How Do I Prevent And Eliminate Odors?

Last Update Date : Apr 12. 2018

Odors

Over time, residue from washer detergent (which is made from animal fats), soil, lime scale, and iron can collect in washing machines. These elements combine with mildew / bacteria and produce foul odors. When you shut your washer door after a cycle without drying out the drum and door gasket, it creates an air tight seal which traps the moisture in a dark, warm environment which allows bacteria and mildew to grow.

Note: Top-loaders do not typically have these types of odor issues becaue the cabin area is not air tight when the door is shut.

Eliminating Odors

1 Run cleansing cycles (to sanitize the machine):

• Silver Care: If their washer is equipped with Silver Care, run a complete Silver Care cycle with no laundry in the machine. This will remove bacteria from the washer.

 

• Sanitize Cycle: If their washer does not have Silver Care, run a Sanitize cycle with no laundry in the machine using hot water and bleach. You may have to run a few cycles to remove the odor from your machine. Not all washers have a sanitize cycle. If your washer does not have a Sanitize cycle, run a Hot Cycle.

 

• Pure Cycle: This is a new cycle starting in 2010. It is a cycle exclusively designed to cleanse the machine. The machine will prompt you to run a Pure Cycle after every 40 loads, but you can run this cycle any time in between if you desire. Pure Cycle uses 150° F water and spins the drum for 2 hours to break up persistent detergent, soil, lime and calcium deposits that may have accumulated in the drum over time. This helps eliminate and prevent odors.

Warning: You should never run a pure cycle with clothes in the unit. It will damage your clothes.

2 Use the following cleaning agents: • Odor eliminating agents like Tide Washing Machine Cleaner are available at most department stores. These are slow-dissolving, foaming tablets that can be placed directly into the empty tub (do not add clothes). You should follow the instructions on the Affresh package. Affresh tablets work to penetrate, dissolve, and remove the residue that can build up in the washing machine.

• Add 1/2 cup of bleach or distilled white vinegar to the tub and run a Sanitize or any Hot cycle. Do not add clothes.

Preventing Odors

• Do not over load your washer. An overloaded washer does not remove the proper amount of moisture from the clothes. The excess moisture remains in the bottom of the drum and this can cause an odor. In general, your washer is overloaded if the drum is unbalanced when it spins or your clothes are WET to the touch after the final spin cycle.

 

• Level the washer. A washer that is not level, especially if it is tilted forward, tends to leave water, detergent, and fabric softener in the detergent drawer after a wash. Over a period of time, detergent can build-up and emit a sour odor. Also, concentrated fabric softener used full strength can become deposited in the detergent drawer and on the front door seal. Once deposited, the softener can become sticky, allowing the dirt from the clothes to adhere to those surfaces. This washing debris, if left to build up, can cause a smell. To prevent softener build-up, dilute the concentrated fabric softener. Use six parts water to one part concentrated fabric softener.

 

• Practice good housekeeping. After you finish the laundry, make sure the detergent drawer is clean, and then wipe the drum and door seal with a clean, dry cloth. If possible, leave the door and the detergent drawer slightly open.

 

• Periodically, the detergent draw will need a through cleaning. Depending on the type of loads you are doing will determine the intervals needed. For example: If you are washing sports uniforms, work clothes, etc. you should perform a through cleaning about once a week. If your loads usually consist of lightly soiled clothes, a through cleaning should be performed every two to three weeks.


To throughly clean the detergent drawer, follow the procedure below:

1 Press and release the lever on the inside of the dispenser and pull the dispenser drawer out.
2 Remove the siphon cap from the fabric softener and bleach compartments.
3 Wash all the parts under running water.
4 Clean the dispenser recesses with a soft brush.
5 Re-insert the siphon cap and push firmly into place.
6 Re-install the detergent draw.
7 Run a rinse and spin cycle with no load in the washer. Add a cup of chlorine bleach to the liquid bleach dispenser.

• Do not let clothes sit in the washer. Clothes that sit in the washer for a long time after a wash cycle has finished redeposit moisture into the washing machine. For this reason, avoid washing right before bedtime or before going to work in the morning.


Run cleansing cycles (to sanitize the machine):

1 Silver Care: If their washer is equipped with Silver Care, run a complete Silver Care cycle with no laundry in the machine. This will remove bacteria from the washer.
2 Sanitize Cycle: If their washer does not have Silver Care, run a Sanitize cycle with no laundry in the machine using hot water and bleach. You may have to run a few cycles to remove the odor from your machine.
3 Pure Cycle: This is a new cycle starting in 2010. It is a cycle exclusively designed to cleanse the machine. The machine will prompt the customer to run a Pure Cycle every 40 loads. You should NEVER run a pure cycle with clothes. Pure cycle uses 150° F water and spins the drum for 2 hours to break up persistent detergent, soil, lime and calcium deposits that may have accumulated in the drum over time. This helps eliminate and prevent odors.

• Select models have debris filters. If your model has a debris filter, there will be an access cover on the bottom of the washer in the front. Clean the debris filter. A clogged, or partially clogged debris filter will cause a no drain condition, or an "ND" error code. However, The debris filter should be cleaned periodically, at least once a month, to prevent odors. Lint that is saturated with soap and fabric softener will cause an odor.

Important: If the odor seems to be from a mechanical or electrical component ONLY, your washer needs to be serviced. Unplug the washer and wait for the technician to arrive.

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