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Help! My washer is "less than fresh!"

My washer is smelling musty and the smell is transferring to our clothes. I've tried washing on hot with vinegar, washing on hot with bleach and leaving the lid open to get maximum air ventilation in between uses. None have eliminated the problem.

We have an old top loader, btw.

Is there anything else I can try to get rid of the smell in our washer?

Answer Question

Asked by LuckyPlusOne at 3:44 PM on Dec. 27, 2009 in Home & Garden

Level 8 (248 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Try baking soda.

    Answer by Mrs_Harsh at 3:47 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • Put it on the soak cycle with lime-away then run through a hot water cycle, then use about 7-8 cups of bleach on the hot cycle,, this should take care of any mildew that is causing the smell! Make sure the trap is clean as well!

    Answer by kimigogo at 3:49 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • Does it have a "hidden" (or just hard to see) lint filter? I had the same problem in an old washer we'd gotten from hubby's aunty & uncle way back when, and we finally figured out after a lot of smelly headache that it had a lint trap inside, and it was holding so much lint it reeked. I believe it slid out from underneath where the little "button" is that has to be pushed for the washer to the very top of the wasn't big, just slid out horizontally. HTH, I've never had another problem like that with my washers since!

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:49 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • Thanks for all the suggestions. I've been told with our certain type of hard water that baking soda could actually exasperate the problem but I'll try it too!

    And I'll try the Lime Away and try to find a lint trap as soon as I get home from work. I don't want to wash another load before I figure this out!

    Answer by LuckyPlusOne at 3:53 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • I know this! I don't know why! I have this 'issue too! I asked this awhile back! No luck here! BTW Mine is 26 years old! But we're jobless here. So I'm stuck with it! I did once buy a Brand new Whirlpool in '99. It was Pure Junk! The repair man called it a Gremlin! But Whirlpool wasn't kind in standing by it. All my life since I was a Teen. I bought washing machines used. Except for that Whirlpool. I've even had nightmares over washers! So I do sympathise with you and understand! I hope you find what may work for you. Also don't let the clothes stay in it for long after being done!! Best of Luck to you!!

    Answer by Angellinda at 4:00 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • You can buy stuff for your washer that gets rid of the smells, I've seen it before in the detergent section.

    Answer by looovemybabies at 4:16 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • If the agitator has a cup in the top for fabric softener, see if that cup comes out. If it does, chances are that you have mold all through the agitator that can be cleaned out. Our water here SUCKS, and we get that mold quite often along with the musty smell.

    Answer by rhope4 at 4:19 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • I vote for baking soda

    Answer by admckenzie at 4:29 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • Thanks for the suggestions.

    The washer came with the house. It's 39 years old but still does an amazing job getting clothes clean (except for the recent smell issue).

    It does not have an attached cup for fabric softener. It has one that slides on like a cap and I wash it frequently. I'll see if there might be grime stuck under the agitator though...

    Answer by LuckyPlusOne at 4:39 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • Ps I forgot to tell you you have to use the whole jar of Lime Away, good luck mom, it worked for me!

    Answer by kimigogo at 5:22 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

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