I have a front load washer like many people do these days. One of the common problems people complain about is that water sits in the gasket around the door. After a while, a dark and damp area is a recipe for mold to show up. This in turn causes your laundry room and your clothes to start smelling like mildew. As a short term solution, you can clean out the water in the gasket with bleach water and dry it out, maybe run a couple cycles of hot water and bleach, and limit the amount of detergent used; however, these all seem to be temporary fixes. Eventually the mold comes back, as it is an ideal environment for it to grow.
One solution, I read about and wanted to try was the Washer Fan. I was skeptical that this could work and at $99 it is a bit too pricey to try, but after looking at the pictures I came up with a cheap alternative. I got a USB, multi-speed computer fan that was only 80mm square with a metal fan grill. Specifically, I got the AC Infinity Multifan for about $12 dampeners on the feet. Next, I needed a USB wall outlet (an old cell phone charger from an Apple phone will work fine), but I went ahead and got one with outlets since I did not want to give up an outlet for only a USB port. I got the Dewenwils Multi plug with 3.1 Amp USB ports for about $13. Lastly, you can probably get away with duck tape, but I wanted to use rare earth magnets that were countersunk so I could screw them into the feet of the multi-speed fan. You can get rare earth magnets cheap from eBay (link). 10mm x 3mm countersunk rare earth magnets are more than strong enough for this application and 50 magnets will cost you about another $12 (way more than you’ll need).
When I had all of the parts, I just stuck the magnets to the screws instead of using the screws through the countersunk magnets. A couple feet on the fan required a few magnets because the vent on the back of my washer machine is not completely flat or even. Then, just plug the fan into the wall outlet and choose your speed on the fan. It was that easy.
When all is said and done, you need to at least buy the multi-speed fan. So, best case, you are out $12 or, at worse, you are spending about $36. It seems to be helping with the odor, but I don’t think this is a full proof solution. A couple of months have passed and now the smell is starting to creep back, even with leaving the door open as often as possible on the front load washing machine. I think next I will be looking into buying a dehumidifier with a drain hose for placing in the wash tub. Lastly, you will likely want to get a hydrometer, like the ThermoPro TP55, for another $12 to monitor the humidity in your laundry room.