Question about Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

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Washing Machine develops moldy smell

After the machine is used it deveolps a moldy smell as if there was stagnant water sitting in it. We have tried leaving the door open and drying the drum, door and door seal completly with no luck. If we ahppen to shut the washer door, the smell becomes unbearable. I'm at a loss. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciate.

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Let's put the $1,000.000 problem right on the doorstep where it belongs!

We should not have to jump through hoops just do do laundry for crying out loud!

Since when do we allow ourselves to become victims like this? This is outrageous and manufacturers are profiting while we struggle with these seriously flawed product designs.

So, contact your manufacturer and members of Congress and the Better Business Bureau and DO some major consumer complaining and then try the following as recommended by our local appliance store which received this via fax.

No kidding; a fax sent to appliance stores by a manufacturer with the following instructions for customers to do regularly to manage mold in the machines.

*First, run a full complete wash cycle on hottest setting containing Bleach – * Note: full wash cycle takes 1 hour and 20 minutes on my machine.

*Next, run a full wash cycle on hottest setting using high efficiency laundry detergent * another 1 hour and 20 minutes

*Next, run a full wash cycle on hottest setting using Cascade automatic dish washing detergent *an ADDITIONAL 1 hour and 20 minutes

*Next, using Bleach water, wipe down entire interior of washing machine

*Next, using clean white cloth, wipe entire interior of washing machine dry

*Next, leave door ajar to air out machine

*Finally, I have now been informed that I cannot use fabric softener in the machine even though there is a fabric softener dispenser right in the machine because the new front loading machines cannot handle fabric softener!!

This is outrageous! Our poor $1,000.00 plus new washing machine cannot handle fabric softener.

Give me a break!

Posted on Dec 12, 2007

  • spezzullo
    spezzullo May 14, 2012

    If you just take the door seal off (located on the machine not the door) and clean it with some bleach once in a while that should help. Also after your done doing laundry leave the door open a little bit so it can dry out. I have the same machine for years now and we had the same problem in the beginning and since we do this no more mold smell. Kenmore he 4t but this probably works on a lot of of front load machine.

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Hi! I have Kenmore Elite 4t and had this same problem: Musty, Moldy smell in washer and on clothes. The Sears Technician suggested that I use a half a cup of Clorox Liquid Bleach and put it in the tub (not the dispenser). NO CLOTHES! Use the longest hottest setting and when it's done clean the inside (underneath rubber tire thingie) and the undernath part of the door with a papertowel. And to always leave the door open. I did what he said with the bleach and it worked. I didn't want to leave the door open because I have 2 cats & was afraid that they would want to go in it, but ended up repeating the bleach thing again because a few days later the horrible smell was back. I leave the door open all the time now and the cats never go in it. They've watched laundry spin around, so I guess they're smart enough to not want to go in it. I have not had this problem again since I always leave the door open and I did this over a month ago. I hope this helps!

Posted on Jan 18, 2008

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OK I've been having the same problem with the moldy smell. All of my clothes especially towels have been comming out melly after I wash them. I've tried everything under the sun hot water, bleach, new laundry detergant. Finally talked to a sears repairman yesterday and he saied to try this before he came out. "Check the drain hose in the back of the washer to see if it is in the wall more the 4 inches. If it is,it will back up and drain back into the washer. After you've made sure it is NO MORE than 4 inches into the drain do a quick hot empty load." He also advised to use less laundry detergant. So last night I ran out and got some Purex HE 3x concentrated. So far I have had a whole two days of laundry with no foul smell!!(But a lot of catching up to do.) I know there are a lot of you out there having the same problem so I hope this helps!

Posted on Sep 13, 2007

New government regulations for new water efficiency washing machines has my family’s clothing smelling like a stinking, rancid, moldy basement! This is absolutely absurd! I have been told to change laundry detergent, run hot bleach water through my washer and, get this; my washing machine is 1 year old and my clothes smell filthy!!! The mold and mildew from these nasty machines have wreaked havoc through skin rashes and allergies in my children!

