Thread Number: 32681
I Think I Ruined My Washing Machine....
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Post# 492513   1/29/2011 at 21:32 (4,689 days old) by takacedon (Salt Lake City)        

Long story short, I washed a mat in my car that stank of diesel fuel, and turned out to have some on it, in my Bosch Nexxt washer...and now the mat AND the washer stink of diesel. HELP! I've run hot washes through with my regular detergent, color safe bleach, vinegar and Cascade...have I utterly ruined my washing machine?

Post# 492520 , Reply# 1   1/29/2011 at 21:55 (4,689 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        

never had that problem,but i'd try to run it deliberatly overdosed with
sudsy detergent several times-could try dishwashing detergent in it and
see if that gets the diesel odor out.(i see cascade was mentioned)

Post# 492521 , Reply# 2   1/29/2011 at 21:58 (4,689 days old) by ronhic (Canberra, Australia)        

ronhic's profile picture

My brother in law is a mechanic who served his apprenticeship rebuilding differentials. Trust me when I tell you that, from an oil point of view, nothing smells worse....


Not knowing the effect it would have on my machine, I had offered to run a couple of loads through for my sister when hers was on the blink...


WELL...oh my stars! What a STINK was left in my machine.......


Remember how greasy diesel is.....I would suggest doing the following:


- add a double dose of dishwasher detergent to the drawer

- choose the hottest, longest cycle

- let it run...


Dishwasher detergent is more alkyline than normal clothes detergent so should help strip the oil from the outer drum...


Then immediately after:


- use the same cycle

- add some old towels

- use a powdered, normal detergent

- no softener


....this should help restore the protective elements that the dishwasher detergent will strip away as well as deodourise the machine...

Post# 492543 , Reply# 3   1/29/2011 at 23:14 (4,689 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

toploader55's profile picture
I remember when I worked on a 100' Motor Yacht, when seas were rough, I used to hang in the Engine Room with the Engineer while underway.

I would help him with changing Sea Strainers and just give a hand with his chores when the seas were too crazy to cook.

We Used White Vinegar in the Laundry and also to wash your hair to get the Diesel smell out.

So Try a Couple of Cups in the Cylinder before you start the machine.

I Hope this Works. Eddie

Post# 492586 , Reply# 4   1/30/2011 at 09:12 (4,689 days old) by takacedon (Salt Lake City)        
Thanks for all the tips

It seems that perhaps the cascade may have done the trick, right now I'm in wait and see mode. I have a load of rags in there with regular detergent. If that doesn't work, it's on to vinegar. I was so worried I'd have to run out and buy something new.

Post# 492597 , Reply# 5   1/30/2011 at 10:35 (4,689 days old) by PeterH770 (Marietta, GA)        

peterh770's profile picture

Vinegar and bleach won't help.  You need a degreaser.  Try a strong dose of Greased Lightening.

Post# 492601 , Reply# 6   1/30/2011 at 11:14 (4,689 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        

combo52's profile picture
Use ammonia and detergent hot water and no bleach in the same load. I always keep ammonia around for washing oily rags, next time you wash something oily if you use it in the first place you shouldn't have much of a problem.

Post# 492632 , Reply# 7   1/30/2011 at 14:02 (4,689 days old) by whirlcool (Just North Of Houston, Texas)        

 Your right about the degreaser.  I'd run a hot load with a tsp of Dawn in the machine. I'd turn it off mid cycle and let it sit for a couple of hours and rinse several times.

Post# 492637 , Reply# 8   1/30/2011 at 14:12 (4,689 days old) by laundromat (Hilo, Hawaii)        

laundromat's profile picture
Go and get some "Spray-9" cleaner/disinfectant and run the washer on the hottest water/longest wash cycle. Spray-9 will not only remove the residue but take the smell away too.The best place to find it is most auto supply stores because it does great work in detailing car interiors as well as wheels and tires.

Post# 492642 , Reply# 9   1/30/2011 at 14:21 (4,689 days old) by yogitunes (New Jersey)        

yogitunes's profile picture
Once you have mechanics in the family, you quickly learn......

go to Walmart, or PepBoys, AutoZone, or most auto parts stores

buy Purple Cleaner/Degreaser....about 5.00 to 8.00 a gallon
Hot water and a few cups of this will erase most of everything in the machine, using a cup with any greasy load will eliminate this in the first will suds alot......

also future loads using Lestoil will also help

I take my brothers greasy work clothes out and lay them in the drive way, load up the pump sprayer with this stuff, and pretreat both sides, Hot water wash, Tide powder with bleach, and the longest cycle......perfect results everytime...this also kills weeds/grass in the

