What To Do When Your Washing Machine Smells

No one enjoys walking into their laundry room and discovering that their front loading washing machine smells like mildew. We’re going to give you some easy steps to clean your washing machine and get rid of that mildew smell, and also explain what you can do to get avoid the problem in the first place. It’s a good idea to do some preventive maintenance before your washing machine smells like rotten eggs, after all.

Why Your Washing Machine Smells Like Mildew

Front-loading washing machines beat the competition in almost every area: They are more efficient, they use less water, they clean your clothes better and they are more gentle on fabrics. What’s not to love? However, all of that efficiency is what can cause problems.

A front-loading machine uses a lot less water than the traditional top-loading washer. The drum only needs to fill about half way with water and then your clothes tumble in the water as the drum spins. This system works great, so long as you use high-efficiency laundry soaps and liquid fabric softeners.

Regular detergents create more suds than a front-loading washer can handle, because the small amount of water can’t rinse all of the soap off of the clothing. You end up with a layer of soap scum inside the drum. The problem is then compounded because the layer of soap scum attracts all of the dirt, lint and debris from clothing. Then, here comes the mildew smell!

Front-loading washers also use a rubber door gasket to prevent leakage. That gasket is another problem spot that allows debris and dirt to build up and create fascinating new smells in your laundry room.

How to Get Rid of Front Load Washing Machine Smells

Here are some simple steps to get rid of those mildew odors in your front-loading washing machine. Do this about once a month to keep the machine smelling more like fresh laundry and less like a pair of dirty gym socks. All you need to clean your front-loading machine is some baking soda, a bottle of white vinegar and a kitchen sponge.

  1. Create a mixture with 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup of water. Stir it up well and then pour it into the detergent container on your front-loading washing machine.
  2. Pour 2 cups of white vinegar inside the washing machine’s drum.
  3. Run a regular high-heat cycle on the machine, with no clothes in it.
  4. If any spots of soap scum remain after the cycle runs, attack them with the scrub side of a sponge until they’re gone. Voila!
  5. That baking soda-vinegar combo should eliminate any soap scum, kill any mold inside the drum and get rid of that mildew smell.

How to Keep Your Washing Machine Smelling Like New

If you followed the steps above, your washing machine should smell a lot better. So, how do you keep it that way for the long-term.

First, get rid of the standard detergents. Regular detergent is cheaper and saving money is a good thing, we get it. But is it really worth having that mildew smell build up again and having to spend your time scrubbing the drum? We didn’t think so. Switch to high-efficiency detergents, because those are made specifically for front-loading washing machines.

Next, work on keeping the washing machine drum dry, so that mildew doesn’t have a chance to grow. Mold and mildew love wet, humid locations. When you run a load of wash, take it out of the machine immediately and get it in the dryer. Don’t let wet laundry sit in the machine. Leave the door to the washing machine open so that moisture can evaporate out of it. You might also consider purchasing a portable dehumidifier and running it in the laundry room.

Finally, clean that rubber gasket! Check that rubber seal around the door of your front-loading washing machine on a regular basis and remove any debris or lint buildup that you find there. Give it a quick scrub with a mixture of white vinegar and water to kill any invisible mold.

If you follow these steps, you’ll be able to get rid of those front load washing machine smells for good!

Leave a comment