How to Clean a Washing Machine and Get Rid of the Smell
- Published: Feb 21/2019
- Last update: Mar 16/2022
- 10min read
- Views: 5,057
While doing your daily chores, you put the dirty laundry in the washing machine, pouring in a ton of detergent and fabric softeners. However, when the cycle is over, a strange, unpleasant smell seems to come out of your machine and it just won’t go away. Before you start browsing through appliance shop catalogues, try to remember the last time you actually gave your washer a good scrub. If no such memories come to mind, then maybe it is time for a nice, thorough cleaning.
So, if you:
Then read on!
In this article, you’ll find information on how to clean your washing machine correctly, so that nasty stench disappears.
Besides the obvious reasons, like the visible dirt, there are many other factors, which indicate that your washing machine is in need of a deep clean. Here is what to look out for:
If you live in an area with hard water, there is also a big possibility that there is a lot of limescale build-up. Limescale can cause various breakdowns in your washing machine which may lead to unnecessary repairs and call out charges.
Most families in the UK rely on front-loading washers because this type of appliance requires less water and energy than top-loaders. However, they also tend to develop mould and nasty smells, due to their many compartments. Usually, there is a manual that explains how to clean your washing machine drum properly and remove those nasty smells without causing any damage.
Now, let’s move on to how to clean a smelly washing machine with the help of vinegar and baking soda.
The gasket is the perfect place for mould and mildew to develop from leftover detergents. To enjoy clean laundry, you have to clean your washing machine door seal frequently. This will keep mould and dirt at bay. Here is how it’s done:
Take your time cleaning, especially if there is already a bit of built-up residue. This will not only take care of the seal but will also make sure that your laundry won’t pick up any dirt when you’re taking it out of the machine. If you have encountered excessive mould or dirt build up on your washing machine rubber seal you can also read our detailed guide on the subject.
Tight spaces and lack of light are the perfect conditions for bacteria to develop, so make sure to include the washing machine drawer in your cleaning checklist.
Luckily, the tray can be easily removed and cleaned outside of the washer. If a lot of dirt has built up, use a toothbrush to clean all the corners of your detergent drawer, and remove the encrusted washing powder. You can use a paste of baking soda and water or just regular dish soap.
Another option is to place the entire drawer in your dishwasher and clean it this way. While you are waiting, you can clean the drawer cavity with a damp microfibre cloth or a regular towel.
The filter ensures that lint, stray tissues, and bigger pieces of dirt are not sucked in along with the water, obstructing the flow. It’s also the perfect place for a germ party, so you should keep an eye on it and clean it frequently.
One of the things you need to do regularly is empty the filter – do this at least once every two weeks. If you are not sure where it’s located, check your washer’s manual.
And when it’s time to clean it, here is what you should do:
For more details on the process, you can check out our dedicated post “How to Clean a Washing Machine Filter“.
Now that you have finally finished cleaning all the interior bits and parts of your washing machine, it’s time to take care of the outside.
So, you followed all the instructions from above and your washer still smells like the bottom of a lake. Don’t lose hope! You can still remove the bad smell from your washing machine and here is how:
If you need a quick way to remove every living thing inside the washer, try using bleach:
For this technique, you will need clove oil. You can find this type of oil in most chemists and health food stores. No matter if you have a front or a top-loader, just pour 10 drops of clove oil directly into the drum and start the machine on the hottest setting. Make sure to open all doors and windows while the cycle is running. This step is important because the smell of clove oil is extremely potent.
Bad odour might also come from the clogged drain hose. To maintain the state of your appliance, make sure to regularly check the drainage system.
If you live alone and you tend to use the washing machine two times a week at the most, once a month should be more than enough to keep your appliance in top shape. If you have a family with kids and pets, you should clean it a bit more often. Greasy and heavily soiled clothing speeds up the dirt build-up process in your washer, as well as the need of washing machine services. You can read more on this subject in our “How Often Should You Clean a Washing Machine” post.
Book appliance cleaning online and get rid of the odour today.
Hard water can cause your washing machine a lot of trouble. We all know that it is the main reason behind the build-up of limescale, which can lead to corrosion of the heating elements. It also creates the perfect environment for bacteria to develop. Still, there is a way you can reduce its negative effect on your washer – just try adding water softening tablets and use special hard water laundry detergents. For more tips on limescale removal, check out this post.
If you want to have the best results with each wash, you need to know how to keep your washing machine clean. These regular maintenance tips will help you:
Not everyone has the time to pay special attention to their washing machine with each house clean. For all of you busy bees out there, we have a regular domestic cleaning service. This is an hourly-based service, which you can order as frequently as you need.
If your washing machine needs some extra care, the cleaner will handle the task to ensure that both its interior and exterior parts are in clean condition. So, scratch off the washer from your “To-do” list and leave the hard work to us.
We hope you found this article on how to clean your washing machine and get rid of bad smells useful. Share your experience with this problem in the comment section and happy cleaning!
Header image source: Shutterstock / FotoDuets