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Clothes Coming Out Smelly And Mould Underneath


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I have a washing machine zanussi zwg1120 only 2 years old which up until just over 2 months ago has really been giving me some problems.

Initially my clothes(mainly towels) just kept coming out smelly and I noticed there was mold underneath and building on the rubber so I used to clean the mold off and planned on doing monthly high temp maintenance washes with bio detergent to keep it clean. However this would be of no use and within 2-3 quick washes (20 minutes washes) the clothes would start stinking again and the mold would start building up again. I usually use non bio for washes but bio and vinegar for maintenance. I even did several maintenance washes yet within 2-3 washes the mold would come back.

Initially I got a repair engineer to look at it and he put a chemical in it but a few washes later the stinky clothes and mold came back. I then used Dr Beckmanns service it products and once again a few washes later the stink and mold comes back. As far as I am aware stink and mold is due to detergent build ups and therefore the the chemicals I used should have cleaned them and I should not be getting stink or build up after 2 quick washes.

Another thing I notices is that after a maintenance wash, since the mold has been cleaned off and will only start to rebuild on by the second wash, the frist wash is usually stink free. However, strangely in the first wash, some of my towels come out smelling of perfume. Now I do not use perfumed detergents neither have I done so on some of my clothes but I noticed the perfume smell similar to the Dr Beckmanns perfume, perhaps it has deposited on my machine somehow? My friend also uses the machine and his detergent does have perfume however in any case the machine should have moved his detergents and my clothes should not be smelling of his perfume. The Dr Beckmans product was also used 1.5 months ago and the perfume smell went after 2 weeks from the machine. Strangely though I keep getting perfume sceneted laundry on occasions on items that never used perfume. It seems as the water gets smelly and mold builds up(which is super quick), any perfume smells become masked by the new moldy smell.

This is especially bad for me as I have mcs and am hypersensitive to chemicals. The mold, perfume and inability to wash my clothes is driving me nuts. I contacted a repair guy and he said if the chemical or products do not solve the problem then I might have some sort of bacterial build up behind the drum and I was better off buying a new machine. However in light of the strange perfume smells and rapidness of the mold and stinky clothes(2 washes) this sounds strange to me. I asked another engineer and he said my pump may not be working however other people said that provided I couldn't see any water in the drum then it is draining and these problems are not caused by that. I am confused.

I'd like to fix this and keep the machine as I am out of pocket at the moment however can somebody please kindly give some advice on what the problem might be and if I can fix this problem?

Many thanks.

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If you use mostly quick washes, and especially if you also use liquid detergent your washing machine will almost certainly stink and get infested with gunge slime and mould. Quick washes are a gimmick, useful only for laundry that isn't remotely dirty - maybe if you wore a shirt one evening and just wanted to freshen it up for example. For normal washing you need to use proper full programmes or you'll have issues.

These two articles are useful - get rid of washing machine smells

what causes washing machine smells?

If you use regular hot washes by washing towels and bedding at 60 degrees, use a good quality powder or tablet detergent and do a 90 degree boil wash every month or every few months you shouldn't have any problems.

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Hi Andy

As I mentioned I have already been doing maintenance washes with vinegar and bio powders. The issue is that within 2 quick washes with a non bio powder the mold returns. This is also despite me having used chemicals and products to clean the washer out. Doesn't this mean I may have a special problem and your suggestion won't/has not worked for me?

Also, regarding the perfume smell which sometimes comes about, does that suggest I may have a mechanical problem with the machine?

Would you suggest getting a new washer?

Thanks

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Hi. My points may still be accurate as doing maintenance washes but using mostly quick washes and or liquid detergent (without bleaching agents) could just mean the maintenance washes are having little effect unless you did a boil wash every week. It depends how often you do the maintenance washes and what detergent you use with them. Biological powder isn't good for maintenance wash (as mentioned in my articles) because the enzymes are killed off once the temperature rises much above 40 degrees.

You did say it seems to help, but just not for long. If you wash normal laundry on just quick wash and particularly with liquid detergent you are more likely to be dirtying the washer rather than cleaning the laundry.

The perfume smell from previous washes could just be that quick washes aren't rinsing and washing properly. The only problems I can think of which could affect things are if the drum isn't turning during wash and rinses, so it just fills up and drain (but most washes should trigger an error code or abort) or the pump filter has a partial blockage which means it won't pump out effectively and is struggling to get the soap out of the laundry causing a lot of soap suds on rinses.

Sometimes a washer gets so gunged up inside you just can't clear it and have to replace it.

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Warning:  Read this before attempting any diy repairsNo representations or warranties are made (express or implied) as to the reliability, accuracy or completeness of advice. I can't be held liable for any loss arising directly or indirectly from the use of, or any action taken in reliance on, any information on this website, which is given free of charge and in good faith.

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Hi Andy

Ok then, I think I will retry, I will do several maintenance washes followed by longer washes and see what happens. I will also change detergents to see if that helps, maybe replace the non bio ecover(which does contain oxygen bleaching agents btw) for soap nuts. Fingers crossed. btw, can you recommend a good maintenance detergent(preferably without perfume)? I was thinking of trying affresh.

Regarding the perfume smell, you have suggested that the washer(due to quick washes or functional issues) may not be doing a good job of cleaning the perfume out of the clothes. Therefore you are assuming the clothes had perfume in them to begin with and this is my point, the towels and clothes I have been washing NEVER had perfume in them, it seems that when I did washes perfume transferred INTO the clothes. This seems random but especially apparent when mold levels are down i.e. after a service wash. The only perfumes used on the machine came from the two products I used to to service the machine and my flatmate also uses a detergent with perfume. The perfume smell in the clothes/towels is also strikingly similar to one of these products. However when I performed the washes, I couldn't smell any perfume in the machine and weeks later my clothes still randomly come out significantly smelling of perfume.

Can you think of ways in which these products may have perhaps deposited in the machine and hence make my towels come out smelling of perfume, assuming my clothes didn't contain any perfume to begin with, there must be a mechanical issue causing the perfume to move into the machine/towels?

Many thanks

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I was going on the info that flatmate had used perfumed detergent. Many fabric conditioners are designed to perfume laundry so make sure that isn't part of the problem. I would use detergent aimed at whites for maintenance washes if you can find it which should have the most powerful bleaching agents.

Need a repair or spare parts? 

Book a Repair | Buy Spares (Cheapest prices guaranteed)

Warning:  Read this before attempting any diy repairsNo representations or warranties are made (express or implied) as to the reliability, accuracy or completeness of advice. I can't be held liable for any loss arising directly or indirectly from the use of, or any action taken in reliance on, any information on this website, which is given free of charge and in good faith.

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  • 2 years later...

I also have a Zanussi,  washing machine, only 4 months old, and for the past few weeks my washing has been smelling after coming out of the washing machine.  I have never had this problem with any other machine and this is the first time i bought a Zanussi, I wonder if the problem lies only  with the  Zanussi machines. 

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