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 Affresh

Affresh 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.

Do you have any front-loading washer tips? Learn also how to use baking soda in the laundry and how to clean bath toys.

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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  1. I wish they would just clean themselves too! i leave my washer door open. So far so good!

  2. Thanks for the great tips. I need them. My front loader works me.
    .-= Stefanie´s last blog ..the day i wanted to be a vodka drinking trash collector =-.

  3. Hi Katie,

    Great post! It was wonderful meeting you at the Bosch retreat! 🙂
    Check out my post yesterday on this too…when you get a chance.
    Have a great day! 🙂
    .-= Jocelyn @ Hip Mama’s Place´s last blog ..Aquafina FlavorSplash Wild Berry Water =-.

  4. 9 yrs ago we moved to a home that does not have city water but has a cistern. We purchased the Maytag Neptune front loader to be cost effective and save on water. Quickly I noticed an odor (mold). For years we had used downy softener in the wash. I thought because of the cistern water that maybe the downy was souring or something. I stopped using downy and started using white vinegar with every wash. It’s a natural softener among other things. From that point on I’ve not had a mold issue. I didn’t even know about the class action law suit that Maytag had over the Neptune front loader until today. I’m having other issues with the machine and stumbled across so many posts about mold! No need to leave the doors open, run hot water or wipe out the rubber seals. Just use white vinegar in your wash! Then use dryer sheets.

  5. I have mold in my front load Bosch washer. What to do? Do they replase the seal if it gets moldy? My daughter has asthma and I am afraid of the mold in our house.

    1. I don’t think they will replace the seal. I have an LG and the cost to replace the seal was about $225! It’s really unfortunate.

  6. I have a front loading washing machine LG and i have had no mold or anything else.
    I like it much better then a top load.

  7. I HATE the Bosch front loading washer that we have. We upgraded to what we thought was a better model when we purchased it and I am so disappointed. It has mold on the inside, which is nearly impossible to remove. We use only about a tablespoon of laundry detergent per load, and no fabric softener. Although it is only about 3 years old, we are seriously thinking of replacing it. We have a different brand front-loader at our cottage, and it has been wonderful. I will never, ever by Bosch again.

  8. Same here Pat. We didn’t even LIVE in our house for a year. We always left the door open. We use vinegar and very little HE detergent–Seventh Generation. I’ve tried scrubbing it with bleach but it doesn’t work because it’s on rubber!!! I hate Bosch. We had to return our range because the heat from the top of the stove turned the oven on and off. We had to return our dishwasher because it did not DRY dishes. No dryer? And now our washing machine gasket is all moldy. You pay way more thinking you are getting better quality. We will never buy Bosch again either!!!

  9. HATE our Bosch front loader too! The local company we purchased it from (along with all our kitchen appliances) has had to rebuild the darn machine practically – so many malfunctions from door locking -despenser drawer leaking and splashes wall – has rust and mold too! I have tried so many HE detergents too and use VERY little or I can’t get the suds out I rinse more than 3 times and our clothes, our clothes, sheets and towels are getting destroyed!! The water doesn’t get hot! It is a dud and Bosch will not replace the machine! This all happened within this first year and seems like only parts are under warrantee. Will never by Bosch again. It smells too! Loved top loaders! This front loader doesn’t even clean well.

  10. Hate our Bosch dishwasher too! Have to wipe dishes first and if too much they etch which they and glasses have! Doesn’t dry and smells too like mold! We leave it open too! Why pay high price for a label that should really be called Botch!

  11. That’s baloney about using too much detergent. I used Method detergent and it’s only four pumps per load. That’s a tiny amount. Yet our Bosch front loader is just covered with mold. Tried running bleach through the machine as they recommend and now it smells worse than ever! It’s about four years old. Really too young to replace, but I don’t see how to solve this mold problem. My husband says his shirts and towels stink, and this is after using fabric softener and dryer sheets. Very disappointed.

