a washer and dryer in a room

What To Do About A Smelly Washing Machine

It seems like the most annoying things happen at the most inopportune times. Just when you’ve loaded up your washing machine with a load of smelly laundry, it turns out that your washer itself is what’s actually stinking up your home! Before you start panicking, take a deep breath and relax. As a handyman, I can tell you that there are some simple steps you can take to solve this problem and get your washing machine back to being fresh and clean.

Nobody likes having to deal with a smelly washing machine. Unfortunately, odors from mold and mildew can build up over time if the washer isn’t properly cleaned or maintained. But don’t worry—I’m here to help! In this article, I’ll be walking you through my tried-and-true methods for getting rid of those nasty odors. Whether it’s a one-time cleaning or an ongoing maintenance routine, I’ll give you all the information you need to get rid of that awful smell once and for all!

So if you want to know how to keep your washing machine free from unpleasant odors, read on! With just a few easy steps and some basic supplies, I’ll show you how to make sure your washer doesn’t become an uninvited guest in your home ever again.

Identifying The Cause Of A Smelly Washing Machine

Figuring out why your washing machine is smelly can seem like a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be. First, let’s take a closer look at what could be causing the odor.

It might be the actual machine itself, or any residue left behind from detergent or fabric softener. Or it could be mildew and mold due to moisture build-up in the drum. If you recently moved the machine, check underneath it for any dirt or debris that may have become trapped during the move.

If none of these are the source of the smell, you’ll want to check inside the machine. The interior can accumulate dirt and grime over time that can create an unpleasant odor when running a wash cycle. To get rid of it, you’ll need to deep clean your washer thoroughly. With all these potential causes in mind, let’s start cleaning that machine interior!

Cleaning The Machine Interior

Tackling the odour of a smelly washing machine can be a daunting task. But, with a little elbow grease, you can have your washing machine smelling fresh and clean in no time. Think of it this way: it’s like giving your washer a spa day, but without the hefty price tag. Now that we’ve identified the cause, let’s move on to cleaning the machine interior.

We’ll start by removing any accumulated dirt or grime from inside the drum. Begin by emptying out any remaining laundry and wiping down any visible dirt or soap scum with a sponge or cloth. Then, add two cups of white vinegar to the drum and run a hot water cycle to dissolve away any built-up residue that may be causing odors. Here are three ways to further deodorize your washing machine:

• Use baking soda: sprinkle one cup of baking soda into the empty drum and run another hot water cycle. Baking soda is great for neutralizing odors! • Utilize bleach: fill the detergent tray with one cup of bleach and run an empty hot water cycle. This will help rid your washer of bacteria and mildew that could be causing odor issues. • Add essential oils: pour 10-15 drops of an essential oil such as lavender or lemon onto an old rag and place it in the drum before running a hot water cycle. The scent of these oils will leave your washer smelling wonderful!

By following these steps, you can have your washing machine back in working order in no time at all–and without spending money on expensive cleaners or tools! With just a few simple steps, you’ll have your appliance looking and smelling its best again soon enough.

Cleaning The Machine Exterior

When it comes to washing machines, keeping them clean and odor-free is essential. But what should you do when your machine starts to smell? This third step of the process will help you tackle the exterior of the machine, so let’s dive in!

First off, it’s important to get an understanding of what could be causing the unpleasant odors. It could be due to dirt and grime buildup from standing water, or because of detergent residue. Either way, here are a few tips on how to deal with this issue:

• Cleaning the Exterior: ◦ Clean out any dirt and debris from the rubber seal around the door using a damp cloth. ◦ Check for any mold or mildew buildup behind the rubber seal, then use a bleach solution to disinfect if needed. ◦ Wipe down both the inside and outside of your washer with a damp cloth soaked in white vinegar or baking soda solution. • Removing Detergent Buildup: ◦ Run your washing machine on an empty cycle with hot water and 2 cups of white vinegar to remove detergent buildup. ◦ If that doesn’t work, try adding 1 cup of baking soda instead and running another cycle. ◦ Lastly, sprinkle some baking soda on a damp sponge or rag and wipe down your machine again if there is still a lingering odor.

Now you have all the tools you need to keep your washing machine smelling fresh! Taking care of these simple steps can go a long way in preventing smelly machines – no matter how much laundry you do each week!

