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Replacing Door Gasket on Kenmore Elite HE3

My washer has developed a large amount of mold. I have bleached, scrubbed, lysoled repeatedly. I fear I have started my treatments too far into the course of this "disease." Is there a way I can just replace the gasket and start fresh with proper cleaning and maintenance techniques to avoid the problem?

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  • myaurelia Nov 13, 2008

    I found your previous posts on this problem. Thanks!

  • myaurelia Nov 13, 2008

    I found your previous posts on this problem. Thanks!

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The following link explains how to replace the door bellow on a Kenmore front loader:

http://www.fixya.com/support/r385210-replacing_door_bellow_kenmore_elite

Replacement door bellows can be purchased online at searspartdirect.com. Just type in your model number and look under the "Door and Latch" heading for item number 5 (part #8181850). I would also suggest items 6 and 14, which are the front and back bellow clamps (if needed). Sometimes the clamps can break.

To keep your door bellow clean and free of mildew in the future, I recommend you read the following link:

http://www.fixya.com/support/r513372-front_loader_mildew_odor

I personally own, one these models and have never had a mildew or odor problem by following these simple steps (and I have a family of 8). If you do not like leaving the door open, because of small children, the control panel can be locked so the controls cannot be manipulated. Do this by pushing and holding the "Drain/Spin" button for 3 seconds (this information shouod be printed on the control panel under the button).

I hope this information helps you.

Posted on Nov 14, 2008

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How to clean the mold of the rubber


If you have mold on the rubber gasket of your Duet front loader, I can almost assure you that you have lots of mold in other places in the machine. Front loading washing machine are almost hermetically sealed and if the door is left closed, the inside just never dries out. This is just a perfect environment for the growth of mold and other fungi. Once mold gets established in materials such as rubber gaskets, it can be very difficult if not impossible to eradicate because mold grows "roots" deep into the pores of the material, making it very difficult to remove. Eradicating the mold may result in damage to the gasket since my "cure" is to paint on full strength bleach on the moldy surfaces with a brush or sponge (wear gloves). Repeat if necessary. You may wind up having to replace the front door gasket to get all of it. It will probably take more than one application to fully eradicate the mold from the VISIBLE surfaces of the rubber gasket. If you remove the detergent dispenser and peer inside the opening, you may see a lot more mold inside the cavity. If you see mold inside the detergent dispenser cavity, imagine what the rest of the inside of your machine must look like. Do you run a periodic cleaning cycle as advised in the operating manual? Have you read the operating manual? Do you use the absolute minimum amount of HE (non foaming) detergent? Factory instructions for cleaning the door gasket call for mixing 3/4 cup of bleach into 1 gallon of warm water and applying this mixture to the affected gasket area, let stand 5 minutes and wipe the area down with a dry cloth. My experience has shown that this is a grossly inadequate concentration to deal with a deeply seated mold problem in the door gasket. To run the cleaning cycle, the factory calls for 2/3 cup of bleach to be added to the bleach dispenser. "Use of more than 2/3 cup of bleach will cause product damage OVER TIME". Initially, I would definitely consider using a whole lot more bleach than recommended and run two or more consecutive cleaning cycles. Then EVERY USE OF THE MACHINE: wipe the door gasket and all the creases and folds dry with a sponge, remove the detergent dispenser and wipe the cavity dry, leave the drawer out to dry on a clean towel, leave the door open, buy a cheapy plastic box fan and place it inside the machine and let it blow air around the inside of the machine for an hour or so to dry it off quickly, run a cleaning cycle at least once a month. If this sounds too involved or difficult, I would suggest switching to a top loading washer that is much less prone to develop mold growth as air can circulate in these types of machines to a much greater extent than the front loaders.

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