Washing Machine Smells? – What Is The Cause And Fix?

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Washing Machine Smells? – What Is The Cause And Fix?

my washing machine smells
Washing Machine Smells? – What Is The Cause And Fix?
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Have you ever wondered why your washing machine smells? Honestly, it is baffling, the number of people that complain about how their washing machine smells like sewage – a machine that is meant for washing for that matter. However, there are reasons for why it is possible for your washing machine to stink so bad that it smells like rotten eggs. Developed dirt, limescale, or detergent in your washing machine will surely make it smell. Even worse, when your washing machine smells, it is liable to affect your clothes and make them smell too.

Before we delve into the blog proper, let us first discuss the factors that result in a smell coming from your washing machine. The unpleasant smell from your washing machine could ooze from any of its elements. The major ones are listed below:

  • Detergent dispenser drawer
  • Door seal
  • Drum
  • Blockages in the filter
  • Heating components
  • Sump hose

Some of the factors responsible for making your washing machine smell musty or damp are:

1. Temperature

It is common knowledge that washing at a low temperature is completely energy-efficient. Nevertheless, making it a habit isn’t advisable because it leads to smelly drains in the house. The smell of the washing machine is because low-temperature water does not eliminate bacteria. This scenario is just like implementing a water-efficient setup. Adding excess detergent while washing will cause the drum component of the machine to smell bad due to leftover soap.

2. Inspect the seal

If you have a smelly washing machine, the next evident element to check is if the seal is clean. Perhaps, it has been a while since you cleaned the seal; it can lead to a musty smell from the washing machine. Furthermore, the compartments of the door seal can slow the flow of water into the machine, which causes mildew to develop.

The washing machine seal can also harbour grime and soap scum, which makes the machine begin to smell later on. You can simply mop the insides of the seal with a dry rag before your next laundry time. In other cases, the smell could be due to mould on the washing machine seal. Continue reading to find out how to get rid of it below.

3. Poor drainage system

A poor drainage system could be a significant reason for the bad odour of your washing machine. Poor drainage means water accumulates in the machine, and stagnant water begins to smell bad after a while. More importantly, dormant water leads to mould, slime, soap scum, and bacteria.


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4. Examine the drum

When you don’t clean your washing machine regularly, soap remnants or dirt can become smelly and mouldy if it is stuck. The expected smell pertaining to an untidy washing machine drum is very musty.

5. Look for the source

If the above options don’t correspond with the factors making your machine smell, you can try to find out yourself. All that is required of you is to investigate. Check every nook and corner of your washing machine. Or even better, try to sniff suspicious areas to identify the prevalent source of the stink.

How To Stop Your Washing Machine From Smelling?

washing machineThere is only one way to get rid of the smell in your washing machine. This is simply to clean the machine, and we can teach you how. But first, you can’t deny that it is quite amusing that you have to ‘wash’ your ‘washing’ machine.

Anyway, washing your washer is a chore you should be consistent with; else the smell can stick to your clothes, especially your cotton clothes. For instance, towels comprise thick cotton, and they quickly absorb any trail from the washing machine. No matter the case, a smelly washing machine is something that can be fixed and prevented. Continue to read for more information.

Firstly, you need the following equipment to clean your washing machine effectively:

  • Sponge
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Brush/scourer

To keep a neat washing machine, below are some classified ways you can employ to handle it:

For a general wash:

1) For the first step, you need two of the equipment above – baking soda and water:
Make a compound of a quarter cup of baking soda and the same measurement for the water. Pour the mixture into the detergent container of your machine.

2) For the second step, you need the white vinegar:
Get two cups of vinegar and pour into the drum. Then run the machine at a high level of heat.

3) The equipment you require for the third step is a sponge:
First, dip the sponge in the mixture (vinegar, water, and baking soda). Cleanse the insides of the washing machine by scrubbing with the sponge.

4) This final step is about preserving the good you did for the machine:
Henceforth, you should use only high-efficiency machine’s detergents. Furthermore, let the water in drum evaporate at different intervals while washing. Lastly, endeavour always to keep the gasket as neat as possible.

For moulds in the machine:

  • Combine soda bicarbonate and water. Keep the compound in a cup.
  • Put the mixture on the affected area of the washing machine. Leave it there for 15 minutes.
  • Use a brush to scrub the mould.
  • Wash the detergent dispenser drawer with vinegar.
  • Check stores around your area for mildew or mould spray.

However, you must be cautious while using the spray. Also, read the instructions on the container because some particular brands affect the rubber of your seal.

For the detergent drawer:

  • If your washing machine has a removable detergent shelf, then you should take it out. Read the manual for more details.
  • Thoroughly scrub the detergent drawer with a brush.

Each of the above processes is crucial if you want your washing machine to smell as fresh as when you just got it. Note that a regular cleansing will improve the overall performance of the machine and also give your clothes a pleasant smell. Also, the room you keep the machine will have a nice smell too. If the space where you store the washing machine is smelly, then it will ultimately affect your whole house.

How To Maintain A Clean Washing Machine

It is not enough to wash the machine. It is also essential to know how to prevent the washing machine from smelling since you can now stop it by cleaning.

1. Use the appropriate detergent

If you own a washing machine, it is important that you know the right detergents to use. Utilise a high-efficiency detergent and use the correct measurements for application. It is better to use HE detergents because regular ones yield excess suds, which affects the machine’s function. Note that the lesser the suds, the less possibility of scum, which accommodates organisms. Also, liquid fabric softener is a no-no.

2. The drum should always be dry

This tip is especially important for those who make complaints like “my washing machine smells of stagnant water.” The room you keep your washing machine is an essential factor here. It is vital that your laundry room has proper ventilation to preserve dryness. Mould and mildew can only survive in dampness, but if you allow air in your laundry room, they can’t develop. With that being addressed, also always open the detergent dispenser drawer and washing machine door after use. That way, any remaining moisture will dry.

Furthermore, take out your clothes immediately after the washing machine stops. It is not a bad idea if you have a fan in the laundry room to promote the free flow of air. If you are at liberty to, you can also buy and install a dehumidifier. Your priority is to prevent the build-up of bacteria and mould, which forms due to dormant water; therefore, nothing is overboard.

3. Empty your pocket

Always remove all the properties in your pockets before putting the clothes in the washing machine. This technique is to prevent particles from blocking the drain of your washing machine. Besides, when particles gather in the machine, it makes it more difficult for water to go down the drain. To avoid smelly drains in your house, it is necessary to prevent particle build-up in your machine.

4. Sterilise the gasket

There is no assurance that your drum will not create mould despite using the right detergent and anti-humidity applications. The rubber seal around the washing machine doors is particularly challenging. Therefore, you should frequently extract any objects that you see caught in the gasket. Also, wash it down regularly with a compound of white vinegar and water.

Last Word

To make things easier, you can clean your washing machine periodically. Whether you choose monthly or weekly should depend on how frequently you use the washer. If you use it every other day, then you can wash it monthly. But if you use it as often as possible, then wash it weekly.

Remember, a smelly washing machine results in a smelly laundry room, which ultimately affects the whole house. Stay sterile!


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