A minor annoyance that makes itself known to me multiple times each week is the musty smell in my front loading washer. I have had it for about a year and I selected it over a top loading washer because of height. No, not the washer’s height, my height. I am 5 ft. 1 in. and I have used top loading washers in the past where I had to lean in enough to bring my feet off the ground just to peel a damp sock from the bottom. I know that I’m technically not small enough to fall in and wash away, but I just don’t like the idea of leaning in and losing touch with the ground with only a perforated tub blocking my fall into a potential laundry Narnia.
I went with the front load High Efficiency washer. I read reviews ahead of time saying the front loaders could tend to have a mildewy musty smell, but I overlooked it, thinking “There is no way my washer will have B.O.!, that is for OTHER people’s washers”. A couple of weeks in I noticed the musty smell. I ignored it. This became a minor but very frequent annoyance since I pass the laundry any time I go to or from my daughters room or my own bedroom upstairs. I am doing laundry at least every other day, so there was no way to hide from it. It soon became clear that I had the washer stink and I needed to knock the stink off.
Efforts to date:
1. Left the washer door ajar to allow it to dry properly – I always do this after washings and it accomplishes two things: a) allows the washer door to swing out into our hallway partially obstructing passing traffic and b) gives the smell access to seep farther from its source
2. Ran clean washer cycle frequently – This involves using liquid bleach and running the built in ‘Clean Washer’ cycle. While the stink is knocked off for a minute with the bleach smell, it is back within 24 hours
I thought this would be a good problem to tackle for one of my early posts because although it is only a mini issue it is driving me mini nuts on a daily basis. I have done a little web recon and here is what I am going to try:
1. Use only a powdered detergent – This one is interesting to me. The last time I used powdered detergent was maybe the two times I did laundry my freshman year of college. My mother never had ‘the talk’ with me — the laundry talk that is, so I had to figure it out myself and it is still foreign to me. That said, the first time I used powdered detergent, I put the clothes in, sprinkled detergent in and then turned on the water. I had no idea that dissolving it in the water before you add the clothes was the proper order of opps. On a similar note, suggestions also say to avoid liquid fabric softener. This one doesn’t apply to me though – I have never used it and actually have no idea how to use it or where it goes. I am dryer sheets all the way. Again — mothers don’t fail to have the laundry talk with your children. It is never too late!
2. Clean your washing machine – This one has to do with cleaning the seal on the door and washer opening really well. I do this occasionally, but I usually just use a clorox wipe. I am going to try using Oxyclean and let it sit for 15 minutes before wiping with a dry rag. I don’t actually know what Oxyclean is and would have guessed it was for pimples, but apparently not. I am also going to take out and clean my detergent tray and the compartment it slides out of. I saw a suggestion for that too and my tray (dare I say it) has never been cleaned! The sole purpose of that thing is to hold cleaning products – do we really need to clean it?
3. Vinegar – This one is a different spin on running the clean washer cycle with bleach only. I read lots of different white vinegar suggestions. Most just varied on how much to use. I am going to try using 2 cups.
The only other thing I found was installing a washer fan. I hope it doesn’t come to this. It is $60 or so, which isn’t so bad, but why purchase that when you have a 3 year old and a hand-held Minnie Mouse spin fan? Probably because the likelihood of her climbing into the washer to visit Narnia is highly likely and she already has several of her own layers of vinegar-resistant stink that need knocking off without adding washer B.O. to the mix.
Stay tuned for my laundry effort results!