How To Easily Get Rid Of Washing Machine Smells And Mould!

Today I am sharing with you a quick post to show you how I cured my smelly washing machine and got rid of my mouldy washing machine seal! In this post, I’ll share with you the trick I used to get rid of washing machine smells and mould for good!

There is nothing worse than doing a load of laundry only to find that you are left with a pile of smelly washing, you’re left wondering what you can do to keep your washing machine clean.

My front-loading washing machine suffered from a nasty case of mould in the seal which I’m sure contributed hugely to the washing machine stinks!

I can only explain that at it’s worst the washing machine smells were like mildew or stagnant water. I had tried various cleaning methods like baking soda and vinegar in a hot cycle wash, but I still ended up with a smelly washer.

Common Causes Of Washing Machine Smells And Mould.

There can be many factors which can contribute a bad smell in the washing machine.

  • Bad plumbing. Sometimes if a washing machine has not been plumbed-in correctly it can cause problems with stagnant water sitting in the drainage pipe, this can sometimes cause your washing machine to smell of poop, mildew, rotten eggs or stagnant water. If you have a bad washing machine odour and you suspect your washing machine may not have been plumbed-in correctly get a professional to check it out!
  • Build up of soap scum and fat from fabric conditioner. I try to avoid fabric conditioner as it contains animal fat, which is a perfect breeding ground for mould, mildew and bacteria, which may be why your washing machine smells bad!
  • Blocked filter or drain. Most washing machines have a filter at the bottom which may get clogged with hair and other items. After a while, these may build up and cause washing machine smells. Check your machine’s manual to see where the filter is located on your washing machine.

How I Got Rid Of Washing Machine Smells and mould.

Time needed: 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Disclaimer: allegedly using bleach in a washing machine can cause damage to your machine. Please consult manufacturers instructions and follow these tips at your own risk.

  1. Ensure your washing machine is empty

    Make sure there are no stray socks or clothes stuck to the side of the drum that could get ruined. The drum should be empty before beginning the cleaning process

  2. Add a cup of thick household bleach to the detergent drawer

    I prefer to divide the bleach between the three compartments in the detergent drawer to ensure that they all are cleaned well.

  3. Add a cup of bleach to the drum

    Just add a cup of thick bleach straight into the drum, neat.

  4. Add a cup of bleach to the washing machine seal

    I added a cup of bleach to the washing machine seal to help eliminate any washing machine smells and mould from behind the seal. My seal was very mouldy so I left it to sit for about half an hour before I started the washing cycle.

  5. Select the highest temperature your machine will allow and let it run the whole cycle.

    The hottest wash cycle setting on my machine is 90 degrees so that’s one I went for, it took approximately two and a half hours to complete.

  6. After the cycle has finished run some old towels or cleaning cloths through on another wash.

    I like to do this just in case there is any residual bleach inside the tub or seal that could ruin clothes if washed straight after.

How To Keep Your Washing Machine Smelling Fresh

  • Keep the machine door open after washing, mould loves and thrives in damp conditions.
  • Clean your washing machine regularly. Run the machine on empty, on the hottest water cycle every few weeks to avoid washing machine smells and mould.
  • Avoid using fabric conditioners on your clean washing, they contain animal fat and this is a great breeding ground for mould.
  • If you are making your own smelly washer cleaner at home, please be aware never to mix vinegar and bleach at any time as this will cause toxic fumes to be released.

Frequently asked questions

Help my washing machine smells like sewage

Firstly check your filter and make sure that there are no blockages in your washing machine drain pipe. Hair, damp fluff and other matter may cause a smell like sewage or rotten eggs if left to sit for any length of time. Try running an empty load with some baking soda to see if that helps. If you can’t eliminate the stench, call out a plumber as it may be a problem with the way it was fitted.

What is the best washing machine cleaner?

The best way to keep your washing machine clean is to regularly run it empty on the hottest load. If you feel you’ve let your washing machine get into a bit of a grubby state, try either the bleach method as above or one cup of baking soda to two cups of vinegar on an empty load.

My top loading washing machine smells musty.

If your top load washing machine smells of stagnant water, it may be due to a build-up of detergent which is not allowing the water to drain properly, resulting in a musty dirty water smell caused by a build-up of mould or mildew.
This can easily be resolved by running an empty cycle, with one cup of bleach in the drum or alternatively one cup of baking soda and two cups of vinegar.

My top loader washing machine smells like rotten eggs!

If your washing machine smells of stagnant gas it may be due to a build-up of bacteria in your washing machine. Try cleaning inside the rim with bleach then run on the hottest wash with a cup full of bleach as described in the steps above.
If this does not cure the problem seek professional advice.

Should I be using a washing machine tub cleaner to prevent washing machine smells after cleaning?

Keeping your washing machine clean prevents any build-up of bacteria. I would recommend you run the machine empty on it’s hottest wash at least once a month to avoid mould and mildew build-up and to keep the washing machine odour free.

Why does my washing machine smell?

Help my washing machine stinks! There are many reasons your machine may smell, bad plumbing, mould, mildew or badly draining water can all make a washing machine smell rank, try any of the tips in this post and if it persists consult a good plumber.

How to clean a front load washer.

The instructions listed in this post are all suitable to clean a front loading washing machine and designed to help you get the smell out of your washing machine.

Where is the best place to keep my washing machine to avoid washing machine smells and mildew?

The best place to situate a washing machine is in a well-ventilated area with the door left slightly ajar, such as a laundry room, kitchen or bathroom.

Read more dos and don’ts of using a washing machine here

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