Front Loading Washer Woe
While front loading washing machines originated in Europe, they have been steadily increasing in popularity in North America. Due to their greater energy efficiency, comparatively larger load capacity and greatly reduced water usage, front load washers have become the first choice for many Canadians. The only unfortunate downside to these new found heroes of the laundry room is a foul odour they often begin to emit after several months of usage.
In order to combat this problem, it is helpful to understand the origin of this odour. Front
loading washing machines have seals, as well as soap dispensers that provide an ideal environment for mold and bacteria to hide. The foul odour is caused by this mold and bacteria which actually feed on soapy residue that lodges around nooks and crannies. Making the environment in your front loading washer inhospitable to mold and bacteria will eliminate the nasty smell. Cleaning around seals and other nooks and crannies with a germicidal or bleach solution will help remove residue and mold. Because these uninvited guests also need moisture to survive, it is useful to keep the door to your front loading washer open when it is not in use.
Molds and bacteria thrive in warm conditions but not in extreme heat. If your washing machine has a heat cycle that super-heats the water, it would be wise to employ this special cycle, or the hottest setting you are able, at least once a week to help kill bacteria. If you are in the market for a front loading washer, it might be wise to consider the benefit of this special heat cycle found in many European front loading models. The wash water is super-heated by a source within the washer itself rather than from the hot water faucet feeding your machine. Not only is this high heat useful in combating mold and bacteria, it is an excellent way to brighten whites without the use of caustic chemicals such as chlorine bleach.
Fortunately there are also good products on the market that help rid your washer of residue keeping it smelling fresh and clean. Affresh, Smelly Washer and OdoBan are all effective products and very convenient to use. Even if you don’t have a problem with a smelly front loader, I would recommend the occasional use of these products as a preventative measure. They are safe for your washer and approved for use with septic tanks as well.
Gord Haines is a journeyman appliance technician with over 25 years of experience.
Contact Gord’s Appliance for repair and servicing of all your residential appliances.