Published on August 9th, 2012 | by Henri


Musty smell from washing machine

Q.   I have a 4-year old Kenmore clothes washing machine. I use it once a week for regular laundry (no oily or heavily soiled clothes). After each wash, there is a musty odor when I shut the washer off. I leave the lid up between uses. I have run the washer once  with detergent and bleach and once with white vinegar. I’ve checked the waste line to which the washer, a sink and another basin are tied. There is no odor coming out of either of the two fixtures. I’d appreciate your help.

A.   You’ve done all the right things but perhaps not enough. There is quite a bit of water left inside the works of the washer after each wash. Doing a wash only once a week allows this remaining water to become stale, especially if you are on a well as its water does not have any chlorine in it.

Try running the machine with as little and as hot water as possible in which you have added at least a quart of bleach. Once the machine has stopped the agitation cycle, stop it and let the water and bleach solution stay for an hour or so. Resume the machine’s cycles. You may have to repeat the treatment a couple of times.

After that, try to do small loads of wash every two to three days instead of waiting a week.

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