Best Front & Top-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 clothes and sheets for your bed, your appliance also requires regular maintenance.

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 is True Fresh tablets to save your time. There’s no alternative current alternative that we were able to find.

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

True Fresh
1,108 Reviews
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 efficient and budget-friendly appliance. 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 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. It leads 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. It makes 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 and fabric softener accumulates in the dispenser and inner parts. The washtub can spill on garments, causing markings and stains. Mold growth can occur if water begins to puddle in the rubber door gasket. Now is the perfect time to clean it out properly.

dog inside a washing machine

Make sure you remove dogs and cats 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 and hard water brines. It can even remove the adhesive left behind by stickers. To clean your washing machine using vinegar, fpææpw the guide below.

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

Step 2: You should add 2 cups of vinegar 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

top loading washer

If you believe your machine requires a thorough cleaning, bleach could be the answer. Bleach will remove any remaining bacteria. 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. Select the “clean cycle” setting or the hottest, largest setting.

Step 2: To completely remove stains and germs that may be lingering in the washtub, 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

If you want to clean your washing machine deep and remove the smell, add an additional solution. Mixing it with vinegar is a great option. I will show you the step-by-step procedure below:

Step 1: Remove any garments inside the drum before beginning 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.

Finally, 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 way to get the job done is with vinegar and baking soda if you’re not using commercial products. Choosing not to use any of the products we’re going to recommend underneath is a possibility but not the most effective way. 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. It makes it an incredibly adaptable solution that you can also use for everyday use. Unless you want your clothes to smell like a chip shop, run another hot cycle to eradicate any lingering vinegar. Make sure to do it before loading it back up again.

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 and kind. These tablets are compatible with:

  • LG
  • GE
  • Whirlpool
  • Samsung
  • Electrolux
  • Maytag
  • And all other machines.

If you’ve got a dirty appliance, it’ll work with your top and front loader machines.

True Fresh
1,108 Reviews
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. It removes 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. 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. It leaves it clean and smelling fresh while also prolonging its lifespan.

Lemi Shine
1,207 Reviews
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. 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
11,428 Reviews
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, some simple techniques and tricks to get the smell out. 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 and lint. Hair that may have become trapped must go.

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 the procedures above aren’t enough to remove the bad smell with your washer, here are products you may use. These products perform deep cleans successfully and help remove any foul odor. It makes 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 should be removed, such as hair and buttons. Make sure there are no coins in there.

Step 3: To eliminate mildew, spray the rubber with hot and soapy water. Wipe it with an 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 and grime can accumulate inside the machine over time. Mold and minerals can get stuck in there as well. This accumulation frequently causes smells, and it can even cause your garments to come out of the washer looking dirty.

You can perform a few simple things to maintain the inside clean and in good working order. 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: Remove any obvious things, such as hair and buttons.

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.

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 Cleaning a Front-Loading Washer?

Vinegar is better. White vinegar or bleach can clean a top-loading or front-loading washing machine. They’re both safe, all-natural solutions. I recommend using white vinegar or non-chlorinated bleach, although vinegar is better and more natural.

Some brands advise using chlorinated bleach, even if it can damage your unit. Most importantly, follow the manufacturer’s directions or consider one of the natural techniques mentioned above.

Can Vinegar Damage Your Front-Loading Washer?

White distilled vinegar is nearly a wonder-worker. You can use it for everything from smoothing fabric to odor remover garments to eliminating stains. 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 to Clean a Front-Loading Washer?

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

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

washing machine

How to Avoid Bad Smells (5 Ways)

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

1. Avoid Using Too Many Products

Specialty detergents and fabric softeners may be fantastic for your garments. These extra items are also known to contribute to machine build-up. 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. 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 of at least 60°C and ideally 90°C. It will destroy any microbes and sanitize them.

picture of top loading washer

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. It also makes it less energy-efficient to run. Microbes may potentially cause your machine to break down if these remain unaddressed. It’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. It puts a strain on your drains, causing you to de-scale them more often.

5. Avoid 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. It shouldn’t be there for hours after the cycle has been completed, anyway. Once you finish washing your wet laundry, take them out as soon as possible.

Are you ready to go at it now that you have a better understanding of your options? There are various best front-loading washing machine deep cleaners you might be eager to try out. Suppose 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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