Your washing machine doesn’t have to start making funny noises or flood for it to need attention. If the machine meant to clean and freshen your clothes and linens starts stinking, you need to fix it.

What a Smelly Washer Indicates

The smell coming from your washing machine could indicate mildew or mold development. It could have just developed a musty smell. There also could be unwanted bacteria breeding in it. The smell could come from debris or grime trapped under the gasket.

Why Front-Load Washers Smell More

Here’s the tradeoff: front-load washers clean more efficiently, but top-load washers develop smelly issues less often. Front-load designs use less water, filling only the bottom of the machine’s tub. They tumble the clothing through the water. High-efficiency detergents work well in these machines, but regular detergents and softeners cause problems. The small amount of water can’t rinse away the regular detergents. That leaves residue on the drum that produces soap scum that draws debris and dirt to it. In that quagmire, bacteria, mildew and mold develop. The same collection of items burrows under the rubber door gasket.

How to Clean Your Washer

The good news is you can easily clean those smells out of the washer. It will only take natural cleaning agents, too. You’ll need:

  • baking soda
  • a small scrub brush
  • vinegar

Mix a quarter cup of baking soda and a quarter cup of water. Pour this mixture into the washing machine’s detergent container.

Pour two cups of plain, white vinegar into the washer’s drum.

Set the machine for a normal cycle using high heat.

Run the machine empty of laundry.

Use the small brush to scrub off any remaining residue off of the drum and the gasket. Dip the brush into a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water.

Baking soda and vinegar kill mold and mildew while eradicating the odors. It breaks up the soap scum from the drum.

Maintenance Tips

After cleaning it, keep the washing machine smelling pristine with a few easy maintenance items.

  1. Use the baking soda-vinegar mix once a month to keep the machine devoid of odors and mold.
  2. Stop using liquid fabric softener, especially in front-load machines.
  3. Only use high-efficiency detergents. They create less suds and rinse away more easily. That means less soap scum.
  4. Dry the washer’s drum after each use.
  5. Leave the lid open to allow drying.
  6. Remove laundry immediately after a cyce’s end.
  7. Install a fan in the laundry room for improved airflow. Dehumidifier help even more.
  8. Regularly clean the gasket. Remove debris trapped under it. Clean it off using a vinegar-water mix.
  9. Clean out the drain/lint trap once a week.

The washer should smell great. If it doesn’t, call CS Appliance Service at (781) 953-9600 for repair help in the greater Boston metro. We’ll determine the smell’s source and help you fix it. Visit our Facebook to learn more about our commercial and residential appliance repair services based in Charlestown, MA.