Removing Detergent Buildup

Having a smelly washing machine in the home can be both unpleasant and embarrassing. Getting rid of that odor doesn’t have to be difficult though, as long as you take the time to do it properly. The fourth step in tackling this issue is removing detergent buildup. Here’s how you can get it done:

First, you’ll need to run an empty cycle on hot water with a cup of white vinegar added. This will help break down any residue that might be hiding away in the appliance. After this cycle is complete, check your owner’s manual for directions on how to access and clean out the washing machine filter. Doing this regularly can help keep your machine running smoothly and free of odors.

Next, check the rubber seal around the door for any build up or signs of mildew. If there is any present, use a damp cloth to wipe it down with a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water. Finally, if you’ve been using too much detergent or fabric softener (or an old-fashioned variety), consider reducing it by half and see if that helps improve the smell coming from your washer.

By addressing these four steps, you’ll have taken care of most likely causes of your smelly washing machine – now it’s time to move onto sanitizing with vinegar for an even deeper cleanse!

Sanitizing With Vinegar

If your washing machine is smelly, it can be a nightmare! But luckily, there’s an easy solution – sanitizing with vinegar. It’s like a miracle cure that can make all your smelly problems vanish in no time.

First, fill the washer with hot water and add about two cups of white vinegar. Then let the cycle run for about half an hour. This will help to break down any bacteria that might have built up and cause odor. Don’t forget to remove any lint or debris from the drum before starting this process.

After the cycle has finished, you can wipe down the interior of the washer with a damp cloth to get rid of any remaining residue. The smell should be gone soon after this step is completed! For extra precaution, you may want to do this process twice a month to keep your washer smelling fresh and clean all-year round.

Though it’s not necessary, some people like to finish off by running another cycle with just hot water and bleach for added sanitation. Doing so will help ensure your washer remains free from odors in the future – making laundry day much more enjoyable!


Sanitizing With Bleach

Alright, now we’re gonna move on to sanitizing with bleach. This is a great way to get rid of any bacteria and bad smells in your washer. It’s also going to help keep it clean and fresh for longer. First off, you’ll need to make sure you don’t use too much bleach or it could cause damage to your machine. Start by filling the washing machine drum with hot water, then add half a cup of liquid chlorine bleach into the mix. Let it swirl around for about 15 minutes before turning the machine off and letting it sit for another 15 minutes. Then drain all the water out, and you’re done!

Now that your washing machine is sanitized with bleach, let’s get on to cleaning the dispenser. This is an important part of keeping your washer smelling nice and preventing mold growth. You can do this by taking out any detergent buildup using a sponge or brush, then wiping down the dispenser with warm soapy water or vinegar solution. Finally, rinse off any residue and dry everything thoroughly before putting everything back together again. That way you can be sure your washing machine stays clean – no more smelly surprises!

Cleaning The Washing Machine Dispenser

Washing machines are a godsend when it comes to cleaning our clothes – and they’re so easy to take for granted! But if you’ve ever experienced the horror of a smelly washing machine, you know it’s something that needs to be dealt with quickly. That’s why today we’re talking about how to clean the washing machine dispenser: an often neglected but essential part of keeping your washer smelling fresh.

So what’s involved in cleaning the dispenser? Well, start out by removing any detergent residue or build-up from the inside of the dispenser tray – this can usually be done with a sponge and some warm water. Make sure not to leave any soap suds behind as this can cause further problems in the long run. Now, grab a cloth or paper towel and give the exterior of the dispenser tray a good wipe down; being sure to get into all those little nooks and crannies too!

Once you’ve finished cleaning up, make sure you give your dispenser tray one final rinse with warm water before replacing it back in its spot. This will help ensure that no residue is left on or around your machine, which could cause future odors. So there you have it folks – one more step towards having a freshly smelling washing machine!

Cleaning The Rubber Gasket

It’s been said that the rubber gasket of a washing machine can be one of the most difficult areas to clean. But is it really true? To get to the bottom of this, let’s take a close look at what needs to be done.

When cleaning the rubber gasket, you have to be extra careful because it’s easy to damage. First, remove any lint or residue from inside the gasket and around its edges with a soft cloth. Then, use a mild detergent and warm water to scrub the surface of the gasket. Pay special attention to any visible mold or mildew that may be present. Rinse off all suds and wipe dry with a clean cloth.

