Why Does My Front Load Washer Smell Bad?


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If your front load washer has developed a bad smell, you are probably wondering why that is. Why would a front load washer suddenly start to smell bad when it is meant to wash clothing?

This is a common concern that people have if they own a front load washer, as this is a common issue. Though they are a popular choice, they do come with their downsides, including the tendency to develop bad smells.

Keep reading to find out why your front load dryer smells bad and what you can do to remove the smell.

front load washer smells bad

Table of Contents

Why Does My Front Load Washer Have a Bad Smell?

Front load washers are a popular washer option that many people love for how convenient they are, the downside is that they can begin to smell. This is due to the gasket seal that is a breeding ground for bad bacteria buildup.

This rubber gasket is the seal that lines the door of your front load washer. This is what seals in the water and prevents it from leaking as your washer does its thing.

This is a very important part of a front load washer, though it can have its downsides. Moisture can be trapped in this seal and can start to create all kinds of nasty-smelling bacteria.

If moisture is left behind in the seal or in the machine itself, this can start to produce mold and mildew as it sits there. This creates an unpleasant smell that could smell like several different things, including:

  • Mold
  • Dirty laundry
  • Vinegar
  • Musty clothes
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If your front load water smells like any of these things, you may have bad bacteria growing inside. Though this isn’t a serious issue, you should address it as soon as possible.

Bacteria growth is not great for when you are trying to get your clothing clean. If left unchecked., this could even start to make your clothes smell after going through a wash.

How Do I Clean My Front Load Washer?

The best way to remove any bad smells from your front load washer is to thoroughly clean the machine. This is something that you should do every few months to prevent bad smells from bacteria growth.

You can do this by taking half a cup of chlorine bleach and letting the washer run through a full cycle without any clothes inside. Then leave it open to thoroughly dry after being washed out.

This helps to kill bad bacteria and sanitizes the washer drum. Alternatively, you could do the same thing only with half a cup of white vinegar.

White vinegar is antibacterial and is an excellent natural deodorizer that can kill bacteria and remove smells. It is a gentler option and can be used monthly to prevent any bad smells from developing.

You could also run a cycle without any clothes but sprinkle half a cup of baking soda inside the drum. This is another great option though you will need to be sure that the baking soda is washed away.

You don’t want any residue remaining and getting all over your next load of laundry. After each load, you should try to make sure that the washer drum is dry, this is a preventative measure that will help to prevent bacteria from ever forming.

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Why Does My Front Load Washer Smell Like a Sewer?

One common complaint that people with front load washers have is that they can start to smell like a sewer. This is a very unpleasant issue to have and not one that anyone wants to have to deal with.

The ironic thing is that using too much washer detergent is actually the cause of this horrible smell. You would never think that using too much detergent could do this, but it actually does encourage this bad scent.

Too much detergent will not be able to be washed away, leaving residue inside of the drum. As this dries, this can create an unpleasant smell that is very similar to that of a sewer.

To remove this smell, you need to reduce how much detergent you use and you can run a cycle without any laundry. The water will cut through the residue and help to clean it out so that the smell can go away.

Why Is My Front Load Washer Smelling Bad?

If your front load washing machine is starting to have a bad smell, this might be caused by bacteria. Front load washers have a reputation for having water get trapped, creating bacteria growth that will start to smell.

The gasket seal is usually the culprit as it can hold onto moisture, creating mold and mildew growth. That is why it is so important to make sure you are keeping your washer clean and dry.

The best way to do this is to clean it several times a year to kill off bad bacteria and to try to keep it dry.

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