Dear Home Ec 101:
OK, here is a gross one for you ladies. How do I keep my front load washer from mildewing? It smells so nasty. I have tried wiping it with bleach and water and it just comes back. Should I air it out?
~Smelly in Smyrna
Well, Smelly, at least you aren’t having problems with bodily fluids. We also have a front loading washer and have previously dealt with the mildew problem. Spray the gasket with a sodium percarbonate solution [plain Oxiclean] and allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping. Run the washer on the sanitary cycle with additional sodium percarbonate in the soap dispenser and vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser.
When the cycle has finished wipe the gasket dry and leave the door open allowing the machine to air out. These steps should remove any existing mildew. If odors still linger contact the manufacturer and order a new gasket, it may be covered if the machine is still under warranty. While it’s not necessary to wipe the gasket between each load, at the end of the day’s use wipe it dry and leave the door ajar. If you have cats, always check the interior before loading, so ole Fluffy doesn’t end up in the spin cycle.
Submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.