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Leave the door on your washing machine open after using it to prevent a moldy, smelly washer.

Other good points that we’ve discussed in the comments below. [keep in mind these tips also apply to your dishwasher as well including leaving it open to dry out].

1. Run an empty load at least once a month with hot water and bleach or vinegar or with a specialty-made washing/dishwasher cleaning fluid.

2. At the bottom of your washing machine there is usually a trap to catch small objects right before the pump. It should be checked and cleaned out at least every couple of months. You’ll find all those old socks you lost in there and they’re going to be gross as hell.

3. The above goes for your dishwasher as well. There’s a trap underneath the jets at the bottom that is made to be disassembled and cleaned. If you’ve never done it before CAUTION it’s gonna be super nasty.

And 4. Be careful how much fluid you’re putting into your machine, too much can cause the buildup of soap scum/goo.


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  1. The main cause of mold and mildew in your washing machine (especially Front Load) is due to using too much detergent.

    2 tablespoons of detergent all you need.

    Because most washing machines are high efficiency, they use less water and too much detergent won’t rinse out of the tub leaving a perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow.

    Source: I work for a major appliance manufacturer.

  2. Also be careful with those condensed liquid soaps if you only wash in cold water, I couldn’t find the source of my top load washers funky smell until I pulled the drum basket and found out the exterior of it was covered in a gross film of detergent goo that built up over a long time.

  3. My manual also says to run it through a “cleaning cycle” (no clothing, hot water, deep fill) with a special cleaning detergent you can buy, or they alternatively suggest using bleach.

    Bleach is much cheaper, just run a bleach load and then another empty load with just water to rinse it out well.
    Mold and mildew is a major concern, in tropical climates especially, but doing this once a month seems to eliminate the problem entirely – unless I forget there’s a load in the wash for more than 24 hours.

    Check your manual for proper care and cleaning instructions, it’s in there.

  4. Tl;Dr at bottom

    I moved into this house that had a top loading washer in the basement. Last renters were gross juggalos who let dogs and cats pass and shit all over the house. Anyway, my housemate got a new set of sheets, pillowcases, and a quilt for his queen size mattress. Well his dumbass shoved ALL OF IT in the washing machine at once and broke it. A week later I need to do laundry and all he has to say is “why is it my problem, its the landlords equipment that failed. And no, I haven’t contacted him.”

    So I spend my day taking apart this washing machine. I honestly don’t know how I fixed it, I literally just took the whole fucking thing apart and put it back together from a YouTube video step by step trying to identify the problem without actually finding one but mending it anyway so 🤷‍♀️. When I removed the inside tumbler from the outer parts that actually holds all the water, it was the absolute grossest collection of dreadlock chunks, cat hair, dog hair, just imagine unplugging the nastiest shower drain ever, and that’s what was covering the insides of the plastic waster basin.

    Tl;Dr – took tumbler out of washer in rented home, gross animal and human hair covered the sides of water basin.

  5. Oh wow an actually useful LPT. Usually LPTs are more like “if someone does your laundry, make sure to thank them. It will make their day better.”

  6. I have a top load, and we do this because it signals to other family members that the washer is not being used by anyone else in the house.

    The thought is that you see it up, you can put the lid down like “dibs” and go get your load of laundry out of your bedroom. Then nobody else will use the washer if the lid is closed. Just adhere to the rule of lifting the lid when done doing your wash.

  7. My LG has a magnet to hold the door partially closed without sealing so it doesn’t smell mildewy.

    I would have guess all front loaders had this.

  8. Also run your hottest available cycle, with no detergent or anything in there, dont reduce the time of the cycle, let it run through. It will help to clean out your machine.

  9. Use white vinegar instead of fabric softener. Won’t leave a vinegary scent and your clothes (especially towels) will be as soft as if you had use regular softener. But it must be WHITE vinegar not brown!

  10. My husband has a pathological need to close all doors. He *cannot* leave it open. Also a pain when I’m airing the house (via the windows, but he can’t deal with all the inside doors being open) or stepping out to put rubbish in the big bin. Have to take my keys and close the door behind me.

    It’s from his nutcase father. Also all curtains closed so people don’t look in our house

  11. LifeLessonTips for all.

    Don’t leave anything closed up to dry and become moldy. This goes for your Bathroom doors too, dishwasher – even where you recycle food (bio-waste, don’t even close the bags, they will become moldy and stinky, let it all dry out).

    Mold loves moisture. Bread last longer too if you punch a few holes in the bag, same with tomatoes and potatoes, leave a few holes open for moisture to vaporize.

    Anything really.

  12. Everyone at my apartment complex leaves them closed which is mind boggling. Told the complex manager to put a sign to leave washers doors cracked but they never made one…

    I’m stuck washing my clothes in dirty smelling washers 🙁

  13. And stop using fabric softener. For real.

    Some chemist probably could explain it better, but I know that there is stuff in there, that aids to build mildew.

  14. Always have, always will. I serviced washers for years. Front loaders definitely have to be left open or the gaskets will rot.

  15. I think this only applies to washers that close with an air tight seal. My top loader doesn’t ever smell and I always keep it closed.

  16. You want to run your washing machine and dishwasher at LEAST once every two weeks on a hot cycle with ZERO soap. Try get rid of old undissolved soap in your appliances, hot water often is all you need. If it’s really bad then get one of those cleaning solutions. Helps your machines temp sensors / hardness sensors work better, slows electrolysis, helps your dishes and especially clothes achieve a level of cleanliness not possible with a dirty machine. For dishwashers – all in one tablets with soap and rinse aid typically perform poorly. For washing machines (especially front loaders), less soap is more. You will achieve a better and stronger wash action by removing the excess soap foam in the tub. Try LSD if you can too.

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Written by nairaab chief

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