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How To Get Rid of Odor in a Smelly Washing Machine

Are you having a problem with an unpleasant odor emanating from your washing machine? We have heard a lot of complaints about odor, from people who own front loading machines. This problem can occur with top loaders as well.

The odor that you are experiencing may be from the growth of mold. Inside the washer, some small pool of water may be left standing and is harboring mold spores. Even though you may operate the washer regularly, the mold spores are not being washed away. In our test machine, it consistently smelled of something like stale cigarette smoke, even though no clothes with cigarette smoke had been laundered.

We have a couple tips that might help to eliminate odor issues in your washing machine. First, and the most effective in our research, leave the lid or door to the washer open. By leaving the door open, it promotes air circulation and evaporation of standing water. The reduction in odor occurred quickly and dramatically.

Our second tip is to run the washer empty for a quick rinse cycle. Add an entire cup of bleach at the start of the cycle. The bleach is effective at destroying organisms, such as mold and bacteria. However, running it once will not be completely effective. We suggest pouring another cup of bleach into the wash tub, after the cycle has completed. This will leave bleach as the standing pool and should prevent the growth of mold or bacteria. However, if you do this, before doing a load of laundry you should run an empty rinse cycle again, to avoid damage to the clothes from the bleach left standing in the wash tub.

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