#Home Improvement

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

Washing machines are a necessity for households. As you know, they are designed to wash and clean several clothing items at the same time saving you time and effort. However, washing machines can also smell bad which could become a headache to get rid of. If the smell is too severe, consulting an appliance repair service is better.

We will discuss the reasons contributing to your washing machine smelling bad and how you can get rid of and prevent them in the future.

Major Reasons Your Washing Machine Is Smelling Bad

Mold And Mildew Growth

If your washing machine is producing a pungent smell, it means there is most likely mold and mildew growth that can be caused due to several reasons. Front-loading washing machines tend to be the most prone to mold and mildew growth on the rubber door gaskets, where the water collects.

The best way to prevent this is by keeping the door open between the loads to let the air out. In most cases, homeowners tend to load the next batch of clothing items as soon as the existing one is done washing and cleaning. As a result, the air or moisture collected inside does not have any room to escape.

If the smell does not go away even after keeping the door open between loads, you can manually clean the gasket using a soft cloth and a cleaning agent. Plus, avoid leaving damp clothes in the washing machine for longer periods.

Detergent Residue

Using the wrong type of detergent for washing clothes is a common mistake that contributes to the machine smelling bad sooner or later. In most cases, it is not even the user’s fault considering there is a huge variety of detergents out there, and picking the right one can be a difficult task.

In such cases, the detergent residue tends to build up on the dispenser, drum, hoses, and other parts or areas that can create a sticky, slimy layer trapping dirt, mold, bacteria, and mildew. To avoid such situations, you should use the right type of detergent combined with the appropriate amount.

Another common misconception amongst homeowners is using excessive detergent to wash clothes as more quantity will do a better job. If possible, try using liquid detergents and make sure to clean the washing machine drum once you are using it.

Clogged Drain, Pump, Or Filter

When washing clothes, it is normal for coins, lint, hair, and buttons to end up inside the washing machine as the washing cycle begins. Eventually, these items tend to get stuck in the drain hose, filter, or pump. Eventually, the washing machine will not be able to drain and dirty water will collect inside forming a stagnant pool that stinks.

At the same time, stagnant water inside the machine makes it a perfect breeding ground for bacteria growth. This can lead to a bad odor. This is why it is always recommended to clean the filters at least once every month. If the washing machine is used daily, you should clean its filter once every week.

Additionally, you should also check the drain pipes and other parts or areas that deal with water. If the filters are clogged, there is a chance of blockage in other areas as well.

Clogs can cause problems in many other appliances as well like dishwashers. Sometimes, a dishwasher doesn’t drain water or fill with water due to clogs. Clearing these clogs can be troublesome, so get help from dishwasher repair Northern VA services.

Using Cold Water to Wash

It is mostly believed that washing clothes in cold water can help you save you money by reducing your water heating bill, but it can also create bad odors. While hot water can kill bacteria and dissolve or rinse away any dirt, oil, and detergent, cold water is not able to do either of these.

This means there is a lot of residues left behind in different parts of the washer. This promotes the production of bacteria. With bacteria growth, bad odor is produced. Ultimately, cold water will cause your washing machine to smell bad. To avoid this, you should always use warm or hot water and run hot water wash cycles to get rid of the smell.

Hard Water

Hard water is not a good option for washing dishes and clothes. The reason is that it contains a relatively high amount of magnesium or calcium that can react with detergents reducing the cleaning efficiency. This can also cause deposits and limescale buildup on the drum, pipes, hoses, etc.

Fortunately, there is a way to avoid this. You will have to install a water softener that will turn hard water into soft water. This reduces the minerals present in the water making it soft. At the same time, you should also use a descaler once in a while to remove all the deposits inside the machine. Thorough washer cleaning once every six months can prevent scale buildup and many other problems like a clogged drain pipe of the washing machine.

How To Keep Your Washer From Smelling Bad?

Now that we have discussed the potential reasons causing your washing machine to smell bad, it is equally important for you to be aware of some tips to help prevent this in the future. There are many ways of getting rid of bad odor in your washing machine.

To begin with, you can opt for using baking soda for getting rid of the bad smell in your washing machine. Simply use a combination of one-quarter cup of baking soda and a quarter cup of water. Pour the entire mixture into the washing machine and let it run. It will remove the residue and get rid of the contaminants causing foul odor.

Furthermore, you can also pour vinegar into the washer and then run a hot cycle. When doing that, check the washer to ensure you don’t have any laundry inside it.

Moreover, you can also mix vinegar with baking soda. The mixture will help dissolve bacteria along with the contaminants.

Vinegar is cheap and can be bought from any store. You can use it to remove stubborn oil and grease stains and odors. However, you might have to put some effort into it. Moreover, you should leave the door open, especially after a heavy session of washing and cleaning.

This is due to the fact that the dampness inside the washing machine can lead to bad odors. So, if some air is let in, it will cause the dampness to evaporate.

How To Maintain Your Washer?

Yes, not only washing machines but other household gas and electric appliances as well that are used daily. Washing machines are becoming expensive with each passing day and you must look after your investment. The good news is maintaining a washing machine is not as difficult as it seems.

All you need to do is use the right products to remove buildups and contaminants. Plus, always follow the instructions mentioned in the user’s manual and use the right detergents. Also, make sure that you get the machine maintained by a professional as well once a year to keep it running smoothly.


Removing bad odors from your washing machine is easy if you know the cause. In most cases, the culprits tend to be poor washing techniques and detergents. Make sure to always follow the instructions and clean it regularly. If there are any issues with the washing machine like a clogged drain or leakage, consult a washer repair Alexandria expert.