Sugin’s Corner Presents

How to Clean Front Loader Washing Machine – Part I

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

Answer:  First, welcome to Germany and second don’t be so hard on yourself.  I want to thank you for the questions. I am going to answer your questions in different blogs and videos to help break down everything that I have learned.

There are a few different possible reasons why your washing machine may smell. Understanding the washer setting can take longer than our American machines. Depending on the dryer you have there could be a few different reason why the dryer may take longer and sometimes you clothes don’t get thoroughly dry.

Warning:  I am not a maintenance person or an appliance repair person.

There are many parts to clean in your front loader washing machine to help stop the mold, mildew, and possible lime from building up. You need to clean the detergent drawer in the washing machines, you need to clean the drum and gasket door inside the washing machine, and you need to empty and clean the solution pump.

In this blog I will explain the videos “How I clean the detergent drawer in the washing machines” and “How I clean my washing machine’s door gasket?” There are a few possible things that might cause front load washers to smell.

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

Needed cleaning items and tools:
  –  A clean bucket with warm water.
  –  A sponge, a small bottle brush or toothbrush.

Dish soap: I use dawn.

How I clean the detergent drawer in the washing machines.

Most people don’t know that you need to clean the detergent drawer in the washing machines. A lot of times soap, lime, and other residues can get caught around the drawer. You need to clean the detergent drawer in the washing machines. Read the instructions in the manual or user care guide on how to remove the detergent drawer. If you don’t have the manual on hand that is ok, you can google the information by looking up the make, model of your washing machine.

Once you have taken out the detergent drawer, it should be easy to clean. I use a bucket of warm water, a sponge, and a little dish soap to clean my soap dispenser drawer.

Next, I clean the opening area where the draw goes. Make sure to double check areas inside as mold and lime like to hide.

Once both the detergent drawer and the area that holds the draw are dry careful, using the instructions from the manual reinsert the detergent drawer. 

How I clean my washing machine’s door gasket.

I start by checking the whole gasket for any buildup, mold, clothing that might be logged inside the gasket and any possible damage door gasket. If the gasket seal is damage for those, live on base or have a washer from FMO contact maintenance or for those who own their machine contact an appliance repair person.

Never use any sharp tools when washing the gasket. I use a double sided sponge and dish soap. Remember to 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. If you find mold, using a mild bleach and water mixture can help remove it. When cleaning the drum, I use a towel to wipe out the whole inside. If there is residue, then I will take my sponge and clean the area. 

Remember to prevent mold, or a 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 or the drum means you are using too much soap.

Click here for Part II

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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