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Old 03-30-2009, 09:02 AM   #1
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How do you strip your washing machine?

After over a year of CDing, its finally happened - my washing machine smells like YUCK! I KNOW I should have been doing this all along, but I just. . .never remember to, and now its very necessary!

I tried the washer-stripping method recommended by the Diaper Hyena, which is using baking soda and vinegar, but it didn't really seem to do much.

Does anyone else have a stripping method to recommend?!

FYI: Diapers are washed with Allan's Naturally, sometimes oxyclean, and sometimes a teensy bit of bleach. Regular clothing is washed with Purex, and we do about 1 load of laundry a week with full-strength bleach. No liquid fabric softeners have been used in my washer since I started CDing. . .and my water isn't especially hard or soft, either!

Thanks for any tips you can share!

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Last edited by Chesherca; 03-30-2009 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:50 AM   #2
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Re: How do you strip your washing machine?

Check any areas you have where standing water can get in - like the bleach dispenser, etc. When we used to live in an apartment, the washing machine in our apt has a fabric softener dispenser cup at the top of the spinner - whichwe never used. I noticed a stench in there after while - and we were not washing diapers. I finally discovered that "gunk" had built up under the removable cup and it was causing the musty stinky smell. Had to clean it with a toothbrush. Had another washer before that that never drained all the water out from under the basin, which also caused a smell. Had the maintenance people fix that one. Lucky I haven't had problems since we moved into our house!
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Old 03-30-2009, 10:49 AM   #3
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Re: How do you strip your washing machine?

Do you have a front loader or top loader? If it is a top loader, that would make me think more of suggestions like the PP said - standing water somewhere that may not be obvious causing the stink. But as far as I know, front loaders can get pretty musty and it's pretty common. I leave the door cracked on ours in between loads to allow it to dry completely inside and that helps. We also run a sanitizing cycle once a month with no clothes and about a 1/2 cup of chlorine bleach and super hot water.... Keeps the stinkies away!
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Old 03-30-2009, 10:58 AM   #4
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Re: How do you strip your washing machine?

http://www.thediaperhyena.com/washingmachinecare.htm
This is what we do about once a month
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:00 AM   #5
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Re: How do you strip your washing machine?

i literally was gonna ask the EXACT same question earlier today!
...but then i got distracted by DS...

i was gonna ask though b/c i had to quit cd when i got preg 6 mo ago. the smell suddenly got to me! (imagine that)! well, i decided to attempt it again now that my stomach isn't so wussy... but in the meantime i'd switched to Mrs Meyers gerenium detergent. i'm addicted to the scent, but i noticed even using half the amount of deteregent creates suds-a-roma in my top loader! i thought i might need to strip, too. but i just ran 3 or 4 rinse cycles, and i haven't seen many bubbles... does anyone recommend i take further action, or should i be good? i'm not really smelling anything foul...

tomorrow a.m. i plan on washing the dipes that have been stored for the last 6 months to 'refresh' them. we'll see if my nose can cooperate! hehe
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:26 AM   #6
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Re: How do you strip your washing machine?

We have a top-loader, but the fabric softener and the bleach dispenser thingie are squeaky clean, I scoured them myself last night (and they really weren't messy then)! When I stripped my washer yesterday, I did it according to the directions on DiaperHyena.com - TWICE, and it didn't really seem to do much. . .

If there is standing water stuck in there, it would have to be beneath the clothing basket, (because I can't see anything in there) wouldn't that be refreshed every time I do laundry? Or wouldn't bleach get to it? I really don't have money to call a repair man right now, so I'm praying that isn't it!

I'll have to try leaving the lid open (even though its a top-loader) but to be honest, we leave it open half the time anyway, just because we're forgetful!

We don't have a sanitize cycle, but we DO do a super-hot wash with bleach (and clothes) about once a week, so I'd *think* that would take care of anything that the wetness could get to. *scratches head* I'm perplexed!

I'll try adding an extra tea-pot full of boiling water and running the washer without any clothing on a hot-hot wash with bleach. Maybe that will help?

Thanks for the tips, ladies. . .do you have any more to offer?! I'm still at a loss.
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Old 07-20-2009, 12:35 PM   #7
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Re: How do you strip your washing machine?

I just run a hot load with Sensi-Clean in it and a few towels. Does anyone know how to strip dryer walls from fabric softener sheets, though?
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Old 07-20-2009, 12:50 PM   #8
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Re: How do you strip your washing machine?

I thought you were supposed to leave the lid open on top loaders? That's what my mom always did and that's what I've always done. She told me it was to prevent mildew.
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Old 07-20-2009, 12:54 PM   #9
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Re: How do you strip your washing machine?

Tide makes a washing machine cleaner - I haven't tried it myself but I saw it at Target. My FL has a self-clean cycle that uses bleach which I run every couple of months. Definitely keep the top open as much as possible, esp in the summer. I also read a Hint from Heloise once that suggested adding extra water to your top loader until it gets as full as possible (that is, fill it up, then add more water from the sink to it, boiling if possible) with some bleach and let that soak. Never tried that myself - I think the idea is there could be some grunge right at the top that the water doesn't normally reach.

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Old 07-20-2009, 01:04 PM   #10
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Re: How do you strip your washing machine?

I use the Tide washing machine cleaner. I have a FL and it works great! I use it once a week but that's because I can;t leave my washer open as it is in an open area and I don't want my kiddos climbing in it. It just makes me too nervous that they would get stuck in there.
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