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Old 10-17-2011, 10:11 AM   #1
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Laundry room has mildew smell

We have a HE front load washer. We use HE detergent and no softener due to allergies. It runs almost daily..last load is hottest and often bleach. In the last month we have an over powering smell of mildew in the laundry room. Used several of the washing machine cleanser packets. Smell gone a day and then back. Took the washer apart and no mildew sight or smell in the interior parts.

This is a new house 13 mo old. Drain is beside the water hoses built in the wall. What should we check next? We have a waterless hot water system (hard to get a really hot wash) and a water purification system for the well.


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Old 10-17-2011, 10:17 AM   #2
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we had the same problem. after eliminating all possible plumbing problems (vent, drain stopped up, a leak somewhere), we finally decided it was coming from the washer itself. Even our towels had a moldy smell. i think there have been some "green" changes in detergent the last couple of years which causes the washer to smell after usage for a while. Either something they added, or something they no longer allow to be put in detergents. The wife bought some stuff at ace hardware called "smelly washer" and used it. the smell has been gone now for months. I don't know what's in it (or if it's one of the ones you already tried) , but it worked for us.


Last edited by Lightfoot; 10-17-2011 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:20 AM   #3
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I'd start looking around the floors and walls for water leaking/seeping from somewhere. Look for black lines, soft Sheetrock, around window frames, etc.
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Old 10-18-2011, 07:18 AM   #4
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We have had an HE washer since 2003, in 3 different homes, and it has done what you describe in all of them. As far as I can tell, it has to do with a couple of issues. A) the detergent drawer and the liner around the wash drum hold water after a wash B) the waste water lines seem to not drain off completely between washes.

Our solution has been to leave the door to the washer and the detergent tray open when not in use. This allows them to air out and not gather the musty smell. I also took my machine apart last summer and cleaned ALL of the water hoses, which had an accumulation of mildew in them (I would just replace them next time, as it was a PITA to get them clean.)

Good luck!
That's just my opinion. But it's free, so take it for what it's worth to you.
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