Smelly Washing Machine

Why your washing machine smells and the solution

Two products we found that are used to clean washers may be helpful to you. I can't personally recommend them yet because I haven't used them - but you can check them out on the links below. - This looks like a popular product provided by a company called smelly washer. Also check out user opinions of smelly washer

Nu Fresh - Being made by Whirlpool you would expect quality - didn't look so impressive on the video below though

Affresh - On their ugly looking website they offer a money back guarantee so seem confident about their product.

Smelly washer Vs Affresh Video

This interesting video from "19 action news" tests smelly washer head to head with Afresh.

Smelly washing comes out on top!

Fixing the smelly washer!

Maybe everyone has had to deal with a smelly washing machine from time to time.

You notice a stench in your home. Maybe it is a mouldy mildew smell or maybe it is more like a soured smell. Whatever the case, you trace it to your washing machine.

Ewwww! If you have ever had a smelly washing machine you know how difficult it is to get rid of this unpleasant odor. It can transfer to your clothing and make your entire home smell just awful. So, how do you combat this problem? First, let's take a look at the possible causes.

Causes of a smelly washer

Washing machine smells have been traced back to low temperature washes and liquid detergents as well as other causes. However, the lower temperature wash (the 40 wash) does not adequately handle the bacteria that can breed in a moist environment.

Poor quality detergents, liquid detergents and color friendly detergents are not a washing machine's friend. In fact, all of this can contribute to a smelly washing machine. Because many of the detergents do not contain bleach and some machines never really have bleach used in them, bacteria is allowed to thrive and the result is an offensive odor.

The lower temperatures of water also fail to break down the grease that comes out of the clothing. Even small amounts of grease and oils that come from the skin can contribute, over time, to a greasy build-up.

In short, wash water temperatures below 60 are a breeding ground for bacteria. Of course if you want to save energy a lot of us wash in low temperature or cold washers.

In some models, there is a filter under the cup that is for the fabric softener. That filter can collect lint, hair and other buildup that can cause a rank odor. You can usually pull out the filter and clean it regularly.

Sometimes water can collect under the rubber door seal of front loading washers and behind the tub. When the water does not drain or dry, it stagnates and emits a terrible odor.

This is an extreme case scenario and is not the usual reason for a smelly washer, but it does happen so if you try the remedies and nothing works, it is time to look further.

Remedies for the Smelly washer

The remedies are surprisingly simple and are products that you likely already have in your home. There are immediate fixes to the problem and then preventative maintenance that you can perform regularly.

Run your empty machine through a hot wash cycle and add bleach. This will kill the bacteria and should eliminate the odor.

Another remedy is to run baking soda through a wash cycle in your empty washer and add vinegar to the rinse cycle. Vinegar is also great for eliminating the smell in clothing (smoke, smelly socks, towels, etc.). Just add a little to the load along with your detergent and the smell goes away (but don't worry, your laundry won't smell like a salad).

Once you get rid of the smell, run a bleach or baking soda and vinegar wash every three or four weeks. This will keep the smell from returning. Also, if you periodically run washes that are high temperature (your bed sheets should be washed at higher temps - bed bugs can survive at temps below 60° so who knows what else survives).

Towels should also be washed at higher water temperatures and it would not hurt to add a little bleach or vinegar for good measure. This can serve to keep your machine smelling fresh in between your monthly maintenance.

Hard water can also be a culprit. It can leave deposits that can cause problems. A water softener should help, but a periodic vinegar and soda wash or bleach wash is still a good idea.

A smelly washer is not fun, but you can eliminate the smell and have a fresh, clean washing machine!

Related Article: How to clean your Clothes when Backpacking

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