    1. Lynn I agree!!! Can you run your BOTCH machine on “drum sanitize” with white vinegar and some type of oxi-clean? Then leave door always open to dry. I am ALWAYS having to do this! Ridiculous!!!! I use fragrance free everything because we are so sensitive –I always loved the smell of fresh cotton after it was washed. It makes me sick too now. I would take my top loader back in a minute. The clothes are getting so worn too. *****Wonder if anyone here could recommend a washer they like??

      1. Someone on another message board suggested colliodal silver, which is something you can get at health food stores. It’s a liquid and is supposed to be a potent anti-fungal. The person said it solved her problem so that she could start washing clean-smelling clothes again. I’m going to go to the health-food store today and get some. What do I have to lose? We were talking about dumping this machine and getting a top-loader. Maybe this fix will save it.
        I also ran an empty load of vinegar (sorry no Oxi-clean, I used regular bleach before). That actually got rid of the smell.
        Also, I had been leaving the door ajar all these years, because that’s what the saleswoman told me to do. After reading all these posts, it looks like I was supposed to leave the door wide open. I’ve got it like that now.
        Meanwhile nothing gets the mold off that rubber collar. It just looks disgusting.

  12. Yep, we tried everything. And the mold will not come off. Our machine is 5 years old but we didn’t live in the house for a year. The door remained open the entire time. I didn’t really notice mold until we came home and started using it regularly again. We have no choice but to replace the gasket. The repairman said it would only be $50 or so… THAT is good news. We will never buy Bosch anything ever again–not even tools. I saw a sparkplug commercial and shuttered to think of putting anything in my CAR from Bosch. They should recall the gaskets and make one that doesn’t mold. Crazy!!!

    1. So it is the gasket?!!! At least I know. Not buying again either. Wonder what the smell is from the dish washer? I see rusting at the buttons too. Yes, it doesn’t dry the dishes.

      1. Can you actually replace that gasket? The service call is expensive as it is, so I don’t know if $50 would end up being such a deal. I’d love to replace that stained old thing, but really I don’t know if it’s worth it. We are so close to getting rid of the machine and getting a top-loader. We are just lucky we can afford it. Lots of people can’t and are stuck with thing.

        Julie: You have a Bosch dishwasher too? I have a Whirlpool with no problems. Not sticking up for Bosch, but in reading in other forums, there have been mold problems in ALL the front loaders by all brands. There has been litigation brought against Whirlpool, GE and several other makers. Don’t think Bosch was on the list.

        1. I have the mold mildewed gasket, i called bosch complaining…they are paying for the reaplacement of the rubber gasket and paying the service charge for the guy to put it in… ive had the washer 2 years.. even have rust on the top near the detergent drawers.. call and complain.. this product is inferior…

          1. I’m glad. That makes me think that they realize there’s a problem! I joined the LG class action years ago and still have heard nothing.

  13. Good information! Glad to know there are lawsuits, there should be lawsuits. Mold can definitely be a serious health issue – especially in ones home. Imagine this is getting all over clothes, washcloths, towels, etc. that people are trying to clean and disinfect. I don’t even think my washing machine gets that hot. I have a feeling these two Bosch machines that I bought were lemons to begin with. I want a front loader. @Lynn, Thanks for telling us about the good luck you are having with your Whirlpool dishwasher and I should try the Colloidal Silver too. I know there were concerns with nano silver and water supply – but just colloidal silver right? I have heard a lot of good things about colloidal silver @Liseesta, I think I just want a front loader. Replacing the gasket sounds good but then the mold will just happen again with these machines. The water just won’t drain the way it does with a front loader. Besides I feel like I am just swishing my clothes around in a small amount of filthy water. The wear on the fabrics has been unbelievable. My towels are so thin and the clothes never really seem to be clean. I think it also has to do with the detergent these machine can handle. The idea of a front loader or should I write intention was ok but the actual design in bad.

