Best Front-Loading Washing Machine Deep Cleaners, & How to

The first time you smell something wrong from your washing machine, you don’t know where it’s coming from. Many homeowners thought it was some dead animal or rotten food left somewhere. They are unaware that this appliance can reek badly due to molds and used water within the machine.

Although you depend on it for towels, clothes, and sheets for your bed, your appliance requires regular maintenance as well.

woman through the front of a washer

The faster solution to this problem is using deep cleaners. Our best front-loading washing machine deep cleaner pick, by miles, is True Fresh tablets to save your time.

Reviewers rave about how great it is at getting rid of a nasty mildew smell!

True Fresh
This product will not only save you time but also get those really nice and fresh results you won't be able to get in any other way!

Alternatively, we tried several do-it-yourself methods to clean your appliance that is efficient and budget-friendly. Without any delay, let’s go through them.

Why Does It Smell Bad? (Finding the Cause)

The properties that differentiate a front loader might also cause the nasty odors. As front loaders use lesser water than top loaders, detergent and grime that doesn’t flush properly are more likely to gather in the drum. This dirt can contain odorous mold and mildew if not maintained regularly.

Furthermore, using ordinary detergent in a high-efficiency unit (HE) can result in excessive foaming, leading to front load washer mold. Excessive laundry detergent can sometimes leave behind the foam.

Finally, the front loader’s rubber door gasket can collect water, making it a favored hiding place for dirt and mold.

What To Do When It Smells Bad (4 Methods)

You should determine the source of the stench and permanently eliminate the front-load washing machine odor. When it starts to stink, the features that distinguish it from a top-loader are frequently the source of the smell.

Laundry detergent, fabric softener, and soil accumulated in the dispenser, inner parts, and washtub can spill on garments, causing markings and stains. If water begins to puddle in the rubber door gasket, mold growth can occur; now is the perfect time to clean it out properly.

dog inside a washing machine

Make sure you remove dogs, cats and other pets before you get started!

Method 1: Using Vinegar

The acidity of vinegar makes it such an excellent cleanser. Since vinegar is so acidic, it can help to dissolve some unpleasant deposits. It can eliminate soap scum, hard water brines, and even the adhesive left behind by stickers. To clean your washing machine using vinegar:

Step 1: Ensure the drum is empty before selecting the “clean cycle” or “tub clean” mode. If it lacks either of these cycles, simply choose the hottest and maximum capacity settings.

Step 2: You should add 2 cups of vinegar added to the detergent tray. It will assist in the removal of odor-causing residues and mold.

Step 3: Allow for a complete wash and rinse procedure of the machine.

Method 2: Using Bleach

If you believe your machine requires a thorough cleaning, bleach could be the answer. Bleach will remove any remaining bacteria, so it’s ideal if you want to make sure your washing machine is sanitized and germ-free.

Step 1: Load the washer with hot water again, and select the “clean cycle” setting or the hottest, largest setting.

Step 2: For you to completely remove stains and germs that may be lingering in the washtub, you should fill the detergent tray with two cups of bleach. Allow the machine to perform a full wash and rinse cycle once more.

Method 3: Using Vinegar with Bleach

Now, if you want to clean your washing machine deep and remove every awful smell in it, adding additional solutions mixed with vinegar is also a great option. I will show you the step-by-step procedure below:

Step 1: Remove any garments inside the drum before you begin the procedure.

Step 2: Select the “clean cycle” or “tub clean” mode.

Step 3: To get a more effective solution, you may mix True Fresh tablets or Eco-Gals Eco Swirlz with vinegar.

Step 4: Let your washing machine do the work, and allow a thorough cleaning procedure.

Final Step: Lastly, if left-overs are still not taken after the “clean cycle.” You may use Lemi Shine wipes to wipe out and give your unit new life.

Method 4: Using Vinegar and Baking Soda

The most efficient ways to get the job done is with vinegar and baking soda, assuming you’re choosing not to use any of the products we’re going to recommend underneath. To make a thick paste, mix 1–2 teaspoons of water with three tablespoons of baking powder and place it in the detergent drawer. After that, pour 250ml of white vinegar into the drum and set it to 60°C. The two components will combine to break down any filth and sludge in your machine, as well as neutralize any stinky smell.

