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Eric, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 244
Experience:  Factory/company training at MAJOR retailer, now owns and operates an appliance repair business.
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Dear Maytag Technician, There is an odor coming from our washing

Resolved Question:

Dear Maytag Technician,
There is an odor coming from our washing machine. How do we determine whether it is a plumbing issue, or a washer issue. Our maytag has been going strong, but our units are about 20 years old. I've tried fabric softener, but I'm wondering about "stale water" in the unit. Is this possible. Any counsel you can provide would be appreciated.
Thank you,
Carla Turney
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Eric replied 7 years ago.
Hello! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am happy to help you with this today!
The model number you gave was for your gas dryer but you indicated your concern was with a washer. I just want to make sure we are on the same page so I can assist you better. Please verify the model number of the machine you are concerned about.
Thanks alot!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hello Eric,
I am sorry!! I did you give you the gas dryer number....oops! I've looked everywhere on the washer, but I am unable to locate the model number. If it's helpful, it's a 2 cycle heavy duty one. It was purchased with the dryer. I also meant to communicate to you that this odor issue has been an issue for quite a while......6 months maybe. Even new towels come out smelling foul! Thank you!
Expert:  Eric replied 7 years ago.
Thanks and sorry for the wait.
Ok, well as far as the odor problem, I hate to say it but use of and OVER use of fabric softener is the WORST thing you can do when you already have a persistent odor because when fabric softener builds up, the chemicals inside actually stink worse than the worst dirt or grime and makes the inside much more condusive to mold and mildew growth . At any rate though, we can fix this problem. First, there is a product called "Affresh" that we use in the field with great success. it is designed to clean chemical, mineral and dirt residue from the parts of the washer you cannot see. They should sell it at you local Walmart or Home Depot. Another similar product is called "Washer Magic" In my oppinion, its not as effective as the Affresh but would NOT hurt to try both if you want to. Another thing that works is Running a no-load cycle, FULL of HOT water using 1-2 cups of chlorine bleach. This is effective to kill mold and mildew that may have accumulated inside the tub in areas you cant see. Also, depending on your model, you may want to remove the agitator by removing the small set screw near its base , then pulling up on it to remove. You will see the "self cleaning" lint filters below there in the wash basket that are probably caked with crud, if this model has them, and you will ALSO see that the bottom of the agitator likely has crud built up on it as well. Sometimes, we have to actually take the top off the machine, remove the tub cover and physically scrub the top-most inside part of the tub because the odor is coming from an area in th tub ABOVE the water line which is usually caused by long-term overuse of soap and chemicals or overloading the machine, which causes dirty suds to extend higher in the tub than the machine can rinse. This is usually something you would want a tech to do unless you are pretty handy, and is not usully a FIRST course of action but rather a LAST resort to eliminate odors that are persistant and have not been remedied by the above solutions. Remember, Once you get rid of the odor, using less soap and fabric softener in general will prolong the time until you have to do this again, AND, the Affresh and the Washer Magic can be used on a semi regular basis as a preventative maintennance measure, usualy once every 6-12 months to keep the accumulations down to a minimum. Please let me know if you nedd any further information about what I have described here!

Edited by Eric on 10/5/2009 at 5:35 PM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for all the tips Eric. Wow! Good info. regarding the fabric softener. Yikes! We will go through the process of elimination regarding your recommendations. How much time should I give to resolving this issue. In other words, when do I call a technician to come take a look at this issue if we are unable to reconcile it?

Thanks again!
Expert:  Eric replied 7 years ago.
Honestly, I think you will have success using one of the solutions I have provided. And, if you are not having any other problems with the machine besides the odor issue, I do not think calling a tech will even become neccessary. BUT, if you are NOT successful using one of the solutions, AND you do not feel confident in your ability or desire for that matter to remove the top of the tub and POSSIBLY the basket, which we CAN help you with here if you want us to, that is when a tech will need to be called. The chemical solutions i have provided work usually in 1, sometimes 2 loads so results are nearly instantaneous. If you have alot of accumulated crud and still smell it after trying the chemical opptions Id say TWO times, Plan B is called for. Minor inpatient surgery on the tub system.
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