  14. Forgot to add something that does seem to help a little. I spray a little of this fruit and vegetable wash I bought at WFM in the crease of the gasket when I start noticing the smell. I also sometimes do it with the drum sanitize. It has grapefruit seed extract in it. Weird because I have been using it with a lot of stuff – even cleaning the bathroom shower. It works so well and you don’t need that much. Last night I ran the dishwasher with only white vinegar and also put on sanitize. I noticed it smells better too. Boy these new machines are a lot of work. You have to clean and soak before you wash your clothes and dishes! Where is that old washboard … might as well make a comeback.

  15. Julie: Wow, that colloidal silver was expensive, because you need at least 8 oz. for it to do any good. I bit the bullet and bought it anyway. Ran it through and now I have the door wide open (my saleslady said to just leave it ajar!), and it’s wiped dry. I sprayed that stained collar around the doorway with Clorox Mold and Mildew Cleaner. I’m just going to let it sit there now until I’m sure everything is good and dead. Have you looked behind the rubber collar—it’s disgusting! Spray in there too.
    After all this, my husband said he is too concerned about mold getting all through the house and he wants to get a top-loader this weekend. I’ll still have to do laundry before it’s delivered though, so I think all this cleaning will be worth it. Good luck with your machine.
    And really, Maytag is not the problem. ALL the front loaders have the mold problem. I’ve been through several message boards and it’s all the same with every manufacturer.

    1. I have had a Bosch front loader for approx 5 years it is excellent wouldn’t buy any thing else my white clothes are really white the rubber seal does get dirty I just put domestos in it leave for while then scrubb it ,I don’t have mould on my clothes

  16. I meant to say Bosch is not the problem. And I think when you wrote front loader, you meant top loader, because it’s these front loaders that are causing all the problems.

    1. You are correct, it is not just a Bosch issue. It is all front load machines. I have a Kenmore front load we moved upstairs and then bought the Bosch for downstairs. The only difference is their gasket was black so I could not see the mold. The smell was just as moldy. Only way around the mold issue is to get a top load.

  17. I have had a whirlpool duet and now a bosch I have done EVERYTHING to keep the mold out…white vinegar which I use for a softner and cleaner,spraying mold and mildew, comet,leaving the door open, drying the seal…been doing it for years still have mold..The least they can do is replace the gasket.These front loaders are not worth it….Whirlpool duet the worst next Bosch.The price of these machines and the cost of maintenance is uncalled for…DO NOT bUY a front loader…..

  18. I have decided too to get a top loader too and get rid of this one. If anyone gets a top loader and loves it would you please share. That’s the way I am heading enough w this gross front loader. @Lynn did your husband get the front loader? Do you like it?

  19. please avoid the nano- silver solutions! Yes it stops bacteria subdividing but what do you think makes waste water treatment work? These particles are so tiny they cannot be filtered!!! and then they are not only in our waste water treatment stopping that from working, but next step is our water ways. This product needs urgent regulation. Please start with a hot wash, white vinegar….and leave the door open as its the door tight seal needed by front loaders that make for a humid environment that bacteria needs for growth.

  20. Does any one know of a class action law suit against Bosch? Why were they not part of whirlpool and LG? It is unacceptable that one has to wipe the gasket and tub after every wash. Where is the consumer protection beaurea? I spoke to the Bosch customer service an d they refused to acknowledge a design flaw . This mould problem has contributed to my husbands sinus and allergy problems so much so that he had to undergo surgery.

  21. Ours is continuing to get worse but it doesn’t come off when you wipe it or scrub it–not even bleach will restore it. It will cost $75 to have the gasket replaced. I have smelled gross laundry two or three times, but otherwise, it’s just a physical appearance problem of seeing the mold–if that’s what it is? I can’t say it’s contributed to any health problem really but we keep the laundry room door closed. No matter what we did, leaving the door open, wiping the gasket after every use, etc… helped. HATE bosch–will NEVER buy anything bosch again.

