh246 says:

I do not have mold or odor problems. I use no soap in my washer, and do not utilize the dispenser for any products whatsoever. I use Soapnuts for cleaning. When I’m done washing for the day, I dry the drum and seal, thoroughly.
I leave the dispenser drawer open. I then run a fan, facing directly into the drum for a few hours. After that, I leave the door ajar, until the next time I do laundry. Dampness, and excess products, whether petroleum or vegetable based, are the cause. Eliminating those two factors is key.

July 8, 2012 at 7:53 pm
(392) Rosemary says:

I also had black spots on my rubber gasket (Frigidaire calls it baffle). I tried bleach, vinegar, peroxide, etc. with no success. My daughter reminded me of how she used to rid the formula stains on her child’s clothing with dish washing soap. I put some on a cloth and worked on the spots with no success. I poured some into the folds and left it over night and when I checked it this morning the spots were gone. I was amazed. I don’t know if this was suggested in earlier posts….there were too many to read, but I so hope it helps others!!! Good luck.

July 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm
(393) Jennifer says:

I too, have a whirlpool fl machine that has a terrible smell. It’s disgusting! I just got off the phone with whirlpool. After an hour long conversation, they will do nothing. I have been diligent about leaving the door open (which feels like a safety issue with two small kids in the house), cleaning the machine, not using fabric softener, using afresh (which does nothing, and costs a lot), using bleach and water cycles, cleaning rubber gasket, not using too much detergent, etc. The list goes on and is frankly all more than I feel we should have to do to maintain a $1000. Machine.

I have emailed about the lawsuit, but it is not in Washington state. Whirlpool is claiming it isn’t legit. Has anyone heard otherwise?

I’d like my money back so I can buy a top loader that won’t smell.

We should find Jeff m. Fettig’s (whirlpool CEO) address and have our stinky machines delivered to his front lawn!!!

It’s really terrible. I will never buy another whirlpool product and will tell everyone I know to do the same.

Going to try comment 13 process now and hope it helps!!

July 15, 2012 at 9:53 am
(394) housewares says:

It’s been a month since we installed the WasherFan on our Whirlpool Duet Sport. I’m convinced that this is the permanent solution every front load washer needs. Towels smell nice like they should and we haven’t detected any more mold since we installed this small fan.

The WasherFan runs totally quiet 24/7 to circulate air inside the washer and that keeps it dry. Mold cannot grow where there is no humidity. It was easy to install and we are so relieved to have found a permanent fix for washer mold. Read my WasherFan review

August 12, 2012 at 5:49 pm
(395) BB says:

We have a whirlpool duet front-loader, purchased in May 2010. Noticed the mouldy smell a few months ago (have never run the clean cycle using afresh). Live in Washington DC, appliances in a dry and temperate basement. Just took the following actions:

1. Followed Barry’s procedure (comment #13). (Smell of the water was putrid – one penny, and lots of mushy smelly lint found in the filter.)
2. Also removed detergent tray, scrubbed with bleach, as as well as the area inside where the tray slides (you might see mould traces well inside the cavity where the tray slides).
3. Scrubbed the grey door gasket on all 3 sides, including the front of the inner metal frame, with a bleach soaked scrubbing brush and wiped with a bleached soaked rag.
4. Ran the clean cycle with bleach solution in the detergent tray.

Mould smell has completely (for now).

Will run the clean cycle every month from now. Will also leave door open after each wash. Will follow the step above every 3-6 months (depending on smell).

THANK YOU BARRY!!!

August 12, 2012 at 5:51 pm
(396) BB says:

re: my post above – mould smell is completely GONE (for now)

August 20, 2012 at 1:22 am
(397) Sean says:

Hi all,

Wanted to say thanks for the whole set of information. I just bought a second hand set of Frigidaire affinity washer and dryer, both front loaders. The gentleman I bought them off of gave me a fantastic deal, but upon finding this, I immeditely checked and found mold on the “bellows” as frigidaire calls it. The bright side (if there is one) is that the unit we have is quite clean, no black mold except on that one part.

Lots of reading up I’ve done in the past 2 days and took apart the pumps and drainage hoses to find that the model is so far in good shape by comparison to most. I’m looking at replacing the bellows for about $120, and that should cover the part.

So far so good with my luck, but I will be looking to add a washerfan (I’m building my own, as the pieces are quite easy to replicate. The final piece is to look into the drainage hoses. I found they used the dark grey hoses and so I can’t see how dirty they are all the way through, but it looks like the smooth rubber hose connector at the top is the problem for most of the gunk. I think its primarily due to the angle of the drainage hose on the exit, so I’ll have to see if I can do something about that. Overall, I’m not as worried yet, but I will be working to improve the drainage of the unit into/around the pump.

I did watch a european review of a cleaning instruction and it was quite good, however their model “beko” had one thing that the others I’ve read about in this thread have not had. It had a pump cleanout at the bottom of the unit. I’m wondering if it would be possible to retrofit this kind of cleanout drain to allow us to clean out our units. Its probably far too much of an electronic nightmare to retrofit, but it would make this whole “sealed” pump nonsense a non-issue.

