Why does my Whirlpool washer stink?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

A Whirlpool washer can start to develop a foul odor over time due to a buildup of mold and mildew. This can happen because moisture gets trapped inside the machine after running a load, creating the perfect conditions for mold and mildew to grow. The combination of a warm, damp environment and organic material, such as leftover detergent or fabric softener, provides a breeding ground for these unwanted organisms.

One of the main culprits for the stinky smell is the rubber gasket or door seal. This seal can collect water and detergent residue, creating a moist environment where mold and mildew can thrive. Over time, this can lead to an unpleasant odor that can transfer onto your laundry.

Another factor that can contribute to the odor is the detergent drawer. This is where you add detergent and fabric softener to the machine. If not cleaned regularly, residue can build up and become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. This can result in a musty smell that can affect the overall freshness of your laundry.

Additionally, the drum of the washing machine can also harbor mold and mildew if not properly cleaned. Moisture can get trapped in the drum after each cycle, especially if the door is not left open to allow air circulation and drying. This can lead to a buildup of mold and mildew, causing an unpleasant odor.

Furthermore, using too much detergent or fabric softener can also contribute to the stinky smell. Excess detergent can leave behind a residue that can promote the growth of mold and mildew. Similarly, fabric softener can leave a sticky film on the drum and other parts of the machine, providing a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.

To prevent your Whirlpool washer from stinking, it is important to follow a regular cleaning schedule. Here are some steps you can take:

1. Clean the rubber gasket or door seal: Wipe down the seal with a mixture of water and vinegar or a mild detergent. Use a soft cloth or sponge to remove any visible mold or mildew. Be sure to reach into the crevices and folds of the seal, as mold can hide in these areas.

2. Clean the detergent drawer: Remove the drawer and wash it with warm, soapy water. Use a small brush or toothbrush to scrub away any residue or mold. Rinse thoroughly and allow it to dry before reinstalling.

3. Clean the drum: Run a hot water cycle with a cup of vinegar or bleach to kill any mold or mildew lurking in the drum. Alternatively, you can purchase washing machine cleaning tablets specifically designed to remove mold and mildew. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.

4. Leave the door open: After each cycle, leave the door of your washing machine slightly ajar to allow air circulation and drying. This will help prevent moisture from getting trapped inside the machine and reduce the risk of mold and mildew growth.

5. Use the right amount of detergent: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended amount of detergent to use. Using too much can leave behind a residue that can contribute to mold and mildew growth.

By following these steps and incorporating regular cleaning into your washing machine maintenance routine, you can help prevent your Whirlpool washer from developing a stinky odor. Remember to check and clean the rubber gasket, detergent drawer, and drum regularly to keep your machine smelling fresh and your laundry clean.