Question about Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

7 Answers

Moldy Smell I recently noticed a moldy smell when there were no clothes in the washer. My washer has worked great for about 4 years. It still works god, but I looked inside the rubber seal and it is moldy. I ran bleach through a quick cycle with no clothes. Is there something else I can use or do to get the mold out? I can not find my manual to find out. Please advise. Lynda Reynolds

Posted by on

7 Answers

  • Level 1:

    An expert who has achieved level 1.


    An expert that has over 10 points.

    Problem Solver:

    An expert who has answered 5 questions.

  • Contributor
  • 16 Answers
Re: Moldy Smell

I agree with the other person who answered that soap nuts are pretty cool!

Posted on Dec 04, 2014

Re: Moldy Smell

Soap Nuts work great for getting the musty/moldy smell out of clothes. Check out this article:

Soap Nuts (Soapnuts) – Nature’s Natural Detergent

I’m not an environmentalist by any stretch of the imagination, but I do consider the impact of what I am doing has on the environment. That is why when my wife started using Soap Nuts as our household cleaner, it sparked my curiosity to learn more.

What are Soap Nuts?

Soap Nuts are actually not nuts at all. They are berries (also known as Soap Berries) that grow on trees in India & Nepal. There are two main varieties of Soap Nuts: sapindus trifoliatus (The Small Soap Nut) and sapindus mukorossi (The Large Soap Nut). The Large Soap Nut is the most commonly used in cleaning (probably due to its size & ease of harvesting), but both varieties are quite effective.

How do Soap Nuts Work as a Detergent?

Soap Nuts contain large quantities of saponin in their shells, which acts as a natural, gentle detergent when it comes into contact with water. Without added chemicals, fragrances or dyes, Soap Nuts are safe and gentle for handwashing delicates, yet tough enough for regular laundry. They will leave your laundry soft, clean and fragrance free, without the use of fabric softeners.

Will Soap Nuts Clean Difficult Items?

Yes and No. Soap Nuts are one of the best detergents out there to get rid of bad odors. Musty towels and wash cloths, even cloth diapers, come out smelling fresh and new. When it comes to stubborn stains, though, such as blood & red wine, you will want to use a stain remover to help the cleaning process.

What About My Allergies to Soap?

Most allergic reactions to soap are due to added chemicals and fragrance. Soap Nuts are naturally grown and chemical free. When we began using soap nuts for our laundry detergent, the eczema which I had across my chest and belly cleared up and has been gone now for 6 months. Soap Nuts are 100% non-allergenic.

How do I use Soap Nuts in my Laundry?

For Laundry Detergent, you can use Soap Nuts one of two ways:
1. Toss 2 or 3 Soap Nuts in a small muslim bag (provided with most Soap Nuts orders) and throw it in with your laundry. (Make sure that you take the soap nuts out before putting your clothes in the dryer). The nuts will do 3 or 4 loads.
2. Boil 100 g of Soap Nuts in 12 cups (3L) of water for 30 minutes. The liquid you have is now a concentrated, chemical free detergent. The leftover shells can be placed in your compost. Use 3 Tbsp or 45 ml of this detergent with each load of laundry. This allows you to do approximately 60 loads of laundry. Not bad for under $10!

Can Soap Nuts be used for More Than Just Laundry Detergent?

Yes. Soap Nuts can be used, in the liquid form, for cleaning just about anything. From dish washer soap, to window & glass cleaner, to repairing oily or dry hair, Soap Nuts are a multi-purpose cleaner. For more information on particular applications visit

The End Product Still Goes Down the Drain. Does That Hurt the Environment?

No. Soap nuts are antimicrobial. This means that they actually help in breaking down the grey water in the septic system. Also, you do not have to do a rinse cycle when you do your laundry with soap nuts. This can save gallons of water every wash cycle. Don’t worry, though; if you forget to stop your machine before the rinse cycle the Soap Nuts are just as effective. The amount of saponin left in the rinse cycle will just leave your clothes feeling soft.

Soap Nuts are a Win-Win Situation

With great cleaning power, no harmful chemicals, & prices that rival any other detergents, Soap Nuts are one of the best cleaning agents you can buy.

For more information on Soap Nuts & pricing, visit

Posted on Jan 30, 2008

  • Level 1:

    An expert who has achieved level 1.

