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LG washing machine has AWFUL mildew smell

I bought my LG washer & dryer set in July of 2006 and have taken great care of these machines. Just 5 months ago the washer started smelling like mildew even though I dry inside the rubber seal on the door and leave the door open to air dry inside after I'm finished with the laundry. I've been in contact with LG & Home Depot where I bought them and they've advised me to run bleach through it, empty the drain located on the front, rund Whirl Out through it, etc... I've done all of these things and still have this horrible smell coming from inside the drum itself. The water that I emptied from the drain had no odor. When I clean under and in between the rubber seal on the door there is no sign of mildew or the odor on the towel that I use. I stick my head inside the washer and it's obvious that's where it's coming from. I was told the tub has a 5 year warranty on it. I don't know what else to do. I've wasted so much time of course trying to do everything possible (without taking this stupid thing apart) to make this smell go away or find the actual cause and no such luck. In researching the internet I've found where I'm not the only person having this problem, knor is LG the only washer that has the mildew smell, but they're all front loaders with the same problem. I've reported it to consumer affairs, but I don't know what else I can do! I spent so much money on this machine and it makes me sick to think that I'm stuck with a mildew smelling washing machine!!! HELP>>>>>>>PLEASE!!!!!!!!! I have the exact problem with my LG front loader!! My husband said he's going to buy a new one for just his clothes and wash his only I'm stuck with the smelly clothes... I have the same problem. Mine started smelling after a year. I will try the Affresh, but I will never buy another front loader again. I run a load with bleach only and it help, but what a pain. I am in the process of replacing all my towel. This isn't a time or money saver.

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I have had the same problem with my LG washer and this is what I have done, It does work, but you have to keep at it.
Ok so I noticed the sludgy gross looking crud that had built up around the rubber around the door, so my husband too some pool shock, about 2 to 3 tablespoons an put it right into the drum of the washer and we ran it through the tub clean cycle. That cleaned the goop right up really good, but we still had the smell, so we knew now that that wasn't the cause. We tired bleach, vinegar, filling the washer with bleach or vinegar added to the water, and let it sit overnight and kept turning the drum every now and then. None of that helped, but then I read a comment by someone one here, that they took the detergent dispenser out and put baking a couple of TBSP of baking soda in there and then put the dispenser back and ran a load through, so I tried that. Well, the baking soda stayed there and wouldn't budge, so that didn't work. But then I decided to try just putting it right into the detergent dispenser and running it through. That did seem to help, but I could still smell the smell somewhat. So my husband suggested we just add a TBSP of baking soda every time we did a load of laundry. I have been doing that for the past week, and it seems to be working. Another thing I have been doing is putting an air sponge inside the washing machine and leaving it there between uses. That really seems to work too, but you have to replace them when they need to be replaced, or the smell will start to come back.
Since doing the baking soda thing though, I am noticing that my clothes are no longer smelling like clothes that have been left sitting in the machine would smell.
So, give both a try and hopefully it will work for you too. Not that we should have to be going to all this bother and expense for a washing machine, but it's better than throwing the thing out the door, like I was ready to do.

Posted on Jun 01, 2012

  • terrigaul Feb 08, 2015

    Something I found out, a while ago. Apparently you shouldn't use liquid laundry detergent in these washing machines. It causes a build up of sludge on the outside of the drum. If you use powdered detergent, it keeps the sludge from building up, because it's abrasive. I stopped using liquid laundry detergent about a year ago, and have had no problems with odors since. I still put the air sponge in the washer, between washes though, but have not had to keep using the baking soda.


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Causes of grease, slime and black mould inside washing machine Your problem has nothing to do with the washing machine, any washing machine - even the best can be affected. I suspect your problem is mostly related to using liquid detergents that contain no bleaching agents

Posted on Jan 13, 2009


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SOURCE: LG washing machine has AWFUL mildew smell

I have tried several different things for my stinky LG washing machine that I just bought September 2007, including "remedies" from the customer service at LG - nothing worked for me. FINALLY, I HAVE DISCOVERED A SOLUTION AND AM SOOOO THANKFUL! I removed the liquid detergent tray and sprinkled baking soda (probably 2-3 tablespoons) where powdered detergent goes, and ran a cycle with hot water, no clothes, no detergent. This got rid of the smell, but the very next time I did a load of clothes with detergent, the stinky smell came back. So I tried adding baking soda in the same manner with every load of laundry I did (underneath the liquid detergent tray) and it has worked!!! With every load of laundry, I remove the liquid detergent tray and sprinkle approximately a tablespoon of baking soda and then replace the tray and fill it as normal with my liquid detergent (whatever is on sale, the brand of detergent has not made a difference for me). This is ALL I do. No leaving the door open, cleaning the rubber seal, wiping anything out. I believe the smell is a result of stuff we can't see or even get to and that's why the baking soda works.
I hope this helps someone else.

Posted on Nov 06, 2007

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Awful smell! I drain it every cycle, I use the washer cleaner, everything! I am so sick of my towels smelling awful.

Sounds like the little flexible apron just in front of your washer drum has mildewed. Take a look and see if it is holding water, and look for mold while your'e at it. Use a good bathroom mold and mildew remover to kill the mess and deodorize it.

Mar 24, 2010 | LG WM-2277HW Front Load Washer

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Musty/Mildew smelling clothes...

lg has a known problem with smelly mildew cloths. If you call LG they will tell you its not there problem. Cheapest solution is to wash door gasket with some clorox and then betwen washes leave door open. On the washing supply shelves there is a product you put in the washing machine run a wash without cloths and it does the same thing except it costs $7.If you bought it a t Lowes go back and ***** to store manager my friend did exactly that and got the machinje replaced

Sep 30, 2009 | LG WM2688HWM TROMM SteamWasher

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LG washing machine has AWFUL mildew smell

Don't know if this is the same as your problem, but I had a Kenmore washer, (made by Whirlpool) that did the same thing. It was a high efficiency model without an agitator. I finally found out that this type of washer never drains completely but always has some water left in it. This water is somewhere internal that cannot be seen unless the machine is taken apart. That water goes bad and stinks. Everything smelled like mildew and for some while my husband thought I was was washing clothes and leaving them in until they dried. I ended up having to just buy a new machine and when the stinky washer was taken away, just tilting it caused all this foul water to come out everywhere. Also I found this on the internet
scroll down and see how other people feel about this machine. I decided that instead of buying the newest, latest, greatest, with all the bells and whistles appliances, from now on I will buy the time tested, plain jane models.

Jun 02, 2009 | LG WM-2277HW Front Load Washer

1 Answer

LG washing machine has AWFUL mildew smell

have you tryed a boil wash with nothing in the washer to soften and expel any caked powder in the drum?i know this does help

May 27, 2009 | LG WM-2277HW Front Load Washer

3 Answers

LG washing machine has AWFUL mildew smell

I have an LG washer that had the same problem. Go to the site and read all about why this is happening, how to fix it and how to keep it from comming back. A few different ways of cleaning the machine are explained.

The site sells a product that you may or may not need but the explanations are really good.

Nov 12, 2008 | Washing Machines

7 Answers

LG washing machine has AWFUL mildew smell

If you're not used to seeing water come down the front of the inner glass portion, then your return tube, and/or gasket drainage is most likely clogged. I have the LG WM2277HW front loader and this is what worked for me:

1. Locate water recirculating outlet at the top inside of the gray rubber door gasket- it will have a white plastic piece that directs the water flow inward.

2. Check for blockage at that outlet. Mine had one about 2 inches long. Pull it out with your fingers or tweezers.

3. Check the 3 small rectangular drain holes at the bottom of the gasket; make sure they're not plugged up as well. This is where the smelly water pools from bacterial growth

4. Run through a sanitizing cycle- no detergent, just bleach and watch for more blockage that might come out the tube from the collects on the glass before falling all the way in. Don't wash any clothes before this step, or the gunk will end up in your load.

Hope that posted.


Nov 08, 2008 | LG TROMM WM2688H 4.0 cu.ft. Front Loading...

6 Answers

LG washing machine has AWFUL mildew smell

Same here. We bought ours January 2005. Love the machines and take great care of them, too. Then the smell in the washer which seemed to affect certain clothes, like thick sweat pants and t-shirts (they smelled really "sour"). After doing some searches I found on this site where someone had recommended using a product called Affresh. I figured I might as well try it since my other attempts failed. This really worked for me. I bought it at Home Depot for $7 for a pkg of 3. I used 3 tablets per their directions, as this was my first time using it (afterwards they recommend using only 1 tablet per month). I was totally amazed as the smell was gone. I hope it works for you, too!

Oct 05, 2008 | LG TROMM WM2688H 4.0 cu.ft. Front Loading...

1 Answer

LG washing machine has AWFUL mildew smell

Same problem and I was told to only use detergents with "HE" on the front of them for high energy. the soap without HE is too foamy and hence never truly drains out and causes a mildew smell. I also purchased something called "A" Fresh that I run in the washer every 6 weeks to keep the smell out. I got it at an appliance store for about $11.00 for 3 tablets

Sep 04, 2008 | LG WM-2277HW Front Load Washer

8 Answers

LG washing machine has AWFUL mildew smell

LG model WM2688H front load washer Once you follow this, the smell will go & you only need to run the tub clean mode with oxiclean once a month. This has worked for my client. Her washer made the entire house smell & your eyes tear when you got near it...not any more. 1) Leave the door open! Detergent door too when not in use. 2) Clean the filter (bottom left below door on front) You need a container to catch about a cup of water, or a towel to clean up the cup of water that will spill. Remove the rubber hose...twist off the cap...drain water out of tube. replace cap, replace tube. Next to tube is a twist cap. Turn counter clockwise, remove and clean filter, put back in. 3) I boil water (2 gallons) mix in some bleach 1/2 cup, and put the solution inside the washer. I let it sit for 10 minutes. With my hand I rotate the drum 1/5 of a turn and let soak for 10 minutes. rotate 1/5, sit, rotate, sit until entire tub has sat in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Boiling =212 degrees. Kill Mold= 108 degrees. Water Heater= 120 typically 4) If there is a sink nearby, run the hot water prior to starting a cleaning cycle!!! Screw the environmentalists. (sorry, but you want to get rid of your mold) Because of the minimal quantities of water used in a wash cycle, the water in your pipes does not remain hot all night long, and the washer does not have a built in heater to raise the temp. So you're using cold water to wash everything...including the clean cycles &/or bleaching. 5) I leave the boiling water in, add a scoop of Oxiclean. There is a "Tub Clean" mode on the LG. It's a 1 1/2 hour hot wash made especially to clean the inner tub. Check your owners manual!!! It's in there, for some reason they think people read these things...or if you don't like reading on this model it's the 3rd button on the right side options. The button says EXTRA RINSE in BIG BOLD Letters and in smaller letters...tub clean. Hold the button down for 3-5 seconds, the door will lock & it will ask you to add bleach. Fill the bleach compartment. Use liquid bleach Clorox, NOT the HE gel bleach. 6) Don't use AFFRESH!!! Oxiclean 1,000 times better. 7) HE Powder over HE liquids definately. You should be mold free. Do this once a month.

Jul 05, 2008 | Washing Machines

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