Thank you to everybody for responding.
Here is the update re repair people:
The first repair guy thought it was the drains. The second repair company had heard of this problem (smelly washer) but didn't know what to do about it.
The third washer repair guy had seen this before. It wasn't the sewer pipe or the drain (both were checked and not clogged)--it was too much detergent and using (even occasionally) liquid fabric softener in a front-loading machine. (Just like what the others in this thread said.)
The washer repair guy had recommended 10 bleach cycles. Two were done, but concerned about damage by the bleach, and based on a recommendation in this thread, 4 PureWasher cycles were done. Unfortunately, it is a long process where 1 "cycle" involved first soaking for 2-4 hours, then soaking overnight, then rinsing a few times. If the smell was less bad, it wouldn't have been so many times. But now the horrible smell is finally gone.
We have also switched to HE powder detergent, which was recommended in other net resources I found. Using less than a quarter-cup of the HE powder was plenty in this high-capacity machine. For cold water washing, I keep a wide-mouth water bottle (the kind that bicyclists use), and dissolve the powder in some hot tap water, shaking it up before pouring it in. Has anybody seen an HE cold-water formula powder?
From everything I've read so far, including suggestions provided by the kind folks in this thread, to prevent possible bad smells developing in frontloading washing machines, this is what is suggested:
1) Leave the door open between washings;
2) Use the right kind of detergent (HE, and possibly, use only powder, even though the SDA says liquid HE is okay);
3) Use small amounts of HE detergent, even less than the directions indicate;
4) Do not use liquid fabric softener (even though the SDA says it is okay)
The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA, an industry group) has a fact sheet that discusses the possible consequences of using non-HE detergent in HE (frontloading) washers, as well as maintenance tips:
Yes, using the correct amount of HE detergent will minimize the complaint of "musty/mildew odor".
For those customers that call about this complaint,there two things that we explain--in writing.
The first is about the detergent and correct measured amounts.
The second is to clean out the build-up of soap curd/scum in the water tub (not the laundry tub)--which is causing the offending odor.
The best method that works is to do the following:
WASHER MUST BE EMPTY AND HAVE NO DETERGENT/FAB SOFT/BLEACH IN THE DISPENSER.
1) Open the washer door and add about (4) tablespoons of WHIRLOUT directly into the tub. This is available at Home Depot. It is a chemical cleaner used to remove scum build-up in hot tubs/whirlpools.
2) Close door and press power on button.
3) Select: Sanitary Cycle(if available) or Heavy Wash/Duty Cycle.
4) Check the water temperature settings--it should be set at hot water wash.
5) Select Soil Level (if available) to "HEAVY".
6) Select Extra Rinse (if avaliable).
7) Select Stain Cycle (if available).
8) Select Water Plus (if available).
9) Press Start. This cycle can be up to 2 hours and 45 minutes.
This procedure has worked better than any other.
At the LG training seminar,it was highly recommended. We stock this on our truck.
Customers that have a complaint of "rotten egg" odor will NOT get results from this. The odor is caused by a gas in the water(usually well water). This can be remedied by water filtration. A qualified/reputable water treatment/filtration company should be consulted for this type of problem.
Thank you, John.
Hi, Karen ~
Here's our easy and inexpensive solution to a problem that should never be: Run a regular cycle with one cup of white vinegar poured into the dispensers in an empty washer. The vinegar should kill all mold and mildew in the washer. This will have to be done periodically, just like a coffee pot. We also clean the seal of the washing machine's door with a rag dipped in water and vinegar. Obviously, the designers of these machines were so focused on saving water that their testing was short- rather than long-term in design.
Hope this helps!
You'll need around one cup of cascade powder and one cup of chlorine bleach (I think this is optional) and run the hottest and longest cycle of your washer. You may want to use the bleach if your washer can't reach a temperature of at least 150 F. After completion of this cycle (without any clothes of course) it is recommended to wipe down the seals of the washer to get rid of any possible gunk on them. After that, your washer should be good to go. If you have a very persistent mold problem, you may have to run this cycle several times.
In the future, make sure you follow all the recommendations for preventing any detergent buildup or mildew.
Hope this helps.
The Charliesoap Powder dissolves in cold water very well. I think they have a "sample" pack you can buy and try now without having to invest in a large amount in case you didn't like it--but it is a great product. It too helps keep your machine clean. Go to their site and read about it and the clean out process it does for your washer.
Plus you only use 1 tablespoon.
