Question about Whirlpool Duet GHW9150P Front Load Washer

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Whirlpool duet front loader washer

I have a smell inside my front loader. I checked to make sure there wasn't a soggy item inside the rubber door seal. Its a sour smell. Any suggestions on getting ride of it?

Posted by tmaxwell39 on

  • bjwg Aug 19, 2008

    I have the same problem. Where is it coming from and how do you solve (clean) it?



2 Answers

Smelly Washer, Inc.

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Mold and bacteria in your door seal is a symptom of problems deeper inside the unit. All washers - not just Whirlpool, have this problem. The area of worst buildup is always on the inside of the plastic outer tub just above the normal waterline where suds and soiled water splash up and don't get rinsed out. To clean this problem area add 1 or 2 caps of smelly washer cleaner to a full load of laundry. The added bulk of the laundry will raise the water level to include the "splash area". Intermittently pause to soak more extreme cases.

Posted on Dec 09, 2012



My washer also smells. I cleaned behind the door seal with bleach but it still stinks. Also ran vinegar through the cycle. When looking closer, I can feel a slime on the outside of the drum but can figure out how to get to it. I am sure that is contributing to the smell. Has anyone else noticed this and if so, what can I do?

Posted on Aug 18, 2008


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The smell will be coming from inside the drum as you summised.
It is probably caused by the drain in need of cleaning, or more likely a build up of dirt and scum on the door seal cased by doing too many low temperature washes.
Check the seal carefully and if it is stained black, then the only real solution is to replace the seal, and do more high temperature washes

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The filter is actually the drain pump trap. The following link explains how to access and clean the drain pump:

You also may have to remove the drain hose that runs from the bottom of the wash tub to the inlet side of the drain pump to ensure it is free of debris as well. Small articles of clothing can commonly get lodged in this area and sour.

Make sure you also check the door bellow (gray rubber door seal) to ensure there is nothing caught in the rubber folds of the seal. Pull the rubber back and check the entire perimeter of the door. It is common for small items such as socks to get stuck in this area. If left for any significant period of time, they begin to sour and mildew. It is recommended that you check this area after each wash. I once found 17 socks stuck in the door seal that the owner did not know was there. They had been there for months. You can imagine what the odor was like at that point.

Last of all, leave the door open between washes to allow the wash tub to air out. Due to the water tight and air tight nature of these door seals, when closed no air can escape the tub and any residual water that remains in the drain lines will sour.

If you have any questions, please let me know. I hope this help you.

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If you have a front loader it will hold water around the seal of the door and after time it will mold and start to smell.

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Tub has a sour smell &does not seem to be rinsing soap out of clothes

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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At the risk of being rude... it's not your washer that is causing the problem it's your washing habits. Jeff is "right on the money" when he stated water temperature is important. It's fine to use mainly cold water but it makes preventive maintenance very important. A hot soak or wash as your last cycle on was day will help dissolve and flush out residue. Just as important is the amount of detergent used and use of fabric softener. To remove odor from your washer and laundry the "splash area" just above the normal waterline must be cleaned. This is invariably the area of heaviest buildup of odor-causing residue. To clean the splash area add 1 or 2 caps of smelly washer cleaner to a full load of laundry and wash in a hot setting. The added bulk of the laundry will raise the water level to include the splash area. Intermittently pause to soak for more extreme cases.

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F11 code

"F11" is a serial communications error between the Central Control Unit (CCU) and the Motor Control Unit (MCU). In short, you need to check all the connections between the CCU (which is located in the center of the washer directly behind the wash tub with the top casing removed), the MCU (which is located in the bottom portion of the washer on the left-hand side looking in from the back with the rear panel removed), and the connections to the drive motor (located under the wash tub in the rear).
In a nutshell, the majority of the time I have experienced this problem, it has been a failed CCU. You can find a replacement at Just type in your COMPLETE model number in the Search menu and look for item #1176592. The part lists for about $50 less than what Sears carries it for. I don't know if you will find it any cheaper.

As far as the smell goes...this is usually caused by leaving the washer door closed and not cleaning the tub periodcially. Front loaders are notorious for this problem. It is caused by residual water (which is normal) sitting in the wash tub with the door sealed. The water will sour and the tub will also mildew, because of lack of air to dry the tub out. Another item to mention is to check in and around the rubber door boot. Small items, such as socks and underwear can get caught behind the rubber seal and start to smell. This area should also be cleaned periodically. If you have checked the drain trap and drain lines thoroughly, then clean the rubber boot. Run the washer on the hottest setting you have with nothing, but bleach in the tub. This will sanitize the tub and drain lines. You may have to repeat this process a couple of times to get the problem under control. It is recommended to run a sanitary (or cleaning) cycle periodically to keep the washer clean. Leave the door OPEN when not in use to prevent mildew from forming inside the wash tub and rubber boot. If you have a serious mildew problem and cleaning does not resolve it, you may have to replace the door boot.

Post back and let know. I can provide step-by-steps instructions on how to replace the CCU. Steps on how to replace the door bellow (rubber boot) are posted under my profile under "Tips and Tricks". I hope this helps you.

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this is a common problem with all front loaders. you need to manually clean the boot, rubber seal, with bleach and water but when done with that you need to put 1 1/2 cups of bleach in the soap dispeners, run a hot wash with no clothes after that run another rinse to be sure all the bleach is out of washer. inbetween washes, leave washer door open (best) or cracked if no room to leave it open

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