Tuesday, July 9, 2024

How to Remove Bad Smells from Your Washing Machine

Learning how to remove bad smells from your washing machine can feel like a daunting task. Especially when you’ve just pulled out what should be a fresh load of laundry, only to be hit with an unpleasant odor.

The struggle is real, folks! Talking about this reminds me of one frustrated homeowner who shared his ordeal with me. He had tried everything he could think of but the foul smell persisted in his washer, making him dread laundry day even more.

No surprise there! But let’s face it…

If we don’t figure out how to remove bad smells from our washing machines, those odors will continue ruining our freshly washed clothes and dampening our spirits on laundry day.

Why Does Your Washing Machine Smell?

Ever wondered why your washing machine develops a foul odor over time? The answer lies in the soap scum and other residues that accumulate inside.

Front-loading washing machines are usually praised for their effectiveness and efficiency in cleaning, but they can also facilitate bacteria growth which creates odors.

The Role of Soap Scum in Smelly Washers

In front-load washers, using incorrect types of detergents can lead to an excess buildup of soap scum. Next time you shop for laundry detergent, look closely for products with the “HE” symbol for high efficiency washers. Using non-HE detergent can create more grime that builds up in the washer drum and other hidden areas.

This not only affects the cleanliness of your clothes but also contributes significantly towards nasty smells emanating from your washer.

Gasket Traps: A Breeding Ground for Odors

There’s another problem area for front-load machines – their rubber door gaskets. These gaskets often trap dirt, fabric particles, and leftover detergent leading to a stinky situation.

how to remove bad smells from washing machine 3 So next time you’re left wondering why washing those stinky clothes doesn’t make them smell great again or why there’s still this remaining dirty spot on that shirt even after multiple cycles – remember it could very well be due to these hidden culprits lurking within your washing machine.

Now let’s move on to understanding how different types of washers contribute differently towards creating such unpleasant odors.

Front-Load vs Top-Load Washers: A Smelly Situation

Ever wondered why your laundry room doesn’t always smell as fresh as you’d like? The culprit could be your washing machine. No matter which type of washer you have, there’s always a chance that odors will develop over time.

Here we’ll explain how each type of washing machine is subject to producing bad smells and how to prevent it from happening.

Front-Load Washing Machine Pros & Cons

Front-load washers are notorious for creating stinky situations. But why does this happen and how can we prevent it? Let’s delve into the pros and cons of these machines in relation to odor development.

The Pros: High-Efficiency Detergents and Design

One major advantage of front-load washers is their compatibility with high-efficiency detergents. These special formulations not only clean your clothes effectively but also leave them smelling great. The design of front-loading machines allows clothes to tumble freely, ensuring all remaining dirty spots get scrubbed away. High efficiency detergents also contain less filler chemicals which leads to less grime buildup.

The Cons: Water Retention and Soap Scum Buildup

Unfortunately, there are reasons why a smelly washer might occur more frequently with front-load designs. Due to their horizontal orientation, water can’t fully rinse out after each cycle leading to dampness where nasty smells can develop. Also, soap scum tends to accumulate in the machine’s detergent container causing further odors over time.

Solutions for Front-Loader Freshness

how to remove bad smells from washing machine 2 Fret not! There are effective DIY methods you can use at home like running an empty load using white vinegar or baking soda which help remove odors from your washing machine naturally. Simply add 2 cups of white vinegar directly into the drum then run a normal cycle with the machine empty on high heat. Similarly, baking soda helps absorb any lingering smells leaving behind a comforting aroma one would expect from their laundry room!

Maintaining Your Washer & Keeping it Odor-Free

To keep those bad smells at bay long-term consider doing regular maintenance such as:

  • Wiping down visible areas including rubber seals where grime could hide.
  • Keeping the door slightly open when not in use allowing air circulation thus helping keep the drum dry.
  • Opting for detergents made specifically for high-efficiency machines which tend less towards creating excessive suds hence reducing soap scum build-up.

Remember – A little care goes a long way towards maintaining freshness in our hard-working appliances!

Top-Load Washing Machine Pros & Cons

While top-load washing machines are a popular choice for many homeowners, they can sometimes be the culprit behind those nasty smells that linger in your laundry room. Let’s dive into some of the pros and cons when it comes to odors developing within these types of washers.

The Pros

Easier Cleaning: Top-load washers typically have removable drums which makes scrubbing down any remaining dirty spots or soap scum a breeze. This helps keep foul odor at bay.

Better Rinsing Capability: Due to their design, water can’t fully rinse out all detergent from front-load washers leading to smelly washer situations. However, this isn’t an issue with top-loading models as clothes tumble freely ensuring no leftover detergent remains inside.

Suitable For Regular Detergents: While high-efficiency machines require detergents made specifically for them (which may not always smell great), traditional top-loaders work well with regular detergents offering more options for comforting aroma one that’s perfect for you.

The Cons

Potential For Mold Growth: Unlike front-load washers where you can leave the door open to let the drum dry and prevent mold growth, doing so is not possible with most top-loading designs due to their vertical orientation. This could potentially lead to a stinky situation if left unchecked.

