Dear Sun Spots: I have a three-year-old front-load washer with a musty smelling odor that is constantly there no matter how I clean the machine. My clothes don’t smell, but the washer does. What can I do about the smell? There is a tablet called Affresh that I have tried but that didn’t work. I have tried bleach and that doesn’t work either. What else can I do? – No Name, No Town.

Answer: Sun Spots has received a few suggestions in the past from readers who were dealing with the same issue. One suggestion is to clean the rubber seal around the door with a rag dipped in water and bleach solution to help eliminate mildew.

Using a high-efficiency detergent will also help eliminate the odor. High-efficiency detergents create a lot less sudsing and are designed for the modern front-loader. Using the wrong type of detergent will create too many suds, which will collect in the nooks and crannies of your washer and cause mold.

According to the General Electric appliance Web site, washing machine odors are also caused by leaving the washer lid closed when not in use. This does not allow air to circulate and dry out the moisture remaining in the tub area. The air-and-moisture mixture becomes stagnant and creates an odor. When your washer is not in use, leave the lid open for air circulation to help prevent odor.

The Web site suggests taking the following steps to get rid of odors inside your washer:

Fill the washer with hot water; set at regular speed and the longest wash cycle

Add ¾ cup of a water-softening additive, which can be found in the laundry detergent aisle. Baking soda can be substituted. Allow washer to complete entire wash and rinse cycle.

If odor lingers, repeat entire process.

Another reader suggests a product called Smellywasher, which may be ordered online at or by calling 952-465-6444. A year’s supply was $16, and she received the order within three days. She noted that it did wonders for her washer. Each bottle contains enough for 24 treatments and should last up to a year. All it takes is for one tablespoon to be added to a hot cycle of an empty washer and let the washer complete its cycle.

Dear Sun Spots: Recycling is important these days. It saves money. The Sun Journal includes a sheet of instructions from the Lewiston waste facility specifying what is recyclable. An example is taking caps and bottle tops off prior to placing them in the bin. Also, crushing the plastic containers. These sheets are green or orange and come out quarterly. Please read them and follow instructions.

If you don’t have a blue bin for recycling, they may be obtained at public works. They are free, I believe. The phone number is 513-3003.

The Twin Cities recycles little compared to other cities. Spread the word to friends and neighbors.

Bins were donated many years ago by Maine Metal Recycling, Fleet Bank, Seltzer/Rydholm Inc. and Country Kitchen. Their names are on the bins. This could be done again. Maybe the Chamber of Commerce could contact businesses. Thanks for recycling. – Bob Soucy, Solid Waste Committee Member.

Dear Sun Spots: I was wondering if there is anyone out there who has fond memories of the Mill Street Diner and would like to share them. I was told that the owner would give free meals to the soldiers going off to war. Please write and share with Sun Spots. Thank you. – Carmen, No Town.

Dear Sun Spots: I’m hoping that you and your readers can help us raise scholarship money. The Speech and Drama Boosters at Skowhegan Area High School received a generous donation of hundreds of records of all types of classical music for us to sell to raise funds. These records are in excellent condition and include classical piano, jazz, instrumental and vocal concerts from all over the world, and many operas. The jackets themselves would make great artwork in a musician’s studio.

We also have dozens of literary recordings by great actors, such as Vincent Price reading horror stories and Eli Wallach reading “The Red Pony.” Many complete Shakespearean plays are in the collection, too. It would be a daunting task to compile a list of all these fabulous records, so we would like to sell them as a lot or maybe in portions of the whole lot. All proceeds will go toward our annual performing arts scholarships. Anyone wishing more information can call 684-4483 or e-mail [email protected] Thank you so much. – Robin, Strong.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be posted at in the Advice section under Opinion on the left-hand corner of your computer screen. In addition, you can e-mail your inquiries to [email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.