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Nasty Sulpher Smell Coming From Machine


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#1 qwerty

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 11:30 AM

I recently bought a 2nd-hand Bosch WFF 1201 and the machine washes just fine. However, a nasty sulphurous smell is coming from the drum. I did some research and discovered this is due to a build-up of slime and gunk caused by the machine being used primarily for cool washes. I checked behind the rubber seal, behind the door, and there's a nasty build-up of thick slime. It's not making my clothes smell bad but the idea of washing my clothes in there is pretty unpleasant. Put simply, is there a way to clean the machine?

Last night I ran a 90 degree hot-wash with no clothes in the drum and only using non-biological powder and a liberal squeeze of liquid-bleach. This got rid of some - but not all - of the smell but has done little, if anything, to remove the slime. I'm presently running the same process again.

 

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#2 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 11:45 AM

I don't know if you came across my topic on the subject whilst researching (Causes of smells in washing machines) but it hopefully covers it all. It mentions that distilled white vinegar can get rid of a lot of smells. I think you need to continue with the boil washes a few more times and use detergent with bleach in it too.

#3 qwerty

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 01:39 PM

Thanks for the reply Washerhelp! I used bleach in last night's wash and it created enormous amounts of foam; so much so that the foam filled up the entire drum + the soap dispenser draw.

#4 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 08:28 AM

Thanks for the reply Washerhelp! I used bleach in last night's wash and it created enormous amounts of foam; so much so that the foam filled up the entire drum + the soap dispenser draw.



Hello qwerty. You don't use normal bleach, just washing detergent that contains bleaching agent. I've amended the wording slightly to say "use detergent that contains bleach" instead of "using detergent with bleach in it" just in case it was ambiguous.There are some bleaches suitable for washing machines such as oxygen bleach.

#5 qwerty

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 12:13 PM

Out of interest, is it just an urban myth that it's bad for your machine to keep the door closed between washes?

#6 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 12:46 PM

Some people close the door and some people leave it open. It shouldn't cause any problems either way on its own but other circumstances or conditions could combine to allow black mould to thrive if it's closed straight away because it thrives in damp and moist places. Having said that, if the room that the washing machine is kept in is cold and damp or has a lot of condensation from cooking or using a tumble dryer then leaving the door open could just let the damp get to the door seal too. It's best to leave the door open for a few hours to get rid of a lot of the moisture, then close it or just leave it ajar. If the door is left open, make sure nothing has been placed inside the drum before using it next. I'm thinking in particular by small children. Also, watch out for pets as mentioned in one of my recent articles (Warning: Watch out for pets in appliances) Related article - Children & pets dying in washing machines and tumble dryers

#7 qwerty

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 01:41 PM

Ouch; That poor tabby! Thankfully I don't have any children or pets to worry about.

My flat, however, is damp, quite cold and suffers from a lot of cooking condensation. I guess a good strategy would be to leave the door slightly ajar at all times?

The good news is that the hot-washes - of which I did three - eliminated the nasty smell. I honestly think that adding a squirt of liquid bleach helped the process. Unfortunately there's still plenty of sticky grease behind the seal. I think I'll try the white-wine vinegar treatment. Would it not be possible to remove the drum and seal and physically scrape off the grease?

#8 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 01:53 PM

If your kitchen is damp, quite cold and suffers from a lot of cooking condensation it may be better to try to keep those conditions from getting inside the washing machine. I would leave it open for a few hours after washing then close it unless you've always kept it closed before and still had black mould. The damp conditions and closing or leaving the door open are relevant only to black mould. The grease, gunge and smells are more to do with low temperature washes and using liquid detergent or powdered detergent that doesn't contain bleaching agents.

Try to get rid of the grease behind the seal as best you can by hand. I wouldn't strip a machine down as it could cause more problems and would require all disturbed seals being replaced. Once you've got rid of the worst of it, and the smell, it shouldn't cause any problems.

#9 qwerty

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 04:01 PM

Thanks for your expertise, Washerhelp! I'll have a go at manually removing the gunge behind the seal. On with the rubber gloves!

