How to Get Rid of the Smell in the Washing Machine

To get rid of the smell in the washing machine, run a hot cycle with baking soda and vinegar. If you’re dealing with a smelly washing machine, it can be hard to determine the source of the odor.

However, the smell is often caused by mold, mildew, and bacteria buildup in the machine, which can be difficult to remove. Fortunately, there are several simple solutions to help get rid of the smell in your washing machine. In this article, we will discuss the most effective methods to eliminate washing machine odors using natural ingredients like vinegar and baking soda.

Whether you have a front-loading or top-loading washing machine, these tips will help you achieve a fresh, clean-smelling machine.

How to Get Rid of the Smell in the Washing Machine


Identifying The Cause Of The Smell

Washing machines are designed to keep our clothes smelling fresh and clean. But, sometimes, they can develop a not-so-pleasant odor that can permeate throughout the whole house, making things quite uncomfortable. If you’re dealing with this issue, then it’s vital to identify the cause of the smell to know how to get rid of it.

In this section, we’re going to discuss common reasons washers develop unpleasant odors ###

Insufficient cleaning:

  • If you don’t clean your washing machine regularly, it can trap dirt, detergent, and other debris, leading to a foul smell.
  • Dirty clothes can also leave behind bacteria in the machine, contributing to the unpleasant odor.
  • Use a washing machine cleaner or a diy solution of vinegar and baking soda to clean your appliance.

Use of non-he detergents:

  • Traditional detergents can leave behind a buildup of residue in the washing machine, resulting in a musty smell.
  • Use high-efficiency (he) detergents that are designed explicitly for front-loading machines.

Mold growth:

  • Mold thrives in warm, damp environments, which are commonly found in washing machines.
  • Look for visible mold in the drum, rubber gasket, and soap dispenser.
  • Regularly leave the washing machine door open to allow air to circulate, preventing mold from growing.
  • Consider using a dehumidifier in the laundry room if necessary.

Keeping your washing machine smelling fresh and clean requires a bit of effort, but it’s well worth it for avoiding unpleasant odors. Remember to clean your appliance regularly, use he detergents, and prevent mold growth to ensure a sweet-smelling laundry room.

Cleaning The Washing Machine

If you’re experiencing a funky smell coming from your washing machine, it’s time to give it a good cleaning. Over time, dirt, grime and detergent build-up can create a thriving environment for bacteria to grow and cause unpleasant odors. To get rid of the smell in the washing machine, cleaning it is essential.

Below are some tips and instructions on how to clean each part of the washer.

Provide Tips On Cleaning The Washer To Remove Existing Odors.

  • Use a cleaning cycle: Many washing machines come with a cleaning cycle, which utilizes hot water and bleach or special cleaning tablets to sanitize the washer. Run the cycle once a month to keep your washer odor-free.
  • Take care of damp clothes: Don’t let damp clothes sit in the machine after a cycle, as this can create mildew and contribute to odors.
  • Leave the door open: After running a cycle, keep the washer door open to allow air to circulate and prevent mold growth.

Discuss Various Cleaning Products That Can Be Used, Plus Diy Options.

There are various options available to clean the washing machine, including commercial cleaners and diy solutions:

  • Commercial cleaners: You can purchase washing machine cleaners from supermarkets, which are specially formulated to break down buildup and deodorize your washer.
  • Vinegar: A natural and cost-effective option is to use white vinegar. Pour two cups of vinegar into the detergent dispenser and run a cleaning cycle with hot water.
  • Baking soda: Another diy option is to add half a cup of baking soda into the drum and run a cycle with hot water. Baking soda helps to neutralize odors and break down any residue build-up.

Provide Step-By-Step Instructions On How To Clean Each Part Of The Washer (E.G. Detergent Dispenser, Drum, Etc.).

Cleaning the detergent dispenser:

  • Remove the dispenser from the washer and rinse it under running water.
  • Use an old toothbrush or a small brush to scrub the dispenser with a mixture of hot water and dish soap.
  • Rinse the dispenser thoroughly with hot water and let it dry before placing it back in the washer.

Cleaning the drum:

  • Fill the washer with hot water and add two cups of white vinegar or half a cup of baking soda.
  • Run a cleaning cycle on the hottest setting.
  • Once the cycle is complete, wipe the drum with a clean, damp cloth.

Cleaning the rubber gasket:

  • Mix a solution of hot water and dish soap.
  • Dip a clean sponge into the solution and use it to scrub the rubber gasket, paying attention to the folds.
  • Rinse the gasket with a clean, damp cloth.

By following these tips and cleaning instructions, you can banish the unpleasant odors and keep your washing machine smelling fresh.

Preventing Future Smells

Bad smells in the washing machine can be a nuisance, and preventing them from developing again is very important. Fortunately, there are several measures you can take to prevent such odors from recurring in the future. Read on to find out what you can do to keep your washing machine smelling fresh and clean.

What Measures To Take To Prevent Bad Smells From Developing Again In The Future.

