Question about Whirlpool Duet GHW9150P Front Load Washer

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Sour Smell in clothes

Clothes come out of the wahser with a sour smell. We leave the door open when not in use, but does not help. There seems to be mold on the inside of the door gasket. We have cleaned the gasket several times with bleach, but it continues to come back. What do we need to do get rid of the sour smell?

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  • mycookie Jan 02, 2008

    I left my clothes in the washer for two days and I can't get the sour smell out. What can I do?

  • Iriquois May 19, 2008

    I'm having the same problem with the sour smell in my clothes. I also wash the washer with clorox as suggested in the manufacturer directions. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  • Iriquois May 19, 2008

    I have the same problem. I have taken the same steps. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  • buddyo May 26, 2008

    Turn up the temp in your water heater to at least 140. It will kill the bacteria that cause the sour smell in the water itself.

  • neilmel Jun 30, 2008

    Smelly odor from the washer.Leaving the door open hasn't helped.

  • Lavamarie Sep 03, 2008

    My clothes never smell fresh, especially the towels. This has been an ongoing problem. Today I opened the washer to transfer the towels into the dryer and they smelled sour. I rewashed them and it was more of the same. I am trying vinegar in the bleach cup, in the fabric softener cup and in the basket itself. The smell is coming mostly from the fabric softener cup. It is disgusting. My next load I will wash will be in bleach. Hope this takes care of the problem!



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While cruising around the net searching for some phone batteries, I came across an ad for a product called "Smelly Wash". I was intrigued by the name, and, since I have been trying to help out a friend who has issues with her front loader and water that is very high in iron and other fragrant minerals, I thought I'd take a look.

32 years ago I bought our first washer and the plumber who came to install it recommended SA8. He told me he had taken apart many machines and most were gummed up with the fillers that are in many detergents. Liquid detergents were not as prevalent at the time.

I friend of a friend helped me locate an Amway distributor and I bought SA8 from her for a few years until we moved. In our next home, I found another distributor and continued using the SA8.

Meanwhile, we added three more daughters to the family and I never once used anything but SA8.

Year's later, an older friend's husband (quite ill with emphysema and with severe contact dermatitis, countless allergies, etc.) called me to borrow some SA8 because that was all she could use for his clothing, sheets, towels...

With each move, we have left washing machines behind because sometimes they were "selling" points. My current machine is a 6 or 7 year old Whirlpool frontloader and I have never had "smelly" issues.

I care for my cloth-diaper using granddaughter and have absolutely no problems washing her diapers. I use one small scoop of SA8, and on occasion, a booster if the load is large. That's it. Nothing smells...EVER...even if I accidentally leave a washed load overnight. Every load smells CLEAN, but with NO scent.

I will go to my grave using SA8. I have to give my clothes away because they just don't get beat-up by the machine nor the detergent.

Posted on Mar 22, 2011

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Purewasher is new, improved and called Smelly Washer Cleaner.
Odor in towels and clothing is almost invariably being transferred from the washer.

Posted on Aug 04, 2010

  • Paul Flynn Aug 04, 2010

    Leaving the door open makes the problem worse because it dries out the odor-causing residue and makes it harder to remove. To compare washer cleaners go to:

    After you remove odor from your washer Smelly Washer products also safely and easily remove mildew smell from towels and clothing.

    Do an internet search on "Smelly Washer reviews" or "Smelly Towel reviews" to read how well the product works.

    After the odor is gone you must change your washing habits.

    1. Use no more than 1 tbsp of detergent per wash load. HE washers must use HE detergent.

    2. Stop using fabric softener because it is dispensed in the rinse cycle and coats the inside of the washer with residue that feeds mold and/or bacteria. Dryer sheets or dryer balls are better options. Dryer sheets can also be overused and cause problems. They can be but in half or thirds or even reused.

    3. Using mainly cold water for washing is fine but makes preventive maintenance very important. A hot wash or soak as your last cycle on wash day will help dissolve residue not dissolved by cold water washing.

    4. Many front loading washers have filter/traps that will catch debris. This debris can cause draining problems and mildew odor in your washer. Save money on appliance repair by cleaning it yourself. Consult the owners manual to clean the filter/trap yourself.


