Why Does my Washer Smell

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If you’re thinking that your washer smell is just a minor inconvenience, think again. That unpleasant odor coming from your machine could be a sign of a larger issue that needs your attention.

But don’t worry, there are some simple solutions to help you get rid of that unwanted smell. In In this article, we dive into the query of why does my washer smell? And give the reasons to why it is emitting that foul odor and how you can fix it.

5 Reasons a Washing Machine Might Smell

If your washing machine has a foul odor, understanding the reasons behind it’s crucial for effective troubleshooting. One common cause of a smelly washer is mold and mildew buildup. When moisture lingers in the machine, especially in warm and damp conditions, it can lead to the growth of mildew and bacteria, resulting in a musty smell.

Additionally, excess detergent residue can accumulate over time, creating a breeding ground for unpleasant odors. Another factor that can contribute to a foul smell is drainage issues. If water isn’t draining properly from the machine, it can lead to stagnant water and a buildup of mildew.

To combat these issues, consider using a washing machine cleaner specifically designed to eliminate mold, mildew, and bacteria. Regularly cleaning your washing machine and ensuring proper drainage can help prevent that unpleasant odor from returning. By addressing these factors, you can say goodbye to the smelly washer and enjoy fresh-smelling laundry once again.

1. Washing Machine Needs To Be Cleaned


You need to clean your washing machine regularly to prevent the buildup of grime and bacteria that can cause unpleasant odors.

Neglecting to clean various parts of your washer, like the gasket, drum, and dispensers, can lead to a wet dog smell lingering on your clothes.

Make sure to follow proper cleaning methods to keep your washing machine fresh and odor-free.

Clean Washing Machine Regularly

Regularly cleaning your washing machine is essential to prevent unwanted odors from developing. To keep your washer smelling fresh, consider the following tips:

  • Wash the appliance monthly or after every 30 wash cycles.
  • Use washing machine cleaner tablets to remove buildup and ensure a thorough clean.
  • Try liquid chlorine bleach as a cleaning agent to combat odors effectively.

2. Using Too Much Detergent


If you’re noticing a funky odor from your washer, using too much detergent might be the culprit. Extra detergent can lead to residue buildup in the machine, especially in hard-to-reach areas like the drum and filter.

To combat this, make sure to measure your detergent precisely to prevent any lingering smells.

Precisely Measure Detergent

Using an excessive amount of detergent in your washer can lead to unpleasant odors emanating from your laundry. To avoid excess detergent in your laundry loads, measure out the amount of product for every wash. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Measure detergent: Use the recommended amount for each load.
  • Avoid buildup: Excess detergent can lead to residue in your appliance.
  • Proper cleaning: Using the accurate amount ensures your clothes are cleaned effectively.
  • Prevent odors: By avoiding excess detergent buildup, you can keep your laundry smelling fresh.

3. Using Wrong Type of Detergent


You might be unknowingly using the wrong type of detergent for your washing machine, affecting its performance. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure you’re using the appropriate detergent for your specific washer.

Using the wrong type of detergent can lead to excess sudsing and impact the cleanliness of your laundry.

Check Which Type of Washer You Have

Are you using the correct detergent for your specific type of washer? It’s essential to match the right detergent with your washing machine to prevent issues like mildew and odors.

Here are some tips to ensure you’re using the right detergent for your appliance:

  • Check if you have a high-efficiency washing machine.
  • Use high-efficiency detergent for top-loaders.
  • Choose the appropriate detergent for your specific type of washer.
  • Regularly clean your washing machine to maintain freshness and cleanliness.

4. Washer Is Damp For Too Long


If you leave your washer damp for too long, it can cause mold growth and unpleasant odors.

To prevent this, make sure to empty your washer immediately after a wash cycle.

Empty Washer Immediately After a Wash Cycle

Leaving your washer damp for an extended period after a wash cycle can lead to unpleasant odors developing. To prevent this, ensure you empty the washer immediately after each wash cycle. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Leave the door open: Allowing air to circulate inside the washer helps it dry faster, preventing dampness.
  • Clean the soap scum: Regularly scrub the drum and door seal to avoid the buildup of soap scum, which can contribute to musty smells.
  • Use baking soda: Place a cup of baking soda inside the washer and run a hot water cycle to eliminate any lingering odors.
  • Consider fabric softener: Using fabric softener can leave a pleasant scent behind, masking any potential smelly odors.

5. Washer Isn’t Draining Properly


If your washer isn’t draining properly, it’s crucial to check if the drain pipe is clear.

A blocked drain can lead to water pooling inside the machine, causing unpleasant odors.

Ensure the drain line is free from obstructions to help your washer function efficiently.

Make Sure the Drain Pipe Is Clear

Regularly check the washing machine drain pipe to ensure it’s free from blockages to prevent mold, slime, soap scum, and bacteria buildup. If the drain pipe is clogged, water can back up into the machine, causing unpleasant odors and potential damage.

