Compared to their top-load brothers, front-load washers have a very unique problem. As they need to be water tight to prevent leaks during the wash cycle, they come with a plastic door gasket in the front of the washer. Unfortunately, this gasket can be prone to a big problem – mold. It isn’t just that water can have problems quickly drying in this door seal, but using a lot of detergent when you wash can also promote this mold growth. So when your front-load washer seal starts to get moldy and smelly, what do you do?
Cleaning the Seal
You might think to break out the bleach and clean the mold from the seal, and you can, but it might actually be better to use a cleaner like Affresh that will remove the soap residue that promotes the mold growth. However, after cleaning, be sure to also dry the seal or else you’ll just continue the cycle
This cleaning will need to be done regularly. However, you can take steps to make it a less frequent need such as leaving the washer door ajar in between washes and actually using less detergent or low sud alternatives like a powder detergent.
Be sure to leave the door open after every wash to allow the moisture in the tub to air out over time. Otherwise, a majority of the moisture will remain in the tub, causing the smell and mold to form over time.
Replacing the Door Seal
If you did not notice the mold problem and it was allowed to run rampant, at a certain point you are just better off replacing the door seal and taking steps to prevent it from happening again. While every brand of washer is different, the unfortunate reality for you is that in order to replace the seal, you essentially have to take the entire washer apart. As the door seal needs to be water tight, it is often not a part that just has a few screws securing it. It will require you to remove the top and the control panel in order to remove the front of the washer to reach the door seal. It might be a repair job best left to a professional.