I’ll update i I start to have any further problems.

September 10, 2012 at 10:41 am
(398) Claude says:

My girlfriend was complaining about bad odour smell on the towels (whirlpool duet machine) . After reading some comments, I went and checked the door rubber seal and it had mold on it at the bottom and if you pull on the lap, you.ll see water accumulation and more mold. I cleaned all that with chlorine although the black stains remain on the rubber . Then I removed the front bottom cover (3 screws) and unscrewed the drain plug, well in there I found a little coin fortune, a memory stick, paper clips and a small piece of electronic wire all covered in gray stinky muck, the same smell she was complaining about. There is evidently a design flaw in that area because a lot of water stays there un-evacuated. Everything was thoroughly cleaned in chlorine and put back together. I then poured half a cup of vineger over the door bottom seal area where the water exits. I think this will remedy the problem. Thanks for all the advices.

September 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm
(399) Lynn says:

I have a Bosch front-loader and it seems like almost all the comments on here are about the Whirlpool Duet. Everyone seems to have followed Barry’s advice, but I can’t use his tips since I don’t have the same machine.

I have just a horrible problem with mold and I’ve been trying some emergency procedures. I did the bleach cycle, the vinegar cycle, and even tried the colloidal silver that someone recommended. So far most of the smell is gone, but I’m a bit leery of running anything through the machine yet. I ordered Smelly Machine from Amazon.com, which should arrive in a few days and I plan to use that.

What particularly irks me are the insinuations that the owners are to blame.
I always left the door open because that’s what the saleslady told me to do.
I used a special front-loader wash as often as I could remember.
I use Method detergent, which only takes four squirts out of the bottle. Hardly “too much detergent.” That part makes me the maddest. I never used too much detergent. I’ve always used Method, which isHe, concentrated, and green.

I am now leaving the washer door all the way open—the saleslady said to just leave it ajar.
But I am left with really ugly black stains on the rubber seal around the door and I don’t know how to keep the mold from building up again.

Really I think we may get rid of this thing (4-5 years old) and get a top loader again.
Lynn

September 27, 2012 at 10:27 am
(400) Laura says:

WOW! the post is grossing me out.
My dad wants me to buy a product to get rid of mouldy smell, but he doesn’t have a mouldy smell “yet”. I’m going to have a look at his machine as per the instructions in Comment 13… finding things that jam drainage makes a lot of sense.
My dad heard about this problem with mould and wants to intervene before it becomes a problem; I’ve been spraying his machine with a product I buy online (EPA approved). It’s a disinfectant and fungicide made from botanically pure biodegradable plant extracts (that’s what the label says hehe) So it’s good for mildew, salmonella, staph, and a bunch of other latin things that probably make us unnecessarily sick.
If anyone wants to know more about this product, please email me at bus600 @ gmail dot com and I’ll give you the full scoop :D
Thanks! and hope you all have already solved your mould & mildew problems already

September 27, 2012 at 10:30 am
(401) Laura says:

One last thing…
My dad thinks he has a cold… his nose drips whenever he’s near the washer – I say he’s probably developing mould so that’s why comment 13 is important for me to look at.
My dad even considered hiring a mould smelling dog to see what’s wrong with his house. Yes there IS such a thing.

October 2, 2012 at 4:04 am
(402) Dave says:

I have a Whirlpool Duet Sport and it started smelling musty/dirty for about 6 months. Our towels and clothes smell bad and much worse if sweating in them. I have ran a couple cleaning cycles with bleach starting about 1 month ago. It sort of removes the smell but it comes back soon after. I decided to follow Barry’s post (13) tonight. I removed the panel, filter and entire pump. What i found was disgusting. A ton of lint and metal hair clip all covered with black mold. The smell was exactly what our clothes smell like after a wash. I put the filter, detergent tray and the pump(careful not to get electronics wet) into the kitchen sink with water and bleach mixture. After reattaching everything I ran a cleaning cycle. One other place i noticed mold and gunk was inside the rubber seal at the mouth of the washer drum. I scraped out as much as I could but will probably do a better job later. Ill post back with results after a few loads of laundry.

October 8, 2012 at 3:44 pm
(403) housewares says:

It’s been a few months since we installed the WasherFan to permanently get rid of washer mold. Mold has not returned and the washer smells nice, as does the washload.

In my opinion, WasherFan is the only permanent fix. It keeps the inside of the washer free of humidity on a constant basis so mold cannot grow.

You can try all the machine cleaners or fresheners out there but the mold will always come back. This little fan is the answer. Read my WasherFan review.

