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Washing the washer

Whirlpool's Affresh washer cleaning kit reduces odor and residue in your HE washer.

So you went out and got an HE washer because you love the environment and the energy savings. And you've been feeling pretty good about your choice--using less water and wasting less energy is a good thing, after all.

So where's that funky smell coming from?

Drop a Power Puck in your machine to remove odor and residue. Whirlpool

Turns out that just like your fancy sports car needs regular oil changes, your high-end, high-efficiency washer needs a little TLC, too. And Whirlpool has come up with the tools to help you: the Affresh washer cleaning kit with Power Puck tablets and Grit Grabber cloths.

The system is fairly simple to use: add a Power Puck to an empty washer and run it on a normal cycle with hot water. Then, after the machine finishes running, gently pull back the rubber door seal and use the rough side of a Grit Grabber cloth to clean the entire surface.

Behind the scenes, the Power Puck tablets use oxygenated bubbling action to penetrate and remove residue that can accumulate behind the washer drum. That residue--which Whirlpool helpfully points out could be detergent, lint, sloughed off skin cells, and soil--is what sits in the washer and makes it smell bad. It's more likely to happen with HE washers precisely because they use less water, making it harder for water to penetrate "hidden" areas and because of the integrity of the washer's seal, which can trap debris.

Whirlpool suggests you treat your HE washer every 30 days for peak performance, and that you measure detergent carefully and leave the door open when the washer is empty for best results.

Find your washer cleaning kit at major retailers nationwide for about $11.