Question about Kenmore 3.5 cu. ft. Front Load Electric Washer

1 Answer

Kenmore 3.5 washer has developed mildew around the inside lip of the rubber surround. It has always had a terrible odor. I have used bleach to kill the mildew and now leave the door open. What do you suggest?

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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 28, 2010

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Is there any kind of recall on a Maytay front loading washer, model #MAH6500AWW? I am having problems with mildew in the rubber part and terrible smelling water in the bottom.


The cleaning process for your Maytag Neptune front-loading washer, for example, requires some time and patience. Over time, your washing machine will need to be cleaned. It can develop offensive odors through multiple wash cycles. This makes the washing machine less effective at cleaning the clothes you put into it. Maytag offers some sound advice for cleaning your front-loading washing machine.
  • Pour 2/3 cup of liquid chlorine bleach into the bleach compartment of the dispenser drawer of your Maytag Neptune front-loading washer.

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    Run your Maytag Neptune front-loading washer on the "Clean Washer" setting. Press "Start" to start the cycle.

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    Leave the door open once the cycle is complete to allow the inside of your Maytag Neptune front-loading washer to ventilate and air dry.

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    Look closely at the gray seal of the Maytag Neptune front-loading washer's door opening. This seal can have a buildup of debris or detergent residue.

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    Spray the seal with an all-purpose appliance cleaner and scrub away any debris or residue with a cloth or scrubbing pad. Dry with a clean cloth.

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    Remove the soap dispenser drawer. Press the release lever and lift it out to clean.

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  • ALWAYS LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN WHEN NOT IN USE! This prevents the mold and mildew from forming once you get it cleaned.

    Aug 20, 2011 | Washing Machines

    1 Answer

    Washer Odors of Mildew


    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.$$$$

    Apr 12, 2010 | Whirlpool Duet GHW9150P Front Load Washer

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    Stale odor in machine and on towels and clothes. I have used the affresh, Bleach, baking soda, use powder HE detergent, no liquid fab softner, I am at the end of my rope with this stinking machine ready to...


    Towel mildew smell is being transferred from the washer. The washer must be cleaned first. The problem is not "brand specific" all clothes washers have mold growth to a certain degree. Bleach or vinegar will kill the mold inside your washer but won't remove it or the residue it grows on thereby making the situation worse because it leaves a "base" for more detergent to collect on and more mold will grow.

    Washing machine mold / mildew odor is caused by:
    #1 cause is overuse of detergents. Detergent companies are notorious for instructing to use too much detergent. Especially with soft water or when using liquid detergent no more than 1 tbsp of any detergent should be used.
    #2 most common cause is using fabric softener because it's dispensed in the rinse cycle and will coat the inside of the outer tub with residue that is a food source for mold to grow.
    #3 using only cold water for washing is fine but makes preventative maintenance very important. A weekly hot soak will dissolve odor-causing residue from inside your washer.
    #4 not using the washer. If the clothes washer isn't used very often maintenance is especially important. If leaving for a vacation it's a good idea to clean your washer. Do a search to "remove washer odor" to read just how big the problem is. There are all natural washer cleaners that will also remove mildew odor from towels and clothing after the washer has been cleaned.

    Sep 11, 2009 | Whirlpool Duet GHW9150P Front Load Washer

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    Odor coming from inside washer


    There is a tub beyond the tub you see. Run a load of water with chlorine bleach. This will kill the mold & mildew spores that are causing the odors. ****Do NOT add clothing to this washload****

    If possible, keep the door open when not in use. This will allow the inside to dry and mold & mildew cannot grow.

    Jul 02, 2009 | LG TROMM WM2688H 4.0 cu.ft. Front Loading...

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    My Elite washer has a musty odor. I have run an


    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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    The following link explains how to minimize wash tub odor, and what generally can cause it:

    http://www.fixya.com/support/r513372-front_loader_mildew_odor

    I personally own one of these washers and have followed this same regiment since I purchased it new 9 years ago. I have never had a mildew or odor problem. Consumers that are not in the habit of using hot water very often will also run into odor and mildew problems, because detergent alone does not always kill bacteria. It is recommended that you run a "Clean Cycle" from time to time, to sanitize. Some newer models have a clean cycle added on the control panel.

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    If the rubber door bellow develops mildew and mold, use a non abrasive pad (the little green pads are considered non-abrasive) and scrub the rubber with bleach diluted with water (50/50 mix). This will often kill and remove unwanted mold and mildew. If the door bellow becomes embedded with mold or mildew, it may have to be replaced in order to get rid of it.

    If you establish and maintain a diligent routine, these washers will not mold or smell. Often what seems to be a dream appliance that is supposed to make your life easier, may actually require more attention in order to maintain it properly.

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    Maytag HE 4t/ Kenmore Elite Smartwash Serial# CST0411376 MODEL# 11045088403 TYPE 199 712 CN/AP MY WASHER HAS A AWFUL ODOR INSIDE THE TUB. I HAVE CLEANED IT OUT WITH ALL KINDS OF CLEANERS TO TRY...


    The following link provides guidance on how to maintain a front loader to keep the mold, mildew and odor away:

    http://www.fixya.com/support/r513372-front_loader_mildew_odor

    These are recommendations provided by the manufacturer. Most important of all, keep the rubber bellow clean and clear of debris and make sure you leave the door slightly open when not in use. This will minimize the build up of any mold or mildew and allow the tub to air out. The odor typically comes from the the residual water that stays in the wash tub under the basket and small articles of clothing getting stuck in the rubber folds of the door bellow. (I once found 17 socks stuck in a customer's washer and they wondered why it smelled so bad). NOTE: It is NORMAL to have residual water in the wash tub. If you do not routinely use a hot water setting, run the washer on a sanitary cycle about once a week, or so, with a small amount of bleach to get rid of any bacteria. Since some users conserve and only wash in cold water, they do not bacteria get rid of any bacteria inside the wash tub. I personally own one of these washers and have never had any odor or mildew problems in 8 years by following this simple advice. If you have any further questions/concerns please let me know. I hope this helps you.

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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.

    Aug 26, 2007 | Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

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