Purple Cleaner is very brother pretreated his clothes while laying them over top of my Kenmore Limited's, and it wiped all the lettering off the control panels.........many nasty words later, I got a new set, and did his clothes myself....

you may want to take an unknown load like this to a laundromat next time...just a thought

Post# 492647 , Reply# 10   1/30/2011 at 14:36 (4,689 days old) by laundromat (Hilo, Hawaii)        

laundromat's profile picture
Spray-9 has been around since th 60's and hasn't changed its formula since.I use it on everything except the lettering on the controls i.e. burner knobs that have the decals instead of indented heat settings and temperatures and get fantastic results.Its aroma is mild and it really gets the grease,grime,germs,mold,mildew and embedded dirt and scum off of mostly everything.I recently used it on a Ford F350 with a bubble top that was so full of mold and mildew that it looked like it had a real bad paint job in green.I sprayed the Spray 9 on, let it penetrate about 15 minutes and used a scrubber to help release the particles.The bubble top went from a forest green to snow white.I also sprayed the bed that was also full of filth and smelled like s**t.It too cleaned up remarkably well with very little effort on my part.Just had a scrubby pad,elbow grease and a pressure washer.

Post# 492725 , Reply# 11   1/30/2011 at 21:18 (4,688 days old) by takacedon (Salt Lake City)        
Muchos Gracias

Thanks gents (and ladies), I told the ex about Purple Cleaner and Spray 9 - they're his machines. I swear I could go back and kick the crap outta the mechanic for getting fuel all over the trunk liner of my car...but my washer issues aren't really his fault are they.

Post# 492727 , Reply# 12   1/30/2011 at 21:32 (4,688 days old) by ronhic (Canberra, Australia)        
Maybe not,

ronhic's profile picture

.....but returning your car in cosmetically the same condition as when you left it with him certainly is!

Post# 492874 , Reply# 13   1/31/2011 at 18:14 (4,688 days old) by robliverpool (england Liverpool)        

robliverpool's profile picture
I know this is going to sound daft but i done a similair thing about 8 years back and a whole tube of toothpaste NOT THE GEL TYPE has to be paste, works. 60c wash nothing in the drum ie clothes or detergent just use full tube of good toothpast like colgate, also very good for getting permanent marker from paint work and leather

Just squirt the full tube into the drum not the drawer and let the machine do the full cycle


Post# 492962 , Reply# 14   2/1/2011 at 00:40 (4,687 days old) by ronhic (Canberra, Australia)        

ronhic's profile picture

You're kidding me Rob?


...did it have the Colgate ring of confidence and a nice minty fresh smell when it was finished?




Truly, did that work?


Post# 492981 , Reply# 15   2/1/2011 at 06:17 (4,687 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

I believe that when trying this degreasing procedure, you should have some rags in the cylinder so that when the machine goes into spin, the detergent solution spun out of the rags will spray onto the upper part of the outer tub to help clean it. Plain tumbling and spinning with an empty cylinder won't do much to clean that area.

Post# 492991 , Reply# 16   2/1/2011 at 08:39 (4,687 days old) by 3beltwesty ()        
crud/residue/dregs on the tub's inside walls might be st

There is crud/residue/dregs on the tub's inside walls behind the basket that rotates too. With a modern FL washer there is not much water used, most of the stationary plastic tub just gets "splashed" with water; ie it does not sit in water.

With boats I have seen that the bilge has a gasoline or diesel leak, 3 decades ago I dumped several gallons of 409 cleaner and let it sat, then pumped it out. On a very hot day one can still often get a whiff of crud decades later.

There will be always traces of the crud clinging to surfaces. The drop in smell happens with each cleaning one does, but unless it is scrubbed out there can be heavy stubborn dregs/residue that lingers.

In rebuilding a FL washer; there is often a scum line above the highest ever water level due to splashing. In old machines with a metal tub that rusts, one can have fuzz from clothes "stuck" on rust deposits right at the scum line. In a modern FL washer; some have screws on the back side of the basket that collect a wad of fuzz from clothes, and this crud absorbs the dregs too.

With all the great cleaners folks have mentioned, there can still be dregs/crud high up on the tubs walls that are just splashed hardly ever. Thus the bottom of the tub can be super5 clean and the upper walls still with areas of thick sticky diesel residue that will take many washes to remove.

Here I have a vacuum cleaner that was used to vacuum up some dried dregs dried chunks in a diesel fuel tank. Now the vacuum smells like diesel when it is run. I took the entire vacuum apart, motor, fan's rotor and stator. The metal parts were cleaned in parts cleaners and degreasers. The remaining smell is in the plastic filter holder, the smell is in the plastic! will all my cleaning an labor spent, there is still a trace of diesel smell.

