Well, this statement should come as no surprise: front-loading washing machines tend to have problems with mold. Haven’t we all either heard this assertion, known someone with a front loader who complained of this, or had an issue ourselves with mold or mildew in a front-loading machine? From my personal experience, the house my family usually rents at the beach has a front-loading machine, and unless you leave the door ajar between washes, the musty mildew smell can come on pretty quick. Clothes washed in it don’t ever seem to smell as fresh as those washed in our home machine. I never had any proof that the lack of that “clean” smell was caused by mold, but I certainly always thought is was the case.
My post today actually hinges on some truth behind those assertions, because some pretty big-name, front-loading washing machine manufacturers are paying up for a fault in their construction that causes them to harbor mold. The brand names featured in the proposed settlement include Whirlpool, Maytag and Kenmore—Sears and Whirlpool have already reached settlements for models made between 2001-2010. The lawsuit claims that during use, the machines did not properly clean themselves of detergent and residue that would then become trapped in the boot and seal around the door. This residue would become a breeding ground for mold and mildew, thus creating odors in and around the machine. Sometimes, even “freshly washed”clothes were still full of musty smells and mildew spots.
Here is a link full news article that contains information for anyone wanting to see if they own one of the affected machines, or for anyone wishing to submit a claim.
Interestingly, I also read another news article about the same settlement, where an “appliance doctor” company was interviewed about the volume and types of service calls that they get on these front-loading machines. As expected, most of the calls involved mold in the seal or boot around the door. The service technician interviewed recommends cleaning the seal or boot with a bleach and water or a vinegar and water solution once a week to prevent the problem—well, that is not actually going to kill the mold or truly solve the problem. EC3 Spray or Mold Solution Concentrate, or using the EC3 Laundry Additive in your laundry machine to clean your clothing would all be better, more effective alternatives. They are proven, mold-killing products. Also, if you would like to read my post about cleaning your washing machine for mold, here is the link. Just sayin’.
Anyway, I hope you will read the news articles and make your own conclusions.
Take care and be well!