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Nationwide Marketing Group appliance dealers in the US this week got the first glimpse of Maytag's new Fresh Hold Option with Dynamic Venting Technology, a feature that helps prevent clothes that sit in a damp front-load washing machine from smelling like mildew.

"This feature will force all other manufacturers to follow Maytag," said Adam Thomas, Nationwide's senior vice president of appliance marketing.

Maytag's Performance line of washers (the 450, 550 and 950, with starting MSRPs of about $1,199) will carry the feature, said Brett Oleson, a senior category manager for Whirlpool, Maytag's parent company. The venting technology uses a fan combined with a tumble motion to remove moisture that remains in the washer after the cycle is completed.

So it looks as if some manufacturers are starting to take the "smelly washer" issue seriously and introduce components to help counter the effect.

Of course, any washing machines that don't have a plastic drum tend not to have the problem, like older machines with enameled outer tanks and those with stainless steel tanks. But they cost money.

There are also cheap products such as Affresh washing machine cleaner and also Smelly Washer that have been introduced to combat the odour produced from front loading washing machines. 

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