October 30, 2012 at 8:06 pm
(404) Fixxit man says:

We have a well as our water supply and resorted to a front loader to save water. about 9 years ago we bought a whirlpool front loader. I love our whirlpool front loader washer!! However, we too have an occasional foul smell coming from the discharge hose during a rinse cycle. At first I mixed 32 oz 50% water and bleach solution and poured it down the discharge hose and let it sit there for a few hours, following up with a no-load cycle of hot wash cycle. That would take care of the problem for awhile. Then I tried an oxy clean mix with some undissolved powder in the solution. That seems to work the best. Also pour the powder down the sink/shower drains and garbage disposal. Works great!! I also use oxy-clean in a garden sprayer to kill moss and mold on my roof, decks, driveway, and sidewalks. No! My name is not Billy Mayes. Works great! Give it a try

November 1, 2012 at 3:49 pm
(405) Daisy says:

I’ve been checking back from time to time after reading these scary mold growth reports. I continue to be lucky — no mold problems (yet) in two and a half years with my Kenmore FL washer despite living in Seattle, a notorious mecca for mold!

I read with interest the positive posts about the WasherFan (posts from “housewares” et al.) I can’t help but think that this is a key preventative of the moisture which leads to mold. After going through the difficult “mold eradication” process, I’d think people would try anything to prevent its return.

For those who can’t use WasherFan or want another alternative, I still wonder if use of a dehumidifier in the wash area (mine’s in the basement) would help. I think this has helped prevent problems for me (post # 335). No one else has mentioned using a dehumidifier, but maybe that’s because I’m from the older generation…

Good luck, everyone!

November 3, 2012 at 11:49 am
(406) housewares says:

To Daisy (405):
Using a dehumidifier in the laundry area is a great way to get rid of excess moisture in that room that could cause mold there. I tend to use one in a basement room seasonally as needed.

Unfortunately it would not address the excess humidity within the washer which is the cause of these stinky, moldy washers. I still believe the WasherFan is the only permanent fix to this problem. Machine cleaners are good, but temporary at best.

It’s been months now since we installed the WasherFan and no more mold. It’s a small price for a big solution.

December 1, 2012 at 8:08 pm
(407) TrainerCary says:

I have had the Whirlpool Duet Washer for almost 5 years, and the mold and stink have not been a problem. I have a VERY slight bit of gunk, I guess it is black mold or mildew, no noticeable odor. I keep the door open and allow the machine to dry, and also try to dry the area in the middle of the seal that traps water. I don’t make a lot of washes, maybe 5 loads a week. I could imagine it is a bigger problem if the machine never gets a chance to dry because of frequent use,

December 8, 2012 at 7:52 pm
(408) Lori B says:

I had the Maytag Neptune front load washer and matching dryer. I never had a mold or odor problem with that front loader, but eventually the Neptune developed it’s own issues and the machines had to be replaced. With 7 people in the family, we always shop for the largest machines. The salesman at Lowes tried to talk me into the new Maytag but I wasn’t willing to go that route. We ended up with the Whirlpool Duet front loader and matching dryer. Since it’s only been two years there is no way my husband will let me replace them, but I have never been so unhappy with an appliance purchase!! The sewer gas odor is disgusting!!!!! One time I looked inside the lip and found three items that had been stuck there. It discussed me to think that what I thought was clean laundry really wasn’t!! Since Whirlpool obviously is aware of the problem, maybe they should send out the dryer fans to consumers who are stuck with this horrible product!! How I wish I had gone with the Maytag that replaced the Neptune!

December 11, 2012 at 7:17 pm
(409) Knightimereader says:

I paid a lot of money for the Whirlpool Duet Steam washer and dryer that I have and it sickens me. Every month or so I have to take out the soap dispenser tray and clean out all the mold buildup. I take out the tray after each load and leave the door open but it still grows. It is located in a laundry room that is well vented, AC in the summer and heat pump in the winter. I know the mold is elsewhere in the washer but I can’t get to it. I clean the tray in the dishwasher top rack and it comes out very clean. I take an old baby bottle brush and clean the area around where the tray fits as well as a small toothbrush. I do this all after I run the 1 hour long+ “clean washer” cycle to clean the washer. A warning bell should go off when you see a special cycle just to clean the washer. Alas I am stuck with them; I can’t physically pull out the washer, unscrew the top and front plates to take out and replace drain hoses. I am going to look into the ‘washer fan’ for sure. Sounds like a solution Whirlpool should be paying for though!

December 20, 2012 at 8:56 pm
(410) dave says:

We have always left the door and detergent draw open and we still got BLACK MOLD. These Whirlpool Duet Washing Machines have a defect that makes them UNHEALTHY for home use.

December 31, 2012 at 11:20 am
(411) Tam F. says:

I’ve had my front load washer for over 5 years now. I have never had a smell/mold issue. I do most of my clothes once a week, though, with small washes as needed through out the week.

On major laundry days, I end with bleaching my whites. Then leave the door open over night and it’s completely dry in the morning with no smell. No need to buy extra things.

My towels did begin to smell a bit, so I use a capful of Pine Sol with those. Or throw them in with my whites. While my towels are slowly becoming white, that is my most major issue.

We do live in Reno, Nevada, however, where it’s incredibly dry air so that probably helps dry the washer quicker.

Good luck.

