Never, ever, ever buy a front-loader washing machine. Here is what is required to avoid your clothes smelling like mildew:
- You must never allow the clothes to sit in the washer for more than an hour or so after the cycle finishes. (You mean I have to sit at home while my laundry is going as if I were at a laundromat? Sorry, but my clothes routinely sit in the washer for a full day. Or, at least, they used to when I had that crappy old top-loader. Now I am a slave to laundry.)
- You must leave the door open when the washer is not in use. (Not a big problem for us because we have a dedicated laundry room in the basement, but even in the basement, I know the door is open and that BOTHERS me. And how long do you think it will take before the cat decides that the washer is a nice place to sleep?)
- You must wipe out the door seal, soaking up any excess water with a towel, after each load. (More work, yay!)
- You must occasionally (some say daily!) run a sanitize cycle with bleach and then do a load of white towels. (I guess I need to go to Bed Bath and Beyond to get some white towels. Oh, and bleach. Who uses bleach?)
- You must buy a special, expensive product to clean the mildew out of your washer.
- You must clean the inside of the washer tub with bleach periodically.
- You must check to see if there are any other places that trap water on your particular machine, clean them regularly with bleach, and find a way to air them out.
Don't believe me? Feel free to waste an hour of your life like I had to, reading this stuff.
Full disclosure: I was able to kill the smell with just washing the tub and door seal with bleach, and running a sanitize cycle with bleach (I was surprised to find that I had some). I don't know how long it will last, though. In the meantime, I've run countless loads of laundry through the washer twice, worn really stinky clothes, and thrown away at least a dozen kitchen towels before I realized that the problem was my washer and not my old towels. I already ordered the Affresh tablets so I'll keep them for an emergency. But this is not progress. This washer looks cool but makes more work for me. Please, do some research before you buy a front-loader!