Detergent Buildup: If too much detergent is used or if low-quality brands are chosen, there’s potential buildup in your machine’s detergent container contributing towards unpleasant washing machine smells over time.

To avoid such issues altogether regardless of whether you own a front-loader or a top-loader, consider using white vinegar, baking soda, or specialized cleaning products designed specifically for removing bad smells from washing machines regularly.

DIY Methods to Remove Odors from Your Washer

If your washing machine is giving off a foul odor, you’re not alone. A smelly washer is an issue many homeowners and renters face, but the good news is there are simple DIY solutions you can try at home.

Using Baking Soda on a Smelly Washing Machine

how to remove bad smells from your washing machine baking soda Baking soda can be used to deodorize a smelly washer, as it is an effective natural cleaner. We recommend adding half a cup of baking soda directly into the drum and running an empty cycle with hot water.

This will clean not only your machine’s drum but any hidden dirty spots as well.

Utilizing White Vinegar for Washing Machine Cleaning

Vinegar might be sitting in your pantry right now, ready to tackle this stinky situation. White vinegar works wonders when it comes to breaking down soap scum residue inside the washer drum.

Pour two cups of white vinegar into the detergent dispenser and run another hot cycle with the machine empty.

Not only does this method effectively scrub lingering smells away, but leaves behind a comforting aroma one that’s much better than what we started with.

As we move forward exploring more ways to keep our washing machine smelling fresh, remember: prevention is key.

Cleaning Products for Washing Machine Smells

If your washing machine smells are proving stubborn, there’s a variety of commercial products available to tackle the issue.

These cleaning agents are specifically designed to combat nasty odors in both front-load and top-load washers.

The Power of High-Efficiency Detergents

We already covered detergents earlier but can’t stress this enough – using the right detergent can have a major impact on keeping your washer smelling fresh.

how to remove bad smells from washing machine clothes musty High-efficiency detergents, made specifically for high-efficiency machines, not only make your clothes smell great but also create less soap scum buildup which often leads to unpleasant odors.

This type of detergent produces fewer suds than regular ones, making it easier for water to rinse away any remaining dirty spots within your machine’s drum.

Tips For Using Washing Machine Cleaners Effectively:

  • Select cleaners that contain enzymes as they break down organic material causing foul odor effectively.
  • Pour cleaner into the dispenser where you usually add laundry detergent or directly into tub if recommended by manufacturer instructions.
  • Always run the washer with an empty drum during the clean cycle; this allows the cleaner solution sufficient space to circulate around the entire drum area providing thorough cleaning action.

Remember these tips when utilizing washing machine cleaners next time you face smelly washer situation. If you’re searching for the best washing machine cleaner for the job, we’ve taken out the guesswork with our list of the top washing machine cleaners found here.

How To Prevent Bad Washing Machine Smells

Maintaining a fresh-smelling washing machine consistently is easier than you think. With the right steps, your laundry room can be free from foul odors and your clothes will smell great every time they tumble out of the washer.

Regular Cleaning Routines

A regular cleaning routine plays an essential role in keeping nasty smells at bay. It is recommended to run empty cycles with hot water and baking soda, vinegar, or a washing machine cleaning solution once a month.

This ensures all leftover contaminants are removed, including any soap scum that might have accumulated over time.

The Importance of Keeping the Drum Dry

how to remove bad smells from washing machine drum Bacterial growth is one major cause for smelly washers, but it’s preventable if we keep our washer drum dry between cycles.

It is suggested to leave the washer door open after each cycle to allow air circulation. This simple step helps maintain front-loader freshness by preventing bacterial growth.

By following these tips regularly, you’ll avoid finding yourself in another stinky situation.

How to Remove Bad Smells From Your Washing Machine – FAQ’s

Still have questions on how to de-stink your washing machine? Here are some common questions we hear from readers.

How do I get the musty smell out of my top loading washing machine?

Run a hot cycle with two cups of white vinegar to break down residue. Follow up by running another cycle with half a cup of baking soda for deodorization. Or use a cleaning product specifically formulated for cleaning washing machines.

Why is there a bad smell coming from my washing machine?

Bad smells often come from mold, mildew or soap scum buildup in your washer. This can be due to neglected cleaning routines, using the wrong detergents, or not allowing the drum to dry between cycles.


Understanding the root cause of bad smells in your washing machine is half the battle. Whether it’s a front-load or top-load washer, they each have their unique challenges when it comes to odors.

The key lies in regular maintenance and using the right detergents specifically designed for your machine. Sometimes, all you need are simple household items like baking soda and white vinegar to keep those nasty smells at bay. If the odor is more serious, you may need to step up to a washing machine cleaner product.

But remember, prevention is always better than cure. Keeping that drum dry between cycles can save you from many smelly situations down the line!

If this guide on how to remove bad smells from washing machine has been helpful, we have many more guides and advice for all your home appliances! We’re here not just to help you deal with appliance issues but also assist in making informed decisions about products before purchasing them. Let’s make your life easier together!



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