    1. Saw your post. I have the same issue. Did some research Re: the Bosch front load washer class action and contacted David McCafferty one of the attorneys involved in the litigation. You can reach him at 215-592-1500. Good luck!

  22. What seems to be working also for me is baking soda in every load w detergent plus using the clothe sanitize option twice a week w an oxi type powder w detergent. Also always keep door open when not in use. Haven’t bought a top loader to replace this with yet.

    *Have just learned recently the dangers of these front loaders for children too!!! I know of stories of little ones hiding in them and then shutting the door. They can’t open from the inside! Please again if anyone has found a great top loader please share!

  23. Bosche has to be the worst, im having the rubber gasket boot replaced free of charge from bosche tomorrow,moldy mildew smell, cleaning the rubber every time inside and out has done no good, and who has time to do this?
    this pair washer/ dryer is 2 years old and the dryer.. this will be the second time ive had the repair man out for no heat in the dryer , cold air undryed clothes.. either its too close to the wall or the lint filter is beeping..HATE THIS PRODUCT AND WILL NEVER PURCHASE THEM AGAIN..I wish they did have a class action suit, id be the first with complaints!

    1. Saw your post. I have the same issue. Did some research Re: the Bosch front load washer class action and contacted David McCafferty one of the attorneys involved in the litigation. You can reach him at 215-592-1500. Good luck!

    2. Are you sure it’s the rubber gasket? Because I’ve spent a boat load on trying to get the smell out. So if you did replace the gasket (and nothing else) did that remove the bad smell?
      Please let me know asap – I’m going to take it apart tomorrow.
      Thank you so much,

  24. I am from singapore and alot of people here prefer the front load though majority are using top load. Still doing my research and was aboout to buy myself a bosch front loader and chanced upon this….OMG.. now i need to do even more research…
    I still have time cuz i am moving into our new place only in June 2013..

    1. I would never again spend the money on a Bosch washer/dryer. There are so many other good machines out there that coast a heck of a lot less. I also have not been able to find anyone to give me a service agreement on Bosch washer/dryer.

    1. I saw your post. I have the same issue. I did some research regarding the Bosch front load mold class action and contacted David McClafferty one of the attorneys involved in the litigation. You can reach him at 215-592-1500. Good luck!

  25. I own a front loading Bosch washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher. Only problem with washing macine is some mold on the rubber ring. Also, own a rental unit with top loading washer and dryer. My repair man told me that the main problem with all washing machines is people using the wrong detergent and too much. He recommended using HE (if applicalbe) and only to use Tide or Sunlight, as in his opinion, all the others suds up too much. Use 1 tablespoon of deteregent for front loaders, and 2 tablespoons for top loading washing machines. I have done this and I can see a difference in my washed clothes.

  26. I have replaced the rubber gasket twice It keeps splitting in the middle and I have a floor full of water…. I hate this Bosch washer.

  27. Bosch front loader the worst.

    Have had gasket seals replaced 3-4 times in first years due to mold & then gave up.
    It’s pathetically moldy, get clothes out immediately, and they are smelling moldy.

    Calling lawyer first thing Monday.
    David McClafferty hear I come, 215 592-1509 !!!

    Bosch out the door, need new machine !!!

  28. We barely put a drop of detergent in the washer and use vinegar as a softener. We USED to dry the gasket after every usage and leave the door open. Nothing worked. Our clothes will often smell so grotesquely moldy that they need to be rewashed. I see the "black mold"/discoloration of the rubbing gasket, but cannot scrub it off with anything. Straight bleach will not remove it either. The gasket needs to be replaced– a $150 job at least. The trip charge is $85 so… I will never buy another Bosch anything ever.

  29. I take the time to thoroughly dry the gasket after each wash (unless I'm running another load immediately), and I also leave the door open. This prevents mold.

  30. I have used vinegar, special soaps etc. I have scrubbed the rubber gaskets and nothing works! The Bosch washer is covered with black mold on the inside. Disgusting. I am calling Bosch tomorrow and looking online for the lawsuit information!