  • Use high-efficiency detergents: High-efficiency detergents are designed to be low-sudsing, which helps prevent residue buildup in the washing machine. Use these detergents instead of regular detergents to keep your washing machine clean and smelling fresh.
  • Leave the washer door open: One easy way to prevent bad smells in your washing machine is to leave the washer door open between uses. This allows air to circulate inside the machine and prevents mold and mildew growth.
  • Run occasional cleaning cycles: Running a cleaning cycle on your washing machine every few weeks can help prevent bad smells from returning. Most machines have a self-cleaning cycle, but you can also run a cycle with hot water and vinegar to kill any bacteria and remove any buildup.

Tips For Using High-Efficiency Detergents

  • Use the recommended amount: Be sure to follow the instructions on the detergent bottle to determine the correct amount to use. Using too much detergent can create excess suds that can leave behind residue in the machine.
  • Choose the right detergent: Look for detergents that are labeled “he” or “high-efficiency”. These detergents are specifically formulated for use in high-efficiency machines and are low-sudsing.
  • Avoid fabric softeners: Fabric softeners can leave behind a residue in the washing machine that can contribute to bad smells. If you want to use a fabric softener, consider using a dryer sheet instead.

Leaving The Washer Door Open To Allow Airflow

  • Airflow helps prevent mold and mildew growth: Leaving the washer door open between uses allows air to circulate inside the machine, preventing mold and mildew growth that can contribute to bad smells.
  • Consider propping the door open: If you don’t want to leave the door wide open, consider propping it open a few inches to allow airflow without letting pets or small children inside.

Running Occasional Cleaning Cycles

  • Kills bacteria and removes buildup: Running an occasional cleaning cycle with hot water and vinegar can help kill bacteria and remove any buildup inside the washing machine.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions: Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for running a cleaning cycle, as some machines may require special cleaning products or procedures.

Preventing bad smells in your washing machine may take a little extra effort, but it’s worth it to keep your clothes clean and fresh. By using high-efficiency detergents, leaving the washer door open to allow airflow, and running occasional cleaning cycles, you can keep your washing machine smelling great for years to come.

Professional Maintenance Options

Sometimes, no matter how many times you scrub your washing machine, the unpleasant odor just keeps coming back. That might be a sign that it’s time to call in a professional.

When To Call In A Professional

  • If you’ve tried numerous cleaning methods and the odor persists, it may be time to seek professional help.
  • If you notice standing water in your machine, it might be a sign of a more serious issue.
  • If you hear strange noises or notice that your machine is working improperly, this could be an indication that it needs servicing.

Finding A Reliable Professional

Finding a reliable washer repair professional isn’t an easy task. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Ask friends and family for recommendations – they may know someone who’s done good work in the past.
  • Look for online reviews and ratings for repair professionals in your area.
  • Make sure the repair professional has a license and is insured.
  • Get a detailed estimate before any work is done to avoid any nasty surprises.

What To Expect In Terms Of Cost

The cost of hiring a professional to fix your washing machine can vary depending on various factors, such as your location, the severity of the problem, and the specific repair professional you choose. Here are some ballpark figures to help you estimate the cost.

  • General diagnosis fee: $50-$100
  • Labor: $100-$150
  • Parts: Variable depending on the nature of the problem

Remember, always get a detailed estimate before agreeing to any work to ensure you’re getting a fair price.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Get Rid Of The Smell In The Washing Machine

How Do I Get Rid Of The Smell In My Washing Machine?

Regularly clean your washing machine using vinegar, baking soda, and hot water. Leave the door open to let it air out after each wash.

Why Does My Washing Machine Smell Bad?

A buildup of dirt, lint, and soap residue can cause your washing machine to smell bad. Additionally, leaving wet clothes in the washer can also cause odor buildup.

How Often Should I Clean My Washing Machine?

To prevent odor buildup, it’s recommended to clean your washing machine once a month. This will keep your machine fresh and prevent unwanted smells.

Can I Use Bleach To Clean My Washing Machine?

Yes, you can use bleach to clean your washing machine. Mix 1/4 cup of bleach with 1 quart of water, and run a full cycle with this solution to clean the machine.

Will Leaving The Washing Machine Open Prevent Odors?

Yes, leaving the door open after each washing cycle allows the machine to air out and dry. This prevents odor-causing bacteria from growing in the machine.


Getting rid of the smell in your washing machine doesn’t have to be a difficult or overwhelming task. With the right cleaning techniques and maintenance routine, you can keep your washing machine smelling fresh and clean at all times. Remember to always remove wet clothing promptly, use the appropriate amount of detergent, and clean your machine regularly.

If you do encounter persistent or strong odors, don’t hesitate to try some of the natural deodorizing methods, such as vinegar or baking soda. By following these simple steps, you can say goodbye to musty or unpleasant smells in your washing machine once and for all.

Keep your laundry smelling clean and fresh, and enjoy the convenience of a clean washing machine today!

Daniel Methews
Daniel Methews
Daniel Methews is a cleaning expert with a wealth of experience and knowledge in the field. With his expertise in various cleaning techniques, he has become a trusted specialist in the industry. Daniel's mastery lies in the art of vacuum cleaning, where he excels in utilizing the latest advancements in technology to ensure impeccable results. Additionally, his skills in stain removal are unparalleled, as he possesses an in-depth understanding of different types of stains and the most effective methods to eliminate them. Daniel Methews is dedicated to providing top-notch cleaning solutions, leaving spaces spotless and customers satisfied.

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