  • Contributor
  • 1 Answer
Re: Moldy Smell

When the machine is empty, throughly check the rubber ring *both sides* and behind the ring in the "rubber ring well". You may be surpised to discover socks, small bits of lint or bunched up clothes which have shimmied their way behind the folds of tubing. Run your hand blindly all the way around 360 the entire opening-when ever you happen to notice the odor factor rising.

When the machine is not in use, place a "free wooden paint mixer from Lowes or Home Depot or wooden ruler" to lift up the ring just inside the bottom of the ring-and leave the door open. Using the wooden ruler to gently lift (don't power lift it with force..just slip it under the rubber ring and call it good enough) The airspace left from the lift-will be enough to reduce the mold fold area-when you leave the door open. Just remove the wooden paddle/ruler before loads-then replace when you are finished for the day. Simple fix.

You don't even need to "buy" the wooden rulers-just as for paint stirrers at Lowes paint counter. They give them away by the bucket full. Its a simple fix-honest.

Oh, but don't forget to search for those hidden socks-behind the rubber ring as well. Good luck. Its not a big problem, just a poor designing with most large front loaders.

Posted on Jan 24, 2008

  • Level 1:

    An expert who has achieved level 1.


    An expert that has over 10 points.


    An expert whose answer got voted for 2 times.

    Problem Solver:

    An expert who has answered 5 questions.

  • Contributor
  • 8 Answers
Re: Moldy Smell

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

  • Level 3:

    An expert who has achieved level 3 by getting 1000 points


    An expert that got 10 achievements.


    An expert that got 5 achievements.


    An expert whose answer got voted for 500 times.

  • Master
  • 1,294 Answers
Re: Moldy Smell

A solution from the internet:
Make a boil wash (with no clothes and detergents) put into the powder drawer a cup of bicarbonate of soda.
It should clean the machine and move out the bad smell.

I have a front loading machine also and am not willing to have to constantly clean out the machine; the soap and fabric softeners you use are building up between the inner and outer drums (and on the drum itself sometimes). Because the machines door is so tightly sealed (to prevent water leakage) the smell from this buildup is awful. I finally found the solution.
MAGGIE'S SOAP NUTS -- they are all natural (grow on trees) and will remove the grime from your drum and also clean your clothes (you won't even need fabric softener anymore). Stop using commercial detergents and fabric softeners and start using Maggie's Soap Nuts.
They are not very cheap but they work great --
I have found that making a liquid out of the soap nuts and storing it in a bottle works better than putting them in the sack cloth they come with (because front loaders do not agitate constantly like regular machines, the cloth bag sits on the clothes and sometimes leaves a stain -- the liquid will not leave a stain.
YOU WILL SOLVE YOUR PROBLEM AND HAVE SOFTER CLOTHES TO BOOT (without fabric softener so you save some money there). They are also better for septic tanks, the environment and your health!
I believe Whole Foods sells them and they are also on the internet at

Note: Also go to -- they are going to buy these in bulk to cut the cost in half but don't have them yet. You should be able to buy them there soon.
Note: Forgot to tell you to run some of this thru your machine with hot water before washing your clothing to clean out the buildup that is already in the machine

Posted on Dec 28, 2007

  • Level 1:

    An expert who has achieved level 1.


    An expert who has answered 20 questions.


    An expert that has over 10 points.


    An expert whose answer got voted for 2 times.

  • Contributor
  • 32 Answers
Re: Moldy Smell

Try running about 3 cups of vinegar in your washer and always leave the door open when you are done doing laundry

Posted on Dec 18, 2007

  • Level 1:

    An expert who has achieved level 1.

  • Contributor
  • 1 Answer
Re: Moldy Smell

My wife recently purchased a bag of soapnuts to use for cleaning cloth diapers for our baby girl. They worked better than any other laundry detergent she had tried. She was so impressed that she bought them in bulk & opened up an e-store so that she have a home-based business and still raise our daughter. Her site is Check it out!

Posted on Jan 21, 2008

Add Your Answer

0 characters

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add


3 Points

Related Questions:

1 Answer

Neptune MLG2000A doesn't drain completely and has moldy smell

You need to clean the stationary "brush" that collects lint and debris from the water during the cycle. The brush can be seen around the tub directly touching it along the bottom/front of the device. Right were I pour my detergent in, after the cloths are in there. To remove the debris I use a bottle brush. You can expect to use trial and error for your attempts. As far as the water being left.... My device has always left water in the bowl. I periodically just run a cycle with no cloths and bleach...HOT.....Mine is not spinning at the moment...again....I think its another call to the local dealer....AGAIN....