I couldn't help but notice this:

Posted Image

Spooky! :o

#10 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 04:11 PM

LOL. It's OK it's changed now so you can relax.

#11 qwerty

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 10:10 AM

I haven't used my machine for a few days and the rancid smell is emanating from it once again. I swear, there must be a dead rat in there or something.

I'm presently doing a boil-wash with bleach and non-bio.

#12 konradvg

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 08:55 AM

We've just bought a second hand Bosch Classixx 1200 and have the same problem, our washing machine has that really strong drain smell (even the first load we did yesterday smells a bit funny). There is some grime around the seal but not a huge quantity. I was wondering if it has anything to with the fact that we had to transport the washer on its side (it wouldn't fit upright in the car). Quite a bit of drain water leaked out of the waste pipe and I'm thinking that maybe some of that water ended up in the machine too?

Can a washing machine be transported safely on its side?

I'm now trying a hot wash with detergent and soda crystals so we'll see what happens. Could it be that I need to clean out a filter or something?

Thanks,

Konrad

Oh, I almost forgot - when I opened the drawer for the powder it had quite some (clean) water in the liquid dispenser compartment. Is there anything wrong with this? Maybe the water pressure is a bit too high?

#13 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 09:46 AM

It's not ideal to transport a washing machine on its side as residual water can escape and get onto parts. If it can't be kept upright I always prefer to lay it on its back. If it has to go on its side I always choose to lay it over onto the soap dispenser's side.


Prior to laying a washing machine down you can get most of the water out by lowering the drain hose onto the floor outside. Ideally, when the washing machine gets to the door of the house you can drop the drain hose outside where it's often lower. The lower the end of the hose the better as water can then siphon out. I also tip the washing machine forwards about a foot, and then backwards which helps let most of it find the draining hole in the bottom of the tub. You must remember not to let go of the washing machine or it will fall out of the door The same procedure can be used to completely drain a washing machine inside the house by lowering the drain hose into a bowl.


(EDIT: I've since written a blog article on the subject of Transporting a washing machine)

If stagnant water did run down the inside of the washing machine it could smell a little for a while although if the smell is definitely coming from inside the washing machine's drum then it's coming from inside the washing machine's outer tub and hoses. Check the pump filter in case there's some nasty stuff in there (where is the pump filter?)


.. when I opened the drawer for the powder it had quite some (clean) water in the liquid dispenser compartment. Is there anything wrong with this? Maybe the water pressure is a bit too high?

If you mean the compartment for the fabric conditioner this will help - fabric conditioner compartment is always full of water



#14 konradvg

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 10:06 AM

Thanks for your help (very quick indeed!),

We transported it on the wrong side, wish I'd known about it... :( I think the smell isn't so much coming from inside the machine so you might be right about it having leaked onto other machine parts.

I'll put those tips into practice and see what happens.

Thanks!

#15 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 10:12 AM

Also, make sure the smell isn't simply coming from the plumbing where the water pumps down the drain. If so the maintenance washes may help when the hot water gets pumped down the drains.

#16 qwerty

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 11:39 AM

The smell in my machine is definitely coming from the inside. When I place my head inside the drum the smell is extremely strong.

@konradvg: My machine is exactly the same as yours in that 'there is some grime around the seal but not a huge quantity'. I suspect that the grime is what's causing the smell. I've done several hot-washes now but to little avail.

I'm yet to try the white-wine vinegar treatment as soon as I purchase some.

#17 Washerhelp_Whitegoodshelp

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 12:45 PM

I'm yet to try the white-wine vinegar treatment as soon as I purchase some.


I think it's distilled white vinegar you need.

Laundry and vinegar

#18 qwerty

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 02:12 PM

Pretty amazing stuff that white distilled vinegar. Now I just gotta find somewhere that sells it. I guess it must be available from a local supermarket.

#19 penny

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 09:26 AM

I think this problem is totally caused by Liquid detergents which don't have bleach as an ingredient. I no longer use them and the problem of smells and black mould has gone. I don't need to do a service wash and only very occasionally use 60 degree wash.
I did initially run two 95 degree washes using detergent then distilled vinegar and scraped round all the door seals several times to get rid of all the brown gunk.




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