Front-loading washing machines may have a lot to offer when it comes to efficiency and function, but their air-tight design brings about an issue that was typically not a problem with older top-load designs. Odors can become a major problem with these washing machines, especially if you are unfamiliar with proper operation instructions and maintenance. Washing your laundry should never stink, so if you are experiencing bad odors when you wash clothes, it is definitely time to take note. Here are three simple steps to get rid of the odors that are coming from your front-load washing machine. 

1. Run a Washer Sanitizing Cycle - Front-load washing machines are normally equipped with a sanitizing cycle that uses ultra hot water and vigorous tumbling to clean the basket of debris. You should be running this cycle through once every so many washings, according to the manufacturer's instructions. For example, the manufacturer of your machine may tell you that you should use this cycle after every 15-20 cycles. 

2. Clean the Hidden Odor Harborers - The front-load washing machine has certain areas that need to be cleaned on occasion to eliminate odors. Many models have a trap at the base that catches hair and small particles. If this is not cleaned often, it will allow mold and mildew to develop, which will cause a noticeable odor inside of the machine and perhaps even on your clothing after it has been washed. 

3. Thoroughly Air-Dry Your Washing Machine - Allowing your washing machine to thoroughly dry after cleaning, or even after every cycle, is crucial to making sure it does not develop a bad odor. Leave the detergent tray open or remove it completely if possible, and always leave the door open for a few hours after washing a load of laundry to allow plenty of fresh air to circulate through. After a thorough cleaning, you should follow these same instructions. 

If after all of these steps your front-load washing machine still offers up a bad odor, it is time to call on a washing machine repair technician, like those at Affordable Appliance Repair, for help. In a lot of cases, mold and mildew can develop beneath the drum of the washing machine where it is out of sight and difficult to reach. The washing machine will have to be disassembled, thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, and the technician can sometimes install a ventilation line in older models that will help alleviate the problem.