Got mildew?

If you purchased a front-load washing machine...
  • at another retailer, or
  • at another Sears, or
  • at my store but from someone else...

...your salesperson may not have properly educated you about proper use and maintenance. As a result, you may have experienced an unfortunate, but predictable, issue with mildew. If this sounds familiar, I'll show you how to get your machine clean and, even more importantly, keep it clean and fresh.


First, we have to get rid of the mildew that's taken up residence in your washer.

Get some hot water with chlorine bleach (1 part bleach to 10 parts water) and use a nonstick-safe scrubby to scrub the rubber gasket around the door clean. Be sure to pull it back as much as you can without causing damage and clean every surface you can reach. Also, scrub every surface of the drum you can access.

When you've got things as clean as you can get them, remove the detergent dispenser and give it a thorough cleansing with the bleach solution and scrubby. Rinse it under cold water and replace it in the washer.

Next, use the washer's self-clean cycle (do not add any products, like detergent, Affresh, Washer Magic, etc.), and run that cycle twice to completely flush all bleach and mildew from the washer.

Then, use the washer's self-clean cycle with an Affresh tablet. Run this cycle, with an Affresh tablet, three consecutive times. At this point, the washer should be relatively clean. Time and regular maintenance are going to take care of the rest.


Having had mildew, you will have to be extra diligent for a while when it comes to maintaining your washer. Make sure the door and detergent dispenser are left open when you've finished doing laundry for the day, run a self-clean cycle every month with Affresh, and run a self-clean cycle every month with bleach as well (do not use bleach and Affresh in the same self-clean cycle).

After 6 months, your washer should be clean, and all you should need to do is the regular maintenance of an Affresh tablet every 4-6 weeks and leaving the door open after the day's last load of laundry.