Cleaning something that is meant to clean may appear redundant, but think about all that dirt and grime your washing machine handles regularly. Over time, the gunk collects and forms a layer inside the machine, making it work less efficiently than before. The best way to prevent this and take care of your washing machine is by using a good quality cleaner and show it some much needed TLC.

We love our front loader washing machines for the sheer convenience and luxury it brings to our lives. So, it’s our responsibility to take good care of them. In today’s post, we will review the best washing machine cleaner for front loader, weigh the different pros and cons of various products, and compare them with each other.

If you are in a hurry to buy the best product then after numerous washes and comparisons, we have found that Affresh (shop now) does a brilliant job at cleaning the washing machine and dispelling the bad odor. It does not overwhelm with its perfume. The tablets are made using EPA Safer Choice certified ingredients and the product is recommended by brands like Whirlpool, Maytag and Amana.

Features Tide Washing Machine Cleaner Oh Yuk Washing Machine Cleaner Lemi Shine Natural Washing Machine Cleaner Affresh Washer Machine Cleaner OxiClean Washing Machine Cleaner
Rating (1-10)87.98.398.5
Use 7-Count Single-Use 16 Fl Oz 1.76 oz 6-Tabs 8.4 oz 4 Count
HE and Non-HE Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

1. Tide Washing Machine Cleaner

If you hate that bad odor coming from the washing machine every time you open the front loader door, it’s time to use a quality product like the Tide Washing Machine Cleaner. As the name implies, it comes from the house of world-famous brand Tide that has been around for quite some time. This is a single-use product that comes in a 7 count size.

This washing machine cleaner penetrates deeply and does its work like magic. It lifts away the dirt and bad odor with the help of meticulously designed surface active ingredients. It helps in cleaning away any deposits and residues from the surface of your washing machine. We love the way it freshens the washer leaving behind a nice fragrant smell. It works for both high efficiency and non-high efficiency washing machines

Product Features and Specifications

  • 7-count Single-Use
  • Ships in Certified Packaging
  • Users/ Customers Impressions

Customers heavily rely on the brand value of Tide and they prefer the product over other washing machine cleaners from other brands. Most people are happy that it helps in not only keeping the bad odor away but the clothes also come out smelling fresh and fragrant.

Some users have a different opinion as they do not like the smell that seems to overwhelm their senses and feels like someone dropped a bottle of perfume in the laundry. Customers has also cautioned that the prices have gone up suddenly and the company should try to bring that down.


We feel that the Tide Washing Machine Cleaner does a good job at what it is supposed to do. It cleans the brown rings from the inner side of the washing machine and also reduces bad odor. However, it can do better and attract more customers by toning down the perfume. Overall, a good product but slightly overpriced.

2. Oh Yuk Washing Machine Cleaner for All Washers

This effective cleaner is scientifically formulated to keep your washing machine clean, safe, and healthy by removing any contaminants that may cause foul odors. The manufacturer claims that the product is both laboratories and field-tested to give satisfactory results at the cleaning washing machine. The product comes packaged in a neat bottle with all the information and instructions clearly printed on it.

After use, this washing machine cleaner leaves behind a light and natural citrus scent which is pleasant to senses. The batch of laundry you do after the cleaning comes with a nice refreshing smell. One bottle contains about 16-ounce content that gives four cleanings per bottle. The product works for all types of washing machines including front load, top load, high efficiency, and non-high-efficiency.

Product Features And Specifications

  • 16 Fl Oz
  • 4 Cleanings Per Bottle
  • Natural citrus scent
  • Front Load, HE and Non-HE

User/ Customer Reviews

People who have used the washing machine cleaner said that the product helps in penetrating the deposits and contaminants to give you a clean and odor-free machine. Most users believe that it delivers better performance than the other products available in the market.

One customer with a super gross and moldy washing machine said that using double the amount of cleaning and a gallon of hot water left overnight to soak helped her get rid of the smell. While most people seem to have benefitted from the product, there are a few who have mentioned that it did not help them at all.


The Oh Yuk Washing Machine Cleaner is a well-formulated product that leaves your appliance smelling and looking really nice. Remember to follow the instructions carefully and soak the product in hot water for best results. Although slightly expensive, we like the results offered by this product.

3. Lemi Shine Natural Washing Machine Cleaner

If you hate using chemicals, try the Lemi Shine Natural Washing Machine Cleaner (Learn More) made from all-natural and powerful extracts. The product does not contain any toxic ingredients like bleach, phosphate, dyes, and artificial fillers. It effectively cleans the interior including the machine drum and other hidden parts. The wipes clean the mold, mildew, and detergent buildup in hidden places like the rubber door gasket.

For the best results, you must run the product with hot water in the normal wash setting. The cleaner not only cleans and deodorizes but also optimizes the performance of your washing machine. Make sure you use the washing machine cleaner at least once a month to remove bad odor and restore the optimal performance. It leaves the machine clean and smelling nice.

Product Features And Specifications

  • 4 Wipes
  • Made In The USA
  • Toxic-free ingredients
  • No artificial fillers or dyes

Users/ Customers

Most people who have used the product are pleased that they do not contain any toxic elements or harsh chemicals, but natural ingredients to clean effectively and leave a nice fragrant smell. People also like the wipes that come with the product to help you clean the residue inside the washing machine.

