How to Clean an HE Front-Load Washing Machine

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Spring is just around the corner, so it’s time to think about your spring cleaning checklist. If you haven’t included how to clean an HE front load washing machine on your list in the past, this is the year to do it! 

Instructions on How to Clean an
HE Front-Load Washing Machine

If it’s never occurred to you to clean your front load washer, think again. Front load washers are leaders in efficiency, but they still require routine washer maintenance to keep at peak performance.

We recommend cleaning your washer at least every 6 months. When you’ve used a front load machine for a while, you start to notice the washer smells bad. Regular cleaning will help to extending the life of your appliance, preventing the need for further service and repair.

Follow our step-by-step instructions on how to clean an HE front load washing machine.

Step 1 – Clean the Washer Drum

This simple step will sanitize and freshen your smelly washer tub.

  • Empty the washer.
  • Set to the hottest temperature setting for the largest load (or set to “clean cycle” if you have that feature).
  • Add 2 cups white vinegar to the dispenser and run cycle.
  • Set to the hot/large load setting again.
  • Add 2 cups bleach to the dispenser and run cycle (optional, but sanitizes more thoroughly).
  • If all stains and smells are gone, run an additional rinse cycle with nothing added.

Step 2 – Clean the Door Seal

You may be surprised what you find… a yucky (technical term here) door seal is a common cause for foul odor coming from your washer. This is a critical step in how to clean an HE front load washing machine.

  • Mix 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water in a bowl or bucket.
  • Saturate a cloth rag and gently wring out, leaving very damp.
  • Pull back the rubber door boot (the large circular seal); wipe away mildew, debris, and gunk.
  • Rinse rag and repeat procedure until completely clean.
  • Dry completely with a dry rag or paper towel.

Step 3 – Clean the Drain Pump Filter

  • Place a towel on the floor and scoot it under the washer a bit.
  • Put a shallow bowl or kitchen tub on top of the towel.
  • Carefully open the drain pump door and turn the pump slightly to the left to avoid spillage.
  • Drain the water out completely.
  • Examine the drain pump and wipe clean with a vinegar and water solution if necessary.

Step 4 – Clean the Detergent Tray

  • Remove all possible dispenser parts and soak in hot soapy water.
  • Scrub clean with a sponge.
  • Rinse thoroughly and return parts to the dispenser.
washer smells bad
Image from YouTube-ManageMyLife


When your maintenance efforts just don’t seem to do the trick, then it’s time to hire a professional. The team at Tiger Mechanical is qualified to diagnose, service, and repair your appliance when needed. So contact Tiger Mechanical today!


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