What to do if there is a smell in the washing machine

Causes of odor

The causes of odor can be divided into two groups. The first is due to the most common problems, most often caused by violations of the rules of operation of the appliance. To the second can be attributed hidden causes, they are not so obvious and are less common.


After installing the washing machine, you must carefully read the user manual and follow all of its points. Then the causes of the odor will also be eliminated:

  • Because of the closed hatch;
  • contamination of the sealing rubber;
  • storage of dirty things inside the drum;
  • installation of the machine on an uneven surface;
  • Excessive amounts of powder in the powder container.

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You must follow the instructions so that these problems do not occur.


It is not always possible to understand that the smell from the washing machine is caused by such reasons:

  • Unsuccessful choice of powder;
  • contamination of the surface of the powder tray and powder duct;
  • clogging the filter with large objects, which can even completely block the water drain;
  • improper connection of the machine to the sewage pipes;
  • The need to clean the silted drain hose;
  • Limescale layer with admixture of dirt and debris on the heating element;
  • The problem is in the general drainage system.

Sometimes, to find out the source of an unpleasant odor requires the help of a craftsman.

Cleaning in parts

How to rid a washing machine of odor if it stinks? First and foremost, clean the areas that can be reached by hand and the parts that unscrew. Pay attention to the following places.

  • Powder loading tray. There is a valve inside the tray, it is usually blue or blue. Press it down and, without releasing it, remove the part. Now you need to remove the mucus from the walls. To do this, rinse the pan under running water, apply a bleach solution such as Domestos. Rinse again with running water after an hour or two.
  • The boot lid. Pull off the cuff gently. You will see how much debris and mold is lodged in its folds. Remove all contents with a soft rag. Now you need to disinfect the part: abundantly moisten a cloth in bleach or vinegar and wipe all sides and inside.
  • Drain pump filter. The filter is usually located on the side or back of the machine. You’ll have to work hard to unscrew it, especially if it hasn’t been opened in a while. You will need a rag or towel and a container with low edges. Up to half a liter of water could run out. Rinse all the dirt off the filter under running water and screw it back on.
  • Water supply filter. Located in the inlet opening of the water supply hose. Don’t forget to turn off the cold water! Unscrew the supply hose and you will immediately see the part you need. Rinse out the filter, put it back in, connect the hose and open the water inlet valve.
  • Drum. The inside walls of the drum can be treated with a chlorine-containing sanitizer or any of the formulations described below.

Cleaning the drain pump filter

If the machine does not spin the cloths properly, it takes longer to wash, there is perceptible vibration when washing, and the door remains closed for a long time after the washing cycle is over, it is likely that the drain pump filter is clogged.

To clean the filter, open the door behind the hose. Unscrew the fasteners or unscrew them with a screwdriver (depending on the model). Place a bowl under the door, you can also put an old towel under it. Open the filter cover, wait for the water to drain off, remove the debris and pull out the hose.

Pour warm water into the drum of the washing machine. It will drip down through the filter and so it will be completely clean. Then put the hose back on, close the lid.

How to get rid of odor in the washing machine

Unpleasant smells from the washing machine. a problem most often faced by owners of old appliances. But sometimes an irritating ambergris can also come from a new appliance, recently purchased in the store.

The problem with bad odors must be solved immediately, otherwise you will have to additionally and for a long time to rinse out the laundry, which instead of pleasant freshness may begin to smell of swamp or sewage.

To effectively solve the problem. you need to establish the factors that provoke the appearance of unwanted odors and based on them, choose an appropriate way to eliminate them.

How to clean a smelly washing machine. Which? advice

Causes and sources of bad smells

There are usually two types of odors coming from the washing machine: rotten and damp smells. If the first one appears, it means that bacteria are breeding in the machine. For example, a lot of dirt has accumulated in the drain filter, or used water is sucked into the unit from the sewer (if the hose is not properly connected to the pipe).

If it smells damp, most likely in your washing machine settled mold. a colony of fungi capable of destroying even the hardest materials. If you do not fight mold, it spreads quickly and can harm not only the equipment, but also the health of people living in the house.

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Mold fungus can quickly spread and destroy the toughest materials

Why do fungi and bacteria breed?? Mold spores are constantly in the air, but they can take root on surfaces if the conditions are favorable: humidity, lack of draughts, warmth, etc. A closed washing machine with water left over after washing is the most suitable environment for a fungus colony.