  31. I absolutely hate this washer and dryer. I bought it because it didn't use a ventilation and used the water method. Bad decision! It's the worst system I have ever used in my 70 years of laundry duty.

  32. I absolutely hate this washer and dryer. I bought it because it didn't use a ventilation and used the water method. Bad decision! It's the worst system I have ever used in my 70 years of laundry duty.

  33. Carole Zaza Now what's happening is the water is not draining during the spin cycle. We have to stand there and select spin again or the clothes are so heavy and saturated with water, they would never dry. Not sure if I mentioned earlier how the Bosch salesman told us (regarding the dishwasher than did not seem to have a drying unit), "You bought a dish WASHER, not a dish DRYER." I thought he was joking but he was dead serious. I felt like driving my car through their store that day but I was pregnant. LOL!!! They did refund our money on that one. 🙂

  34. Carole Zaza Now what's happening is the water is not draining during the spin cycle. We have to stand there and select spin again or the clothes are so heavy and saturated with water, they would never dry. Not sure if I mentioned earlier how the Bosch salesman told us (regarding the dishwasher than did not seem to have a drying unit), "You bought a dish WASHER, not a dish DRYER." I thought he was joking but he was dead serious. I felt like driving my car through their store that day but I was pregnant. LOL!!! They did refund our money on that one. 🙂

  35. Me either … and I can't believe I didn't listen to someone who advised me not to buy Bosch. I feel really stupid now. My formerly white clothes are a beautiful shade of grey and the dryer has a life of it's own. I have to hang everything to finish drying after I dried them. That's what I get for listening to a slick salesman.

  36. I have a Bosch washing machine and it’s great. No mold whatsoever and perfectly clean laundry every time.
    Mould buildup is not about the brand, but how you take care of your machine. It needs regular care and maintenance, just like any other appliance. Just wiping the rubber gasket has absolutely no effect on the mold since the entire tub beneath the drum is affected due to long exposure to moisture.

    Follow the subsequent steps to preemptively avoid mold buildup in a new washing machine and possibly reverse the process in an old one that is already affected:

    1) Always leave the door of the machine open AND the powder dispenser pulled out when the machine is not in use. Wipe off all excess moisture.

    2) Use only half the amount of detergent recommended on the box. If laundry is still not clean, increase the amount by 10% at a time to ensure that you in the end use the minimum amount needed. Measure with a measuring cup to get the amount just right. This also prevents the problem of bad rinsing that people often complain about.

    3) If there is any trace of detergent or softener left in the dispenser after a wash, take the dispenser out and wash it in the sink to deprave the mold of nutrients. Let it dry outside the machine.

    4) Once a month, run an empty machine on the 90 degree setting with some descaler, bleach or dishwasher detergent added to sterilize and descale it. Use the 60 degree program whenever possible during regular wash.

  37. Have just bought a Bosch washing machine and have put on a load now. I will be buying some more Baking Soda to put in with the detergent and white vinegar for the fabric softener. I have read that Clove oil is the only thing to get rid of MOULD permanently. I know too from using bleach, that it does perish rubber over time and weaken grout for example when using it on tiles/shower walls. Try Clove oil everyone and see how you get on ?

  38. As far as I’m concerned, the special feature of a washing machine is that even if it has a maximum power of 9kg or 15kg, you should not run at full capacity, because you know it’s a machine, not a human. Identify as well as human, so limiting operation at full capacity and washing is not guaranteed to be completely clean

  39. These suggestions are all very helpful as I have the gasket mold problem, also. However, now I have another new related problem. At the end of the washing cycle, I now have standing water in the door gasket (seal) at the lowest point. The water stretches approximately 6 inches across the bottom and it is approximately 1 inch deep at the deepest point in the gasket. This behavior is completely new, and the washer is 9 years old.

  40. Hate it was a house gift you can keep it! MOLD I I leave door open than hang my clothes outside ! Bring out the Bleach!!same problem as Don