Thread Number: 70777  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
Foul Smell When My Affinity FL Drains
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Post# 937573   5/10/2017 at 19:39 (406 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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I don't know what to make of this.  For about a month now, when my Affinity washer drains (into the laundry sink) after the main wash, there's a powerful sewer smell.  The other day I don't remember what it was that I was washing, but while draining it stunk like rotten eggs.


I ran washer cleaner through it on the looooong "Deep Clean/Sanitary" cycle yesterday, but that didn't help. 


Any ideas on where this smell is coming from?  It's not as bad when it drains the rinse cycles, which seems strange.

Post# 937576 , Reply# 1   5/10/2017 at 20:22 (406 days old) by stainfighter (Columbia, SC)        
Sewer smell....

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Just a guess, the smell isn't from the washer but the sink itself? Ever snaked that drain? If all is clear suggest trying enzyme product to get at that funk...

Post# 937617 , Reply# 2   5/10/2017 at 21:37 (406 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
"dry"trap ?

possibly the washer draining is pushing the odor out of a floor drain that has gone dry.

Post# 937625 , Reply# 3   5/10/2017 at 22:03 (406 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

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Hi Ralph, Have you tried running a 1/2 cup of bleach [ real LCB that is ] through the washer ? Either put a 1/2 cup though the rinse and spin cycle or put in one cup and run the longest hottest cycle.

Post# 937631 , Reply# 4   5/10/2017 at 22:22 (406 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
It happens now and then.

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First off as suggested give the sump/drain trap area a good clean. Also examine what the state of things. If you are seeing mould growth and other gunk going forward you may need to adjust your detergent usage as "dirty" water may be sitting after final rinses.

If you are lavish on the fabric softener that could be another cause.

What one did with the Miele was to take out the drain trap, clean everything up then soak filter in a diluted water/vinegar mixture. Scrubbed out the sump/drain area with disinfectant bathroom cleaner, then sprayed some diluted water/white vinegar, wiped down. Put everything back together than ran a "clean washer cycle" setting the machine to 180F.

In future one upped the dosage of detergents and favored powders over liquids or gels. If the detergent didn't contain oxygen bleach, add a good dose separately.

It cannot be overstated that one really needs to do either a few loads per month at hot to very high temperatures, and using a powdered detergent with (oxygen) bleach. That and or run "service" washes according to manufactures directions using either a cleaning product or detergent with an oxygen bleach.

Post# 937634 , Reply# 5   5/10/2017 at 23:21 (406 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        
I'm convinced the washer is to blame.

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I can run water down that sink or dump pails of water into it after mopping floors and there's no smell.  This sink was installed with new drain plumbing to the wall about three years ago.  The odor is concentrated at the sink, and the nearest floor drain -- for a shower -- gets used each day and emits no smell.


I run at least one hot wash almost every day, a large protective pad for the bed due to Dave's (frontal) incontinence issues.  I rarely use bleach, and switched from powder to liquid when Tide powder transitioned to the bogus "for both" formula a couple of years ago, which generates way too much suds.  The only time I've ever used fabric softener was when I had to go out and buy some cheap stuff to dump in during the wash cycle (1 oz. max) to knock down the suds created by the BS "for both" powders from P&G.  FYI, Arm & Hammer liquid "for both" is just as bad.


Getting to the pump on this machine is no small feat.  I don't know if I want to tackle that except as a last resort.


John, I'll get some real LCB and use a cup of it on the Deep Clean/Sanitary cycle and see what happens.   That was my Plan B, but I'm pretty sure what I have here isn't real LCB.



Post# 937636 , Reply# 6   5/10/2017 at 23:47 (406 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Well to narrow down the culprit I'd have the washer drain into a bucket.  If it is the sink there should be no odor, if the washer it will be present.

Post# 937647 , Reply# 7   5/11/2017 at 01:35 (405 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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Do you wash only in cold water?

Post# 937649 , Reply# 8   5/11/2017 at 01:45 (405 days old) by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        


I believe Ralph just said he runs a hot wash almost everyday. Not that we expected any differently, he's been with AW for a long time. ;-)

Post# 937650 , Reply# 9   5/11/2017 at 01:59 (405 days old) by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        


This is a long shot, but what they hey.

My first thought was that sometimes sulphur compounds make well water smell terrible, particularly when it has bacteria that release the sulphur when in the water heater (mixes with the magnesium and/or whatever is in the heater anode and produces hydrogen sulfide, which among other things is explosive and the reason why they tell people to open all windows and doors and let the hot water flow for a few minutes when people have not been using the hot water for 2 weeks or so).

Of course, the problems being you're probably using city water, and the problem *should* be happening at most faucets or at the very least with the dishwasher too.

Most likely it can be something in the washer, but just for grins, call the city and ask if they've been having complaints about the water quality and/or sulphur smell.

It is rare, but possible, that if you get a bucket and mix whatever you are using (detergent etc) and hot water, it will produce the smell if the chemical reaction(s) release sulphur compounds from the hot water.

