Cleaning a washing machine is one of those tasks we often overlook. A washing machine is regularly doused with warm water, bleach, soap, and other cleaning products designed to remove stains and odors from our clothes. It’s reasonable to believe that the washer cleans itself with all the water and detergents that go through it.
However, one day, you open the machine’s door, and you are greeted with a terrible smell (an egg smell). Worse, the odor may start transferring to your clothes. Before you call repair services, roll up your sleeves, grab gloves, and start cleaning.
What Causes the Bad Smell in Your Washing Machine?
Soap scum, body oil, and grime build up in your washing machine over time, creating an ideal environment for bacteria and foul odors to thrive. Bacteria, mold, and mildew readily flourish in dark and wet environments like the drum. A washer that isn’t cleaned regularly smells about as bad as the accumulation of dirt sounds.
A clogged drainage system might also source your washing machine’s odor. After washing, you must completely drain all the water in your washing machine. Poor drainage results in used water accumulating in the pipes or the washing machine. Because it retains the dirt removed from your washing, that stagnant water will begin smelling terrible and can breed mildew.
Also, using hard water can cause limescale buildup, which causes blockages and accumulation of soap scum smelling in the long run.
What to Do When Your Washing Machine Smells Bad
Fortunately, most odorous washing machines may be fixed with easy cleaning and maintenance. Here are three simple cleaning steps you can try at home:
Start by Scrubbing Your Soap, Bleach, and Softener Dispensers
First, remove and scrub all the bleach, soap, and softener dispensers. Dig within the cracks and corners with an old toothbrush and thoroughly clean them. Remove any accumulation inside the dispenser’s pipes. For top load models, clean around the machine door and hinges where dirt can hide. Front-load models need cleaning around the rubber seal to eliminate the crud in the rubber gaskets.
Bleach Away the Smell From the Drum
The most critical aspect of washing your washing machine is to control mold growth. Bleach is an excellent mold and mildew killer. Take precautions when using any bleach, such as having proper ventilation, wearing rubber gloves, and not mixing bleach with other cleaners.
- Fill a top-loading machine with four cups of bleach and a front-loading washing machine with two cups
- Allow the tub to fill and start a wash cycle at the maximum temperature
- Stop the wash cycle after the bleach mixes with the water and let it sit for 30 minutes before proceeding with the process.
- To eliminate all traces of bleach, do a rinse cycle.
Baking Soda and Vinegar Wash
Vinegar is a fantastic deodorizer, and its acidic component also eliminates hard water buildup and any bacteria that may have survived the bleach.
- Set your washer to the maximum temperature
- Once the washer is filled with water, add four cups of white vinegar to a top-loading machine and two cups to a front-loading one.
- Let the washer run in an agitate cycle for a few minutes, then let it sit for 30 minutes
- Add half a cup of baking soda and start over the cycle again
- Wipe down the inside of the drum with a sponge or a washed rug to remove all the stubborn stains. Remember to inspect all the gasket seals and the nooks
- Don’t forget the exterior
- Add essential oil to the seal to disinfect and remove foul odor
Tips for Preventing Bad Smells
Instead of waiting until your washing machine starts smelling, you can take these small measures:
- Leave the washer door open to let extra moisture evaporate and prevent mildew growth.
- Avoid leaving clothes in your washer after the cycle is completed to prevent a moist environment for mold.
- Make use of High-Efficiency (HE) detergents to reduce the buildup of soap scum
- Clean your gasket seal occasionally to keep your clothing and laundry area fresh
- Use softener tablets to prevent limescale buildup
- Use a clean machine setting to clean your appliance if it has one.
The Bottom Line
Proper maintenance is the only key to preventing a foul smell from your washing machine. Washer hygiene is crucial to keeping your appliance in good working order. Run a cleaning cycle every two weeks, depending on the frequency of use for a sweet-smelling laundry pile. You can also consult a professional to do the cleaning for you.We at The Maid Squad are committed to ensuring your home is clean and free from bacteria. We provide both commercial and residential cleaning services that will leave you feeling satisfied. Contact us today to request a quote.