According to About.com, the most common problems with front-loading washing machines include mold or mildew buildup inside the machine and brown or gray spots on clothing. Leaks are also reported as a problem with front-loading washing machines.
According to NBC News, the issue of mold and mildew may be responsible for an unusual odor when the machine is in use. Mold or mildew can develop in front loading washing machines because the machine is airtight when the door is closed. Brown and gray spots on clothing may occur when detergent, clothes softener or mold is present. Using HE washing detergents and avoiding liquid softening agents prevents these issues. GE states that leaks may also occur when regular washing detergent is used, rather than an HE type detergent. Additionally, leaks may indicate the need to clean or replace the dispenser.
To prevent mold buildup, ensure that the interior of the machine stays dry when it is not in use. Use a towel to soak up extra moisture around the door after using the machine and leave the door open to let the seal and machine interior dry up. Clean and dry out the detergent dispenser regularly and run a cleaning cycle once per month with bleach. In addition, clear out the lint trap and make sure that there are no particles and moisture stuck in that area of the machine.
Loud wash cycles can also be an issue with front-loading machines. To prevent this issue, ensure that the insulation and parts of the machine are intact. Also make sure the machine is level.