Bad Smell From Front Loader Washers

SHAREShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on VKShare on LinkedIn

bad smell

Bad smell from the washer is a very unpleasant feature by all means. Still, it can happen with any given model of any given brand. You smell something weird during the wash, and then your freshly washed clothes come out with an odour slightly different from the “dried lavender and camomile“ promised by the detergent manufacturer… That is a good time to think about some actions to be taken.

A brief search on the Internet might give you a lot of ideas. These ideas are good and practical, but what we think lacks in these numerous forum threads is the systematic approach. And that is our humble goal to provide you with a methodical guide – how to locate the reason of the bad smell from the washer, and then how to get rid of the bad smell.

First of all, let’s have a look on our front loader as a system. We have water from the water line that comes into the washer, circulates there and goes out to the sewer. On its way into the tub, where the rinsing of the clothes happens, water flows through the detergent dispenser ant takes the detergent for a ride (if you put one). Water, detergent and clothes are mixed up and rotated happily together inside of the shiny stainless steel drum. Then water and detergent are leaving the tub, drained out by the action of the drain pump.
So where should we look when we have a bad smell in the washer?


Water comes into the machine. At this stage the dispenser is a main source of problems. For example, the dirty dispenserdetergent is not washed fully out of the dispenser. The leftovers mixed with water stay in for a couple of days… Then this yucky mixture goes into the tub, then you smell your clothes after wash…

check your dispenser cavity and try to locate any obstacles. Do a couple of cycles without clothes and detergent – just observe. If the water in the tub is too soapy, or is released into the tub too slowly – we know whom to blame.
– try to use detergent capsules instead of putting detergent in the dispenser. If the smell issue is eventually improved, then we know that the dispenser is a most possible cause of the problem.


Wash stage – water is circulated inmold on gasketside the tub. The key point to check: a door boot – a rubber seal which prevents water leaks through the door. Look at it and you will have an impression what is going on outside and inside of the tub. If not maintained properly, you can see a perfect environment for the mold to grow. Mold will spread, and besides the odour and hygienic issues, the rubber can break and cause a flood in your house.

prevent the mold from growing and spreading. Start with this when your washer is still new. Every 3 months you should inspect the door boot and make a cleaning wash with special cleaning detergents, manufactured by most big brands (Tide, Finish, Affresh). The big advantage of such a treatment is that the detergent takes care not only of the visible parts of the boot, but also of the inner side, the tub cavity and the drain hoses. Plus in addition to the mold, other formations like calcium deposits are also reduced.
– if your boot is already molded, clean it with a bleach solution or white vinegar. And then perform a wash with a cleaning detergent for 2-3 times in a row. Hopefully it helps. If not – the boot should be removed and replaced to prevent the mold from growing again.


Drain stage – water goes out of the machine. An important check point – if you have a debris filter (not available in all the washers), make sure to look inside. A filter that is full of coins, wool threads and other treasures, significantly slows down the water flow and often makes excessive amounts of water remain in the tub.The odour you get from that remaining water is simply unforgettable.

clean the filter (if your washer has it). Run the cleansing detergent wash.
check the drain hose. While your machine is on the drain cycle, watch the water flow from the hose. If the flow is reduced or it takes longer than usual – you need to fix it or call the appliance technician.


It is good to think “out of the machine”, too. When the water is drained out , it goes to the sewer pipes of the house. So, if we have a clogging there, each time you wash your clothes you will get a bad smell arousal or even a gross paddle near the machine.

Good luck!!

This original article is written by one of the APPFIX Inc. Appliance Technicians based on his professional experience, and this is an intellectual property of this website. No part of this article can be reproduced in a digital or a printed form without a written permission of APPFIX Inc.

SHAREShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on VKShare on LinkedIn
Was this post useful for you?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *