Question about Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

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Smells of mildew and so do clothes

The machine smells of =mildew and now so do my clothes. i tried running the machine on all different water temps. , tried with bleach, tried bleaching machine with no clothes. to no prevail the machine and towels still smell like mildew. Especially when the "clean" dried towels get rewet, the odor is disgusting.

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  • cherubshere Jan 09, 2008

    We are having the EXACT same problem with our kenmore elite front loader. The smell off of these towels once they dry and get re-wet is absolutely disgusting!

    We are going to change our door boot (been told it will be about 150.00 for a new one. I would love some instruction on how to replace this myself.

    thank you in advance.

    PS we noticed smells from our washer soon after we bought it. The must I spoke of earlier, and also a rotten egg smell through the house every time we run a load. We have cleaned everything possible, and ran bleach thru etc.

    if i won a lottery, this baby would be out on the lawn and I would buy myself a good ole top loader. This washer is not reccomended!

  • Anonymous Nov 08, 2008

    pump is busted and there is no way to find parts without the use of telepathy and claravoyance.

  • Anonymous Mar 14, 2014

    I spilled a bottle of lamp oil and cleaned it up with some of my towels..I have washed them 2x and the still smell horrible.What can I do?

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I always dump the bit of excess water that accumulates in the bleach dispenser after each cycle, wipe down the door and rubber boot, and leave the door cracked open. That's probably why I haven't had the problem. Unlike top-loaders, front-loaders have to have a watertight/airtight door and that can create a good environment for mildew.

Posted on Nov 09, 2008

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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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If the odor does not go away, it is probably time to change the rubber door boot, or you have something stuck in the drain. Take a good look at the rubber around the door. If it has mildew spots and/or mold, it generally won't go away. Pull the rubber back a bit and look BEHIND the boot as well. You may have some lost items stuck in the boot causing the odor. Last of all, UNPLUG the washer and remove the lower kick panel under the door by removing the three 7mm screws and check the drain pump for foreign objects. There's only one pump inside the washer so it won't be too hard to find. It is usually white in color and has a screw off access cover. There is a bit of residual water that remains in the wash tub all the time. You will need to drain this first or you will have a mess to clean up. You can use some towels or use a shop vac. If you use towels, lay them down around the drain pump and remove the access cover. If you use a shop vac, pull all the residual water from the wash tub through the drain line. Sometimes this pump will build up with all kinds of scunge from soap residue and/or foreign object getting caught. Clean it out real well and run the washer on a bleach cycle with the hottest water setting you have. Let me know if any of this helps you. If you decide to change to door boot, post a response to this solution and I will give you step-by-step procedures.

Posted on Aug 26, 2007

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My washing mchine has a mildew odour all the time for last month, its a year old WHY? please


this smell is caused by mold and mildew that has formed on the upper part of the outer drum -- the main cause of this is the suds in the wash tend to rise above the normal water line and never get rinsed away properly. so to get rid of the smell --- run a empty load of hot water ( hot/hot ) and when the cycle starts - add to the water 1/2 cup of white vineger and 1/2 cup of bleach, also add ( using a small container ) some more hot water to the machine to bring the water level up to a higher then normal height,,, let the machine complete the full wash cycle. now if the smell is still kinda there -- repeat the whole cleaning thing one more time,,, this should remove all traces of mold and mildew that has built up and you should notice a huge difference. to keep this from happening again,, try not to use so much detergent in the wash and after you wash your clothes - leave the lid wedged open slightly to let air into the unit so moisture can escape,, this will prevent mold from growing because the machine will dry out fully.
now at least once a month do this cleaning with the vinegar and bleach and you will never have this problem again.

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Washer makes clothes smell like dog


Hello there:
please follow these simple steps
Instructions Things You'll Need:
  1. Step 1 Balance your washing machine. Standing water breeds mildew and mold. A washing machine that isn't level to the ground stands a higher chance of not draining completely. Take a level and place it on the top of the machine along the front from side to side and then again along the side from front to back. If the machine is very off, you can adjust the feet to compensate or add something under one of the feet if it is not flat against the ground. Portable washing machines are especially prone to have standing water because they are moved around and not leveled each time.
  2. Step 2 Promptly remove your clothes at the end of a wash cycle. If you regularly leave the damp clothes in the washing machine for an extended period at the end of the cycle, you will have mildew in your clothes and your machine. The same is true if you put clean clothes in the dryer and they are not completely dry when the cycle ends and you don't go back for a few days to pull them out. Damp clothes in an enclosed space for days will mildew.
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  4. Step 4 Use white distilled vinegar in an empty machine. Run a load with only hot water and two cups of vinegar to clean out the machine and freshen the scent. Vinegar naturally eliminates odors and reduces the buildup of soap residue in the washer which contributes to mildew development. You can also add baking soda and/or bleach to the load for both their sanitizing properties as well as assisting in ridding the smell of mildew.
  5. Step 5 Regularly use vinegar when you wash your clothes. Add 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to the last rinse cycle. Vinegar has acidic properties but it is mild enough that it will not harm your fabric. It does dissolve alkalines in laundry detergent which makes for cleaner and softer clothes. The reduction of detergent buildup in your machine will help to also reduce the incidence of mildew.
  6. Step 6 If you have a front load washer, they are particularly prone to mildew and mold. Follow the manufacturers suggestion as to how much and what type of detergent should be used. It is generally less than the traditional top load washing machines. Once again, additional soap residue helps to breed mold and mildew. Also, pull the seals back from around the door and make sure there isn't a build up underneath them that needs to be cleaned out.
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We've owned this washing machine for r+ years and it has been making our clothes smell awful--in fact, the machine itself smells awful. I've tried cleaning the basin with a bleach solution and I even ran...


By my experience on Washer Machines, I would say that the problem are bacteria and mildew growing in the machine, not exactly in the drain or drum from the machine. Mildew can grow everywhere.

Oh, by the way, don't even think about bypassing any sensor from your machine. You don't want to wake up tomorrow and find a pool in your house, right?

To kill mildew and bacteria you may want to try some simple solutions:

* Keep the lid up between washes so that bacteria and mildew won't grow in it. Pour a bottle of vinegar in hot water and run it though the machine on a heavy load wash. When it is finished, leave the lid up.
* Didn't help? then pour a box of baking soda in it and running it with hot water cycle. Try running it without clothes.

... I mean, Run the washer machine without clothes inside. (Oh my gosh, I should go to bed, it's too late for giving advice on FixYa)

* If the smell continues Pour a big bottle of peroxide hydrogen (the 3% one from the drug store) and run a heavy load wash. Be sure not to use good clothes, it will get white. if that does not work, u may have a more serious problem. Perhaps the machine needs to receive maintenance and spray some peroxide hydrogen where the mildew is growing.

Also, You can try a commercial product for this kind of issue: http://www.smellywasher.com/

Some people says that it works when everything else fails.

Good luck!

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