Ways to Eliminate Unpleasant Odors in a Washing Machine

Having a washing machine that smells bad can be a huge inconvenience. Not only does it make your clothes stink, but it can also affect the cleanliness of your home. If you’re wondering how to make your washing machine smell better, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll explore some effective and simple ways to get rid of the unpleasant odors and keep your washing machine smelling fresh.

1. Clean the drum and door seal

To start, it’s important to regularly clean the drum and door seal of your washing machine. Over time, dirt, lint, and detergent residue can build up in these areas, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. To clean the drum, run an empty hot water cycle with a cup of white vinegar or lemon juice. For the door seal, wipe it down with a mixture of warm water and bleach.

2. Use the right detergent

The type of detergent you use can greatly affect the smell of your washing machine. Opt for high-quality detergents that are designed to remove odors and leave a fresh scent on your clothes. Avoid using too much detergent, as this can lead to residue buildup. Additionally, consider using a laundry booster or odor eliminator to enhance the freshness.

3. Leave the door open

After each wash, it’s a good idea to leave the washing machine door open for a while. This allows the drum to dry out and prevents moisture from lingering, which can contribute to unpleasant smells. If possible, place a towel or cloth on the door seal to absorb any remaining moisture.

4. Check the filter

Many washing machines have a filter that traps debris and lint. If this filter is clogged, it can lead to bad smells. Check your machine’s manual to locate the filter and clean it regularly. A simple rinse with warm water should do the trick.

5. Run monthly maintenance washes

To keep your washing machine smelling fresh on a regular basis, consider running monthly maintenance washes. Simply run an empty hot water cycle with a cup of baking soda or washing machine cleaner. This will help remove any buildup and keep the machine clean and odor-free.

By following these tips, you can say goodbye to unpleasant odors coming from your washing machine and enjoy fresh-smelling laundry once again. Remember, regular maintenance is key to keeping your machine in top shape and ensuring it lasts longer.

Tips to Make Your Washing Machine Smell Fresh

Dealing with a smelly washing machine can be frustrating and unpleasant. However, with a few simple tips, you can eliminate those unpleasant odors and keep your washing machine smelling fresh:

1. Clean the drum regularly: The drum of your washing machine can accumulate dirt, grime, and residue over time, leading to unpleasant odors. To combat this, regularly clean the drum with a mixture of hot water and vinegar. Run an empty cycle with this mixture to remove any build-up.

2. Leave the door open: After each wash, leave the door of your washing machine open for a while to allow proper ventilation. This helps to prevent any moisture from lingering inside the machine, which can lead to musty smells.

3. Use the right detergent: Using too much detergent or using the wrong type can leave a residue in your washing machine, causing odors. Be sure to use the recommended amount of detergent for each load, and choose a detergent that is suitable for your machine and water type.

4. Clean the detergent drawer: The detergent drawer can also collect residue and create unpleasant smells. Remove the drawer and wash it thoroughly with hot, soapy water. Be sure to dry it completely before placing it back in the machine.

5. Run a hot wash with baking soda: Baking soda is known for its odor-neutralizing properties. Once a month, run a hot wash cycle with a cup of baking soda to refresh and deodorize your washing machine.

6. Clean the filter: The filter in your washing machine can become clogged with lint and debris, leading to odors. Regularly check and clean the filter to prevent build-up and keep your machine smelling fresh.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your washing machine remains fresh and odor-free, making laundry day a more pleasant experience.

Clean the Rubber Gasket Regularly

The rubber gasket, also known as the door seal, is one of the most common places for odors to accumulate in a washing machine. This is because moisture and detergent residue can get trapped in the folds, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.

To clean the rubber gasket, start by wiping away any visible dirt or grime with a damp cloth. Then, mix a solution of equal parts water and vinegar. Dip a cloth or sponge into the solution and scrub the gasket, paying special attention to the folds and crevices.

If the gasket is particularly dirty, you can also use a soft-bristle brush to gently scrub away any stubborn residue. Be sure to rinse thoroughly with clean water afterwards to remove any residual vinegar.

In addition to regular cleaning, it’s also important to keep the rubber gasket dry between washes. Wipe it down with a clean, dry cloth after each use, and leave the door ajar to allow air to circulate and prevent moisture buildup.

By regularly cleaning the rubber gasket and keeping it dry, you can help eliminate odors and ensure that your washing machine smells fresh and clean.

Use Vinegar and Baking Soda

Vinegar and baking soda are two powerful natural cleaning agents that can help eliminate odors from your washing machine. Here’s how to use them:

Step 1:Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a bowl.
Step 2:Pour the vinegar and water mixture into the detergent dispenser of your washing machine.
Step 3:Run a hot water cycle on your washing machine without any clothes.
Step 4:Once the cycle is complete, sprinkle baking soda on the inside of your washing machine, particularly in areas where odor is most noticeable.
Step 5:Run another hot water cycle on your washing machine without any clothes.
Step 6:Wipe down the inside of your washing machine with a clean cloth or sponge.
Step 7:Leave the washing machine door open to allow it to air dry.

