If you own a front-loading washer, you may be owed money

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WTKR -- Consumers who have noticed foul odors or a slimy mold coming from their front-loading washing machine may be eligible for a cash rebate.

The reimbursement is the result of several class action lawsuits against Whirlpool and Sears over complaints that the washing machines weren't cleaning themselves, allowing mold and mildew to build up, ruining laundry.

The settlement covers Whirlpool, Kenmore or Maytag front-loading washing machines manufactured between 2001 and 2010. Whether it was bought, gifted or otherwise acquired, owners are eligible for a $50 cash payment and either a rebate on the next machine or reimbursement for repairs.

Those who have an LG sold between 2002 and 2006 could receive $35 and a cash rebate on the next front-loading washer.

For more information, see the details of the settlement or call (844) 824-5781.

The only way to qualify for a cash rebate, however is to submit a claim form by October 11, 2016.

For those who don't qualify, Consumer Reports says there are a few simple steps that can prevent mold and mildew.

  • Wipe down the glass and door gasket daily.
  • Between washes leave the door open slightly.
  • Remove detergent buildup from the dispenser.Every month, sanitize the machine by adding a cup of chlorine bleach and running a hot-water wash without laundry.
  • Manufacturers claim they've resolved the problem by improving the door gasket and adding a tub-clean cycle. But if you want to avoid a front-loader altogether, Consumer Reports recommends a high-efficiency top-loader instead, like the $500 Samsung #WA45H7000AW.

Related: Inside the laundromat that offers free service to the homeless:

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Colorado laundromat offers discounted and free service for homeless
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Colorado laundromat offers discounted and free service for homeless
AURORA, CO - SEPTEMBER 1: Davereaux Wiggins loads a washing machine at Laundry on the Fax in Aurora, Colorado on September 1, 2016. Laundry of the Fax is a public laundry business owned by Yemane Habtezgi who provides free service vouchers to homeless and low income people receiving services from some of the homelessness prevention services on East Colfax. The city partnered with him last year to find the program, and he just invested more than $1 million in 80 new machines. The city invested $3,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to help get the program off the ground with 375 initial vouchers (Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
AURORA, CO - SEPTEMBER 1: Sirad Hir folds blankets fresh from the dryer at Laundry on the Fax in Aurora, Colorado on September 1, 2016. Laundry of the Fax is a public laundry business owned by Yemane Habtezgi who provides free service vouchers to homeless and low income people receiving services from some of the homelessness prevention services on East Colfax. The city partnered with him last year to find the program, and he just invested more than $1 million in 80 new machines. The city invested $3,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to help get the program off the ground with 375 initial vouchers (Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
AURORA, CO - SEPTEMBER 1: Yemane Habtezgi folds towels for a customer at Laundry on the Fax in Aurora, Colorado on September 1, 2016. Laundry of the Fax is a public laundry business owned by Yemane Habtezgi who provides free service vouchers to homeless and low income people receiving services from some of the homelessness prevention services on East Colfax. The city partnered with him last year to find the program, and he just invested more than $1 million in 80 new machines. The city invested $3,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to help get the program off the ground with 375 initial vouchers (Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
AURORA, CO - SEPTEMBER 1: Yemane Habtezgi pulls towels from a dryer for a client at Laundry on the Fax in Aurora, Colorado on September 1, 2016. Laundry of the Fax is a public laundry business owned by Yemane Habtezgi who provides free service vouchers to homeless and low income people receiving services from some of the homelessness prevention services on East Colfax. The city partnered with him last year to find the program, and he just invested more than $1 million in 80 new machines. The city invested $3,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to help get the program off the ground with 375 initial vouchers (Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
AURORA, CO - SEPTEMBER 1: Davereaux Wiggins pours bleach into a washing machine at Laundry on the Fax in Aurora, Colorado on September 1, 2016. Laundry of the Fax is a public laundry business owned by Yemane Habtezgi who provides free service vouchers to homeless and low income people receiving services from some of the homelessness prevention services on East Colfax. The city partnered with him last year to find the program, and he just invested more than $1 million in 80 new machines. The city invested $3,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to help get the program off the ground with 375 initial vouchers (Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
AURORA, CO - SEPTEMBER 1: A cart of freshly washed laundry sits near a washing machine at Laundry on the Fax in Aurora, Colorado on September 1, 2016. Laundry of the Fax is a public laundry business owned by Yemane Habtezgi who provides free service vouchers to homeless and low income people receiving services from some of the homelessness prevention services on East Colfax. The city partnered with him last year to find the program, and he just invested more than $1 million in 80 new machines. The city invested $3,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to help get the program off the ground with 375 initial vouchers (Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
AURORA, CO - SEPTEMBER 1: Sirad Hir pulls blankets from a washing machine at Laundry on the Fax in Aurora, Colorado on September 1, 2016. Laundry of the Fax is a public laundry business owned by Yemane Habtezgi who provides free service vouchers to homeless and low income people receiving services from some of the homelessness prevention services on East Colfax. The city partnered with him last year to find the program, and he just invested more than $1 million in 80 new machines. The city invested $3,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to help get the program off the ground with 375 initial vouchers (Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
AURORA, CO - SEPTEMBER 1: Khong Wadam tosses dirty laundry into a washing machine at Laundry on the Fax in Aurora, Colorado on September 1, 2016. Laundry of the Fax is a public laundry business owned by Yemane Habtezgi who provides free service vouchers to homeless and low income people receiving services from some of the homelessness prevention services on East Colfax. The city partnered with him last year to find the program, and he just invested more than $1 million in 80 new machines. The city invested $3,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to help get the program off the ground with 375 initial vouchers (Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
AURORA, CO - SEPTEMBER 1: Davereaux Wiggins loads a washing machine at Laundry on the Fax in Aurora, Colorado on September 1, 2016. Laundry of the Fax is a public laundry business owned by Yemane Habtezgi who provides free service vouchers to homeless and low income people receiving services from some of the homelessness prevention services on East Colfax. The city partnered with him last year to find the program, and he just invested more than $1 million in 80 new machines. The city invested $3,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to help get the program off the ground with 375 initial vouchers (Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
AURORA, CO - SEPTEMBER 1: Khong Wadam pulls laundry from a washing machine at Laundry on the Fax in Aurora, Colorado on September 1, 2016. Laundry of the Fax is a public laundry business owned by Yemane Habtezgi who provides free service vouchers to homeless and low income people receiving services from some of the homelessness prevention services on East Colfax. The city partnered with him last year to find the program, and he just invested more than $1 million in 80 new machines. The city invested $3,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to help get the program off the ground with 375 initial vouchers (Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
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