Anyone else done with front loader washing machines and the mould?


Ali de Bold
on Jan 07, 2013 @ 09:59 pm

I just had the unexpected expense of buying a new washer and dryer because the one that came with our house is a front loader filled with mould. I noticed the smell and the black gunk in the lip of the washing machine a while back but when my Inlaws were over recently we washed a sweater that had some wine spilled on it and my father in law commented that it smelled like mould. He pointed out that we are washing all of my son's clothes in there and we're pretty careful to keep his things clean so why wash his clothes in mould? That was it for my husband and I and we bought a new set that very day.

We bought a top loader after doing some research and seeing that there are countless class action lawsuits in the States against front loader manufacturers for this very issue.

Of course they all tell you to clean the lip each time, leave the door open and buy the washer cleaning agent, but with small kids in the house that is not realistic for me.

Is anyone else frustrated with their front loaders and planning a switch to top loader as a result? I just thought it horrifying that manufacturers continue to produce these machines that are designed to clean your clothes but contaminate them with mould!
 

15 Replies


mercurysmile
Yeah... on Jan 07, 2013 @ 11:50 pm

My parents had a maytag front loader with this problem exactly. The rubber gasket that seals the door would grow mould in the fold of the rubber. I didn't realize this was still a problem. My mom noticed it first with the smell as well, luckily it was only after a few washes so we caught the problem early and able to clean it easily.

The simple solution that our family made a habit of was wiping right in the fold with a dry cloth to mop up any water there. It was a bit annoying but we didn't have much of a choice. The smell and mould never came back so I don't believe there were any other problems with that machine.

I haven't had to do any serious research into this since I don't need to buy a washer and dryer yet but I've heard that the front loader uses less water and cleans the clothes better, I guess not so much with this design flaw. There are top loaders that no longer uses the pillar agitator in the middle (it takes up a lot of space) so that might be a good option aswell.
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Ali de Bold
Top loader with no pillar agitator on Jan 08, 2013 @ 09:29 am

That's what we bought. I'm looking forward to testing it out this weekend when it arrives!

You are right the only solution with those front loaders is to wipe out the gasket and clean the drum, but because the machine is years old already from the previous owners and they weren't cleaning it, it's really disgusting - even after Alex tried to clean it. I've given up!
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mamaluv
regular maintenance from Day 1 on Jan 08, 2013 @ 09:47 am

We bought a new front loader about 9 years ago and only just recently sold it as part of our house sale (new owners wanted all of the appliances).

I took great care with that rubber seal and the door as a whole from day 1 and so I never had problems with contamination in my laundry. I always left the door ajar to air out the drum and regularly (perhaps 1x per week) wiped the seal thoroughly with a Lysol wipe. There was always a tiny bit of grime each time, so I can certainly see how it can very quickly become a really disgusting problem over time! 9 years later, the washing machine was still in prime condition and I'm sorry to have had to give it up.

Based on my previous experience I will say that front loaders generally save water, save detergent, save energy, and treat your delicates more gently than top loaders. However, I'm sure there have been some technical improvements in top loaders since the last time I was in the market, so I'm eager to hear how your new machine performs!

I would also suggest you leave the top loader drum door open after using the machine for a time to allow it to dry out. This is especially important if you live in a humid climate (or it's a humid season). Mold can grow on any damp surface!
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nscott84
yes on Jan 08, 2013 @ 10:08 pm

I have a front loader and was also told to keep the door open afterwards and use the cleansing pod monthly. I also have kids and they understand the wash room isn't a play zone. I would suggest maybe running the cleansing wash when the kids are asleep and maybe keep the door open to the machine and put something like a gate in front of the door or one of those child proof door knob things if they are small. If they are older just let them know its unsafe to go in there (I'm sure you thought of that). Outside of this, I have no ideas for alternatives to professional suggestions but if you find something that works please let me know because I agree its mighty inconvenient.
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takoda
I'd never buy a front load washer, they all sink!! on Jan 09, 2013 @ 07:08 am

As soon as I saw them on the market I told my husband they were going to be trouble and they are. We just bought a new washer and dryer a few weeks before Christmas. The sales man brought us right to a front load washer and I spoke up right away and told him I don't even want to see one like that. I said isn't it true that the rubber seal on the door goes on them and they start to sink and isn't that's why they started making this washer machine cleaner to begin with. The guy came right out and told me that I was right and that it didn't matter what brand of front load washer it was, they're all having this problem some sooner then others. I have two sister in-laws and a cousin that all have front loaders and they all are having a problem with them smelling. Their washers are only two years old and one had to replace the seal on hers. So I not only got it right from the sale mans mouth in Leon's that all front load washer have this problem sooner or later, I know three people that are having this problem. We ended up buying a Whirlpool washer and dryer. My washer doesn't have an agitator in the center either, so I have lots of room for big loads. I can even wash my king size comforter and I still have room for more. The only thing I'm not thrilled about is there isn't a place to put your fabric softener, you have to use a Downy ball. Mine came with one, but I find it to be a pain in the bum. After every load you have to look through everything to find the ball and the lid. Sometimes the ball fills with water if the lid doesn't come right off. Other then that its been working great for us. I was planing on doing a review for both soon.
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KatelynRose1984
Not me. on Jan 09, 2013 @ 09:49 am

I've personally never had this problem with mold before, and I've been using a front loader for quite a few years now. I've also been keeping the door open after each use (as you should with any washing machine), and have been buying the cleaning solutions as well.

But, I have had numerous mechanical problems with my machines! Such a bummer.
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LissaG
Same problem here on Jan 17, 2013 @ 04:47 pm

I've noticed this with my front loaders as well! I leave the door open always and have never had an issue inside the drum, but I notice in the detergent compartment there's always something growing...I clean it, but a cycle or two later, it's back! Very annoying, especially because there's tons of little nooks and crannies in there that are hard to clean.
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TashaCat
Ditto on Feb 04, 2013 @ 01:57 am

My last home I bought the appliances when we moved in... and though I didn't buy very high end, I loved my washer/dryer. I had top-loader washer without an agitator - it was gentle on all the clothes, had a huge capacity in a small machine, and even had a pet-hair filter. LOVED IT. I had consciously chosen to not buy a front loader after the slow, noisy machine in our apartment!

We moved and this house came with a higher end front loader with mold. YUK. It doesn't smell bad and the mold is not expanding (I am wiping it with bleach at the risk of wearing out that membrane). I can't justify the cost of new machines at the moment, but I can't wait to change back to the top loader!!!!

Not keeping the door open since I don't want my pets inside my machines!

I often wash my loads with 1-2 cups of vinegar (sets colours and also gets rid of any musty smells), so maybe that keeps the stench at bay?
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mamaluv
great tip on Feb 04, 2013 @ 08:27 am

I have this little booklet called "101 Ways To Use Vinegar" (or something to that effect) which I received for free as a handout at the grocery store I think, and I'm pretty sure it mentioned something about using vinegar in laundry. I totally forgot about it though, so thanks for sharing that the trick works! I will definitely give it a try. I would have assumed it'd lend a vinegary smell to my clothes.
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takoda
Question on Feb 04, 2013 @ 08:47 am

My sister in-law has a front load washer and she says she can't wash much in it at a time because it doesn't fill up with enough water, even if she has it on a heavy load setting. She said she has to add water to the machine before she starts it and she still can only wash like four to six things in it at a time, other wise everything comes out still covered in soap!! Has this happened to anyone else that has a front load washer, or it just her machine that's acting crazy?
By the way her washer is one of the washer's that I was talking about sinking in the other post I added to this.
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