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Keep Washer Fresh and Clean

May 25, 2024

Keep Washer Fresh and Clean

The Smelly Saga of My HE Washer

When I first brought home our shiny new high-efficiency (HE) front-loading washer, I was over the moon. The energy-efficient design, the gentle tumbling action, the reduced water usage – what’s not to love? Little did I know that this marvel of modern laundry would soon become the bane of my existence, all because of one tiny problem: the dreaded musty smell.

At first, it was just a faint whiff, an unpleasant odor that would linger on my freshly washed clothes. I shrugged it off, thinking it was a fluke. But as the weeks turned into months, the stench only grew stronger, until I couldn’t ignore it anymore. My once-prized washer had become a smelly, moldy mess, and I was determined to get to the bottom of it.

The Culprit: Soap Scum and Mildew

After some digging, I discovered that the very thing that makes front-loaders so efficient – the horizontal drum design – is also their Achilles’ heel. The limited water usage and lack of an agitator create the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. Over time, a buildup of soap scum, fabric softener residue, and other laundry byproducts accumulates in the nooks and crannies of the machine, providing a damp, dark environment for these nasty microorganisms to thrive.

It didn’t help that I was a little overzealous with the liquid detergent, thinking more suds meant cleaner clothes. Little did I know that those excess bubbles were just contributing to the problem, leaving behind a gummy film that clung to the drum and gasket, trapping moisture and creating the ideal conditions for mold and mildew to take over.

As the experts at Pretty Handy Girl explain, “The very thing that makes these machines so efficient and eco-friendly—the horizontal tumbling drum — is the culprit. Over time, water, soap scum, and other laundry products build up inside the drum and components of the washer. This lays the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew: dark, damp, and grimy.”

The Cleaning Crusade

Determined to reclaim my washer’s fresh scent, I embarked on a cleaning crusade, armed with a arsenal of household cleaners and a renewed sense of determination. First, I tackled the rubber gasket, gently pulling it back and scrubbing away the grime with a damp cloth and some all-purpose cleaner. As the experts at Heritage Park Laundry Essentials advise, this is the front line in the war on mold and mildew, so I made sure to get in between every nook and cranny.

Next, I tackled the detergent drawer, removing it and giving it a thorough cleaning with some good old-fashioned dish soap. An old toothbrush proved invaluable for dislodging the built-up residue that had accumulated in the crevices. Once that was sparkling clean, I moved on to wiping down the drum and door, using a ammonia-free glass cleaner to ensure a streak-free shine.

But the real magic happened when I ran a few empty wash cycles, using some trusty household staples: baking soda, white vinegar, and bleach. As Heritage Park Laundry Essentials explains, these natural cleaners work wonders, dissolving grease and grime while eliminating odors.

The Ongoing Battle

I’m happy to report that after my deep cleaning blitz, the musty smell in my washer has been banished, and my clothes are coming out fresher than ever. But I know this is an ongoing battle – one that requires vigilance and a bit of elbow grease on a regular basis.

That’s why I now make it a point to wipe down the gasket and detergent drawer after every load, and I never let the door stay closed for too long. I’ve also drastically cut back on the amount of detergent I use, opting for a high-efficiency formula that produces fewer suds. And when it comes to fabric softener, I’ve traded in the liquid stuff for wool dryer balls, which not only keep my clothes soft and fluffy, but also help prevent that pesky film buildup.

Sure, it’s a bit more work than I had bargained for, but to me, it’s a small price to pay to keep my beloved HE washer in tip-top shape. After all, a clean, fresh-smelling machine is the foundation for truly clean, great-smelling laundry. And with Adam Cleaning by my side, I know I’m never more than a call away from expert advice and assistance whenever the smelly saga starts to rear its ugly head again.

Mastering the Art of Front-Loader Maintenance

If you’re a fellow HE washer owner, I hope my story has inspired you to take a more proactive approach to machine maintenance. It may seem like a hassle, but trust me, it’s worth it to keep your clothes (and your nose!) happy and healthy.

Start by making a habit of wiping down the gasket and drawer after every use, and never let the door stay closed for too long. When it comes to detergent and fabric softener, less is definitely more – stick to high-efficiency formulas and ditch the liquid stuff in favor of more eco-friendly alternatives.

And don’t be afraid to get a little hands-on with the deep cleaning every now and then. Heritage Park Laundry Essentials has a fantastic guide that walks you through the process, from baking soda and vinegar to a good old-fashioned bleach cycle.

With a little bit of TLC and some elbow grease, you can keep your HE washer smelling fresh and clean, day in and day out. And who knows, maybe you’ll even come to love your machine as much as I do – just without the occasional whiff of mildew, of course.

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