Thus with a plastic tub washer, the plastic itself can absorb smells. The Odor/smell gets into the plastic's skin. Thus a bloodhound could find your washer in a land fill 100 years from now and detect the diesel smell in the parts per billion level.

Things like "you should have some rags in the cylinder so that when the machine goes into spin, the detergent solution spun out of the rags will spray onto the upper part of the outer tub to help clean it"

are great, you want to get the cleaners to the upper tub areas where there is just splashing.

Plastics vary all over the place in the absorbing of odors. Folks ability to sense smell varies too. In Katrina, many folks threw away there refrigerators because their food rotted and the smell got into the plastic liner.

With a California Refrigerator, I once had some special frozen epoxy in the freezer. Somebody shut off the breaker to the unit by mistake and the epoxy thawed out. This unit then became filled with epoxy smell, totally unusable for food too. Ten years later one could smell the epoxy. We left the unit outside with the doors open for an entire first summer with the sun directly on the plastic to remove much of the odor.

Post# 493022 , Reply# 17   2/1/2011 at 11:47 (4,687 days old) by logixx (Germany)        

logixx's profile picture
3beltwesty is certainly right. Look at the cleaning cycles most modern US front loaders have: they run a low-speed spin with hot water in the tub to clean out the entire drum. If your Bosch doesn't have this, you can do the following. Run the hottest cycle with some cleaning agent - maybe add an extra gallon of water through the dispenser. However, do not let the machine drain the hot suds at the end of the main wash. Let them drain into a bucket or similar. Turn the cycle knob to Drain/Spin and put the drain hose down the dispenser. When the machine is up to speed, add the cleaning solution via the detergent dispenser. This way, the spin cycle will help to scrub the entire drum assembly. If the cleaner you use is high sudsing, use a low spin speed. After the spin cycle is done, reset the washer to another Drain/Spin cycle and, with the drain hose removed from the dispenser, pour another bucket of water into the machine while spinning. This will quickly flush everything out.

I do this on my grandma's Miele all the time as it doesn't have a self clean cycle. The link below will show you the kind of action that happens inside the tub - this was filmed with our top loader running a 1000 rpm spin with some water in the tub.



Post# 493068 , Reply# 18   2/1/2011 at 14:35 (4,687 days old) by 3beltwesty ()        
Coke Cola

There is the old Southern thing of using Coke Cola to remove the smell too.

Baking soda is ancient too. Simple Green, Eye of Newt too

Post# 493201 , Reply# 19   2/1/2011 at 21:25 (4,686 days old) by takacedon (Salt Lake City)        
I think we've fixed it

About 30 cycles later and 3 washes of rags, I think we've gotten it. The good thing is none of the clothing is smelling of diesel. Thanks everyone!

Post# 493258 , Reply# 20   2/2/2011 at 00:15 (4,686 days old) by ronhic (Canberra, Australia)        

ronhic's profile picture

...but what did you do?

Post# 493275 , Reply# 21   2/2/2011 at 05:57 (4,686 days old) by takacedon (Salt Lake City)        

Let's see, first I ran 3 hot washes through with detergent, then bleach, then vinegar....that's where I learned that even doing a purge of my hot water line in the bathroom isn't enough to get hot water into the damned machine....seriously, why can't they just have a valve that drains the water until it senses it's HOT?!

Then I ran some rags in it, super hot water by this point, still nothing. Then I tried cascade. That helped...a little....I let it dry out over night. Still not good. Ran cascade through again, followed by another load of rags and detergent.

I felt it was sufficiently clean enough....the ex, however, felt (while i was at work) that he should run PINE SOL through it!! I didn't say anything b/c ya know what, after 2 washes the pine stink was gone and everything was fine lol But Pine SOl?! Really?! Ew lol

Post# 493337 , Reply# 22   2/2/2011 at 10:50 (4,686 days old) by fordtech ()        

Ive used the Coca Cola trick before on 90 weight embedded into coveralls.. took a few loads but it did take out the bulk of it.

Post# 493360 , Reply# 23   2/2/2011 at 12:40 (4,686 days old) by mtn1584 (USA)        

TRY IT.....

Post# 493972 , Reply# 24   2/4/2011 at 15:22 (4,684 days old) by robliverpool (england Liverpool)        

robliverpool's profile picture
Yes really toothpaste does work, dont ask me how but it does, found out by accident when i washed the car mats that had oil on them and the machine stunk of oil fumes and all i had was toothpaste and i thought, what the heck, sunday night, no powder left and used a full tube of colgate and it worked first time.

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