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What makes a series III washer stink like stagnant water?

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J. Garber:
ALL washing machines will build up deposits of gunk in places that you cannot see or readily access. In top loaders, the typical place is underneath the agitator and on the inside of the wash tub (part that holds water). This "gunk" typically consists of body oils, detergent deposits, calcium deposits, hair, dust, dirt, etc. This stuff gets and stays wet. Wet and warm plus "gunk" equals smells. Top loaders can easily solve this problem by removing and cleaning the center column and agitator, then super chlorinating a batch of wash water (no clothes). Fill the washer, putting in three or so cups of bleach, let sit for an hour or so. This should clean the tub. Leaving the top cover open will also help as well as washing smaller batches of clothes more frequently. I have also found that infrequent use of a washer will frequently cause the the residual wash water in the pump(s) to go stagnant. Running a quick small rinse before washing clothes will solve this problem. Front loading washing machines typically have a cleaning cycle and specific instructions as to how, as well as how often, to clean the machine. Have you read the operating manual? I find that leaving the door open and running a fan that blows air inside the machine for an hour or so after washing also helps dry out the machine and keeps mold and bacterial action down by drying out the machine quickly. Keep the door open if at all possible. Removing and drying the detergent dispensers as well as the detergent dispenser opening also helps. Changing detergent may also help. Most front loaders recommend HE detergent. Use the absolute minimum amount of detergent necessary to get your clothes clean which is often a couple of ounces or less. There are also products that claim to clean your machine and eliminate odors, but I have no experience with them. Keep it dry. Keep the door open. Use a fan to blow air around and dry the machine out. Run the cleaning cycle as often as neccesary.

Posted on Sep 04, 2009

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