White vinegar has a pungent, unique smell that makes it an incredibly adaptable solution that you can also use for everyday use. Thus, unless you want your clothes to smell like a chip shop, run another long, hot cycle to eradicate any lingering vinegar before loading it all together.

If you don’t like the smell of vinegar or bleach, you can use deep cleaners instead. They are fragrant-like and are highly efficient in killing molds and germs causing the stench. Here are our top three picks:

True Fresh tablets

Manufacturers made this set of heavy-duty tablets to improve the process.

True Fresh Tablets are suitable for all types of washers. Your machine’s model or brand is not a big deal. True Fresh tablets work with any model, no matter its size, kind, or brand. These tablets are compatible with LG, GE, Whirlpool, Samsung, Electrolux, Maytag, and many more top loader and front loader machines.

True Fresh
True Fresh is the upgrade you've been needing for your clothes! This is a great value pack ready to make your home smell good again!

Lemi Shine Wipes

The Lemi Shine reaches deep into your machine to eliminate nasty odors and muck left behind by hazardous germs, as well as hard water stains. Each bundle also includes cleaning wipes for door gaskets and dispensing reservoirs for a thorough clean.

The strong citric acid in the Lemi Shine removes nasty odors and dirt where the wipes are used. And, of course, the biodegradable formulations from Lemi Shine don’t skimp on cleaning power. At least once a month, use this product and wipes to recover your machine’s functionality, leaving it clean and smelling fresh while also prolonging its lifespan.

Lemi Shine
You personally wear deodorant, so why not apply it to the one device at home that ensures your clothes smell good?

Eco-Gals Eco Swirlz

No one wants to spend time scrubbing garments only to discover that their washing machine has ruined them. Then, do you have time to clean yours, though? Eco-Swirlz is the most convenient way to clean do it and restore it to its original condition without breaking a sweat.

While your machine does the work itself, Eco-unique Swirlz’s foaming action allows you to fulfill your dream. Eco-Swirlz removes bad smells without using strong perfumes or aromas.

Eco-Gals Eco Swirlz
At less than $1 per use, these are very affordable and great for the environment as well.

What Is The Best Way To Clean It?

When your front load washer smells terrible, there are some simple techniques and tricks to get the smell out, and to remove mold from the gasket, follow these steps:

Step 1: Remove the rubber gasket from the door by opening it and peeling it back.

Step 2: You will need to dislodge small objects, lint, and hair that may have become trapped.

Step 3: Wash away the gasket with a clean towel after spraying it with hot, soapy water.

Step 4: Spray with a 10 percent bleach and water solution or a 1:1 mix of white vinegar and water if mildew persists. Using a clean cloth, wipe the surface.

If you think that the procedures above are not enough to remove the bad smell with your front load washer, then here are some products that you may use. These products perform deep cleans successfully and help remove any foul odor, making them suitable to be your must-have items.

How Do You Clean The Rubber Seal on the Front?

Has your door’s rubber developed mold or mildew? The following is a step-by-step approach to cleaning the rubber on a front-load washer to remove odor-causing microbes:

Step 1: Strip away the gasket on the door to reveal the interior.

Step 2: Any visible things, such as hair, buttons, or coins, should be removed.

Step 3: To eliminate mildew, spray the rubber with hot, soapy water and wipe with a unspoiled cloth. Repeat the process if needed.

Step 4: Scrape any dark mold areas using a toothbrush immersed in a 10% bleach solution.

Can Mold Be Removed From It or What Do You Do?

Since HE models use less water and energy, detergent leftover, grime, mold, and minerals can accumulate inside the machine over time. This accumulation frequently causes smells, and it can even cause your garments to come out of the washer looking dirty.

However, you can perform a few simple things to maintain the inside clean and in good working order. And you can now skip the hassle because the machine will take care of most of the labor.

How to Clean The Gasket

Has your door gasket developed mold or mildew? The following is a step-by-step guide on how to clean a gasket to get rid of odor-causing microbes:

Step 1: Carefully remove the gasket on the door to reveal the interior.

Step 2: Any apparent things, such as hair, buttons, or coins, should be removed.

Step 3: Spray the gasket with hot, soapy water and wipe with a cloth to remove mildew. You may repeat the process if needed.

