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Update: 'Moldy' front-load washers

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A Mesa woman found mold in her front-load washer. (Source: 3TV) A Mesa woman found mold in her front-load washer. (Source: 3TV)

Since our initial report aired last week, 3 On Your Side has received even more complaints from viewers saying they too have the exact same problem with their front-loading washing machines and as far as those tips from the manufacturer to fix the problem, we're told they didn't work.

"I was mad," Gloria Azure said.

She is still mad because she had to pay nearly $300 to have a brand-new rubber seal put inside her Frigidaire washing machine.

"Brand-new one installed and it took him about two, two and a half hours to do it," she said.

She said she had to replace the seal because the old one retained water, developed mold and emitted a horrible, foul odor that stunk up her clothes and her laundry room.

Azure thought Frigidaire should have paid the entire bill but instead, a company representative offered a 30 percent discount off the cost of the seal and refused to pay for labor.

"I said, 'So you're not going to help me at all?' She said no and I said, 'Well, take the rubber and everything else and put 'em where the sun don't shine,' and I hung up," Azure said.

It was in a previous 3 On Your Side report the Mesa woman explained how the moldy residue and odor had become unbearable.

"I think it's a mold that's up around the rubber in the front of the washer," she said.

After looking into her complaint, 3 On Your Side discovered that numerous other consumers across the nation had the exact same problem with their front-loading washing machine.

In fact, some manufacturers were sued and settled, but Frigidaire wasn't part of that settlement.

Electrolux, Frigidaire's parent company, offered 3 On Your Side a few tips like leaving the door open after use, but Azure said she's been using the tips for years and they never helped.

"I've done that," she said. "I've left it open for two, three hours."

Azure said she's disgusted with Frigidaire and front-loading washing machines in general and says even though she had to pay to have the moldy, rubber seal replaced, she's pretty sure the problem will eventually return.

"I will never buy a Frigidaire product," she said.

The response we received from Electrolux can be read below:

"Warren, thank you for reaching out. Unfortunately, Ms. Azure declined our offer to help with a discount on the parts that she needed. 

"Our on-the-record response remains:

“Electrolux takes the safety of its products very seriously. If a consumer believes that their product is not working as expected, we urge them to call our consumer services group to discuss whether service is necessary.”

Consumer Tips

To help prevent odors, mildew or mold, consumers should leave the door open for a few hours after use to allow it to dry, or if more convenient, when the washer is not in use. 

Additionally, consumers can refresh or clean the inside of the washer by running the Clean Washer cycle. Some models have an automated reminder mode or consumers may prefer to manually select the cycle.

Remove items from the washer as soon as the cycle ends. Excess wrinkling, color transfer and odors may develop in items left in the washer.

Dry around the washer door opening, flexible gasket and door glass.

When extremely soiled items have been washed, a dirty residue may remain on the drum. Remove this by wiping the drum with a nonabrasive household cleanser. Rinse thoroughly with water.

Periodically, wipe dry the folds in the bottom of the flexible gasket to remove lint and other debris.

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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