Why Does My Washer Smell Like Mildew? Essential Facts To Know!

Why does my washer smell like mildew? It is because of the potential sources like the washer taking in all the grime, grease, and dirt in the laundry. Unfortunately, most of them drain away, and over time, detergent and soap scum residue build-up & invite mold, mildew, and bacteria.

The appliance and the laundry are warm which makes them a place for bacterial growth. The smell signals you of mildew presence.

why does my washer smell like mildew

So, let us continue further on why the washer smells mildew and what products to use to clean it and freshen it up. More likely, learn how to avoid this from occurring ever again.


Other Answers Why Washer Smell Like Mildew

So, why does my washer smell like mildew?  Why the washer smells like mildew is also due to excess soap. The front-loading washer utilizes a 3rd of water than what the top-loader does. The use of a capful of detergent causes no adequate water to absorb the suds. That is when soapy residue sticks to the door rubber rim and thus creates mildew. One more culprit is the liquid fabric softener with a waxy base that follows the outer tub. This outer tub is the breeding environment for mildew. Add only a small amount of softener if you will use it. It may be helpful to read what is mildew really the difference between mold and mildew


Several Lines Of Defense

The first line of defense is using HE detergent that can be just effective in tiny doses. For one, its use is for a front loader washer. Check the machine as well if you level it properly. The floorboards below the machine may have wrapped; that is why it is not draining correctly.

Call a repair specialist to place an anti-shake pad underneath to avoid it from shifting.

Also, remove the mildew odor as you operate an empty machine on its hottest setting. Use bleach or a cleaner that deodorizes its interior. Leave the washer door ajar after you put each laundry item to dry the interior. 


Ways To Consider In Cleaning Front-load Washer

It is good that you can clean it easily with white vinegar and also essential oil.


#1. Clean that door bot

That mildew smell in the front-load washer is maybe due to a door bot instead of a washer tub. This door bot is a vast rubber seal that entangles around the tub front. Residue and grime wrap inside and outside the boot. Thus, bacteria grow to create a mold smell. Follow the steps below when you clean a door bot.

  • Mix water and white vinegar and place them in a spray bottle
  • Spray it onto the boot and be sure the vinegar solution reaches the seal crevices
  • Allow it to sit for fifteen minutes
  • Use a clean wipe and rag dampened in the vinegar to get around the seal. Add tea tree oil drops onto the rag, which is impressive for its antibacterial properties. However, do not add it to a spray bottle.
  • Do the cleaning process again, considering the rubber gasket. You may also be interested to know how to clean mold from the front load washer gasket


#2. Clean the washtub and dispenser

Follow the simple steps below when done cleaning the rubber gasket

  • Use the exact solution of vinegar when you clean the dispenser
  • Use an empty washer and set the washer cycle to its hottest setting
  • Add one cup of bleach, vinegar, wash cleaner, and baking soda to the washtub. Just choose one
  • Set the washer in a complete cycle
  • Do it again


Ways To Consider In Cleaning Top-load washer

The smell in the top-loader comes from the interior part of the tub area. So now, here is what you should do.

  • Get the washtub emptied.
  • Place the temperature of the water at the hottest setting
  • Pour two cups of white vinegar onto the hot water
  • Add three to ten drops of tea tree oil onto the water that freshens it
  • Operate the empty washer at the complete cycle
  • Use a rag that is dampened in vinegar. Or, if you want, use a sponge to remove residues.
  • Do the process again monthly.


Other Ways To Consider In Cleaning A Washer That Smells Like Mildew


#1. Run the washer at a spin cycle only

Be sure no laundry is there inside the tub. Remove the rest of the water as you run the washer at spin-cycle only.


#2. Add the chlorine bleach

Add the chlorine bleach into the compartment for detergent. Fill it until it reaches the entire line. However, never use the bleach compartment. 


#3. Opt for the self-clean cycle

Begin the process of self-clean right away. But, never leave the chlorine bleach in the washer. Close the door or lid of the washer. Then, click on the power button. Choose Self Clean, Pure Cycle, or Self Clean+. Please press the button for Start/Pause for it to start. The self-cleaning time differs from one model to another. It is approximately one hour for the top load washer and four hours for the front load washer. You may also be interested to know how to replace a rubber seal on the front load washer


#4. Remove the tub and run it at rinse spin cycle

Run the rinse and spin cycle to get rid of the residues. Continue to run different processes until there are no more residues.


#5. Get the washer to dry

Leave the door or lid open and enable the washer to dry. Leave the drawer for detergent empty as it dries it up.


#6. Sanitize the pump filter

Clean the pump filter regularly, which is a common feature of a front-loader washer. The pump filter can cause odor to occur. It may be helpful to read h0w to clean pump filter on a front load washer


#7. Seek service

Seek help or the service of a repair technician if the mold or odor stays after a few attempts.


It’s A Wrap!

Now you know why does my washer smell like mildew. Follow the several lines of defense and the ways to consider helping combat it. The use of vinegar, tea tree oil, hot water, and baking soda makes sense here. Just be consistent when you clean it so that it becomes functional again!

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