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How can I clean the mildew smell from my Kenmore front load washer?

I have a Kenmore HE4t front load washer model number 110.4508 that smells like mildew. I have used the cleaning tablets but can not get rid of the smell. What else can I do?

Kenmore , Washers
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3 Answers from these members:
Manage My Life
Please be sure to read these instructions completely before beginning the cleaning process.

1) Open the washer door and remove any clothing or items from the washer.

2) Inspect the grey colored seal between the door opening and the basket for stained areas. Be sure

to pull back the seal to be able to see all areas of the seal.

3) If stained areas are found, wipe down these areas of the seal using the following procedure:

a) Mix a dilute solution of liquid chlorine bleach (3/4 cup bleach in one gallon of warm tap


b) Wipe the seal area with the dilute solution.

c) Let stand 5 minutes.

d) Wipe down area thoroughly with water only and let air dry.

e) Please note:

i) Do not use bleach at full strength for cleaning surfaces.

ii) The use of rubber gloves is recommended when cleaning for prolonged periods.

4) To begin the cleaning cycle, do the following:

a) Open the washer door and remove any clothing or items from the washer.

b) Be sure door is closed fully and do not add clothes to this cycle.

c) Open the dispenser drawer, if the detergent divider is in the liquid detergent position,

remove the detergent divider, see your use and care guide for instruction on how to

determine which position the divider is in. No additives will be added at this time, you will

be required to add them at a later step.

d) If the washer is a Whirlpool Duet, select the “Power” button. For Kenmore Elite HE3,

HE3t, HE4t products, move to the next step.

e) Select the “Normal” wash cycle.

f) Select the hottest wash water temperature available. (Note: Not all temperatures will be


g) Select the highest spin speed available.

h) Select the additional/2nd rinse option (if available).

i) Start the cleaning cycle by pressing and holding the “Start” key. The door will lock and

filling will begin. Note: The water will dispense for a moment, then the door will unlock

and relock and the cycle will continue.

j) Once the filling has begun again, Open the dispenser drawer and immediately add 1 (one)

Cup liquid chlorine bleach to the mainwash detergent compartment. The liquid chlorine

bleach should immediately flow out of the dispenser.

NOTE: Do not add any detergent to this cleaning cycle. Use of more than 1 Cup of bleach will

cause product damage over time. Addition of bleach without immediately starting the cycle will

cause product damage over time.

5) Once the cleaning cycle has begun, allow the cycle to completely run.

6) If you removed the detergent compartment divider, be sure to replace the divider to the correct


7) After the cleaning cycle is complete, leave the door slightly open/cracked to allow for better

ventilation and prevention of future odor issues.

Note: If necessary, the cleaning cycle may be interrupted by pressing the “Pause/Cancel” button,

this will stop the cycle. A “Rinse and Spin” cycle must then be run to thoroughly rinse the

remaining bleach from the unit. Failure to do so will cause damage to the unit and clothing added to

the next cycle.

In addition to the procedure above, always instruct the homeowner to do the following to prevent

future odor issues.

1) Use only High Efficiency (HE) detergent.

2) Leave the door slightly open after each cycle (when not in use).

3) Repeat the cleaning procedure on a monthly basis, if necessary.

If the procedure does not sufficiently improve the machine odor, please evaluate your installation

and usage conditions for other causes of the odor.
by Manage My Life
March 10th, 2010
Answered in 24 hours
0 votes
Manage My Life
I have a Kenmore HE top loader, and mine smells like mildew from time to time (I think from leaving the lid closed too often) . . . I usually run the machine'ss self-cleaning cycle with bleach and I pour some baking soda in the tub (not in any dispensers). It gets rid of the smell every time!! (Bleach alone has never really worked to get rid of the smell.
by Manage My Life
March 13th, 2010
0 votes
Manage My Life
The smell in our washer had been tainting our towels and clothes for months. When putting in new tile in our washroom, we had our washer out. We noticed the water from the drain hose in the back was kind of dirty. After looking inside of the hose, we saw the problem. We had a ton of grimy goop almost clogging the hose. We pulled it off and saw that the goop was all the way through into the washer. And, it smelt exactly like the stink that was on our towels. I am in the process of buying a whole new hose and trying to get to the inside of the washer to clean the drain port. You may want to do the same.
by Manage My Life
September 18th, 2012
0 votes
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