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It looks like people who used to live in the house before us would keep the washer closed for extended periods of time and here's the result.

I suspect it also contributes to odor issues the house sometimes has when not ventilated for a couple of days.

I tried a mold solution (mildew stain removal) from Home Depot, but it didn't help. I also found replacement tub, but it's $100+, so I would like to try find other ways before replacing it. (It probably makes sense to replace the whole thing if it comes to spending $100+.)

Bellow tub mold

2

I once moved into a place with this problem. The clothes absolutely stank after washing. The gasket/seal (not sure what to call it) was visibly stained with mold, but I could not be sure if the bad smell or the spores or what it was came from the gasket or from some other parts inside the machine. I guess the "outer tub" surrounding the "perforated rotating inner tub" (aka drum, aka basket) is likely to also be stained, when the gasket is.

I did everything I could without disassembling the machine, and nothing helped.

  • Cleaned all accessible parts with detergents and clorine
  • Washed several times on 90 degrees, first with lots of detergent, and then with clorine (I guess washing clorine at this temperature may produce toxic gasses, but this washer was in a tool shed so I took the chance)
  • Washed with some anti mold agent

Nothing helped. The mold in the gasket got less visible, but was still hard to not notice, but the smell never got better. As far as I remember I could not smell anything from the machine itself, and when I took out my clothes it smelled ok, but then I hung it to dry indoors, and within an hour the whole room stank.

It might be possible to fix it by disassembling it, I would not know about that.

  • Try Affresh (or something similar), that's what eventually helped me. – Nikita G. Jun 10 '15 at 21:39
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I would use acid if it was me. Vinegar is one kind of acid.

In the US there is a cleaner called CLR that has lactic and gluconic acid in it.

You can also buy hydrochloric acid at some hardware stores.

1

What eventually helped (or maybe it was a combination of factors) after trying pretty much everything from this article was 3 or 4 rounds with Affresh. (You can buy it almost anywhere, like Walgreens, Home Depot etc.) It looks like the mold on the outside was only a part of the problem and the real one (And the source of smell) was probably inside.

After two rounds I could see a difference and after another one or two seems like the inside part was completely gone. The outside mold (what's on the picture) is still there, but interestingly, it's slowly starting to disappear. After a couple of months I can totally say that there has been no odor at all and the mold is barely visible anymore.

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