Even if you clean your washing machine thoroughly and regularly, it can still start smelling. This is also a problem that comes up more often than you might think. Over time, dirt, detergent residue, and minerals build up in the washing machine, causing that unpleasant smell. Unfortunately, a smelly washing machine means your laundry smells too. Of course nobody wants that. Luckily, there are things you can do when your washing machine stinks. In this article we will tell you exactly what you can do.

Unfortunately, it can happen that your washing machine stinks

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Fortunately, you don’t have to live with a smelly washing machine. The first thing to think about before you start washing is whether you have a top-loading or front-loading washing machine. Unfortunately, although front loading washing machines can be found in most homes and are generally more popular, they are more prone to smelly and moldy over time if not cleaned properly. The design of front-loading washing machines makes them more likely to develop odors, suds, and mold.

To avoid this, you need a highly efficient cleaning agent that is compatible with this design. Unless you’re using a high-efficiency detergent, there won’t be enough water to wash the detergent away. The washing drum can then fill up with dirt and debris, which can lead to bad smells. Something similar happens with the rubber door seal that prevents water leakage. These seals become traps for dirt, soap scum and other parts, and are also a place where bad odors can collect.

Cleaning the washing machine is particularly important

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How to clean a smelly washing machine

For this you need:

  • sponge/washcloth
  • bleach
  • baking soda
  • white vinegar
  • rubber gloves (optional)
  • old toothbrush

It is important to scrub the washing machine before actually cleaning it

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  • This is a step that is often overlooked when cleaning a smelly washing machine. It is important that you scrub the washing machine before actually cleaning it. Begin by removing all soap, bleach, and fabric softener dispensers. Use an old toothbrush or the corner of your sponge to give them a good clean. Also, if you can reach the deposits in the tubes of the boxes, clear them out. If you have a top-loading washing machine, you should also clean around the door and hinges, where dirt can become invisible. For front-loading washing machines, wipe the rubber seal and remove any dirt. It is better to scrub these areas before deep cleaning the drum.

Bleach can fight mold in the washing machine

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#washing machine drum cleaning

  • The most important part of washing machine cleaning is mold control. You can easily fight mold and mildew with bleach. Make sure you wear rubber gloves and ventilate the room well when using such products. NEVER mix bleach with any other cleaner.
    • Pour four cups of bleach into a top-loading machine, or two cups into a front-loading machine.
    • Carry out a wash cycle with the highest temperature and let the washing drum fill up. Discontinue the cycle once the bleach has mixed with the water. Leave it on for about 30 minutes before completing the cycle.
    • Run a rinse to remove all traces of bleach.

A mixture of baking soda and vinegar can work wonders

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Clean the washing machine with vinegar and baking soda

After you sanitize the drum with bleach, the vinegar and baking soda mixture can act as a secondary cleaner and deodorizer for the washing machine. It should remove any remaining dirt, grime, and bad odors.

Thats how it works:

  1. Mix together 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup water.
  2. Pour the mixture into the dispenser.
  3. Use 4 cups of white vinegar (not apple cider vinegar) for a top-loading machine, or 2 cups for a front-loading machine.
  4. Then pour the vinegar into the drum.
  5. Run a high temperature cycle.
  6. You can interrupt the washing process and leave the mixture on for 30 minutes for a more thorough cleaning.

Baking soda comes to the rescue

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Washing machine stinks – how can this be prevented?

By learning how to clean your smelly washing machine, you can deal with those odors more easily. However, there are things you can do to avoid such situations. Such as:

  • Always keep your washing machine door open between washes to allow excess moisture to evaporate and prevent mold from forming.
  • Make sure you use a highly efficient detergent. If your washing machine is a high-efficiency appliance, especially a front-load washing machine, such detergents will help minimize the build-up of soap scum.
  • Thoroughly clean the seal on your washing machine. The gasket is the most likely suspect for washing machine odors. Therefore, cleaning and disinfecting the seal is crucial if you want to keep your washing machine and clothes fresh.

Unfortunately, over time, a lot of dirt can accumulate in the washing machine

How to clean a smelly washing machine with baking soda and vinegar

Vinegar can quickly remove bad odors in the washing machine

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Clean the washing machine with vinegar and baking soda

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