The last step in cleaning your washing machine’s rubber gasket is to apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly around its edges to keep it lubricated and help prevent future build-up or corrosion. With these tips in mind, you can easily maintain your washing machine’s rubber gasket and keep it looking and smelling like new! Now that we’ve tackled cleaning the rubber gasket, let’s move on to deodorizing with baking soda for fresher-smelling laundry!

Deodorizing With Baking Soda

Have you ever wondered how to get rid of that smelly washing machine? If so, look no further! Deodorizing with baking soda is a great way to tackle those odors. Here’s what you need to know.

First, make sure your washer is empty and the lid is open. Then sprinkle baking soda all around the inside of the drum and on the rubber gasket. Put about half a cup of baking soda in your detergent drawer as well. After that, run an extra hot cycle with no clothes inside. The baking soda will help remove any dirt or grime that might be causing odors in your washer, while also deodorizing it at the same time!

Finally, once the cycle has finished, wipe down the drum and rubber gasket with a damp cloth to remove any remaining residue from the baking soda. That’s it – you’re done! You can now enjoy a much fresher-smelling washing machine without having to worry about foul odors anymore. Now let’s move on to deodorizing with white vinegar…

Deodorizing With White Vinegar

Imagine a party – one of your friends has brought a gift, but you notice a strange smell emanating from it. You know that something isn’t quite right and you must take action to remove the bad odor. In the same way, when your washing machine starts to give off an unpleasant odor, you need to deodorize it with white vinegar as soon as possible.

As a handyman, I can tell you that white vinegar is an excellent solution for washing machines with a musty smell. It’s simple, inexpensive, and effective in removing any dirt or debris that may be causing the unwanted odor. To start, pour one cup of white vinegar into the detergent dispenser and run the machine on its hottest setting. The hot water will help dissolve any buildup on the inside of the washer and get rid of any lingering odors.

One of the advantages of using white vinegar is that it won’t damage your washer like some other cleaning agents might. And while it may not be pleasant-smelling itself, it will help eliminate any unpleasant odors in your washing machine so you can enjoy clean clothes again without smelling anything bad! Plus, using white vinegar is safer for both people and their pets than harsh chemical cleaners.

Using white vinegar is just one way to eliminate bad smells from your washing machine – next up we’ll look at how to clean out the drain trap for an even better result!

Cleaning The Drain Trap

Strange as it may seem, the solution to a smelly washing machine may be in cleaning its drain trap. It’s an unexpected coincidence that this issue can be tackled with a simple solution. After all, it’s not often that we think about cleaning the drain trap of our washing machines. But this is a crucial step to deodorize and keep your washer smelling fresh!

Here are some steps you can take to clean the drain trap:

  • Start by unplugging the washing machine power cord from the wall outlet.
  • Remove the lower access panel from below the washer door.
  • Check for any debris or clogged items in the pump and remove them if necessary.
  • Locate and remove the drain hose from the pump, then use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to draw out any excess water or debris from within it.
  • Now replace both parts, reconnecting them carefully until they are secure. Once everything is back in place, plug your washer back into its power source and run it through a complete cycle with hot water and detergent.

The process of cleaning your washing machine’s drain trap will help eliminate odors and ensure a pleasant-smelling machine! Just make sure that you take safety precautions while doing so – such as wearing gloves – to avoid any potential harm caused by sharp edges or objects around the area. With these simple steps taken care of, you’re now ready to move on to cleaning hoses for further odor elimination!

Cleaning The Hoses

Alright, now that you’ve cleaned the drain trap, it’s time to move on to cleaning the hoses. These are the parts of your washing machine that allow water in and out of it. They may become clogged over time with dirt, soap scum, or other debris. To clean them, first disconnect them from the back of the machine. Then use a brush (like an old toothbrush) and a mild detergent to scrub away any residue or build up that you can see. Rinse off with warm water afterwards and then reconnect them securely before running a cycle again.

Now that you’ve taken care of your hoses, there’s one more step you can take to ensure your washing machine stays odour-free: preventive maintenance. This includes regularly cleaning out the inside of your washer by running an empty cycle with hot water and a cup of white vinegar every couple months. Additionally, try to keep your washer door slightly ajar when not in use so air can circulate through it and help dry out any moisture left over from doing loads of laundry.

