Question about Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

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MILDEW ODOR IN MY HE3 MACHINE

I HAVE THE WORST MILDEW ODOR IN MY MACHINE..USED BLEACH ONE CYCLE. IT HELPED FOR A DAY NOW IT'S BACK

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The first thing to do is to CHECK IN AND AROUND THE RUBBER DOOR BOOT (called a bellow) for small articles of clothing (like socks and underwear) that may have gotten lodged in behind the rubber. Pull the rubber back where it meets the wash tub and look behind it. It is common for small items to get stuck here, become forgotten and start to mildew. You should check this area after each wash and clean it periodically to get rid of the formation of soap scum, mold, and mildew. HINT: When you get ready to wash a load of towels, take a dirty towel and clean the door boot thoroughly (including the areas behind the rubber). Immediately place the towel in the wash and run it on a sanitary cycle. This way you eliminate the need for cleaning rags.

PERIODICALLY RUN THE WASHER ON A CLEANING CYCLE. Place the washer on the hottest setting you have (usually a Sanitary cycle) with nothing but bleach in the wash tub. Some newer models actually have a “Clean Cycle” available now just for this purpose. This helps keep the wash tub, drain lines and pump sanitized.

CHECK AND CLEAN THE DRAIN PUMP FILTER. Accumulations of debris in the drain pump filter can also cause odors. HINT: If you own a shop vac, pull the drain hose from the standpipe at the wall and pull a vacuum on the line. This will drain any residual water left in the tub, pump and drain lines BEFORE you remove the drain pump cover. This will prevent a messy clean up later.

LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN IF POSSIBLE. When not in use, leave the door open to allow the tub to air out and to keep mold and mildew from forming on the door bellow. I know this may not be desirable in some households with small children. If too much mildew forms on the rubber and it cannot be removed, replacement of the bellow may be required.

NOTE: This problem is common with front loader style washing machines. The doors on these machines have an air tight/water tight seal that is great for sealing the washer during the wash cycle, but can be terrible for collecting small garments and for not allowing the tub to properly air out when not in use. Following these simple preventive measures can go a long way towards preventing harmful mold and mildew, and towards extending the life of the door bellow and pump.



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Posted on Sep 11, 2010

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The first thing to do is to CHECK IN AND AROUND THE RUBBER DOOR BOOT (called a bellow) for small articles of clothing (like socks and underwear) that may have gotten lodged in behind the rubber. Pull the rubber back where it meets the wash tub and look behind it. It is common for small items to get stuck here, become forgotten and start to mildew. You should check this area after each wash and clean it periodically to get rid of the formation of soap scum, mold, and mildew. HINT: When you get ready to wash a load of towels, take a dirty towel and clean the door boot thoroughly (including the areas behind the rubber). Immediately place the towel in the wash and run it on a sanitary cycle. This way you eliminate the need for cleaning rags.

PERIODICALLY RUN THE WASHER ON A CLEANING CYCLE. Place the washer on the hottest setting you have (usually a Sanitary cycle) with nothing but bleach in the wash tub. Some newer models actually have a "Clean Cycle" available now just for this purpose. This helps keep the wash tub, drain lines and pump sanitized.

CHECK AND CLEAN THE DRAIN PUMP FILTER. Accumulations of debris in the drain pump filter can also cause odors. HINT: If you own a shop vac, pull the drain hose from the standpipe at the wall and pull a vacuum on the line. This will drain any residual water left in the tub, pump and drain lines BEFORE you remove the drain pump cover. This will prevent a messy clean up later.

LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN IF POSSIBLE. When not in use, leave the door open to allow the tub to air out and to keep mold and mildew from forming on the door bellow. I know this may not be desirable in some households with small children. If too much mildew forms on the rubber and it cannot be removed, replacement of the bellow may be required.

NOTE: This problem is common with front loader style washing machines. The doors on these machines have an air tight/water tight seal that is great for sealing the washer during the wash cycle, but can be terrible for collecting small garments and for not allowing the tub to properly air out when not in use. Following these simple preventive measures can go a long way towards preventing harmful mold and mildew, and towards extending the life of the door bellow and pump.



Thanks for using FixYa - a 4 THUMBS rating is appreciated for answering your FREE question.

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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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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.

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