Originally Posted by awonline1
I am so bad about leaving clothes in the washer! I have a fairly new front-loader and they ARE worse about keeping the smell in there. A couple of things I've learned may help....
1. Most front-loaders have a 'delay' button
(all of the ones I've seen have them, even some of my friends who have years-old ones). You can put the clothes in at night with all the detergent in the right dispensers, but set it to start X hours later. I do this alot, so that my clothes start washing about the same time I get up, then on my way out to get the kids to school I can put them in the dryer (*IF* I remember!)
2. ALL front-loaders are recommended to only be 'sealed' when in use.
You are supposed to leave the door open when it is empty. Otherwise, you are not just capturing smell in there, you are probably allowing the moisture to turn to mildew inside the seal where you can't get to it.
3. Our warranty technician told me that part of that 'smell' that sometimes builds up in front-loaders is due to too much detergent. I told him that I use the HE-type detergent, and always the lowest amount (up to the first line only). He said even less that the lowest recommended amount was best. I've done this since the washer was 6 months old, and our clothes are clean and smell fine.
4. If you do have a load that sits there for a longer period of time that you intended and you have to re-wash it, put VINEGAR in the fabric softener dispenser.
The odor will be gone after the re-washing (and it won't smell like vinegar). In fact, our warranty technician also told me not to use fabric softener at all, but if I did I should water it down to half strength and still only use a small amount. This is what I normally do, but every 3rd or 4th washing I will use only vinegar (usually on a load of towels, which you don't want to be softened because they are less absorbent then).
5. Be sure to use the "Super Clean" mode periodically
. This is recommended to get out any detergent build-up and odor. Basically, it is a special mode that runs the washer (empty - NO CLOTHES) and you use only bleach in the dispenser. I think all front-loaders have this mode, but if not, you can just run an all-hot, quick wash with bleach). I only do this about once every 2 months. It's obviously an expense, but I figure I'm saving lots of money on detergent and fabric softener because of #3 and #4 - not to mention the water savings from having a front-loader to begin with - and I really want to keep the thing running properly.
I hope these tips help all of you with front-loaders. Now, if anyone has a tip for how to NOT FORGET about the loads in the washer, I'll be sooooo grateful!