January 26, 2013 at 12:15 pm
(412) John M says:

We have a Whirlpool Cabrio HE top load washer. We had the mold issue after 6 months and had the tub replaced and were told to use affresh once a month to keep the problem from reoccuring. We have been using affresh weekly and still are getting flakes of black mold on our laundry. I think we should get a new washing machine which won’t have this issue. Has anyone been able to get a replacement machine from Whirlpool?

March 4, 2013 at 1:29 am
(413) Brandy says:

I’ve has the Whirpool Duet for around 10 years now. We have ALWAYS had an issue with mold. It’s the worst thing ever. I am constantly cleaning my washing machine. I have to wipe the rubber inside down often, run a clean cycle at least every two weeks with a washing machine cleaner. I did not know there was another part of the washer that needed cleaning which is behind the front panel. I was so sick of the stinky smell from the water coming out of the washer I turned to searching the web for answers. That is where I find this post and the front panel part. Needless to say, I just finished cleaning the washer, 2 hours later, and the front panel portion was aweful! I have read the user manual and nowhere does it say that this needs to be cleaned. It does not even mention it. I cant believe all these years later and it’s still the same issue with no resolution for this overpriced washers. I’m going to try the washer fan and see how that works. I looked them up. Not exactly a cheap add on ($70) but, if it helps the mold that grows everywhere inside the machine then I guess its worth it. When this washer does go, I will be going back to the standard top load. Front load washers…never again!

March 19, 2013 at 12:55 am
(414) Leslie says:

Hello, I| must tell you that have had my front load washer and dryer since 1995 and just today my driesr belt gave out…… I have an ASKO brand made in Sweden, and I have no mold or smells coming from the washer… it is energy effecient using 11 gallons of water, I can do large loads and I only have to hook it to the cold water tap because the washer
heats the water (to my specifications) 0-205*) as it washes… back then I was thought a fool to spend 2000$ on a washer and dryer, but I am the one who has not had to replace my machines…..
They are stainless and I think one repair for a washer that didn’t turn on one day and cost 235. to fix including parts labour and travel time was a very good deal …now I need a new belt and I can get the part and fix it myself….
I got it to do me the rest of my life and it has done wayyy better than I hoped, I certainly don’t intend to replace it but I might since I am planning to live to 100 and the dealer said he might not be able to guarantee parts….. LOL! so I guess I best get 2 belts…
I have this set side by side, but it can be stacked… I am more than thrilled with my investment and I promise you you will be much happier and richer!!
I live in Canada, just so you are clear that I am not residing somewhere in Europe
hope this will get you thinking and checking out this product…. it is not much different than the high end machines out there today..
I am so sad to see well known and well made brands of yesteryear now made in another country for the sake of profit, of course you and I are the ones who pay in the end!
Blessings,
I hope this helps you find a solution…..

March 19, 2013 at 7:54 am
(415) Jay Reynolds says:

Thanks for the post! I found that the below mold removal methods have worked for my front loader, I hope it helps all of you too.

Fill a dishpan with one liter of hot water, 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup vinegar. Remove any parts that are meant to come off like the detergent drawer or fabric softener dispenser. Soak them in the dishpan for 10 minutes before scrubbing them and rinsing them under a stream of cold water.

Mix another batch of cleanser in the dishpan with one liter of hot water, 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup vinegar. Dip a scrub brush in the solution and use it to scrub the area in around the fabric softener and detergent dispensers. Scrub the entire interior of the washing machine and door.

Fill a spray bottle with the cleansing solution and use it to spray hard to reach areas of the washing machine. Let the cleanser sit on the washing machine before rinsing it off with a second spray bottle of clean water.

Put undiluted bleach in a empty spray bottle and use that to spray any areas that still aren’t mold free, or clean. Allow the bleach to sit for a few minutes before scrubbing it and rinsing it away with water.

Put the detergent drawer and fabric softener dispenser back together. Pour two cups of bleach into the basin of the washing machine. Set your washer to the highest heat setting and longest wash cycle. Allow it to run through to complete the cleaning process

March 25, 2013 at 11:29 am
(416) ann says:

Barry C. you are my hero!
The rotten egg smell seems to be gone with your help!

THANK YOU.

May 12, 2013 at 2:16 pm
(417) Anne says:

I just drained the hose and filter (?) from the front of my LG SteamWasher and the gunk that came out of those was just gross! I have a Sears A&E warranty on all my appliances, which was bought after purchase. Part of the reason I bought this extended warranty is because it allows for one maintenance/cleaning of the appiances a year, free of charge (mind you, I paid a pretty price for the warranties!). The A&E guy was here a week ago. He has been aware of the smell and has sold me WasherMagic (works for a week or two), suggested white vinegar and tang (have only tried it once), and wiping down of all rubber gasket after every wash. Funny thing, though…he never mentioned the detergent drawer, which I clean frequently. After reading one of these postings about pulling the drawer out and looking up into that cavity…oh my goodness! How disgusting can it get??? Bleach and towel in hand, and a toothbrush for those tiny spaces, got most of it out. As for the mold that has built up in the rubber gasket, I have tried a bunch of things, but nothing has even diminished that! I hate this washer!

May 27, 2013 at 1:19 pm
(418) Kim says:

I am wondering if the difference between those who do and don’t have mold problems is where you live. I’m in a semi arid climate (southern Alberta) can anyone tell me if they have or have not had trouble in a similar environment?
My Top loader died and I’m looking to get a new set and am wondering which is the better choice.

May 27, 2013 at 1:51 pm
(419) housewares says:

Hi Kim #418,

The mold problems people are having with washing machines unfortunately is not related to climate or humidity in their laundry room. It is mostly a washer design problem.
But it can be prevented by installing a little Washer Fan at the back of the front load washer.

But you are correct, a humid climate can cause humidity in homes and especially basements where many laundry appliances are situated. Excess moisture can be eliminated with a dehumidifier. For those who have this problem, my Article on Controlling Home Moisture can provide some solutions.

June 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm
(420) Sara says:

re: leaving the door open. There is a significant danger associated with leaving the door open with small children in the home. Is this advice from the manufacture? I am trying to identify who is willing to be liable if harm resulted. Thanks

June 11, 2013 at 10:12 pm
(421) Dawn says:

What do you do if you have a septic system and can’t use bleach? (The store never told me I would need bleach for routine maintenance!) I have cleaned and cleaned but still the smell persists in all my clothes and towels. Yes, I leave the door open. And clean the tub and dispenser and door gasket. I will try under the door next in the pump cleanout. But bleach is not an option. I tried calling Whirlpool…if your machine is more than 12 months old, all you can do is order parts or a service call. No help there. And of course the odor doesn’t usually develop until after the first year or two. I love having an HE machine (saves me a ton of electricity for drying) but the manufacturer needs to step up to the plate. No, I am not buying a Washer Fan…that defeats the whole purpose of saving electricity. Sheesh.

June 12, 2013 at 12:36 pm
(422) Dawn says:

Besides the smell problem (which as we all know is terrible), I am VERY disappointed to learn that the fixes and recommended cleaning procedures for the Duet are energy wasters. Washing with super hot water? Bleach? Special detergents and products that are not environmentally friendly? Add-on fans and such? These all defeat the purpose of saving energy, which is the main reason I bought this washer. Even if you don’t have a septic system, regularly pouring a bunch of bleach down the drain (whether it’s to get your clothes gleaming white or simply to clean out your washer) is not good for health either. Yours or the fish. Bleach doesn’t just kill mold and “bad” bacteria…it kills all the good guys too. Just ask my septic system.

June 18, 2013 at 3:50 pm
(423) gayle says:

I just moved into a rental home that has a Maytag Neptune that stinks of mold. I didn’t notice the smell when I initially looked at it, but I tried to use it the first time and it smelled awful…I had to keep the door to the garage open to dissipate the smell. I tried the Affresh tablets but they seemed to make it smell worse. I’ve contacted the landlord but haven’t heard back what they plan to do. What should I tell them? Should I demand a new washer?

June 20, 2013 at 1:20 pm
(424) judy in arizona says:

Getting a solution to the bad smell from my Whirlpool Duet Washer is obviously NOT going to happen today. I’m sorry. However, I did want to register a complaint to add to the many others, that this is an ongoing situation! Several of my kids bought these new FL washers when they bought new homes over the past several years. I had never liked them because of the smell and lack of cleaning abilities. Recently however, we moved, and bought an existing washer and dryer in our “new” 7 year old home. I thought that surely the problems with the washers had been worked out. Much to my sorrow, they have not. After reading many of the comments here, I now realize that the people left their laundry room in tack in order to get rid of it, not as a bonus to us. I will now become one of YOU striving to make the best of a smelly and dangerous situation in my new home here in arid Arizona.

June 25, 2013 at 9:07 am
(425) Kim Kossl says:

Taking apart and Cleaning a washing machine monthly is not what I had in mind when I purchased my Whirlpool Duet. Washing my clothes only to have them come out smellier then when they went in is not what I expected either. In this day and age with all the technology you would think the engineers could figure this out. What amazes me is the companies who make the FL washers denial of the problem. They have to be deaf, dumb and blind to not recognize the issues however I think now they are benefitting from the sale of all these products we are buying to ATTEMPT to fix the problem. A viscous cycle. I would love to get rid of my washer/ dryer and buy a new one but like everyone else it is so much money to throw away only to have to reinvest. Do they even make top load wagers anymore?..? Another unhappy customer!

July 10, 2013 at 9:23 pm
(426) Linda B says:

I have a Duet Washer that I use the Tide washer cleaner once a month on, and then after that clean the goop out from behind the seal with many many wet paper towels. And also wipe the inside of the door,. This keeps it clean for me. If I forget and skip a month though, it will make a load of clothes smell bad.

I always bleach whites and towels and bedding, to kill dust mites, so maybe the frequent cycles of hot water and bleach help. I use the Clorox delux bleach, with the pale blue cap, because regular bleach seems to be too concentrated and leaves bleach spots. Since I use bleach so often that may keep my soap dispenser from getting mold. No mold, just bleach buildup that needs soaked off.

