A 5 year old Samsung washing machine - one of those:
https://www.samsung.com/uk/support/model/WF0804W8E1/XEU/ It has been
used every day or every other day since it was purchased.
All was fine until a few weeks ago when we noticed a bad smell coming
from what seemed to be the main compartment (drum). The machine still
works fine as far as I can tell.
The door is always kept slightly ajar between washes, and the drain is
connected to the waste of the sink in the utility room that is only used
a few times per year. I took apart the connection between the drain and
the sink waste, and it is clear (and clean).
What I have tried so far:
- Run on empty at max temp for a cycle.
- Cleaned the dispenser drawer and took it out and cleaned the recess
- Cleaned the debris filter.
- checked the feed and drain pipes at the back, and they have not moved
and are still clipped in place.
Upon cleaning the filter above, I noticed that there was what I thought
was quite a lot of water still left in the machine (I would estimate
200-300ml), and the water that came out stank! Exactly the smell that we
I also checked to see that the machine was level, and it was.
Another thing that I noticed was that the machine seems to shake quite a
lot when spinning at a high speed - I cannot be sure, but I am pretty
certain that it is much more than it used to be. Not sure if this is
I assume the machine does not drain fully? Any idea what to try next
Sounds like water is running back. Perhaps the drain hose is gummed
up with sludge somewhere althouigh maybe not at the connection you
Some liquid detergents will build up a residue and also powers used
at low temperatures. Perhaps try a washer cleaner or alternatively
an empty wash using powder at max temperature.
The 'gunge' is a mix of old detergent, body oil, and calcium carbonate.
It can be quite 'extensive', all but totally blocking pipes etc.
Sometimes the only way to remove it is disassembly and poke and flush.
As for the smell, check the rubber seal around the door, there is
usually a grease which can attract gunge and mold.
Ditto the detergent / powder dispenser- it can get gummed up.
Machines vary. Sometimes you need to get at the underneath- even lay
them on their side (carefully!).
There is usually a large rubber 'boot' / hose which acts like a 'sump'.
That can get gummed up. You can generally clean it by removing one of
the larger pipes and gaining access that way.
We had an old machine which got a lot of use when the children were
young, plus my wife tended to use liquid (bad for gunge), too much of
it, and we live in a hard water area. I must admit, later machines have
'died' of sometime before getting totally gummed up but I do give the
drain hose a flush now and then. Plus, machine gets less use, wife uses
powder (not too much) etc.
Suspect someone is claiming a benefit under false pretences? Incapacity
Benefit or Personal Independence Payment when they don't need it? They
Thanks a lot for that - very interesting...
A couple of months ago we started to use liquid instead of powder for
the first time ever - I think the supermarket had a deal or something so
we decided to give it a try.
May well be the culprit...
We are in a very very soft water area btw.
You may have to use around a third of the amount of liquid detergent
they suggest on the side of the bottle.
The machines in this house have used only liquid detergent for the past
few decades and usually on cold wash. Four cycles a year with washing
soda crystals and maximum temperature keeps the machine smell free.
I've just recently had success in eliminating the mystery odour of
"Sweaty, cheesy socks" that our 'under the counter' "Whirlpool" larder
fridge had suddenly taken to producing about a week or so back so I
can sympathise with your situation.
The mystery of our unwanted odour problem was that it didn't seem to
originate from within the chiller cabinet. Nevertheless, it was given a
very thorough clean out a few days ago, along with a cleaning of the rear
panel heat exchanger, which normally never sees daylight from one decade
to the next. We'd actually gone that extra mile to drag it out from its
under the worktop home just to track down the source of this now annoying
odour (sweaty socks/damp dishcloth smell).
There didn't seem to be a definitive source although I had a suspicion
that it may have been the compartmented polyethylene tun dish clipped in
place over the compressor can. Since I couldn't figure out how to unclip
it (or even if it *could* be unclipped - no owner's manual to hand), we
shoved it back under the worktop in the hope that we'd done enough to
sort it out.
After another day or two, it became obvious we'd missed something so,
the day before yesterday, we (the missus and I), dragged the damn thing
out yet again and I took another look at that tun dish. Closer inspection
revealed that the two deepest of the interlinked 'ponds' were full of
dirty and even dirtier water which I'd rather not have splashed into my
face as a result of the dish's sudden release from captivity.
Having eliminated the risk of getting a face full of scummy, bacterially
infested water by picking out the tangible bits with long nose pliers and
mopping up with a bunch of kitchen paper towelling, I had another go at
releasing the dish for a proper cleaning and disinfecting. Out of
instinct, I pressed what did prove to be the release catch and it slid
out quite easily.
This is rather curiously split into several 'ponds', all interlinked to
each other. A little thought as to why it was designed like this suggests
that it's simply a clever way to keep the exposed surface area minimised
against a varying level of condensate that collects on the cold plate at
the rear of the chiller cabinet in order to keep bacterial activity in
the tun dish to an absolute minimum.
The condensate itself is distilled water so doesn't directly contribute
a risk of bacterial colonisation (unlike the case with a washing
machine's drainage setup). However, this nutrient poor water inevitably
becomes ever so slightly contaminated en route to the tun dish where it
experiences further, if again very low, rates of contamination from
atmospheric fall out.
It's obviously an effective way to keep the fridge automatically free of
frost build up with a minimum risk of smelly bacterial activity since I
can't recall any previous 'Hunting Expeditions' round the back of the
fridge for the 'Source of The Stink'. :-)
Having given the dish the thorough cleaning it had so richly deserved (a
good scrub with neat bleach then dishwasher liquid followed by a final
rinse off and a dose of spray on bleach cleaner), I refitted it and
shoved the fridge back under the worktop to await developments.
That was a day and a half ago and I'm happy to report that the horrible
odour has now finally disappeared without trace. Hopefully, it won't be
too long before you too can enjoy the same sense of satisfaction.
 I suspect the lodging of a slice of clingfilm wrapped watermelon
against the cold plate may have dosed the condensate with fructose
solution leaking past its clingfilm wrapping to supercharge the bacteria
in the tun dish to new and unwanted heights of malodorous activity. :-(
That retrieved slice of watermelon was delicious all the same,
regardless of whether or not it had had any part in these events. :-)
Interesting. I'm allergic to bio, and get a rash if it's used on anything
that touches the skin. So use non bio. And my machine does rather stink -
despite using proprietary cleaners the supermarkets sell. Which were a
total waste of money.
*It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW
I think it's probably not the lack of bio enzymes but the lack of
decent bleaching agents in liquid detergents which causes gumminess and
This site is run by white goods repairmen and says:
A whole 1Kg bag of washing soda on a full maximum temperature wash
Washing soda available from most(all) major supermarkets, many pound
shops etc at around £1 for a 1Kg bag.
Put most of it in the drum and a small amount in the soap dispensers.
This will get rid of the congealed detergent and body fat deposits mix
which is the root cause of the bacteria and smell.
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