The opinions in this post are my own. I purchased and used this product myself, however the post contains an affiliate link, meaning I will make a small commission from anything you buy.
We’ve had our Whirlpool Duet Front-Loading Automatic Washer for about 4 ½ years now and we have been very happy with it. This past year though, it has started to smell a little like mildew. Checking the Use and Care Guide, all it recommended for washer care was to wipe it down with a soft damp cloth. For the door seal, it said to use a soft damp cloth or sponge when necessary and to check the fold for foreign objects. Not much help.
I had tried running a cycle with hot water and bleach to freshen it up, leaving the door open to let it dry out, and cleaned the rubber door seal using Clorox Disinfecting Wipes – but the smell wouldn’t go away. The odor didn’t transfer to my laundry, but still the smell could only mean build-up somewhere – and a potential repair bill down the road.
So, when I received a mailer advertisement for the Affresh High Efficiency Washer Cleaner, I decided to give it a try. Affresh is environmentally friendly and safe on septic tanks.
The product claims to remove the detergent residue that bleach cannot, thus removing the source of breeding grounds for odor-causing bacteria.
One tablet is placed in the washer by itself – no clothes – and run on the Normal Cycle with hot water, or the Clean Washer Cycle (if you have that). The slow-dissolve, foaming tablet makes quite a racket for the first few minutes, sounding like a hockey puck in the drum.
The first time you use the product, it is recommended that you run three consecutive wash cycles in hot water, using up all three pucks. I thought that might be excessive, but it really took all three cycles until my washer looked and smelled relatively fresh again.
After the first cycle I started to worry because it seemed to smell worse! It was probably due to lifting some of the soap scum and disturbing the years of gunk. I opened the door and used a wet cloth to wipe down the rubber gasket around the door, and ended up using several cloths to remove all of the black dirt I never realized was there! The second cycle was a major improvement from the first go-round, and only one wipe-down cloth was needed.
It wasn’t until after the third and final cycle, that I could actually see and smell the improvement. One last pass with a clean wet cloth and a once over with a dry towel, I left the door wide-open overnight to dry everything out thoroughly.
The result? A great improvement overall – not 100%, but if I known about the proper maintenance and quirks of a front loader when I bought it new, it probably would not have gotten so out of control.
So, if you have a High Efficiency washer, I think this would be a good product to use in order to prevent build-up. So if your machine still fairly new and you would like to keep it looking and smelling like new, this may be an easy way to do the job.