Energy efficient – not so much. But it doesn’t smell most of the time and the clothes are clean.

July 14, 2013 at 8:20 pm
(427) larry says:

need to replace the seal around the door of my FL whirlpool duet washer.

HOW DO YOU REMOVE THE FRONT OF THE WASHER TO GET TO THE SEAL?

removing the lower cover is easy

July 19, 2013 at 9:18 am
(428) Regina says:

I have bought a LG ,not sure if it was 5 or 6 years ago ,,all my cloth had a horrible smell ,i thought the problem came from my well water ,,i took paper towels to wipe out under the rubber part on the front ,it was disgusting what i discovered black slimy dirt i am very disappointed , i also had bought a Dryer from LG too ,i will never buy a front loader again ,all my laundry smells disgusting

July 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm
(429) Valerie says:

We purchased our Whirlpool Duet Frontloading Washer and Dryer in July 2009. We have never had any problems with ours, and they have been in our relatively humid basement and now stacked on our main floor in southern lower Michigan climate. We leave the door of the washer open after every load, I use HE free and clear detergent, and have recently begun to use Borax as well, as I don’t use fabric softener. We have used the bleach-cleaning method occasionally. I appreciate all of the input on this blog, just in case!

July 22, 2013 at 4:16 pm
(430) JUDY HUGHES says:

I have had this LG front loader for over 4 years and have had service people (3) for my LG washer to tell me, “oh there is nothing we can do, i have had clothes ruined, they refused to replace or return washer. i had extended warranty, called them did everything the stated,leave door open, dry out, cycle with bleach,nothing worked it is a terrible smell in basement and on clothes, purchased from boscovs and have all original papers, i want to join this class action suit i have spent hours, time detergent, and loss of clothing. I cannot use this washer and want it refunded and cost of waste of doing clothes more then once, to clean and try to reemove smell….nothing helps, and of boscovs won’t do anything, and extended warranty, and was told this is how they are we cannot replace the part that is all mold

July 30, 2013 at 11:47 pm
(431) Leanne says:

We have the same mould problem in our LG washing machine. Oddly enough I had the first Frigidaire front loader that came on the market many years back (the one with the small door and small capacity), and 2 similar sized front loading machines when I lived in Europe, and never had this problem. Does anyone have a large front loader that doesn’t have this problem?

August 13, 2013 at 4:14 pm
(432) pae raja says:

Have top load washer. Even since new, sometimes some of the washed clothes smell. Don’t know if it’s something in certain fabric or? It’s not like a mold or mildew smell to me but more like a FUEL or chemical SMELL. The machine does not smell. I follow all the other tips, like airing the mach. and using the detergent correctly as suggested. It’s horrible having your bedding or pj’s smell and you just spent all kinds of time and energy cleaning them.

August 20, 2013 at 10:58 am
(433) Teri says:

I agree…Just leave the door open! That will get the moisture to evaporate and that’s how I got rid of odor. I also have a dehumidifier in my basement that helps alot!

August 28, 2013 at 11:23 am
(434) DaveB says:

Part 1

I recently purchased a home that included a 2003-vintage Whirlpool Duet set. I thought it was quite odd that the seller had air fresheners plugged into outlets in every room but figured it was due to pet odors as he had 3 dogs. I unplugged the smell bombs and changed out most of the carpeting before moving in, but the first time I opened the washer the moldy smell hit me in the nose like a prizefighter. THERE’S the reason for the cinnamon smell bombs!

Now, given that my degree is in biological systems engineering, I work as an environmental engineer, and I love fixing all things mechanical in my spare time, I took this as a challenge to fix.

I ran a couple wash cycles with lots of bleach, adding a few gallons of hot water to get the level over the scum line, unplugging the washer after 5 minutes to force the bleach water to stay in the drum for a few hours, and unplugging it a few seconds after it started draining to trap the bleach water in the pump & drain line. During the down time I hit the internet to look for solutions. I found the info about cleaning the lint trap, found the washer fan site, and read pretty much everything I could find on the subject.

As many here have already noted, the bleach cycles only do so much and my smell returned fairly quickly. At that point I decided to take all the panels off the washer and investigate. As I was preparing to clean the lint trap I was pleased to note that I didn’t see any mold growing on the various surfaces I could see. The milky white corrugated drain hose looked fairly white still, though I suspect that was due to the bleach loads I ran through it. The trap was pretty clean, not much action there.

August 28, 2013 at 11:24 am
(435) DaveB says:

Part 2

I moved around to the back of the washer to assess the vent tubing that the washer fan uses to dry the washer. I squeezed the black corrugated tube at the top of the drum that runs between the drum and the soap dispenser. It felt ‘crispy’ inside so I pulled it off and found a bunch of dried mold/mildew in the hose, When I squeezed it the mold was breaking off and falling back into the drum area. The hose went into a big bowl of bleach water for a good soak.