Bacteria often grow in standing water or in places where dirt accumulates after washing. The machine often smells unpleasantly when it washes very dirty things without pre-rinsing, put into the drum clothes with crumbs of food, bits of paper in the s. These particles often remain inside the machine and provide a breeding ground for bacteria.

Very dirty items should be rinsed by hand before washing in a washing machine

Other favorable factors for bacterial growth: choice of low temperatures for washing, use of low-quality detergent. In such cases the dirt is not dissolved and together with the bacteria on the dirty laundry settles on the internal parts of the washer-dryer.

Scale build up on the electric tube heater (heating element) can also cause odour. If limescale deposits are not removed after the machine is cleaned, e.g. with citric acid, they become a breeding ground for bacteria.

The most common sources of odor in washing machines are the following places:

  • The detergent tray, the walls surrounding it and the pipe leading to the tank;
  • The rubber cuff located in the hatch;
  • Drain filter and hose;
  • the bottom of the tank;
  • electric tube heater.

How to remove odor from a washing machine

Unpleasant smell from the washing machine can be transferred to things after washing. In such a situation, do not despair and urgently buy new equipment in the store. In this article, let’s understand why this happens, and how to get rid of odor in the washing machine.

Causes of unpleasant odor from the washing machine

If from the tank of the washing machine smells rotten, the reasons may be improper washing or problems in the operation of the mechanism.

  • Continuous washing of laundry in the fast mode and at a low water temperature. Saving time and energy is obvious. But this is not good for the washing machine at all. Low water temperature and humidity contribute to the appearance of mold on the internal elements.
  • Using fabric conditioner when the rinse cycle is not running additionally. Such products not only soften the laundry, but also leave a slimy deposit inside the machine. Fungus thrives in this environment. Rinse” mode must be turned on when adding liquid detergents, so that the water rinses the inside of the washer-dryer well.
  • Wrong type of detergent. Sometimes people buy a new product at a low price, and then find that the machine and freshly laundered laundry emits a strange odor. Check what you’re washing. Chances are the detergent is not right for you.
  • Contamination of the tray due to pouring liquid laundry compounds in the compartment for filling the laundry detergent. Entire buildup of powder residue and salts from water can form on the walls of this tank. They can be the cause of an unpleasant odor, which with the flow of water spreads to the laundry and the tank of the machine. The problem is solved simply: the tray is gently pulled out by pressing the button next to it. Then rinse and clean. To do this, dissolve a little laundry soap in a glass of water, dip an old toothbrush in the mixture and rub the growths with it.
  • The drain filter is blocked. It can trap hair, pet hair and other small debris in which bacteria multiply. To remove the blockage, first unscrew the drain filter cover at the bottom of the front or side panels of the machine. Take out the filter and rinse under running water. Once cleaned, it is reinserted.
  • Hose clogging. It can also get clogged by dirt, which comes in with the water that pours out of the tank when you wash your clothes. You can find a cure for the odor with local remedies, but it is better to buy a new hose.
  • Limescale forming on the heating element. This plaque becomes a real magnet for small debris. Particles of wool and hair, soap and fabric fibres, limestone in the water, all contribute to the formation of limescale. And when the heating element heats up, the garbage begins to smell bad.
  • Sewer problems. This could be the cause if the drain hose is not properly connected to the drainpipe. Check and, if necessary, reinstall the hose correctly.
  • Mildew. To prevent it from developing, you need to wipe the inside of the drum and the door gum dry after every wash. If there is already mold, you need to eliminate it as soon as possible, because it not only provokes an unpleasant smell, but also causes allergies and dermatitis in people.

How to get rid of the smell from the washing machine

Remove the foul odor from the washing machine can not only be aggressive household chemicals. Home budget products also give an excellent effect, as effectively dissolve dirt and plaque on the internal parts of the machine.

How to remove the bad smell from the washing machine with baking soda

Baking soda is one of the best home remedies to remove the unpleasant smell. It costs very cheap, and its effectiveness is not inferior to expensive solutions and powders.

To rinse the washing machine from the smell and remove with the help of baking soda, it is necessary:

  • Pour into the tray half a pack of baking soda;
  • Set the temperature in the settings of the machine not more than 30 ° C and run an “empty” wash;
  • at the end of the wash cycle, pour a glass of vinegar into the powder tray and this time set the temperature to 60 degrees;
  • Run an “empty” wash a third time, again at 30 ° C, and without using any cleaning products.

After a thorough cleaning, the door of the machine should be left wide open for at least 3 hours. Cleaning with baking soda not only allows you to completely remove unwanted odors, but also well disinfects the washing machine from the inside.