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Affresh works well...until you wash more laundry. I have just now starting to have this problem. I have had my Cabrio washing machine (top load) and dryer for 7 months now. I seriously think I may be using too much HE detergent and fabric softner...I will change the way I use these and see if that works. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Posted on Oct 29, 2011

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I've had my Duet for 5+ years with no odor until the past 6 months or so. Even changing to a more fragrant fabric softener didn't make my cleaned clothes and towels smell clean. After reading all the suggestions for resolving this sour odor I thought I would try some of the ideas suggested that I hadn't already tried. Then it dawned on me that about 6 months ago I switched from a powdered detergent (SA8, an Amwy/Quixtar product) and dryer sheets to a well-known well-ranked Liquid Detergent and a fabric softener. I only switched because my son like the way his friend's laundry smelled when he borrowed a shirt. I was using fragrance-free products. Maybe this change was the cause. So I've ordered another box of the powdered detergent and I'm going back to dryer sheets.

In the meantime I'm still doing stinky laundry. Same day I order new detergent, I decide to wash a load with some very stained baseball pants. I sometimes use a small amount (1/4 cup) of Oxy Clean, but I decided to go full-strength which on the box said 1 cup. Hot water wash. Put it in with the clothes. Same liquid detergent, no fabric softener. When I took out the laundry, for the first time in months, it smelled clean. No stale, sour odor. Next load, nice smell again. Decided to do one more load with 1 cup Oxy Clean again. I'm still going to switch back to the SA8 (which is by the way highly ranked by Consumer's reports) and dryer sheets.

By the way, a few weeks ago I had to disconect the water discharge line behind the washer. The sludgy goo that was in the line and machine where the two connected was disgusting, but didn't smell bad. I cleaned it out with my finger. Ugh!

Posted on Sep 17, 2008

Uh.....excuse me....but you ought to not have to buy something to keep clothes from souring....mine have been terrible since the new washer. I never feel clean!!!! My old washer was a clunker and a good clothes were always clean. This is ridiculous.

Posted on May 20, 2008

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Make sure that the discharge hose from the machine rises to the height of the machine asap, then falls to the discharge point. This minimises the amount of residual water that can fall back into the machine. Also, when thge discharge hose from the machine, is fitted to a spigot on the sink waste trap assembly, waste water can potentially fall into the machine, if not installed with a high point as described. This type of water can become smelly in a very short time.

Hope this helps,


Desperateden ( plumber )

Posted on Apr 08, 2008

I had the same smelly problem. I used 1/2 cup All dishwasher soap on the sanitary cycle. worked great for me. No more smell

Posted on Sep 28, 2007

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Whirlpool has recognized there is a problem with the Duet machines and in the great american marketing tradition have come up with, no, not a creative, free fix to solve whatever engineering and design flaw created the problem but, yep, a new product that you need to buy if you want to keep your clothes from smelling like they've been soaking in a mold bath (which, is, er, exactly what they've been doing). Supposedly, you drop one of these tablets (3 for $7) in the machine each month a voila -- no more smell. See

Posted on Sep 27, 2007

OK it worked! No more mildew and sour smell. I am calling Whirlpool (1-866-698-2538) to ask them to send me for free the "new and improved design" (as described on of the water drain pump for my machine model GWH9100LW1. This whole situation is caused by the water not fully draining out of the machine and stagnating and mildewing everything in the drain plumbing. This contaminated water can easily get back into the wash tub and onto clothing...something it will absolutely not do if the pump is stronger...which is why they redesigned it.

Posted on May 09, 2007

Hi again, I decided to take the machine apart myself and indeed...the drainage plumbing is full of mildew as are the filters. No wonder the thing stinks. I carefully and delicately cleaned out the pump and am taking all the flex hoses to a carwash to powerwash them out. If you don't want to do all this, I found a website which claims to have a product which will clean out mildew from the inside of the washing machine's plumbing...without taking it apart. The website is and their product is called Purewasher. This stuff is supposedly better than bleach for maintaining the machine. If you need a drawing of how the thing is put together go to and they have the exploded diagram and all the parts labeled. Good luck and I hope this helps you.

Posted on May 08, 2007

Hi, I have exactly the same problem. It is particularly bad with the towels. Called Lowe's today and was told the following: 1).Thoroughly clean the grey gasket inside and out and check to see if socks etc. are stuck behind it. 2). Run the machine through a cycle with 3/4 cup of bleach. 3). Always leave the door open and use the He detergent as it suds less than other detergents and these suds can cause the thing to mildew...? 4).If all that fails check the filters at the back of the machine and make sure they are clean and the machine drains properly. I have yet to do all this so I can't say if it will make a difference...I called Lowe's today. If it doesn't, I will call a Whirlpool repairman who has dealt with this before.

Posted on May 08, 2007

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