Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
About a year ago I bought a brand new Frigidaire washing machine (Model# ATF8000FS) and matching dryer. After about 3 months my clothes started to smell moldy after being washed. I discovered mold in the rubber “bellow”. I was told to use bleach to remove it and then use affresh tablets to make it smell better. I was given the following list from my salesperson when I asked about the smell. It would have been nice to have this info upon purchasing the machine.
“1. Are you using HE soap? Regular detergent isn’t good for these machines, use the kind that says “for high efficiency machines” and/or has the letters HE on it.
2. Use a VERY small amount of detergent – too much detergent will make the machines act up.
3. Go to the store and buy some of those whirlpool “affresh” tablets. You’re going to need to run probably about three loads with nothing other than the affresh tablet in the machine – this will break down the odor (I had to do this on my machine)
4. When you’re doing laundry, make sure you get at least one HOT wash in there. Maybe towels or something that hot water won’t bother.
5. Wipe the front boot out (around the door) about once a week or after your last load of laundry – you want to make sure you don’t have water pooling in there and getting “stale”.
6. Try keeping your door open during the week – not much just a crack will do, but it will let fresh air circulate in the machine. Because these machines seal up so tight it can cause them to stink a bit. I usually just let the door rest on the front of the machine – just don’t push it tightly closed. That’s enough to let the air through.
7. Do not use Eco-friendly products. Tide works better with these machines.
Use these steps and you should be good to go. Biggest thing for you since you have the odor already is to get those affresh tablets and get it cleaned out! Then, make sure you follow the other steps and you’ll be feeling better about your machine.”
My take on this list is:
1. Tide Washing Machine Cleaner works better than Affresh.
2. You must wipe it out after every load (unless you are doing back to back loads).
3. If you already have mold on the bellow, unfortunately you have to replace the bellow and it will cost between $200-$300.
After trying all of these and using a lot of bleach, etc trying to remove the mold I decided to spend the $200 and get a new bellow installed. I recommend not trying this by yourself. It was a real workout even for the repair man who does a lot of them. As for now I hope with my knowledge of preventative measures and my new bellow I will get many years of clean clothes.
Tags: ATF8000FS, Frigidaire, front load washing machine, mold
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