Jun 11, 2010 | Maytag Neptune MLG2000A Front Load Stacked...

1 Answer

Clothes, especialy towels smell moldy no matter

Same problem here, heavy lime in the water, we had to change to Purex powder with Renezit. Problem is gone!

Jan 29, 2010 | Samsung Washing Machines

1 Answer

Moldy smell always tried bleach and vinegar. Use

You need to replace the rubber gasket around the front of the door. This gasket holds moisture and over time molds. Give us a call or email us and we;ll be sure to get the correct gasket out to you right away. We hope this helps and we hope to hear back from you real soon.

Oct 01, 2009 | Whirlpool Duet GHW9150P Front Load Washer

1 Answer

Moldy smell

Hi Jewel,
You may want to try some Washer Magic, or similar product specifically designed to clean out washing machines. I personally use Affresh in my front loader and it works very well.


Mar 29, 2009 | Whirlpool Ultimate Care II LSQ9564J Top...

1 Answer

The machine smells moldy...

moldy smell, may not be mold at all, in fact most "moldy musty" smells actually come from user not using proper detergents, you NEED to be using an HE detergent and little amounts of that even. cut back on fabric \softneer if using, new product to help alleviate this issue

Nov 29, 2008 | Frigidaire Affinity ATF7000E Front Load...

1 Answer

Moldy smell in front load kenmore washer

forget the vinegar, theres a product this will help. you also MUST USE HE( high efficency) DETERGENt. reccomneded amount is 2-3 tablespoons. regular detergent, and too much fabric softener is possibly adding to the moldy/musty smell..

Nov 22, 2008 | Whirlpool Duet GHW9150P Front Load Washer

1 Answer

Moldy smell in front load washer this will help with odors, also make sure you are using HE detergent and little bit at that(2-3 tablespoons)

Oct 12, 2008 | Kenmore 44072 Front Load Washer

1 Answer

MAH4000AWW- Boot Seal

ngfam1 At your service!

It is is normal for the Neptune to have water left in the inner tub after the wash finishes!
I used to have a Neptune and I sold them too!!
I had them change that drain under warranty when it was new and it never stopped the smell or the mold!
After the third repair I threw it in the trash and bought a Speed Queen Commercial grade washer and thats the last one I will ever by!
8 loads a week for 25 years!!!!!!!

The moldy oder problem is in every Maytag Neptune made!
The Neptune comes new with water in it from the test run!
All the water never gets totally discharged. This is one reason why everyone complains about the moldy, musky or even stinky smell of the Neptune! Every day I have people here asking what too do about the moldy wet smell!

I do tell them to run the washer once a week without clothes and with hot water and 1/4 cup of bleach. And then make suer to do only white clothes directly after wards as not to get a drop of beach water on a colored article of clothing!
Then leave the door open after every load when not in use!
That's Maytag!!!!!!!!
Perhaps they will make some good changes!!

Hope this helps and makes you feel a little better as to some water sounds! HOW OLD IS THE WASHER??????

Below I referred you to a great service nation wide!

If none of these tasks remedy the heat problem then here is a good company that's found nation wide.
A&E Factory Service
A&E has schedulers available to take appointments 24/7
And they do warranty work too, for most manufactures!
1(800) 905-9505

You will be fine
Bless You ngafm1

Aug 29, 2008 | Maytag Neptune MAH5500B Front Load Washer

4 Answers

Moldy smell in front load kenmore washer

I had the same problem. Have you cleaned the filter under the front panel? Simply remove the three screws holding the panel below the door and remove the 2" white screwcap. Be sure to have a basin handy to catch the water. (possibly a couple of gallons if the stainer is really clogged) I suspect you'll find several moldy items that are causing the odor. Good luck.

Feb 28, 2008 | GE WSXH208A Front Load Washer

Not finding what you are looking for?
Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer Logo

450 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Kenmore Washing Machines Experts

Richard Roth
Richard Roth

Level 3 Expert

9472 Answers

Jesus  Colon
Jesus Colon

Level 1 Expert

12 Answers

Fred Sops

Level 2 Expert

271 Answers

Are you a Kenmore Washing Machine Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides