LESLIE: Charles in Iowa needs some help in the laundry room, like most men do. Charles, what’s going on?
CHARLES: Hey. About a year ago, I bought my wife a front-loading washer and dryer and thought I was doing something really good after the kind of the Thanksgiving sale, Black Friday event. And ever since then, our clothes and the washer just smells really musty.
And I have done a lot of research on the internet and I quit using the liquid fabric softener. I’ve cut our utilities back a whole lot. I’ve used the little pills: the thing that you’re supposed to put in there. I’ve used Borax, I’ve used Simple Green. I’ve done it every month, I’ve tried it every week and my wife is ready for me just to get rid of these things and go back to a top-load washing machine. And I’m wanting to know, is there anything I can do to get this smell out of the washer and off the clothes?
LESLIE: Now, when you’re washing the clothes, are you immediately putting them in the dryer or are they sort of sitting for a little bit?
CHARLES: They’re probably sitting sometimes for a bit but even when they don’t sit, the towels are always smelling like that and the drum smells like that. I mean I even saw one place that I was researching that the kind of the answer from the manufacturer was when you’re not using your washer, leave your door open.
TOM: Now, most of the time when you have odors with front-load washing machines, it’s the door seal itself. Now, have you attempted to thoroughly clean the door seal using a bleach-based product, turning it inside out and cleaning the seal?
LESLIE: And getting in all of those different layers and nooks and crannies.
TOM: Nooks and crannies.
LESLIE: Because that’s what happens: the water and the detergent all sit in that seal and then it just stinks to high heaven.
CHARLES: No, I haven’t done the seal. I did take it apart and clean the filter out and so – and there really wasn’t anything in there. I haven’t – no, I haven’t cleaned the door seal or anything like that.
TOM: Well, I suspect that the newer seals are addressing this. It’s sort of like the worst-kept secret of the appliance-manufacturing business, that these front-loading machines do smell. But they’re also very, very efficient, so the way they’re built is quite different than what you would see in a typical laundromat.
LESLIE: And I think with a laundromat, they’re used so frequently. And having lived in Manhattan and Queens for many, many, many years, if you walk by when a laundromat’s closed, every washing machine’s door is wide open.
CHARLES: It just sounds like a whole lot more work. And I know that I’m saving some money on electricity and water and all that stuff but …
LESLIE: Oh, completely.
TOM: Definitely. So I think this is all going to come out well. You’re just going to have a bit more maintenance to do than what you anticipated. But we’re going to try to do is get you doing the right maintenance steps to make that odor go away and keeping you and your wife happy.
CHARLES: Alright. Thank you, guys, for all your help.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.