A clean washing machine will always leave your fabrics clean and smelling fresh. However, if it is dirty, it can leave the pieces with an unwanted grimy or musty smell over time.
If your washing machine smells bad, you need to clean it and run a full wash cycle using baking soda and vinegar. With some basic care and maintenance, you can keep your equipment clean and smelling good all year round.
How To Get Rid Of Bad Smell in Washing Machines
1. Removing Odors With Baking Soda And Vinegar
Make a homemade cleaning solution by mixing ¼ cup of water with ¼ cup of baking soda in a small bowl and pour this solution into the dispenser, where soap is normally placed.
Do not put the mixture directly into the machine basket.
Run the washing machine on the normal cycle. Once you’ve put the baking soda and vinegar solution in the machine, run it on the normal full cycle, not just the rinse or a faster option. If possible, use warm or hot water.
Ensure the washing drum is empty and that there are no garments in the machine during this cycle. Otherwise, the fabrics will smell like vinegar.
2. Clean The Basket
Once the vinegar and baking soda solution wash cycle is over, clean the inside of the washer to remove residue and odors. Use a sponge to scrub the area and make an effort to reach all the nooks and crannies in your washing machine.
3. Cleaning The Exterior
First, unplug the machine before you start cleaning; make sure the machine is turned off. It is good to take this measure as a precaution.
If you clean with the machine plugged in, there is a risk of shock or damage to the equipment.
4. Clean The Outer Surface
The buildup of mold and mildew on washer components are the most common causes of unpleasant odors. Use a sponge or clean cloth and make a solution with a glass of warm water and a tablespoon of bleach.
Don’t forget to wring out excess water before you start scrubbing the outside of the machine. You should also remember to wear rubber gloves whenever you handle bleach.
Try to get the cleaning solution into every crevice and corner of the washer. You can also use a cotton swab dipped in the solution to reach hard-to-reach areas.
5. Clean The Hose And Rubbers
Remove all dirt from the washer hoses and the rubber gasket of your washing machine. You also need to remove the rubber from the door and use a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe away any residue. You can also use a minimal amount of bleach solution if you want.
6. Disinfect With Bleach
Place two cups of bleach in the machine’s soap dispenser. Run the complete cycle with the machine empty, choosing hot water washing if possible. As soon as the washer starts to heat up, stop the cycle.
You can stop it using a pause button, opening the lid, or other methods recommended in the instruction manual.
Let the hot water and bleach act on the washer for about 30 minutes.
Then, let the cycle finish so that no trace of bleach remains in the washer basket.
Rinse the machine basket very well to remove the bleach before using the machine again. If there is product residue, clothes, or anything else that is placed in the machine, remove them or you risk them getting stained.
7. Use A Mild Liquid Soap
This type of soap produces fewer suds/dregs and leaves fewer residues over time, thus keeping your washing machine cleaner. Do not go overboard with quantity; choose a quality product to avoid this problem.
Using neutral liquid soap preserves the cleanliness of the machine, reducing the need for frequent maintenance.
More Techniques On How To Get Rid Of Bad Smell In Washing Machines
8. Vinegar With Sodium Bicarbonate
This mixture helps remove the bad smell from the washing machine since the vinegar mixture has the acidic pH of vinegar and the alkaline pH of baking soda.
Mix 4 cups of vinegar with 1 cup of bicarbonate (mixed in water). Place inside and choose a cycle of at least 15 minutes to run.
9. Bicarbonate Paste
Preparing a baking soda paste helps to get rid of the bad smell of the washing machine. Put in a glass: ¼ of water and ¼ of baking soda (equal parts).
The mixture will generate a homemade formula, and you can put it in the same place as the soap. Select a warm wash cycle and let the formula do its thing.
10. White Vinegar
This tip requires a little more effort to get rid of the bad smell of the washing machine. You will need 2 glasses of white vinegar and a clothes brush for proper effectiveness.
Gently rub the inside and rubber of the machine. You can do it with a sponge to avoid damage. After completing the process, turn on the machine so that it can rinse.
11. Bleach Water
This solution is perfect for the proper removal of mold and mildew. Therefore, to remove the bad smell of the washing machine, use 1 glass of water at room temperature, 1 sponge, a cloth, and a tablespoon of bleach.
Bleach is made based on sodium hypochlorite, a component that mixes hydrogen, oxygen, and chlorine in its composition. Oxygen has incredible cleaning power, while chlorine is excellent for removing microorganisms.
Due to its chemical characteristics, you must wear gloves and avoid contact with bleach as much as possible.
12. Clean The Hoses
Many people usually neglect this technique in removing the bad smell from a washing machine and end up with more odor. Yes! It’s the hose.
The hose must be well cleaned to prevent the spread of microorganisms and eradicate the spread to other parts of the machine. In addition, there is a risk of mold forming at that specific location if they’re not washed regularly.
You could try replace your hose if the smell persists.
13. Using An Effective Disinfectant
This method consists of pouring 2 whole cups of disinfectant in a complete cycle of the washer (without clothes). Don’t forget to stop the cycle as soon as it starts to spin.
To make an effective homemade disinfectant, you will need:
- Jasmine essence: 100 ml
- Nonyl Phenol Ethoxylated: 50 grams
- Branco: 20 grams
- Bactericidal: 100 grams
- Water: 10 liters.
Place the essence, the nonyl phenol, and the bactericide in half of the water in a container.
Mix well and add the Branco.
Complete with the rest of the water and mix until uniform.
14. Bleach And Vinegar
For this method, use 1 liter of bleach with 1 liter of white vinegar to remove the bad smell of the washing machine. Turn on and let the water rinse the drum.
Add the bleach and let it mix with the water (do it through the soap drawer or the top lid). Let it rest in that state for about 1 hour, and then add the vinegar. Let it complete the cycle, and you’re done.
Tips To Avoid Washing Machine Bad Smell
In addition to the regular cleaning of your washing machine, there are tips you can apply that will help eradicate any bad or unwanted from your washing machine.
- Leave the washing machine door open after use
- Wash the detergent and fabric softener tank every 2 weeks with hot water and a damp cloth. If any residue is more difficult to remove, remove the drawer from the machine and ‘soak’ in a bucket with water and detergent, such as A+ Optimal Powder. You can then remove the residues that are remaining with the help of a small brush.
- Remove clothes from the washing machine as soon as possible, as it helps to reduce the moisture concentrated inside the machine.
- Clean and dry the rubber gasket at the end of every wash.
- Products with strong fragrances are more likely to create a residue on your machine.
- Short programs and low temperatures accumulate more dirt in your washer.
- Clean the inside of the washer regularly.
- If you don’t pay this attention to the machine, it can take on a bad smell over time. A good measure to avoid the problem is to clean the inside whenever possible to prevent the accumulation of residues and grease.
- Use a towel dampened in warm water and be sure it reaches all the hidden nooks and crannies. You can also use a little vinegar to sanitize the inside of the washing machine.
- Use the recommended amount of detergent as indicated by the machine manufacturer. You can also check your fabric label for further recommendations; this would help you understand the DOs and DON’Ts when washing.