Although it can be pretty unpleasant, having a smelly washing machine is a problem that’s often really simple to fix. Our troubleshooting article has some top tips for banishing any nasty odours, as well as stopping any smells from coming back again.
If your clothes aren’t smelling fresh when they come out of your washing machine, it’s probably down to a buildup of detergent, dirt or limescale inside your machine. The biggest symptom of this is your laundry smelling damp or musty, even when dry, as well as an unpleasant smell coming from inside your machine.
If your drum has a build-up of dirt or detergent, it can smell musty inside. Most washing machines have maintenance wash settings, or you can run it on a hot wash whilst it's empty. Adding half a cup of distilled vinegar to your drum before the maintenance wash is a great way to neutralise any odours. If your drum is particularly dirty, it might be worth running a hot wash more than once.
The little nooks and crannies in your washing machine’s rubber door seal can let water in and cause mould and mildew to build up. If it looks a little grubby, it can be scrubbed with warm soapy water or a bit of distilled vinegar. If it still smells, mould may have got into the porous rubber. If you think this may have happened, you can contact your manufacturer for a replacement.
If your detergent drawer isn't regularly cleaned, soap residues can get stuck and go mouldy and smelly. Most washing machines will let you remove the drawer, which you can then soak in warm soapy water before wiping down with a cloth. Using an old toothbrush will help you get really stuck in.
If you’ve tried cleaning and checking for blockages and you’re still getting unpleasant whiffs from your machine, it might be worth giving a professional a call and asking them to check for any drainage or plumbing problems in your home.
There are some easy things you can do to make sure that lingering smells are banished for good from your washing machine:
For more information on this, take a look at our article on how to look after your washing machine.