One of the few downsides of front load washers is their tendency to develop a bad odor. But what do you do if your front load washer smells bad? From the tub to the gasket, we’ll discuss how the right cleaning methods can banish bad smells.

Cleaning Tips and Tricks When Your Front Load Washer Smells Bad

When your front load washer smells bad targeted cleaning with the right supplies is the best way to eliminate odor. We’ll review how to clean a front load washer to keep odor away. But first, it’s helpful to know why these washers are prone to bad smells.

Why Does My Washing Machine Smell Bad?

While front load washers use less water and energy, this benefit can actually contribute to bad smells. With less water, rinse cycles can leave behind dirt and suds. Without regular washer cleanings, these particles can accumulate and play host to smelly mold and mildew.

Using too much detergent only contributes to odor with more remaining suds. In a washer’s warm, moist interior, these suds provide the perfect environment for smelly mold.

How to Clean Washing Machine Tub

When your front load washer smells bad cleaning the washing machine tub is the first step in removing odor. Follow these steps when your washer smells like mildew:

  1. Scatter 1/3 c. baking soda into an empty washer drum and close the door.
  2. Pour 2 c. white vinegar in the detergent tray.
  3. If your washer has a Cleaning Cycle, run that setting to completion. If not, run a regular wash cycle with hot water.

Persistent smells require bleach to eliminate odor. Wondering where to put bleach in front load washer? Most have a dedicated bleach dispenser. Pour 2 c. bleach in the dispenser and run an empty wash cycle with hot water.

front load washer smells bad

How to Clean Mold in Front Load Washer Gasket

The rubber gasket around your washer door can collect moisture, dirt, and debris, making it a prime location for front load washer mold. Here’s how to clean mold from front load washer gasket:

  1. Open washer door and peel back gasket so interior is exposed.
  2. Remove any visible debris like hair, buttons, or coins.
  3. Spray gasket with hot soapy water or mildew remover and wipe down with a clean cloth. Repeat as needed.
  4. Scrub any black mold spots with a toothbrush dipped in a 10% bleach solution.

How to Prevent Washer Odors

Repeating these measures on a monthly basis can prevent odor from reoccurring. These user tips can also prevent bad smells:

  • Use only HE detergent, in the right amounts, to avoid an excess of suds.
  • Wipe down the door gasket after every wash load.
  • Remove clean clothes immediately after a wash cycle to eliminate excess moisture.
  • Keep washer door open when not in use to allow for better airflow.


If your front load washer smells bad even after these tips and tricks there may be a more significant problem at play. Call A+ Appliance to schedule a washing machine repair.