Then I squeezed the larger (maybe 2″ diameter) hose at the back of the drum that runs from the drum to a series of ducting that exits at the back, top of the machine….at the location the washer fan attaches. The bottom end of that hose was SERIOUSLY crunchy, and when I removed it it was obvious where my remaining smell was coming from. That hose was caked with huge leaves of dried ‘biofilm’, with a few tablespoons of old wash water caught in the elbow for good measure. One of my key observations was that elbow is poorly designed and retains those few ounces of water after each load….there’s nowhere for it to drain. I believe one of the huge benefits of the washer fan is that it dries out this elbow. Incidentally, I studied the parts diagrams for my old Duet and the newer Whirlpool front loaders and noticed that hose had a different part number and had been redesigned in a way that looked like it might eliminate that standing water. I’ve ordered a used one from eBay and will see if I can install the newer design on my old washer.

After reassembly, I used a bright flash light to inspect the inside surfaces of the outer tub by sticking my head into the washer, holding the flash light tight against the holes, and looking at the outer tub surface through other holes. I was greatly pleased not to see any mold on the outer tub. I think that would have been a deal breaker.

August 28, 2013 at 11:24 am
(436) DaveB says:

Part 3

So after cleaning out those vent hoses, cleaning out the lint trap, & forcing bleach water to stay in the whole pump & drain plumbing for several hours I believe I have the mold situation under control. I haven’t noticed any odor at all for over 2 weeks with several loads of laundry being done every few days.

I also made my own ventilation fan. I ordered a $4 computer fan through eBay, glued it to the lid of a Great Value 23 oz apple sauce jar (the center of the lip pops out like the center of a Mason jar lid used for canning), and wired it up to a random 12V power adapter I bought at Goodwill for $1. The jar lid fit snugly over the vent on the back of my washer and stays in place just fine using that friction fit.

My next step is to try to install the updated vent hose on the back of the tub. I also plan to disassemble the detergent dispenser parts while I have the panels off for the hose installation.

I’m toying with the idea of balling up some copper wire and leaving it in the elbow of either vent tube where the water collects. The copper ions should really help reduce any potential for biofilm. The other idea I’m working with is using a silver impregnated wick to speed the drying of that elbow; silver is also toxic to most molds.

I really like the ideas presented here. One that I may pursue in the future is getting rid of the corrugated drain lines in favor of one with smooth walls. Less surface area for our resident biofilm colonies. ;)

If anyone has questions or suggestions I’d be glad to try to help clarify any of the things I’ve described. You’re welcome to email me at davezzillow@gmail.com. I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to answer every email, but I’ll try.

September 6, 2013 at 8:27 am
(437) Jas says:

I have LG motor drive FL washing machine. It started with water standing in the sofner /bleech dispenser. Now it starts going mouldy in the dispenser fairly quickly.
Help Please

September 16, 2013 at 7:37 pm
(438) Paul says:

We have a set of Kenmore HE4t washer/dryer and of course have the same mold problem.

I actually discovered the trap a couple years back as we had a pump code failure and during my attempts to fix it I opened up the trap (as barry noted) and got a baby sock, some coins, and some other stuff along with REALLY nasty water.

In my field I am so heavily regulated by the gov’t and there are so many rules we all have to follow, HOW IN THE WORLD is this allowed to go on for YEARS and nothing is done about it?

I’m ready to buy new machine, but don’t know which one/ones will be guaranteed to have this type of problem fixed.

If anyone here has given up and bought new one that doesn’t have this, please post and give advice.

It’s DISGUSTING to pull out black mold from a washing machine that is supposed to make your clothes clean, and the idea that you have to remove a panel and drain water regularly as “maintenance” is absurd. If it was a maintenance item that was supposed to be done, an easy access and process should have been designed and included in the instructions.

I for one will never buy a kenmore appliance again. The unwillingness to even admit a design flaw and fix machines for those of us affected is completely and utterly reprehensible.

November 25, 2013 at 5:55 pm
(439) Susan Z says:

Hello,

Our Whirlpool Duet washer and dryer is less than a year old. I JUST started to notice a strong moldy odor coming from the washing machine. I smell it the minute I walk in the laundry room and it’s worse when I open the door. I have noticed water and other small objects that have pooled and collected under that rubber ring/seal thing that goes around the drum.

I had NO idea this was a problem until I Googled it today and saw everyone else saying the same thing. No wonder they advise you to buy their expensive “Affresh” product. This is ridiculous…..The set was not cheap and I expected a LOT more quality. It was rated one of the best on Consumer Reports, so what is the deal?

December 3, 2013 at 4:35 am
(440) Tom says:

Vinegar works. We pour a bit … Maybe 1/4 cup of white vinegar directly into the washer and around the seal after we have finished using it for the day. We leave the door open. Next time we use the machine we just use it nomally and our clothes come out great. No more moldy smells from the washer or clothes. Our machine is a Samsung front loader. The smell was a big problem. We tried the ‘clean your washer’ products but their fix was only temporary. Vinegar is amazing!

