Sugin’s Corner Presents

Part II How to Clean Front Loader Washing Machine.

Spouse Information Center #10

Click here for Part I

Question:  My washer from the Furnishings Management Office (FMO) smells horrible. It also takes forever for the clothes to wash. The dryer seems to take longer, and sometimes it doesn’t thoroughly dry my clothes. Am I doing something wrong?

Sugin’s Reply:  I will have to break down these questions into a few different blogs and videos. There are a few different possible reasons why your washing machine may smell. Understand the European washer setting can take longer than our American washing machines. Depending on the dryer you have, there could be a few different reasons why the dryer may take longer, and sometimes your clothes don’t get thoroughly dry.

In this video and blog, I will show you how I empty and clean the drain plug and the detergent solution pump. I will also explain how I descale lime from my washing machine. Warning:  I am not a maintenance person or an appliance repairman. Make sure to turn off your washing machine before you start

First, I recommend you read the user’s manual which you can google yours to find it in English. Remember to include the brand, make, and model numbers in your search. You can also go to the company that made the washer to find the manuals there in English. You can see the numbers on the side door of your appliance.

Needed cleaning items and tools

A clean bucket with warm water.

A sponge, a small bottle brush or toothbrush.

Dishsoap, I use dawn.

A flat empty container (I used a skillet).


How to empty and clean the drain plug and the detergent solution pump.

It is essential to empty and clean both the drain plug and detergent solution pump. Depending on how often you use your washing machine, you need to drain and rinse the drain plug and the detergent solution pump every other week. 

Make sure to turn off your washing machine before you start. 


  1. Open the service flap and set aside. 
  2. Place a flat empty container under the drain hose and pump to catch the water. Warning: a lot of stinky water may come out.
  3.  Pull drain hose out of the holder and carefully pull the stopper out from the bottom of the drain hose. Let all water drain out. Tap gently making sure any extra water comes out. Then replace stopper in the bottom of the drain hose.  If you see any hard white spots in the water, that is lime; you need to descale your washer with water softener tablets.

  4. Slowly twist open the detergent solution pump letting the water drain out.  
    Next, examine the detergent solution pump for lime (white spots).  
    To clean away scum or any lime off the pump, use a soft brush and mild soap.
    To make sure no scum or lime is missed, use a soft bottle brush to clean out the pump opening.
    Now replace the pump back in, screwing until tight. Thoroughly secure the pump to prevent any leaks.
  5. Replace the drain hose back into the holder.
  6. Replace the service flap.


Some recommended times to empty and clean the drain plug and the solution pump.

  • If you just received your washer machine from FMO.
  • When the washer smells, if the drain plug hose is blocked
  • When the detergent solution pump is clogged,
  • Before going on a vacation drain and clean both so water does not sit too long and start to mildew.


How do I descale lime from my washing machine.

It is essential to use the water softener (tablets, powder, liquid) in your washing machine to help stop lime scale and odors. Regularly do a maintenance wash with a water softener agent.  The lime build-up depends on how hard your water is and how much you are using the washing machine. You don’t want to wash clothes when you are cleaning the lime scale and odors from the washing machine. The German word for the water softener is Wasserentharter. In Germany the found they sell tablets, powder and a liquid water softener.



  • Pour or place water softener into the detergent drawer. Use a program with higher tempters of 140°F (60°C) and without a prewash cycle. This program setting in German would be Pflegeleicht. Make sure to pick 60 Celsius without pre-wash.
  • Repeat the program for thorough cleaning.


Tips and Reminders

There are many parts to clean in your washing machine. You need to clean the detergent drawer in the washing machines.  You need to clean the door gasket inside the washing machine. You need to empty and clean the solution pump. You need to descale the lime by adding water softener agent.

Remember to prevent mold or mildew smells. Always leave the door open and dry the gasket and the drum after each use with a soft cloth.  When you wipe and dry the area, it cleans any remaining laundry soap or water.  FYI, any extra soap in the gasket, the drum or detergent solution pump means you are using too much detergent.

A special thank you to Ethen Armstrong for filming and doing my makeup.

I would love to hear from you; please share your ideas and tips in the comments below. If you have a question, please email me at  In the subject line, please title your email “Question for Spouse Information Center.”  The reason I am calling this the Spouse Information Center and not Sugin’s got the answer  is I do not have all the answers, and I have not been stationed all over the world. I encourage others who are stationed overseas to make a video to contribute to the Spouse Information Center and help expand our library of topics.


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