mildew in washer

I have a Whirlpool washer (horizontal tub) about 12 years old or so. Over the years crud has accumulated in the outer tub, and it has gotten smelly. The tub holds a lot more water than one normally uses in washing, so the very top of the tub never gets flushed out, and it is really inaccessible short of dismantling the washer. I am thinking of just filling the machine overfull with water, adding bleach, and letting it sit overnight, say, after running the agitator some to move things around. Then let it pump out etc. Does anyone have a better idea, or some experience with this problem? It has to be common enough.
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Does anybody have a good idea about how to get rid of mildewed crud which has accumulated in the outer tub of a washing machine? Lint and god knows what else collects above the "water line" and doesn't get flushed out in normal use, and it stinks.
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donald girod wrote:

Hi,
Something that may help.... http://www.applianceaid.com/washer_odor.html

Likely will have to manually remove anything from that area.
jeff. Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
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You'll need to make/buy an angled brush, and scrub it with a bleach/water solution.
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Hopefully enough clearance is between the inner and outer tubs to get a bottle brush in there. Fill the washer with hot water, detergent and 1 1/2 cups bleach, let it agitate a few seconds to get the suds up, then stop the cycle and use the bottle brush above and below the water line, and especially under the rim of the outer tub. Close the lid and let it sit for 30-60 minutes, then finish the cycle.
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I would think this might kill the mildew. And in the future, running some white vinegar through the machine on a regular basis will help to keep the soap scum from building up and giving mildew a place to grow. However, don't put vinegar in and allow it to soak as the vinegar being acidic may etch the surface glaze on the tub. Instead, put it in with your towels as they wash...this will take the scratchyness out of the towels as it cleans up the tub. Also, the manufacturers all recommend leaving the lid up on the washer until it has dried out after washing...2 to 4 hours should do it. Tom
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Thanks, all, for your suggestions. I think that the brush idea is just about impossible to implement, and I would probably buy a new machine before I tore the old one apart. Bleach and lots of water did in fact dislodge 90% (a guess) of the crud, but mildew is brutal. We have always left the machine open. Vinegar is a good suggestion, mold hates acid. I hate vinegar, on the other hand; I'm sort of fond of muriatic acid but that is an insane idea, where did it come from. We'll see how it goes.
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