Step 4: Scrub any black mold areas using a toothbrush immersed in a 10% bleach solution.

How to Clean The Drum

Check to determine if your model has a Clean Washer cycle before addressing the drum. This option operates at a specific temperature and adds solutions or tablets at a predetermined interval. Examine your usage care handbook for instructions on utilizing this cycle if there is one.

However, if you don’t have one, here’s how you should clean the drum without using this cycle:

Step 1: Fill the detergent dispenser with 2 cups of white vinegar.

Step 2: Fill the drum with 1/3 cup baking soda.

Finally: Run an entirely clean process with hot water to get rid of nasty mold and mildew.


Is Bleach or Vinegar Better to Use For the Purpose?

White vinegar or bleach can clean a top-loading or front-loading washing machine. As they’re both safe, all-natural solutions, I recommend using white vinegar or non-chlorinated bleach, while other brands advise only using chlorinated bleach. Most importantly, follow the manufacturer’s directions or consider one of the natural techniques mentioned above.

washing machine

Can Vinegar Damage Your Beloved Unit?

White distilled vinegar is nearly a wonder-worker; you can use it for everything from smoothing fabric to odor remover garments to eliminating stains. Most of the time, all you have to do is pour vinegar or a vinegar-water mixture directly into your washer as it fills up with water. After that, toss in your laundry. Remember not to pour vinegar directly on clothes.

The vinegar’s acidity makes it very effective at its job. Since vinegar is so acidic, it can aid in the dissolution of some unwanted deposits. However, excessive use of vinegar may cause some issues with your unit.

The rubber parts can be damaged by vinegar, resulting in leaks. As a result, don’t use vinegar in your washing machine too often. Thus, the balanced use of every solution is a factor that you should always take into account.

What Kind of Vinegar Should You Use?

There are countless different kinds of vinegar, including balsamic vinegar made from a specific blend of grapes from southern Italy, wine vinegar made from red or white wine grapes, apple cider vinegar made from apple cider, rice vinegar made from rice, and so forth.

White vinegar is the only alternative, as manufacturers often prepare them from laboratory-produced citric acid mixed with water. White kinds of vinegar are the most acidic, making them powerful cleansers and too harsh for some jobs. In that case, mix it with water — or use something lighter like apple cider vinegar.

How to Avoid Bad Smells (5 Ways)

After you’ve disinfected your washing machine, there are a few basic things you can do to avoid it from becoming filthy again and to ensure that it runs as effectively and efficiently.

1. Avoid Using Too Many Products

Although those specialty detergents and fabric softeners may be fantastic for your garments, these extra items are known to contribute to machine build-up. So, only use specialty products when you need extra strength to avoid difficult stains or significant dirt.

2. Consider Doing a Hot Cycle Every Week

From our clothes to our bedsheets, most washing machine owners launder their machine at 30–40°C. However, while rinsing at 30°C is better for the environment, it will not kill any bacteria that may be hiding within your machine. Once a week, run it through a lengthy heat cycle at least 60°C and ideally 90°C to destroy any microbes and sanitize them.

3. Ventilate and Dry It Out

I highly recommend leaving it slightly open after washes to permit water to evaporate. This will assist in airing out the drum and avoid the formation of mildew smell inside the equipment and on the gasket. It’s also an excellent idea to wipe the seal dry after washing to prevent mold from growing in the rim folds.

4. Sanitize It Regularly

Limescale will form when tiny quantities of calcium and magnesium are in our water mix. Limescale accumulates in your washing machine and can render it less functional, as well as less energy-efficient to run. They may potentially cause your machine to break down if these microbes remain unattended; that’s why de-scaling your machine with good sanitizing at least once every 3–6 months is critical. If you live in a location with a poor water supply, limescale will build up faster putting a strain on your drains; therefore, you may need to de-scale it more often.

5. Restrain Leaving Your Laundry in the Drum Too Long

Both your clothes and your machine will smell stinky and soggy if you leave your wet laundry in the drum for hours after the cycle has completed. As a result, once you finish washing your wet laundry, take them as soon as possible.

Ready to go at it now that you have a better understanding of your options when it comes to the best front-loading washing machine deep cleaners, as well as how to go about the process? If you choose to repeat this process as often as the manufacturer recommends, we’re sure you’ll love the effect on your clothes!

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