Why Do Front-Loading Washing Machines Have a Bad Odor?


Front-loading washing machines are more energy and water-efficient than traditional models. Their design does have some flaws, including the risk of developing a bad odor inside the machine.


  • Front-loading washing machines are prone to two different odors. The first smell is musty or earthy and might remind you of a dank basement. That bad smell is caused by mold. The other odor is foul and will remind you of something rancid or rotten; it is caused by bacteria.


  • Both mold and bacteria grow inside a front-loading washer when it has been overloaded with loads that are too large. The washer does not rinse away all dirt and soil after a big load, leading to a build up of grime inside the washer. This buildup gives mold and bacteria a place to grow and thrive.


  • You can prevent bad odors in your front-loading washing machine by washing smaller loads inside of it. You can clean the inside of your washer using a mixture of 1/2 cup of bleach in a gallon of water. Running an empty load with hot water and adding a cup of bleach to the water will also remove mold and bacteria.

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  • "Green up your Cleanup"; Jill Schoff; 2008
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