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How to Clean a Kenmore Front Load Washer

The cleaning efficiency that comes from the design of front load washers has made them extremely attractive to consumers. Sadly, that same design allows water to pool in the bottom of the washing machine drum or around the door seal, creating with heat the perfect environment for mold and bacteria growth. Thankfully, with regular cleaning you can easily reduce this problem in your Kenmore front load washer.

Check the outside of the machine for dust, hair, lint, scuff marks and stains. If you don't see any scuff marks or tough stains, wipe down the outside with a slightly soapy cloth or sponge and then rinse wipe with a clean wet cloth or sponge. For scuff marks or tough stains, use a soft-bristled brush and cleanser or a melamine resin foam eraser to lightly buff away and then rinse. Dry with a microfiber cloth or paper towels.

Pull open the smart dispenser drawer -- the drawer at the front of your Kenmore front load washer where you pour your laundry detergent, fabric softener or bleach -- and push the release lever inside the drawer to remove the drawer from its housing.

Detach the separator and the siphon tube that drains out of the bleach and fabric softener compartments in the drawer. Wash the pieces under running water with a microfiber cloth or sponge and mild cleanser. Rinse and then set them aside to air dry.

Open the front door of your washing machine. Wipe the inside of the door and glass with a mildly soapy microfiber cloth or sponge, making sure to clean around and behind the door seal as well as any crevices on the interior of the door. Rinse with a wet, non-soapy clean microfiber cloth or sponge.

Soak up and completely remove all water in the bottom of the drum inside the washer with paper towels.

Wipe down the drum and interior with your cleanser. Rinse with a damp, non-soapy clean microfiber cloth or sponge and/or run your washing machine's hot water rinse cycle to guarantee that you removed all cleanser residue and/or any remaining mold and bacteria.

Dry the interior with microfiber cloths or paper towels and leave the door ajar or completely open to stop mold or bacteria from growing inside of the machine.

Things You Will Need

  • Gloves
  • Water
  • Mild, non-abrasive cleanser
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Sponge
  • Soft-bristled brush (optional)
  • Melamine resin foam eraser
  • Paper towels
  • Garbage bag

Tips

  • If you're missing a small object or piece of clothing, you may find it behind the door seal. Check the seal weekly to make certain that the seal doesn't trap wet objects that can cause mold or bad odors.
  • Wipe down the inside of the washer every day after using it since the drum and surrounding parts collect water. Wipe down the outside with a damp microfiber cloth once weekly to reduce dust and lint accumulation.

Warnings

  • Always use mild or HE (high efficiency) detergents in your front loading washer to reduce soap scum and residues from collecting inside as well as bad odors that can form from the fragrances or chemicals in certain detergents.
  • Always keep the door wide open -- or cracked open if you don't have space in your laundry room to open it completely -- to stop the growth of bacteria and mold in the heat and humidity in the interior of your washer.

About the Author

Based in Southern Pennsylvania, Irene A. Blake has been writing on a wide range of topics for over a decade. Her work has appeared in projects by The National Network for Artist Placement, the-phone-book Limited and GateHouse Media. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University.