Sears Front-Loading Washer Leaves Clothes Stinky

Karen, a self-described, “Stinky Mom,” writes:

I have had nothing but trouble w/ my high efficiency washer – my house STINKS, my clothes STINK, my towels STINK and now my FAMILY STINKS!!! I think as a Mom you’ve had enough when the kids at school laugh at your son because his jeans STINK!!!! I’ve had Sears out a number of times (will get my service) records – and even had the senior customer service person who deals with this type of washer say “I’m surprised they haven’t recalled the washers, we get this complaint all the time”!!

I’ve also had the plumber out because Sears said it was my plumbing – NO!!! I called yesterday for my service records and that’s an entire different issue – they don’t list each time they come out – but “lump” the service calls. Then they said why don’t you talk to our Consumer Customer Service – her comment “oh I wish I could help you” I said then I’m going to write letters to the entire executive board, my local newspaper, and my Sears store!!

The model is a Kenmore Super Capacity 3.5 Model 417.44052400 Front Load.

It smells like when you leave a towel and forget it’s wet – stinky wet towel smell – sour – even our suitcase smelled when we traveled for Thansgiving because of the boys jeans!

I found a website at one time where they said how to take off the rubber ring – so I should the repair guy – and he said “oh o.k.” flipped the washer over and he couldn’t access it – and that was the end of the call!!

If you have any additional help you can offer – I’d be glad to take it!!


A casual perusal of the internets reveal that this is a common problem with front-loading washers. LG front-loaders are another brand that it also cited for the same problem. Does anyone have any advice for accessing the rubber ring on this washer? Anyone else with a similar stinky front-loader? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.