During my trip to the Bosch showroom, I was most interested in finding out how to maintain a front-loading washer.
I was told pretty much exactly what I thought I’d be told, but it was nice to hear it from someone else. The bottom line is that you must be proactive about caring for your washer.
Bosch says that when they receive customer complaints about mold, it’s usually because the consumer used too much detergent, and not the fault of the machine. Resist the idea that more detergent is better.
Because front loaders are so water-efficient, if you overload your laundry with detergent, it’s not going to wash out of your washer or any clothing inside.
When the residue is left in the washer, it’s left there with dirt and grime lodged in it, too, which becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.
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TIP: Try AffreshAffresh tablets are the best solution I’ve found so far for managing washing machine mold.
Bosch Washing Machine Care Tips (Applies to Other Front-Loaders)
Use the hottest water temperature that you are comfortable with and use as little detergent as possible.
How Much Detergent Should I Use in a Bosch Washer?
Chris, our Bosch rep, says that he personally never fills his detergent measuring cap higher than the lowest line.
What Kind of Detergent Should I Use in a Front-Load Washer?
Use only HE detergents. HE (high efficiency) detergents are low-sudsing and though regular detergents say they can be used in front-loading washers, you might get the amount wrong and over-sud the load of laundry.
I get the feeling the amount of regular detergent you’re supposed to use in a front loader is less than what the detergent brand might recommend.
How to Clean a Front-Load Washer Gasket
Chris also suggested wiping down the gasket at least once a month.
I’ve been wiping my LG washer gasket down religiously and now I think I’ve wiped the plastic seal a little out of shape. The door is leaking now.
When you wipe your gasket, be gentle, even if you have to scrub mold off of it as I do.
Periodically Run the Hottest Cycle
Run the hottest possible cycle through the washer every so often to kill bacteria. I can’t remember what he said about how often, but I do this whenever I remember.
Leave the Gasket Door Open
Chris said that if you implement the above care measures, you shouldn’t have to leave the front-load washer door open to air out the gasket.
This is actually what LG told me to do with my LG front-load washer and it’s annoying in addition to being a little bit of a hazard.
Remember, Chris was talking about Bosch washers so all this might not apply to yours. I admit that I’m skeptical maintenance is this “easy” but was impressed by the Bosch Vision washer we saw. It’s much more advanced and easier to clean than mine, especially the detergent trays.
Other Front Load Washer Maintenance Tips
My take-home message is that whenever you accidentally leave laundry in overnight, or maybe use a bit too much detergent for the amount of clothes in the load, get on the case right away.
Run an extremely hot cycle. You can also use Affresh to clean out the drum (highly recommend keeping some on-hand).
Be proactive because once you get mold in your washer, it’s extremely difficult to get rid of. That’s what happened with my LG Washer.