Other sources (very rare) can include changes in medication(s) or diet/diet supplement(s).

Good luck and please keep us posted.

Post# 937692 , Reply# 10   5/11/2017 at 07:29 (405 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

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I am sure that the LCB will solve the problem completely we get calls like this every month from our customers.


Oxygen bleach is a joke and largely a waste of money its a fun additive if you like to play with laundry aids, the only reason it is popular is people are afraid to use real bleach.


One of the wonderful things about modern FL washers like yours is they have a great LCB dispenser that adds the bleach at just the right time. When washing bedding, towels etc I would always use a little LCB in the dispenser, this will not only help clean and disinfects laundry but it will also make the washers spider and main seal and bearings last much longer.

Post# 937709 , Reply# 11   5/11/2017 at 08:23 (405 days old) by washingpowder (NYC)        

Not sure if it's the same situation but have noticed an unpleasant, somewhat sewer-like smell when washing white sheets and towels with very alkaline detergents and plenty of oxygen bleach on the sanitize cycle. The smell was particularly noticeable for the first couple of washes after switching from vaska.

Am thinking it has something to do with organic soils and such, using same detergent and cycle combo on other fabrics never resulted with such smells. I guess vaska wasn't dealing too well with those soils, couple months later and it's barely noticeable. Also, vaska was a neutral pH detergent.

Did you recently switch detergents or additives?

@Combo, why is oxygen bleach a joke? It's an excellent alkalinity booster; in very hot water it whitens beautifully without the side effects of LCB.

Post# 937715 , Reply# 12   5/11/2017 at 09:09 (405 days old) by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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The problem will probably be the liquid detergent. I noticed in my new washing machine, that when I used certain liquid detergents, I kept getting a sour smell, not only in the machine but off the clothes too.

Powders don't do that - provided they have a bleaching agent incorporated into them.

If you can, try washing your coloured laundry with liquid, but wash your white laundry on hot, with powder.

Post# 937720 , Reply# 13   5/11/2017 at 09:34 (405 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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for a good cleanout.....I would use either chlorine powder for pools, or dishwasher least a cup or two on the longest cycle with hottest water....

also, while the machine is draining, if its a corrugated drain hose, which traps a lot of gunk in those grooves, grab that hose with both hands and shake/flex it while the machine is draining to break that stuff loose and flush it out...

Post# 937778 , Reply# 14   5/11/2017 at 14:50 (405 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Well, the fleece sheets we've been using over the winter do have instructions to wash in cold water, but I flat out won't comply.  I wash them in warm water.  However, thanks to the protective pad, I don't have to wash them every goddamned day anymore.  We can probably transition to summer sheets in anther month or so, which will be washed in hot water.  Regardless, as I stated above, I'm doing at least one hot wash on almost a daily basis, but with liquid detergent.  I do add some powdered all-fabric bleach, which is basically borax.


To be clear, I never wash anything in cold water.  Period.


After abandoning the over-sudsing "for both" powders from P&G, I started buying Oxy-Clean liquid and have been using that almost exclusively until just lately, so that might be a clue.


Recently I've used Wisk HE liquid, Arm & Hammer over-sudsing HE liquid (never again), and just this past week picked up some All HE liquid (the apparent antithesis of A&H).


I would love to return to powder, but it appears nobody makes it in HE form (that includes P&G with their bogus "for both" claims), so I'm stuck with liquid.


So who still puts out real deal LCB?  Just Clorox?

Post# 937785 , Reply# 15   5/11/2017 at 15:24 (405 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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check the label for the amount of sodium hypochlorite....most times 4 to 9 percent...usually the higher the number, it becomes an Ultra, and less is required per load...

anything lower than 2% would not be from a Dollar Store...

anything with a scent is not the same as pure LCB, especially as far as disinfecting....

Post# 937786 , Reply# 16   5/11/2017 at 15:31 (405 days old) by washingpowder (NYC)        

IIRC "real deal" LCB will mention its disinfecting abilities. Lower concentrations are not approved so will only boast whitening.

Not sure how you perceive "natural" detergents but I've had excellent results with Ecover Zero powder. It's virtually suds-free, lasts a long while, and actually cleans very well.

Have a decent stash, can send you a sample it that would help.

Post# 937819 , Reply# 17   5/11/2017 at 17:43 (405 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

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Everybody still sells the stuff, buy by price and the concentration % listed on the jug. Store brands are almost a better buy than Clorox and are just as good if the % of SH is the same.


I said in an earlier post that oxygen bleaches are fairly worthless because they really don't whiten much or disinfect at all and they are expensive.


Keep in mind that brands like Ecover are pretty poor cleaners and again expensive, they really only work well in soft water. The water in NY is probably much softer than the water in California.

Post# 937828 , Reply# 18   5/11/2017 at 18:07 (405 days old) by washingpowder (NYC)        

Well considering conventional detergents are refused in this household, and most eco cleaner reviews are biased, I conducted my own, rather extensive research.
Test strips and all, the Ecover Zero has proven itself to remove most stains very effectively. I can wholeheartedly recommend it.