This vinegar and baking soda method is effective in removing odors and leaving your washing machine smelling fresh. It’s also a natural and eco-friendly way to clean your machine without the use of harsh chemicals. Try this method regularly to keep your washing machine smelling its best.

Run a Hot Water Cycle with Bleach

To eliminate any built-up residue or bacteria that may be causing a foul smell in your washing machine, running a hot water cycle with bleach can be an effective solution. Bleach is known for its powerful disinfecting properties, making it a great option for cleaning and freshening your washer.

Start by making sure your washing machine is empty. Remove any clothes or laundry items before proceeding. Next, pour a cup of bleach into the detergent dispenser or directly into the drum. Be careful not to spill any bleach on your hands or clothes, as it can cause damage.

Set your washing machine to run a hot water cycle. Make sure to select the longest and highest water level option available. This will allow the bleach to thoroughly clean and disinfect the entire drum and other components of the washer.

Once the cycle is complete, leave the washing machine door open to allow for proper ventilation and drying. This will help prevent any moisture or mildew from accumulating, which can contribute to unpleasant smells. Additionally, wiping down the inside of the drum and door with a clean cloth can help remove any remaining bleach residue and further freshen your machine.

Running a hot water cycle with bleach once a month can help maintain a clean and odor-free washing machine. However, it’s important to check your washing machine’s manufacturer guidelines before using bleach, as some machines may not be compatible or have specific instructions.

Note: Remember to always handle bleach with caution and follow the safety and usage instructions on the product label. It is also recommended to wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area.

Remove and Clean the Filter

One common cause of a smelly washing machine is a dirty filter. Over time, lint, fabric fibers, and other debris can accumulate in the filter, causing unpleasant odors. To get rid of the smell, it’s important to remove and clean the filter. Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1Locate the filter on your washing machine. Typically, it is located at the bottom front of the machine behind a small panel or cover.
Step 2Once you’ve found the filter, carefully remove the panel or cover to access it.
Step 3With a towel or a small bowl placed underneath, unscrew the filter cap or knob counterclockwise. Be prepared for some water to spill out, as there may be residual water in the filter.
Step 4Remove the filter and thoroughly clean it under running water. Use an old toothbrush or a soft brush to scrub away any dirt or debris that may be stuck on it.
Step 5Inspect the filter housing for any signs of dirt or buildup. If necessary, use a damp cloth to wipe it clean.
Step 6Once the filter and housing are clean, reattach the filter and screw the cap or knob back into place. Make sure it is secure.
Step 7Close the panel or cover and make sure it is properly aligned and secured.

By regularly removing and cleaning the filter, you can prevent unpleasant odors and ensure that your washing machine works efficiently. It is recommended to clean the filter at least once every few months or as needed.

Leave the Door Open to Allow for Air Circulation

One simple way to help reduce unpleasant odors in your washing machine is to leave the door open after each use. Closing the door tightly when the washing machine is not in use can create a damp and dark environment, which is perfect for the growth of mold and mildew. By leaving the door open, you allow for air circulation, which helps to keep the interior of the machine dry.

This simple step can go a long way in preventing the buildup of odors and ensuring a fresh-smelling washing machine. Not only does it help to prevent the growth of mold and mildew, but it also allows any existing odors to dissipate.

If you’re concerned about safety or have small children or pets in the house, you can consider using a door stopper or wedging something in the door to keep it slightly ajar instead of fully open. This will still allow for some air circulation without fully exposing the inside of the washing machine.

Use Fragrance Booster in the Rinse Cycle

If your washing machine still smells after trying other cleaning methods, you can use a fragrance booster in the rinse cycle to add a pleasant scent to your laundry. Fragrance boosters are specially designed to eliminate odors and leave your clothes smelling fresh and clean.

To use a fragrance booster, simply add the recommended amount to your washing machine’s fabric softener compartment or directly into the drum along with your laundry. The fragrance booster will be released during the rinse cycle, allowing it to penetrate your clothes and leave them smelling great.

There are many different fragrance boosters available on the market, so you can choose a scent that you find appealing. From floral to fruity, there is a wide range of options to suit your preferences. Some fragrance boosters even have antibacterial properties, which can help to eliminate any lingering odors in your washing machine.

Using a fragrance booster in the rinse cycle not only helps to freshen up your laundry, but it also leaves a pleasant scent in your washing machine. This can help to mask any unpleasant odors that may be lingering in the drum or other parts of the machine.

Remember to follow the instructions on the fragrance booster packaging for best results. You should also clean your washing machine regularly to prevent any buildup of dirt, detergent residue, or mold, which can contribute to bad odors.

In conclusion, using a fragrance booster in the rinse cycle is a simple and effective way to make your washing machine smell better. Give it a try and enjoy the fresh scent on your newly washed clothes!


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Ryan Pietrzak

Ryan Pietrzak, a licensed plumber with 12+ years of experience, is the trusted expert behind Plumbing.Academy. With a wealth of practical knowledge, Ryan guides you through plumbing challenges, making informed decisions easier. His reputable advice, rooted in real-world expertise, empowers both DIY enthusiasts and seasoned plumbers.