Mold and mildew in the washer?

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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

We’ve been considering getting a front loading washing machine at home, based on all the positive features we’ve read over top loading ones. However, over the weekend, the OC Register had an interesting article about mold and mildew being common in front loading washers, which was the first time we’d ever heard of such an issue…

Apparently “…mold and mildew is a common problem with front-loading, high-efficiency washers. There are several reasons for this: Detergents and soil are the major culprits. These machines require high-efficiency, or HE, detergents, which are formulated differently from regular detergents to deal with the low-water wash and rinse cycles in HE washers. Using regular detergents in an HE washer can create excess suds, which may not be completely rinsed by the machine, leaving odor-causing residue behind. Even using a smaller amount of a regular detergent is still considered a no-no. Low-temperature settings, which are friendlier to both clothing and the environment, are not enough to kill bacteria. Rubber gaskets create an airtight seal on the door of front-loaders, creating a moist, dark breeding ground for bacteria and mold inside. Pull back the gasket and you will likely see the dark spots of mold that have accumulated…

Has anyone else experienced this? Any thoughts on front loading vs. top loading washing machines?

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