Here’s the thing.

I stink.

Last weekend Big Daddy and I went to see the movie, Oblivion. After the smell of popcorn had subsided, mostly because it was now in Big Daddy’s belly, I caught a strange odor.

It wasn’t overwhelming but it was strong enough to be suspicious.

I leaned closer to Big Daddy.

Sniff. Sniff.

Huh. Nothin’.

Could it be me?

Armpit sniff double check.


For two hours my eyes were feasting on the movie screen and my nose was on a relentless investigation.

I discovered the irritating moldy smell was wafting from my jeans.

I stink?!

How could I stink?

Technically, I didn’t stink but my clothes did.

When we moved in we bought a front loading washer and dryer from the previous residents and we were pretty excited about these new fancy machines. But it didn’t take long for us to notice that the washer didn’t smell good.

Was this normal for a front loader?

If you have a front loader here are some pearls of wisdom to avoid the stink.

1. After a wash, leave the door open for 1-2 hours so the moisture in the wash basin will dry up.

2. Use dry detergent. Apparently the liquid stuff causes an icky film thus creating “the mildew effect”.

3. Pull back the rubber seal that surrounds the door of your washer and clean it if necessary.

I was expecting to find a detergent build up but instead I found these two….

Holy MOLDY!!!!

For the record these are not our socks. Which means these bad boys have been soaking in crud behind the rubber seal for AT LEAST 6 months! I wonder if the previous owner of these front loaders had stinky clothes too? Um I’m guessing that’s a yes.

Super duper gross.

I hope I can tell you how to clean your front loader before I vomit.


Buy a huge bottle of Distilled White Vinegar. Pour 2 cups of vinegar into the wash basin. Run it through a cycle on the hottest water temp you’ve got. I had to do this twice.

To de-funk all your clothes you’ll need to wash them (at the highest water temp) with about 1 cup of vinegar and then again with your laundry soap. I went ahead and used the liquid stuff because I just bought a new one but in the future I’ll be using a DIY mix.

So far so good.

I couldn’t smell any sweeter. 🙂

Has this happened to anyone else? Stinky clothes? Nasty socks in the rubber seal of the door?



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18 Responses

  1. Luisa Chandler

    Awww…they left you presents! How sweet! That is crazy, but thank goodness you found them. We just got a new washer and dryer a few months ago and we were talked out of front loaders…I’m just a little too lazy for all that maintenance. I can only imagine what went through your head when you found those socks!!!

  2. Angela

    We bought the same set used and shortly after it stopped draining and smelled a little funny. One youtube video later I had the front panel off and the washer drain dumped out. It smelled absolutely horrible; like something crawled in there and died. After cleaning it out, the washer drains great and no smell.

  3. DianaRambles

    Gross! Ours don’t smell at all. I always keep the doors open and wipe it out!

  4. Bobbie

    I have the same problem! I HATE those front load machines! I also use belach and just run a hot cycle every onece in a while (with no clothes), Now im going to check the seal.

    • ccleahy

      Angela commented (below) about draining her front loader…I had read about that but couldn’t figure out where it was on my machine! I’ll keep trying and I’ll let you know!

  5. LuAnn Braley

    Following from Take-A-Look Tuesday at Sugar Bee Crafts.

    Yuck, indeed! Our laundry machines are older than that, but next time I go to my MIL’s, I’m goin’ huntin’!

    • ccleahy

      I hope you don’t find anything!!! I still cannot figure out how they could even get in there behind the seal!

  6. Donna Wilkes

    Yuck and double yuck. A front loader will not fit in my laundry room (a closet under the stairs) but when I had to replace my old washer, the salesman warned me I would not like the maintenance on a front loader. I did not know he speaking of mildew and mold.

    • ccleahy

      I’m glad your salesman told you that! We actually just bought the ones that were already in the house…it was just easier that way. But in the future I’ll need to really consider whether the cons outweigh the pros.

  7. kadee

    Thanks for the tip! We are moving in several weeks and I believe the washer and dryer are staying. Big problem as we have our own, also. What to do? Well, I will work on that problem tomorrow but in the meantime, if we decide to keep the ones already there, I will check for da’ funk, for sure!!

    • ccleahy

      We were in a similar situation…they were already in the house and we thought it was just easier to buy them. From an aesthetic perspective they’re great and I love loading/unloading from the front because it’s easy on the back (we have the drawers underneath so the door is at a height that I don’t need to bend over…and that’s wonderful! Now that I’ve done the vinegar thing things are working just fine. I’ll keep you updated though!

  8. Wanda

    What?????!!!!???. That is just not right. I have had a few repair visits on my front load that have turned out to be REALLY and I owe you how much???? but the crud has all been ours. Sorry for your discovery on another note I thought Oblivion was pretty good. 😉

  9. Deborah Smith

    Ewwww. My skin would be crawling! We have a new front loader, but it has a feature so the door stays open slightly, plus we wipe out the gasket after every laundry day and leave it wide open for an hour or two after. So far so good. I thought you couldn’t use homemade laundry soap in an HE washer. I loved my homemade laundry soap 🙁

    Thank you for sharing it at to What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great week!



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