To keep your washing machine smelling fresh, follow these tips:

  • Inspect the drain pipe: Look for any debris or buildup that could impede proper drainage.
  • Clean the drain pipe: Use a pipe cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to clear any blockages.
  • Run a hot wash cycle: This can help dissolve any residue and sanitize the machine.
  • Leave the washer door open: Allowing air to circulate inside the machine can prevent mold and mildew growth.

Why Do My Clothes Smell Like Wet Dog After Drying?


After drying, if your clothes emit a wet dog smell, it’s likely due to a detergent buildup present throughout the fabric. To avoid unwanted odors in clothes, ensure you’re using the correct type and amount of detergent for each wash.

When there’s a buildup of detergent in your clothes, it can lead to a lingering smell that’s reminiscent of wet dog. This buildup of detergent not only causes the unpleasant odor but also affects the overall cleanliness of your garments.

To prevent this issue, make sure to use the correct detergent for your fabric and follow the recommended amount indicated on the packaging. By using the correct detergent and proper measurement, you can effectively clean your clothes without leaving behind any unwanted smells.

Tips for Removing Odors From Washing Machine


If your washing machine has a lingering odor, it’s essential to address the issue promptly.

Begin by using less fabric softener and ensuring the lint trap is clean after each load.

Improving air circulation in your laundry room can also help prevent odors from lingering in your washing machine.

1. Use Less Fabric Softener

To prevent unpleasant odors in your washing machine, consider reducing the amount of fabric softener you use. Normal use of fabric softeners doesn’t necessarily cause unpleasant odors, but excessive amounts can lead to buildup that contributes to the problem. Here are some tips to help tackle this issue:

  • Use less fabric softener in each laundry cycle.
  • Opt for fabric softener alternatives like dryer balls.
  • Ensure proper ventilation by leaving the washer door open after use.
  • Regularly clean your washer to prevent residue buildup.

2. Make Sure The Lint Trap Is Clean

Ensuring the lint trap in your washing machine is clean is crucial for eliminating odors and maintaining the freshness of your laundry. Neglecting to clean the lint trap can lead to nasty smells that transfer onto your clothes. Whether you have a top load washer or a front-load washing machine, a dirty lint trap can cause your laundry to smell so bad.

To combat this issue, make it a habit to clean the lint trap after each wash cycle. Additionally, consider using washing machine cleaner tablets to prevent mold and mildew growth in other areas of your washer, such as the gasket or around the washing machine door.

3. Create More Air Circulation in Laundry Room

Improving air circulation in your laundry room can effectively help eliminate odors from your washing machine. To keep your washer smelling fresh and prevent mold and mildew growth, consider the following tips:

  • Add a laundry room fan to improve air circulation.
  • Regularly clean your washing machine to prevent mold growth.
  • Ensure proper ventilation in the laundry room to eliminate washer odors.
  • Prevent mildew growth by improving overall air circulation in the space.

Frequently Asked Questions about Why Does my Washer Smell

Why does my washer smell?

If your smelly washing machine is emitting a bad smell, there are several potential causes. One common reason is the buildup of mold and mildew in the washer drum or around the gasket. This can result from not cleaning your washing machine regularly or closing its door when not in use.

How can I get rid of the bad smell in my washer?

To eliminate the unpleasant odor in your top-load washer or front load washer, you can try a few solutions. One effective method is to run a hot water cycle with white vinegar to clean the gasket and remove any mold or mildew.

What should I do to keep my washer smelling fresh?

To prevent future occurrences of washer smells like mildew or bad odors, it’s essential to practice regular maintenance. Ensure you keep your washer clean by running a monthly cleaning cycle with a specialized washer cleaner or a homemade cleaning solution.

Why does my washing machine smell like sewage?

If your washing machine emits a sewage smell and your washer smells bad, it could indicate a more serious issue such as a clogged drain or sewer line. In such cases, it’s advisable to contact a professional plumber to address the problem.

Can using a specific cleaner help with washer odors?

Using products like affresh washing machine cleaner can be effective in removing stubborn odors from your washing machine’s interior. These cleaners are designed to target mold, mildew, and bacteria that cause the unpleasant smell coming from your washer. 

What are the reasons why my washing machine smells bad?

There are various reasons why your washing machine may smell bad. Some common causes include using too much detergent, leaving wet clothes in the washer for extended periods, and not properly cleaning the machine’s components.

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Ira Njoroge

Hey, I’m Ira Njoroge, the founder of MySpaceAffair. Early on in my life, I had a passion to embark on a mission to create a cleaner, and more organized household. With a bachelor's degree in engineering after graduating from the University of Maryland in 2015 and seven years as a General Contractor and professional cleaner, on top of my DIY Enthusiasm. I saw the need for a reliable information source for homeowners. My passion, diligence, experience, and hired professionals confirms the reliability of all the advice given in My Space Affair and I hope to provide you all with reliable and thorough content!