Why is there a bad smell coming from my washing machine?

The most common cause of a bad smell coming from your washing machine is the buildup of bacteria, mold, and mildew inside the washer. This can happen due to various reasons, such as using too much detergent, washing at low temperatures, leaving wet clothes in the machine for too long, or not cleaning the washer regularly. The bad smell can affect your clothes, your laundry room, and even your health. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to get rid of the odor and prevent it from coming back. In this article, we will explain how to clean your washing machine, how to maintain it properly, and how to choose the best products for your laundry needs.

How to clean your washing machine

Cleaning your washing machine is not a difficult task, but it requires some time and effort. You will need some basic supplies, such as white vinegar, baking soda, bleach, a sponge, a toothbrush, and a cloth. Here are the steps to follow:

  • First, you need to clean the washer drum, where the clothes are washed. To do this, fill the washer with hot water and add two cups of white vinegar. Run a normal cycle without any clothes or detergent. The vinegar will help to dissolve the dirt, grease, and soap residue that may be stuck in the drum. After the cycle is finished, wipe the inside of the drum with a cloth.
  • Next, you need to clean the detergent dispenser, where you put the detergent, fabric softener, or bleach. To do this, remove the dispenser drawer and soak it in hot water with some vinegar for about 15 minutes. Then, scrub it with a toothbrush to remove any stains or mold. Rinse it well and dry it with a cloth. If the dispenser is not removable, you can use a sponge dipped in vinegar to clean it.
  • Then, you need to clean the door seal, where the door meets the drum. To do this, use a cloth dampened with vinegar to wipe the seal and remove any dirt or mold. You can also use a toothbrush to reach the crevices. Make sure to dry the seal well after cleaning it.
  • Finally, you need to clean the filter, where the water drains out of the washer. To do this, locate the filter at the bottom of the washer and open it. Be careful, as there may be some water or debris inside. Remove any lint, hair, coins, or other objects that may be clogging the filter. Rinse it well and put it back in place.
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How to maintain your washing machine

Cleaning your washing machine once in a while is not enough to keep it smelling fresh. You also need to follow some maintenance tips to prevent the odor from coming back. Here are some of them:

  • Use the right amount of detergent for your load size and water hardness. Too much detergent can leave a residue in the washer and create a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. Follow the instructions on the detergent package or use a measuring cup to avoid overusing it.
  • Wash your clothes at the highest temperature that is safe for the fabric. Higher temperatures can kill the bacteria and mold that cause the bad smell. However, you should also check the care labels on your clothes and follow the recommended washing settings. Some fabrics, such as wool, silk, or delicate items, may need lower temperatures or hand washing.
  • Leave the door and the detergent dispenser open after each wash. This will allow the air to circulate and dry the washer. Closing the door and the dispenser can trap the moisture and create a humid environment for the bacteria and mold to grow.
  • Remove the wet clothes from the washer as soon as possible. Leaving the wet clothes in the washer for too long can cause them to smell bad and transfer the odor to the washer. Try to dry the clothes immediately after washing them, either in a dryer or on a clothesline.
  • Clean the washer regularly, at least once a month. You can use the same method as described above, or you can use a commercial washing machine cleaner that is designed to remove the odor and sanitize the washer. Follow the instructions on the product package and run a normal cycle without any clothes or detergent.
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How to choose the best products for your laundry needs

The products you use for your laundry can also affect the smell of your washing machine and your clothes. Here are some tips to choose the best products for your laundry needs:

  • Choose a detergent that is suitable for your washer type and water hardness. Some detergents are specially formulated for high-efficiency washers, which use less water and energy than regular washers. Some detergents are also designed for hard water, which contains minerals that can interfere with the cleaning performance of the detergent. Check the labels on the detergent packages and choose the one that matches your washer type and water hardness.
  • Choose a detergent that is free of fragrances, dyes, or optical brighteners. These additives can irritate your skin, cause allergic reactions, or damage your clothes. They can also leave a residue in the washer and contribute to the bad smell. Instead, opt for a detergent that is natural, hypoallergenic, or eco-friendly.
  • Choose a fabric softener that is compatible with your detergent and washer. Some fabric softeners can react with some detergents and create a sticky substance that can clog the washer and cause the odor. Some fabric softeners can also damage the sensors or the rubber parts of the washer. Read the labels on the fabric softener packages and choose the one that is compatible with your detergent and washer. Alternatively, you can use natural alternatives, such as vinegar, baking soda, or wool dryer balls, to soften your clothes and reduce static.
  • Choose a bleach that is safe for your clothes and washer. Bleach can be a powerful disinfectant and odor remover, but it can also damage your clothes and washer if used incorrectly. Bleach can fade the colors of your clothes, weaken the fabrics, or cause holes. Bleach can also corrode the metal parts of the washer or react with other chemicals and create toxic fumes. Use bleach only when necessary and follow the instructions on the bleach package and the washer manual. Use the bleach dispenser if your washer has one, or dilute the bleach with water before adding it to the washer. Never mix bleach with other products, such as ammonia, vinegar, or other cleaners.
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Conclusion

A bad smell coming from your washing machine can be a nuisance and a health hazard. However, you can easily get rid of it and prevent it from coming back by following the tips in this article. By cleaning your washing machine, maintaining it properly, and choosing the best products for your laundry needs, you can enjoy a fresh and clean washer and clothes. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us. We are always happy to help you with your laundry needs.