Last Updated on July 5, 2022
You might have been experiencing a nasty smell coming out of the clothes you are taking out of the washing machine. There could be several reasons that lead to this mess. With time, dirt, hair, and soap scum start accumulating inside the seals of the washing machine and its dispenser. Their build-up creates a disgusting smell. If you do not bother to clean such materials, it will damage the internal system of the machine.
In this post, we will share some effective ways if you do not know how to clean a smelly washing machine. The major reasons for the problem must be identified first, and then you should rush towards its solution.
What Causes Smell in a Washing Machine
You expect to get a pleasant smell from your clothes washed in the machine, but if the machine is junky, the result will be foul-scented clothes. This situation can be frustrating and disappointing, but you can no longer avoid it. The smell will remain forever if you do not find a way to remove it.
If you want to get rid of such nasty smells, maintaining the cleanliness of the washing machine is essential. Below we have enlisted some of the major reasons for this problem and some easy ways to resolve them.
Limescale deposition is more common in areas where only hard water is supplied. The hard water causes many problems such as cloggings and the build-up of soap scums. Though it won’t be easy to deal with hard water, you can run a few empty cycles of the washer with warm water to remove the limescale deposits.
Grime Build Up
The fabric you add inside the washing machine often contains oil, mud, hair, and food stains. These filthy stains and some particles start piling up inside the machine’s seal, dispenser, and gasket.
If they remain untreated for just a week, your washing machine and surrounding area will start giving off an unpleasant scent.
Accumulation of Bacteria
If the leftover detergents start accumulating inside the dispenser, this leads to bacterial growth, which alters the normal surroundings while developing a bad smell. Most bacterial build-up occurs inside the darker places of machines, such as drums, where the bacteria and fungi easily start gathering up inside the door seals and dispensers. You must look at such places to avoid these circumstances.
Sometimes the clothes are the only reason for such bad odors. If you have done strenuous exercise in the gym and have put your smelly shirts inside the machine, the results will be horrible.
Sweating creates a nasty smell, and it can become unbearable over time. So, it is better to treat such clothes by hand before adding them to the washer.
How to Clean A Smelly Washing Machine: Step-by-Step Guide
Whether you have a front-loaded or top-loaded washing machine, the cleaning process is quite similar and very easy. There is only one difference in both: a top-loaded machine will require a hot water cycle while the front-loaded washer will rely on a less hot water cycle.
To eliminate awful smells, you must follow these steps to ensure a cleaned environment of the machine and fresh odor. Follow each step carefully to avoid any bad results.
What You’ll Require
Follow items are required to clean a smelly washing machine:
- Baking Soda
- White Vinegar
- Plastic gloves
- Essential Oil
- Microfiber cloth
Remove All Detachable Parts of the Washer
Now you have found out the disgusting smell coming out of your washing machine, the first step you need to take is to remove all the detachable parts, including soap, softener, and bleach dispenser. You must remove each part separately and scrub it with care for cleaning.
There you can easily find mildew growth due to water collection in the compartments. To scrub such materials, use a toothbrush and clean all the crevices and corners. In the front load washer, you can use a damp cloth to wipe the rubber seal. While in top-loaded machines, there will be a need to clean the corners or edges of the door.
Use Chlorine Bleach to Sanitize Washing Machine
One of the best remedies recommended by professionals for sanitizing a washer is using chlorine bleach. It can kill molds and mildew growth in no time.
However, some precautionary measures must be kept in mind while dealing with bleach, such as never mixing chlorine bleach with any other cleaning agent.
- If you have a top-load machine, add four cups of bleach to it, while two cups are recommended for the front load machine.
- After adding the solution, turn on the washer cycle to the maximum temperature.
- Fill the machine tub and allow the agitator to mix the bleach thoroughly.
- Then wait for half an hour and restart the cleaning cycle.
- In the end, turn on the rinse cycle, and all grime will be removed.
Add Some Vinegar to Eliminate Smell
The best deodorizer considered for removing nasty smells of the washing machine is vinegar. It is highly effective in removing the hard water residues and bacterial growth if they are somehow left after using the bleach.
- Turn on the maximum temperature settings on the machine.
- Put four cups of white vinegar in the top-load machine and two cups in the front load washer.
- Using vinegar is not suggested to use any detergent or other substance.
- The other steps are similar to the ones involved during the bleach cycle.
- Wait till 30 minutes to allow the vinegar to show its effects in removing all the dirt and smell.
Turn On Service Wash Cycle
When you are done cleaning with vinegar, now is the time to rinse the drum by running a service wash cycle. It is also known as a self-cleaning cycle, where the hot water runs inside the machine for cleaning. In modern models, this feature is already present; if your machine lacks this feature, you can run a hot wash cycle for more than the usual period.
It is important to turn on the self-cleaning mode at least one time in a whole month to keep the machine safe from developing smells. In addition, a cleaner can help for in-depth removal of bacteria and agents that cause these odors.
Clean Water Inlet Filters
Washing the water inlet filters is also a good way of keeping the machine in good condition. The following steps are included in this process:
- Turn off the machine to remove the hot & cold water lines of the machine.
- Now detach the inlet from the valves by using needle-nose pliers.
- Drain the remaining water by placing a bucket on the hose’s exterior.
- Soak the valves inside the solution of white vinegar and lukewarm water to get the stains cleaned.
- After cleaning, attach all parts back to their position.
Wash the Drain Pump
Cleaning the drain pump is also important to avoid building up any residual substances.
- Find out the position of the service panel of the machine.
- Remove the draining hose and get all water out of the pipe in the tray to detach the drain pump.
- Wash it inside hot water to eliminate any blocking material.
- Put the drain pump and hose back in their position to run a test.
Cleaning The Exterior of the Machine
This is how you can clean the exterior parts of the machine:
- Make a solution of hot water and dishwashing liquid.
- Use a microfiber cloth or a sponge to soak inside the solution.
- Now rub that sponge all over the machine to clean any sticky substance.
- Avoid using abrasive material on the exterior.