TUCSON, Ariz. – Front loading washing machines clean well, use less water and are often gentler on clothes, compared to top-loaders. But the machines are also known to have issues with odors and mold. Consumer Reports says there are a number of variables that can cause mold in front loaders.
“The problem with front loaders is that it’s a closed system so they may not dry out if you don’t leave the door open, which you really can’t do if you have young children,” says Consumer Reports Home Editor, Sara Morrow Harcourt. “And we know that this can potentially create the kind of environment where mold and bacteria could thrive.”
A new machine from GE with several design changes and a feature called an Ultra Fresh Vent, which is supposed to eliminate excess moisture, promises to have the answer.
To check the vent feature, testers ran a load of laundry, then removed it and closed the door. Sensors placed inside the machine measured and recorded the humidity levels throughout the six day test. CR ran the same test with the vent turned off.
“This was a limited test but when we compared the data, our initial results found the feature did in fact reduce humidity,” says Harcourt. “But that alone is no real guarantee that mold or bacteria won’t flourish in the machine.”
And while this GE did perform excellently in