HE (High Efficiency) washers possess the technology to use a lot less water than the old top load washers. Plus, they cut down on dryer times with an amazing spin cycle that leaves clothes damp not sopping wet. We love our HE washer, but I have several friends who hate theirs. Why? The biggest complaint about the front loading HE washers is that they get mildew in the gaskets and start to stink. We have owned our front loading HE Washer for six years, and this month was the first time I’ve ever had to clean it. Pick your jaw up off the floor and I’ll explain.
I never forget to do two things: wipe down and air out! The only reason I had to clean the washer recently was because our washer sat in our garage (after our water leak) for almost two months with the door closed (probably before it had a chance to completely dry.)
Here’s how to keep your HE front loading washer clean and fresh like the day you bought it:
1. ALWAYS wipe the door off after each load.
2. ALWAYS wipe out the gasket (top to bottom) to remove any water and moisture. This is the main area that will get mildewy first. Gently pull the gasket towards you to give full access. Run the rag around the inside of the gasket. Wipe especially well around the drain holes at the bottom.
3. Leave the door open after your wash is done to thoroughly air out your washer. Obviously if you have a closet instead of a laundry room, this can be a problem. Your best bet will be to invest in a top load HE washer when it comes time to replace your washer. Until then, try your best to keep the washer open about 30 minutes after you’ve washed a load.
If you still have odors or smelly laundry, try some of these remedies:
Inspect inside and around the gasket for signs of mildew (usually black spots.)
Mix a small amount of bleach in a container of water. Scrub any mildew stains with an old toothbrush dipped into the mixture. Wipe clean with a clean rag dipped in water to remove the bleach mixture. Repeat as necessary. When the mildew has been removed, wipe dry with a clean rag.
Does your washer smell like a locker room. To eliminate smells, run the washer empty on the hot water setting. Add a cup of white vinegar into the detergent dispenser. And add 1/2 cup of baking soda inside the drum before you press start.
If this doesn’t eliminate all the odors, you can run the washer empty again but this time put 1/2 cup of bleach in the detergent dispenser.
Remember to open the washer immediately, wipe out any moisture and leave the door open to air dry. (I can’t stress how crucial it is to do this after EVERY LOAD.
Do your clothes, or more likely your towels, come out of the washer smelling like a locker room? Believe it or not, you could be doing more harm than good by adding a little extra detergent. Liquid detergent is often the culprit. Particles from the soap don’t wash out of your clothes completely and bacteria from sweat and more end up sticking to the fabric. Try switching to a powdered detergent or use this DIY laundry detergent which is low sudsing (and also costs pennies). AND, never use more detergent than is called for — even if you child’s jacket looks like this!
What is it about boys and their magnetic attraction to mud? Any ideas how he got this dirty? Gotta run, I have more laundry to do.
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