By taking these steps to clean and maintain your washing machine, you’ll be able to get rid of any current smells and prevent future odors from occurring. With these simple tips, you’ll be sure to have a fresh-smelling washing machine for years to come!

Preventing Future Odors

Did you know that about 64% of Americans have reported their washing machines having a bad odor? This is why preventing future odors from happening is so important. In this section, we’ll discuss some handyman tips and tricks on how to keep your washing machine smelling fresh.

First, it’s important to regularly clean the outside of your washing machine. This means wiping down all surfaces with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth. It’s also helpful to leave the lid of the washer open when not in use. This will help air out any moisture that may be lingering inside the machine and prevent mold or mildew from forming.

Next, use an odor-eliminating detergent when you do laundry instead of regular soap. These detergents are specially formulated to help eliminate odors rather than just mask them, making them much more effective at keeping your clothes smelling fresh and your washing machine smelling good as well. Additionally, if you have a front-loading washer, be sure to leave the door open after each cycle so that any dampness can evaporate before it has a chance to cause odors.

Finally, try adding some white vinegar to your laundry loads every once in awhile. The acidic nature of white vinegar helps break down tough stains and residue buildup in the drum of your washer – both common causes of musty smells – leaving it smelling clean and fresh for longer periods of time. Taking these steps will ensure that you’re able to maintain a pleasant smell coming from your washing machine no matter how often you use it!

Troubleshooting Common Issues

So, you’ve come to the end of your DIY journey and it’s time to troubleshoot some common issues of smelly washing machines. It’s a tricky task but with these few tips, we’ll help you get through it in no time. Let’s take a look at how to:

• Check for mold or mildew in the gasket and drum • Clean out any dirt or debris from the detergent drawer • Address any blockages in the drain hose • Ensure that all hoses are properly connected • Determine whether any foreign objects are stuck inside the drum

Keeping your eyes peeled for these issues is key when it comes to dealing with any odours coming from your washing machine. Make sure to check all hoses and connections, as well as cleaning out any lint or dirt that may have built up over time. Additionally, be sure to look out for any mold or mildew build-up around the gasket and drum area, which can also cause unwanted smells. Once you’ve completed these steps, you should be able to get rid of those nasty odours without having to call in a professional. Time to move on now – let’s take a look at how best to maintain your trusty washing machine with regular professional care.

Professional Washing Machine Maintenance

Have you ever asked yourself why your washing machine smells so bad? If you’re like me, you’ve probably tried all the home remedies for getting rid of the smell without success. Well, there is a solution to this problem—professional washing machine maintenance.

Let’s start by looking into the truth of that theory. It’s true that regular maintenance can help keep your washing machine smelling fresh and clean. Professional technicians will check the hoses and connections, as well as inspect the interior components of your machine to make sure everything is working properly. They will also replace any worn-out parts with new ones and use special cleaning solutions to disinfect the drum and other components. In addition, they can install filters to prevent lint buildup, which can cause odors when it accumulates in your machine over time.

So if you want to keep your washing machine in top condition and smelling great all year long, then professional maintenance is an important part of keeping it running smoothly. A good technician will be able to detect any problems before they become serious and take steps to address them quickly and efficiently. You’ll also be able to rest easy knowing that your appliance is being taken care of by someone who knows what they’re doing—and who knows how important it is for your laundry room to look good and smell fresh!


The odors from a smelly washing machine can be a real nuisance. Fortunately, with the right steps and a little bit of elbow grease, you can have your washing machine smelling fresh in no time. The key is to first identify the source of the smell, then clean and sanitize both the interior and exterior of the machine. You should also clean out any built up detergent residue and hoses. With regular maintenance, you can keep your washing machine running smoothly and smelling pleasant for many years to come.

It’s always best to be proactive when it comes to appliance maintenance. A few minutes spent on regular cleaning can save you big headaches down the road–not to mention nosefuls of foul odors! So get out there and start scrubbing, rinsing, and sanitizing; before you know it, your washing machine will be sparkling clean inside and out.

As any handyman will tell you, prevention is worth its weight in gold! Put in a little extra effort now to avoid major repairs later on. A smelly washing machine doesn’t have to ruin your day; take some simple steps today for a fresher tomorrow!

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