Supreme Court Hears Case of ‘Moldy Washing Machines’

Fred's Appliance
February 28, 2014

No, this isn’t an early April Fool’s Day prank; there’s an actual class-action lawsuit involving moldy machines machines. Thousands of consumers who’ve purchased certain Kenmore and Whirlpool washing machines claim their units are developing smelly mold, making it difficult (if not impossible) to wash their clothes. As a result of this widespread epidemic, there’s a class action lawsuit targeting Whirlpool and Kenmore washing machines.

The problem began back in 2003 when people who purchased front-loading Whirlpool and Kenmore (note: Kenmore was manufactured by Whirlpool) washing machines noticed a buildup of mold. According to some of the court documents released to the public, there was an estimated 23,000 complaints from consumers between 2003-2008. Whirlpool responded to these complaints by revamping their design. While this helped to lower the amount of mold, it didn’t solve the problem.

In 2007, the company released the cleaning agent Affresh, which was intended to treat and prevent mold in their washing machines. Unfortunately, that didn’t do the job either, leaving many consumers irate over Whirlpool’s failed promises.

Whirlpool rejects allegations of moldy washing machines, saying that only a select few were faulty. The company also said the lawsuit is nothing more than a business scheme for money-hungry prosecutors.

Recently, though, the Supreme Court issued consumers in the class action lawsuit a small victory by denying Whirlpool’s appeals. This doesn’t necessarily mean they will win, but denying the appeal means the lawsuit will move forward to the next phase.

“The facts remain unchanged: the vast majority of class members have not been harmed and never will be,” said a spokesperson for Whirlpool.

Here are some of the signs of a moldy washing machine:


  • Foul odor originating from inside the washing machine.
  • Clothes coming out of the wash with a similar foul odor.
  • The presence of a green slime-like substance within the machine.
  • Door handles and crevices filled with liquid detergent and water

If you’re suffering from a moldy washing machine, there are a couple of steps you can take to help clear up the foul odor. First and foremost, wash a couple empty loads with white vinegar and water. This should kill any mold lingering in your machine while eliminating foul odors in the process.

Check out our previous blog post titled – Why Does My Washing Machine Smell Funny? – for more tips on mold and mildew-fighting tips.


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