Users who have several years old washing machines have also benefitted from using this product to get rid of the awful smell. Another customer has mentioned that it does not cost a lot, hence it’s a safe and affordable method to clean the washing machine.


If you prefer using natural cleaning products then this Lemi Shine Natural Washing Machine Cleaner is a great alternative. They not only clean well and deodorize the area, but also disinfect the inner area of the washing machine. Overall we feel that this is a product worth the money spent on it. 

4. Affresh Washer Machine Cleaner

This is one of the best washing machine cleaners (see details) for front load and several other models. It comprises of 6 tablets that are designed to dissolve, penetrate, and remove any odor-causing residue and bacteria inside the washing machines. The tablets are designed in a way to dissolve slowly and last throughout the wash cycle to break-up residue much better than bleaching powder.

This specially formulated tablet is safe to use with all types of washing machines including the conventional washers and high-efficiency washing machines. The makers of the product recommend using it at least once a month in order to keep the machine clean and smelling good. It comes with a 2 years shelf life from the production date printed on the package.

Product Features And Specifications

  • 6 easy to dissolve tablets
  • Shelf life of 2 years
  • Septic tank safe
  • EPA Safer Choice certified ingredients
  • Recommended by Whirlpool, Maytag, and Amana brands

User/ Customer Impression

Most users are happy with Affresh and recommend using it at least once monthly to keep the washer clean and odor-free. Some have been using it for years and they are satisfied with the results every single time. Customers who used vinegar to clean the washing machine before saying that Affresh tabs smell much better and cost almost the same.

Some customers have also mentioned that using Affresh is much better and more satisfactory than using bleach to clean the washing machine. There are a few users who have cautioned about the product leaving behind a lot of residues.


Affresh is an old and reliable brand, plus the fact that the top washing machine manufacturers recommend this cleaner, speak a lot about its performance. Overall, we would say that this is a product well designed and delivers exceptionally good results.

5. OxiClean Washing Machine Cleaner with Odor Blasters

If you notice a whiff of bad odor every time you open the door of your washing machine and the smell also lingers in your clothes then you need a powerful cleaner like the OxiClean Washing Machine Cleaner with Odor Blasters. This is a one 4 count box of the cleaner that helps get rid of the odor and residues found in the washer. Just one pouch used every month is enough to keep the washing machine clean.

When you complete the wash cycle with only this product, use a wipe to get rid of any residue left behind. The cleaner can be used for the conventional washers and also for the high-efficiency washing machines. They are also safe to use on the septic tanks. Besides the washing machine cleaner, OxiClean also offers a wide range of products to suit various needs including laundry detergent, pre-treaters, stain removers and much more!

Product Features And Specifications

  • 4 count box
  • Toxins free
  • Standard and HE washing machines

User/ Customer Impressions

Most users have said that they saw satisfactory results after deep cleaning the washing machine following the directions mentioned in the package. One of my friends has even mentioned that she used the OxiClean after using several other brands that did not work, but luckily for her, this one delivered a great performance as expected.

While some people have cautioned about the smell which can be rather overwhelming, others have said that the smell is very light and acceptable. Many users in fact like the smell and say that it leaves a light fragrance in washed clothes, which they really appreciate about the product.


If you want your front loader to sparkle and smell really nice, without giving you a migraine with a strong scent, we would suggest the OxiClean Washing Machine Cleaner. The odor blasters in the product really do a good job of cleaning the washer and leaving behind a nice perfume. Overall, we feel this product deserves full marks for doing what it is expected to do.

Five Steps To Clean Your Washing Machine

Now, that you have chosen the best washing machine cleaner for the front loader, it’s time to look into the steps involved in cleaning the washing machine. Just follow the steps mentioned below and you will be able to clean the washer and remove bad odors in no time.

1. When the wash cycle comes to an end, make sure you remove the clothes without any delay. This prevents your machine from developing a bad odor that may linger on your clothes too.

2. After a cycle completes, prop the door or open the lid slightly to allow air circulation. Remember to empty the dispenser drawers by removing any fabric or water softener.

3. Monthly cleaning is all you need to ensure that your washer sparkles like new and smells refreshing. Some of the newer models come with a special cleaning cycle and you may use specialty cleaners as mentioned above to get the best results.

4. Also, remember to clean the inlet hose filter which prevents minerals and debris present in water from getting into the system and polluting the cycle.

5. If you have pets in the house and they shed a lot, you are sure to find a lot of pet hair in the washer. The best way to get rid of them is to leave the door open so that they dry up completely and then vacuum clean.

Related Article: How To Wash Pillows In Your Washing Machine?

Related Questions

Can I use white vinegar to clean the washing machine?

Yes, may people choose to use the readily available white vinegar to clean inside of the washing machine and get rid of the odor. While running a complete cycle with vinegar does help, it is not very effective when the bad odor is too strong. You will need something more powerful like the best washing machine cleaner.

Is it safe to use baking powder and borax to get rid of bad smell?

While it’s okay to use baking soda and borax, make sure you do not place them directly into the dispenser as they might end up clogging the pipes. Always sprinkle baking soda or borax powder in the empty washer tub before running the wash cycle. If you prefer all things natural, get the Lemi Shine Natural Washing Machine Cleaner that delivers amazing results.  

See Also:
5 Best Washing Machines For Baby Clothes
5 Best Washing Machine For Heavily Soiled Clothes
5 Best Dusters For Baseboards

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