I just recently read about using this Whirl out stuff to clean out the washers. I saw it on another forum Appliance Junk .com. I think the guy on there said to use 1 cup full of that stuff. I wondered if that would be too much. Now I think so compared to the 4 Tbls you said use.
Can you use this in any front loader?
What about the Washer Magic stuff? Have you ever used it? I have used the Dishwasher Magic and it makes the dwasher tub shine.
Also, will any of this stuff hurts the seals in the washer? Does Clorox eat up the seals?
I use Oxi Clean a good bit. I hope it doesn't damage anything.
Initially there were concerns about corrosion damage from Whirlout chemical cleaner. Not to mention the legal concerns that Summit Brands was wrangling with. Summit put out a statement that their product was not for use in anything but what it was intended for(hot tubs jacuzzis etc).
At an LG Electronics training seminar--the Service Manager for our area(northeast)informed us that LG had checked into the corrosion worries and found that it was not a concern at all if used at an amount not to exceed 4 capfuls. In addition--they were extremely impressed with how well it worked at removing soap scum/curd from the water tank. So much so that they did a "BEFORE" & "AFTER" demonstration in the training routine. A very soiled tub was disassembled and photographed and then reassembled to be put thru a Whirlout cycle. Disassembled again and photographed--there was virtually no residue on that tub assembly.
The new Affresh cleaner by Whirlpool promises to perform just as well but in addition--leave a lemon odor when completed.
Thanks for the info. I will have to try either the affresh or the Whirlout to keep mine fresh.
Also I think I am using a bit more detergent than you recommend!!
Your welcome Roger! Good luck.
John's recommendations about the dosage of detergents are to be taken with a grain of salt. It is very true that the manufacturers' recommendations are normally quite a bit too high, but it is not possible to give a general "right dosage" advice. Detergents differ in their formulations beyond just being 1x, 2x, or 3x concentrated. In addition to that, a lot depends on your water hardness and quality. The amount and type of clothes you wash and the level of soiling also makes a big difference.
You can certainly try to reduce the amount of detergent you are using and see how you like the cleaning results. In my washer I see hardly any bubbles if I use half of the recommended amount and the cleaning results are very good. At some point you'll get to the limit where you'll compromise effective cleaning.
What do you think of the LG wm6042 hw (home depot)?
Is this a good machine? Also what are the rollerjets? Do they spray water on the clothes? Does this model tend to vibrate more/less than the other ones?
I found that after use, water would pool in the bottom of the rubber gasket by the door, causing a mildewed smell. By drying the area after the last load and occasionally wiping down with a diluted bleach/water solution, the odor was no longer a problem. Hope this helps.
I too was advised by Summit Brands not to use Whirlout in my LG Tromm WM2277H washer, so I have been using their Washermagic product. Does this work the same? If I decide to switch to Whirlout, how much should I use? (I do have a water softener) Every time I call the LG customer service number, I receive a different answer. Also, in the same vein, when cleaning the drain filter, is it necessary to use the drain hose first or can you simply remove the filter to clean it? (Someone at LG told me that if I did not regularly drain the machine using the drain hose, I would get water built up that would leak from the bottom of my machine). I would appreciate any advice that you could give me.
Washer Magic is effective for removing limescale deposits. It will NOT remove musty/mildew odors
It is NOT necessary to clean out the *strainer* on a regular basis. The small drain tube was ONLY provided as a means to drain water out of the tub and allow the owner to check for blockage or debris in the pump assembly strainer if a NO DRAIN CONDITION occurs.
Summit Brands is simply protecting itself from any possible legal action that could potentially arise from customers using their product in a manner inconsistent with their label. In other words--lawyers.
LG has given the green light to servicers to both use and recommend WHIRLOUT in LG washing machines for *TUB CLEAN* or *MAINTENANCE CYCLES*
Whirlpool makes and sells a product called Affresh to correct
and prevent this odor problem. Go to www.affresh.com
for information. There is a free-shipping
code -- "AFFSH2" but check to see if it has changed. To order, the site will take you to
Whirlpool's Web site. The tablets are three (3) for $6.99. The instructions
indicate you should use three (3) tablets to remove bad odors and to use one
tablet per month to prevent odors. Also, after the odor is removed, leaving the
washer door open slightly will allow the washer to dry out and further prevent
odors from recurring. I use it to prevent odors and I don’t know how well it
works to remove existing odors. Others
have said it works well. Good luck.
What a great thread this is. It is our purpose here to facilitate consumers to help each other and this is such a good example of it. Thank you all.