Also, it's funny how every person I come in contact with looks down on "natural" cleaners yet same people ask me how on earth I keep whites so dazzling and why do my clothes always look brand new. Even Grandma-in-law who swears by bleach and Tide.

Nevertheless, it's worth a try.

Post# 937914 , Reply# 19   5/12/2017 at 03:45 (404 days old) by logixx (Germany)        

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Does your Affinity have a cleaning cycle? From personal experience I can tell that a hot cyle alone doesn't really clean the outer tub completely. It's like filling your bathtub with a few inches of water and swishing it around a bit: it won't reach all the way up where dirt and soap scum accumulates.

Post# 937944 , Reply# 20   5/12/2017 at 08:26 (404 days old) by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
"where dirt and soap scum accumulates."

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That is why I am a fan of machines that do "spin wash" spin bursts, like the Hoover 'New Wave' did.

My old Panasonic had a tub cleaning cycle that was locked at 40 deg C.

My new one doesn't have a cleaning cycle, but I managed to to put it onto the 90 deg C Whites, let it get up to temperature, then restarted it. The first minute or two of the Cottons cycles involve drum revolutions at distribution speed to mix detergent. With hot water it also helps to flush the nooks and crannies of the outer tub.

Post# 940823 , Reply# 21   5/29/2017 at 17:17 (387 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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I finally remembered to bring my reading glasses with me into the store and found Safeway's house brand LCB contained more sodium hypochlorite than Clorox!  Something like 8.7%.  I bought a quart of it and used about a cup and a half in the "Deep Clean" two hour heated cycle.


No more smell.


Thanks to all for the excellent advice!

Post# 941041 , Reply# 22   5/30/2017 at 17:35 (386 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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I used to get a sulfide smell on the initial drain with my old Whirlpool belt drive suds-saver machine. The drain hose is fairly long and dumps into a laundry tub of course. The water that laid in the hose for a few days is where the odor originated from. If the machine was run frequently the odor was minimized.

Interesting aside, when I stopped using only liquid Tide and started using various detergents (mostly powdered), I have never had an odor issue since.

Post# 941048 , Reply# 23   5/30/2017 at 18:46 (386 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Phil, back in Y2K, my mom's faithful '74 Kenmore washer (the oddball model with gold/rust timer dial) started producing a similar sulfide smell too, but it was upon initial tub fill, not when it drained. 


She ended up calling American Home Shield to try and have the issue fixed, but instead the technician recommended replacing the washer because -- wait for it -- the machine wasn't worth repairing. 


Falser words have never been spoken.  The brand new GE that AHS replaced it with was on day one inferior in every way to her dearly departed 25 year old Kenmore.

Post# 941190 , Reply# 24   5/31/2017 at 19:29 (385 days old) by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        
NO way

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you would catch me without a jug of chlorine bleach in my house. I buy the smallest bottles because I use it sparingly and I know it has an expiration date on it. I use it with whites in my machine and I also fill a spray bottle with a little bleach and fill it with water to clean with. I also pour a little in my dishwasher before I start the cycle. I'm convinced it helps machines last longer and keeps them very clean.

Post# 941583 , Reply# 25   6/3/2017 at 13:18 (382 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

I would be very cautious about using LCB in a machine with a heater. It can really do a number on the stainless steel sheathing of the heating elements when it is in solution during the heating. If the machine was not made for LCB, various other components could be damaged by it also, but I'm glad the washer smells sweet again.

Post# 941585 , Reply# 26   6/3/2017 at 14:25 (382 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Tom, as a rule, I don't use LCB except when I'm following Frigidaire's suggested cleaning cycle instructions (there is no dedicated "clean washer" cycle like there was on the Duet).


I've read too many negative accounts from using LCB or LFS in a FL, so I steer clear of both.  Now that I have the 712 on the patio, if I feel the need to use LCB, I'll run the load through that machine.  Besides, it uses actual hot water instead of the dumbed-down variety.

Post# 941607 , Reply# 27   6/3/2017 at 17:47 (382 days old) by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        
I've

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horror stories from those who never used LCB than those who used it. I think by the time the bleach gets diluted it's not a huge deal because the dispensers hold very little to begin with.

Post# 941608 , Reply# 28   6/3/2017 at 17:47 (382 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
LCB In Washers With Heaters

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I can not imagine LCB that is diluted to washing strength hurting SS, Copper and any plastics or rubber parts used in any decent washer.

Post# 941630 , Reply# 29   6/3/2017 at 19:29 (382 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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John, I tend to agree with you, considering how little LCB a FL dispenser holds.  It seems appropriate for the amount of water a FL machine uses and I often add more water via the pull-out type faucet from the adjacent laundry sink.


In addition, the LCB I had been using contained less than 2% of the active ingredient, so on those few occasions when I did use it, it wasn't effective, and the same goes for the "clean washer" routine.


I may start using a little of the strong stuff in once in a while when washing items that could benefit from it.



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