December 3, 2013 at 11:54 pm
(441) Bev says:

I have owned a whirlpool duet for almost 13 years. No mold problems, just clean clothes. I use powder laundry detergent and I do not use fabric softener.

December 17, 2013 at 2:36 am
(442) mold treatment uk says:

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January 1, 2014 at 8:42 pm
(443) MK says:

Wow, I just came across this by accident. Must be something about these machines, because I have a 23 yr old AEG Lavamat and we’ve never had any such problem. I’m in Ontario Canada. All my relatives in Europe have similar machines and I’ve never heard of any such problem there either. My brother and some other friends have Miele machines and while some have had breakdowns, none of them have ever mentioned any kind of mold problem. We all use Persil laundry detergent, available locally, imported from Europe. Is it possible that’s the difference? Could be, but I doubt it. I just had to go down and check the machine. No smell and can never remember such. I have on occasion found things stuck in the pump at the bottom and some were there for a long time judging by their state of deterioration. The most water that’s ever drained out, after a manual drain to check the pump strainer, is about a cup. I rarely use the full cold cycle though, usually 30*C or higher with a cold rinse. Once every month I do whites at 95*C. These machines heat the water. I’m sorry to hear that folks have such problems with their machines.

January 10, 2014 at 12:07 pm
(444) Lisa says:

We currently have a Kenmore front loader and we have had it for 5 years. It smells and the mold has literally embedded itself in the rubber seal. Has anyone experienced mold allergies due to this? My son who is 8 years old has several enlarged lymph nodes in his neck. He has a mold allergy. The doctors are baffled by what is causing this reaction. After some thought I am wondering if this is connected to this somehow. Very curious, if anyone else has experienced this with either themselves or their children. Because if this is the case I am suing the pants off of Kenmore. My son has just had a CT Scan since the nodes are larger than ever and they are hinting at surgery and cancer. This is not how an 8 year old boy should live. SO PISSED!

February 16, 2014 at 1:28 pm
(445) Mary says:

I never have a problem with mold or the smell of it. After each wash I leave the door open slightly until the next day until the dryer dryes out and have never smelled or had any mold

February 25, 2014 at 10:16 am
(446) bev schindler says:

i too have the foul smell in my whirlpool washer,purchased in 2004,never been happy!

February 28, 2014 at 9:36 pm
(447) suzanne fields says:

I am so glad to discover that I am not unique in the problem of F/L washer odor. Having tried every product imaginable to disinfect my Whirlpool Duet Washer I have failed to conquer this disgusting mold odor that fills my laundry room. I have had health problems due to the situation and plan to investigate my options with Whirlpool.

March 1, 2014 at 8:20 pm
(448) Dorian says:

PART 1

Our new apartment has a Whirlpool Duet Sport washer and I started to notice the mold smell around a week or two after moving in. When I peeled back the rubber bellows from the inside lip of the washer, the surface underneath was covered in black mold.

It was clear that even 100 bleach cycles would not come close to fixing the issue.

SOLUTION:

I decided to take apart the machine and see if I could clean out all the mold. Following the manual, I pretty much had to take apart the entire machine in order to get the rubber bellows out. I can now understand why people hire professionals for repairs on these things…they seem to be assembled in such a way that the average person will have no desire to attempt repairs themselves.

After finally removing the bellows (rubber ring around the hole of the washer), I completed several soaks in a bathtub with bleach. I let the bellows soak fully submerged for around 30-45 minutes in a mixture of around 70% bleach and 30% water (estimated by eye). This was repeated three times with the last time using 100% bleach. I used around 2-3 gallons of bleach for the job. During the process, the mold would simply fall off into the tub (yes cleaning the tub thoroughly at the end is part of the ordeal as well). In the end, the rubber was totally clean and little to no scrubbing was needed.

March 1, 2014 at 8:21 pm
(449) Dorian says:

PART 2

Reassembly – There were two steps where it is handy to have another person helping out….attaching the front door of the washer and the securing the retaining wire that holds the bellow in place. Also, I found it easier to take the round plastic door off from the front panel and reinstall them one at a time. The clear plastic door is very heavy and cumbersome, making it difficult to attach the panel/door as one piece, especially when trying to line up the holes for the door assembly switch.

Going forward we plan to keep the door open when not in use and dry with a towel after each cycle.

I did contact the company at the very beginning and there advice was simply a bleach cycle and/or after market cleaning project. I can go on and on about business ethics, treating the customer right, etc. BUT as consumers, the best two things we can do is:

1. SPREAD THE WORD about poorly made products and the companies who who sell them. Speak to people, friends, family members and take the time to write reviews.

2. NEVER BUY THAT BRAND AGAIN……phone calls, complaints, etc. are all fine, but in the end, HIT THEM WHERE IT HURTS THE MOST….IN THEIR WALLET!!!

Either they get the idea and start treating the consumer right or they get driven out of business because nobody buys their products. There are too many games in town to have to settle for this nonsense.

April 18, 2014 at 3:27 am
(450) steam shower aromatherapy says:

Fancy these steam showers

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