How to clean the washing machine from the smell of citric acid

An excellent natural remedy for removing odor from the washing machine is citric acid. It quickly removes not only soft but also hard deposits on the inner parts of the machine, as well as helps to reliably remove even a strong bad smell.

  • Lemon powder is poured into the tray in an amount of 50 g, if desired, you can add the same amount of funds directly into the drum;
  • In the settings of the machine set the highest temperature possible;
  • run the “empty wash”.

Citric acid is a very powerful natural solvent and antiseptic, so usually only 1 cycle of washing is enough to completely clean the washing machine from the smell of swamp. The procedure does not present any difficulties, so it is recommended for preventive purposes once every 2 months.

How to remove the bad smell from the washing machine with vinegar

To remove the swampy aroma from the machine helps such an effective remedy for washing machine odor, such as table vinegar. Use it in the following way:

  • vinegar is diluted with water in equal proportions and poured into the machine tray;
  • the washing temperature is set to maximum;
  • turn on the additional rinse mode after washing;
  • The machine is started in “idle” mode with an empty drum.

Intensive washing with vinegar with an empty drum can remove the unwanted odor in just 1 working cycle of the machine. However, after washing, the machine will need to ventilate for a few hours, so that the acrid smell of vinegar did not remain in the drum.

How to remove mold in the washing machine with household chemicals

Many washing machine owners wonder how to remove fungus in the washing machine, if folk methods did not help to get rid of the smell of mold. in this case it is necessary to pay special attention to household chemicals. Thanks to a special chemical composition they will help to cope with the unpleasantness and get rid of it quickly enough.

Protect your hands from contact with the chemicals, using rubber gloves is the best way to do this.

Special tablets for dishwashers

Despite the fact that the main focus of their use is to clean dirty dishes, they can also get rid of the smell of mold in the machine. To do this, it is necessary to:

  • Prepare 6 7 tablets;
  • Put the cleaning agent directly into the drum of the washing machine;

Dishwashing Gel

Any gel-like dishwashing detergent will also help to get rid of this kind of trouble, which is typical for washing machines. To do this, you need:

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  • Prepare an unnecessary toothbrush and cleaning gel;
  • Using a toothbrush and dish gel, treat all parts of the machine affected by the fungus;
  • run a single wash cycle (without laundry).

If the method did not get rid of the unpleasantness the first time, then the entire procedure to remove the smell of mold from the machine should be repeated again. To get rid of the smell after the second use is successful in 95% of cases.

This is a special product that comes in the form of a spray, which makes it as easy as possible to use. It is specially designed to combat dirt of various origins on rubber parts and in the drum of automatic machines, so it is also good for getting rid of fungus smell in the appliance. Sequence of steps:

  • Spray it on surfaces infected with fungus;
  • wait for a short period of time (1 or 2 minutes) to clean the appliance.);
  • Rinse the cleaning agent well from the appliance elements.


The chemical composition of this product should also be sprayed on the surface that needs to be treated. It will disinfect all parts of the appliance and help get rid of fungus and odor.

Cillit Bang

Quite effective product that helps to get rid of fungus smell. It is not recommended to treat the rubber elements of machines with this product, since it can damage them. If you cannot get rid of the smell the first time, you can repeat the procedure.

Things to keep in mind

When using different substances, you should follow four rules to effectively remove odor from the washing machine, not to harm your technique, your health.

  • Rinsing. Odor killers for the washing machine are quite caustic and smelly. Therefore, after applying the substances, it is necessary to rinse the machine, setting a full cycle. The entire cleaning process is done idle, without loading the laundry.
  • The use of chlorine. Many homeowners say that chlorine-containing products are not the best way to get rid of odor. Chlorine disinfects, kills bacteria, but leaves its pungent chemical smell. Running the machine for a few cycles without laundry or with unnecessary items will help eliminate the smell. Also ventilate the area where the machine is standing. If you have an individual intolerance of chlorine odor, it is better to refuse such cleaners.
  • Combination of chemicals. Some agents can be used together to enhance the effect, given that the alkali neutralizes the acid. The main thing to remember is that you can not use bleach and pipe cleaner at the same time. As a result of their chemical reaction, poisonous chlorine is released.
  • Frequency. Cleaning with acetic acid once every six months, with citric acid once every four months. Industrial agents should be used strictly according to the instructions on the label, respecting the recommended dosages, the timing of the procedure.
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