I paid $1,000.000 for this da*ned washing machine and THIS is what is being sold to the public under the disguise of efficiency!!?? I have been on the phone with GE about this problem. I have, over the past 3 months, with a technician on the phone, been instructed to do the following:

#Make sure I use high efficiency detergent and fabric softener. THAT will fix my problem.
Wrong.
*Cleaned the lint trap (..that is stupidly behind a metal access plate that you have to use a screwdriver to remove screws to get to it EVERY TIME) and THAT will fix my problem.
Wrong!
*Cleaned the water hoses; THAT will fix my problem.
Wrong!
*Cleaned the gasket around the door. THAT will fix my problem
Wrong!
*Cleaned the tub with bleach water. THAT will fix my problem.
WRONG!
*REMOVED the hoses and cleaned the pump. THAT will fix my problem.
WRONG AGAIN!
*Take the pump out entirely and clean all inlet, outlets and hoses. THAT will fix my problem.
WRONG! WRONG!! WRONG!!!

NONE of this fixed my problem of filthy, wet, stinking, rancid clothing that has endangered my family's health! I even washed my children's clothing out by hand in the bathtub and put them in the washer just to rinse and spin and they STILL smelled horrific.

Finally, at the end of my rope, I returned to the appliance store from which I purchased this machine and they have told me that they cannot accept a return. They will not accept a return and I have to deal directly with GE. I HAVE dealt with GE up until the final straw when I they told me I needed a new pump, but so sorry, your warranty JUST expired 3 days ago!!!

Furthermore, my pump was fine. I did NOT need a new pump and have now been told that I cannot return the new, unused pump that cost me another $183.00. I have now been told that this is a problem with ALL front loading washing machines and I should do the following:

*First, run a full complete wash cycle on hottest setting containing Bleach – * Note: wash cycle takes 1 hour and 20 minutes
*Next, run a full wash cycle on hottest setting using high efficiency laundry detergent for another 1 hour and 20 minutes
*Next, run a full wash cycle on hottest setting using Cascade automatic dish washing detergent for an ADDITIONAL 1 hour and 20 minutes
*Next, using Bleach water, wipe down entire interior of washing machine
*Next, using clean white cloth, wipe entire interior of washing machine dry
*Next, leave door ajar to air out machine

*Finally, I have now been informed that I cannot use fabric softener in the machine even though there is a fabric softener dispenser right in the machine because the new front loading machines cannot handle fabric softener!!

Furthermore, I was told that this is new technology and since it is so new, no one really knew these kinds of problems were going to manifest themselves and I just need to try to work with these problems because it is not the manufacturers fault but the GOVERNMENT’S fault! Sorry.

Are you kidding me??

Now I have a $1000.00 piece of junk that the appliance companies are pawning off on unsuspecting consumers and hiding their horrible designs by blaming the government.

So, now this is what I want!

I want the legislature to force manufacturers to properly inform the public of these problems and those who did NOT inform consumers of these issues, COMPENSATE their customers for the $$$$$ it has cost us and the misery and frustration caused by THEIR neglect by NOT informing the consumers of these issues. I want this to be retroactive BACK to at least the year 2005. Furthermore, I want compensated for the cost of buying a top loading washing machine in an effort to keep our families away from the mold and mildew and filthy mess this has caused! Finally, I want manufacturers to own up to the fact that they disregarded the health and safety of consumers in their efforts to profit as much as possible while touting efficiency.

Now I have heard that they have a new 'product' they can sell to us to inhibit the stench of mold and mildew. This is absolutely unacceptable!

This is outrageous and we need to speak out about this and make sure our voices are heard!

Posted on Dec 12, 2007

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Another possible easy fix - check around the inside of the rubber seal for small items stuck there. I solved my smelly problem when I found a sock. I also now leave the door open and check the seal frequently.

Posted on Sep 10, 2007

Had same problem - easy fix. Just run a full cycle with bleach and NO clothes.

Posted on Aug 18, 2007

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There is not much you can do but try these- do a couple of hot washes a week, spray a little mould/mildew remover in the boot/drum, check that the smells are not eminating from the drain hose back filling into the tub-if it is plumbed into the sink piping. and finally reduce/change the washing detergent.

Posted on Jun 11, 2007

  • tony howlett Jun 18, 2007

    change the machine then !!!

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