I think I hate my high efficiency washing machine-*update*

KJ's picture
Sat, 08/18/2007 - 07:14 -- KJ

Right after M was born our dryer crapped out on us. We decided to go big and replace both washer & dryer with high efficiency models. Love the dryer - especially as the old one only had 1 setting & consistently melted things like mattress pads. The washer baffles me. Our clothes don't smell clean. We use a ton of washclothes for cleaning up and they come out of the dryer stinking like baby food and mildew. The other day I couldn't figure out why the baby smelled so wierd and gross & I realized it was my t-shirt that I had put in with a bunch of washclothes. So now I'm using extra soap, chlorine free bleach, and the heavy duty cycle (which takes longer and uses more water) So much for high efficiency. Thinking about buying laundry detergent with perfume to mask the problem.
Thanks so much for all of the advice mamas! I did a ton of laundry yesterday and it all smells lovely (or more importantly - it doesn't smell like anything). Here's what I did/am doing. The seal on the front of the dryer collects a bunch of crap, kind of like the lint guard on the dryer - cleaned & dried that out & I'm leaving the door open between washes. The funky washclothes and bibs have their own little hamper now and get washed separately from any other laundry. I'm also doing smaller loads in general. I think I tend to overstuff. Haven't tried the vinegar yet but I'm going to start doing that with the washclothes.

Thank you all for helping me save my relationship with the washing machine.


Birdie's picture
Submitted by Birdie on

It's one of the ones that uses very little water, right? eventually we have to bleach or throw out our towels and wash clothes because they all smell like mildew. It's disgusting, my sympathies. I would be cautious of heavily scented detergents though, because they can irritate baby skin and it's kind of gross to think they are only masking the problem. I eventually bought all white towels so I could bleach them and we don't let the clothes sit in the washer or dryer wet because it seems to make it worse. Or I get fed up and go to the laundry mat. Have you smelled the inside of the washer? Does it smell mildewy? Maybe there's some way to clean it- maybe the manufacturer would know.

screamin-mimi's picture

I don't have an HE machine, so I'm not sure if the amounts are different, but you could try putting about half a cup of vinegar in the rinse. I don't do it every time, but I do use it for exercise clothes that still smell a little funky even after they're washed. And maybe baking soda? Or that baking soda detergent? Again, I don't know if that's something that you can use in an HE machine.

earthgarden's picture

I'm going to show this to my husband, he has his heart set on getting one of these. We 'need' a washing machine and we want to get one that has low environmental impact. I'm so sorry you're having troubles with this but I appreciate that you posted it. I'm going to look into these machines more.

I know with my old-school machine, doing the vinegar rinse every 3-4 months or so killed any smelly pathogens laying around. I used to have a bad habit of letting my clothes sit for hours (ok sometimes even days, yuck) before tossing them in the dryer or hanging out to dry, so my washer would get that fetid smell that sometimes lingered into the next wash.

The world is extremely interesting to a joyful soul.
~Alexandra Stoddard

biz & etsy & books
Love is, above all else, the gift of oneself.
~Jean Anouilh

KJ's picture
Submitted by KJ on

I'll try it - though the washer itself doesn't smell, as far as I can tell, I'm going try this anyway.

KJ's picture
Submitted by KJ on

gonna try it - seems unanimous

KJ's picture
Submitted by KJ on

We just decided to do this, and got a new batch, and they already smell!?! I think we've had them for a month. I like the white-cloth idea & just use chlorine bleach. I'm with you on the scented detergents - DH HATES them, and I know its just a cover-up. I actually sprayed myself with lysol on the way out the door the other day because my shirt stink was making me crazy.

nomad's picture
Submitted by nomad on

Ours didn't work well either. It left all the stains and smells in.

meg's picture
Submitted by meg on

my HE machine leaves alot of staining in and I've just kind of gotten used to it. I think I need to vinegar mine too because after years of diaper washing the inside is fetid. yeuuch.