Having a clean and fresh-smelling washing machine is essential for maintaining hygienic and pleasant laundry results. However, over time, washing machines can develop unpleasant odors due to mold, mildew, and detergent buildup.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore 10 effective ways to prevent your washing machine from smelling. By following these preventive measures, you can ensure your laundry comes out smelling clean and fresh every time.
Understanding Washing Machine Odor
Before we delve into the preventive measures, let’s understand why washing machines develop odors and the potential consequences of neglecting maintenance. Washing machine odors can result from mold and mildew growth, detergent and fabric softener residue, and clogged drain pumps. Ignoring these issues can lead to musty-smelling clothes and even damage the washing machine’s components.
If you can’t understand the problem of bad smell from washing machine, then you may call for an appliance repair expert from your city to find out and fix the issue.
Now, here are 10 best ways to keep your washing machine fresh and odor-free.
1. Regular Cleaning and Maintenance
Clean the Detergent Drawer and Lint Filter: Regularly remove and clean the detergent drawer and lint filter. Use warm soapy water and a soft brush to scrub away any residue.
Clean the Drum and Door Gasket: Mix equal parts of water and vinegar or baking soda and run a hot water cycle to clean the drum and door gasket. Wipe them dry afterward to prevent moisture buildup.
Prevent Detergent and Fabric Softener Buildup: Avoid using excessive amounts of detergent and fabric softener. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper dosage.
2. Using the Right Detergents and Additives
Choose High-Efficiency (HE) Detergents: Opt for HE detergents specifically designed for modern washing machines. They are low-sudsing and more effective in removing stains and odors.
Utilize Laundry Boosters and Odor-Fighting Additives: Enhance your detergent’s performance by adding laundry boosters like baking soda, borax, or white vinegar. These additives combat odor and brighten colors.
3. Leave the Door Ajar After Each Wash
Air Out Your Washing Machine: Leave the washing machine door slightly ajar after each wash. This allows air to circulate, preventing moisture buildup and discouraging mold and mildew growth.
Safety Precautions for Front-Loading and Top-Loading Machines: For households with children or pets, consider installing a child lock on the washing machine door to prevent accidents.
4. Cleaning the Drum and Tub
Natural Ingredients for Cleaning: Regularly clean the drum and tub with natural ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. They effectively remove odors without harsh chemicals.
Periodic Use of Citric Acid or Specialized Cleaners: Use citric acid or specialized washing machine cleaners periodically to keep your machine smelling fresh and running efficiently.
5. Dealing with Mold and Mildew
Identify Signs of Mold and Mildew: Check for visible signs of mold and mildew, such as dark spots or musty odors, and take immediate action.
Removing Mold and Mildew Infestations: Mix one part bleach with ten parts water and use a cloth to clean affected areas. Ensure proper ventilation during this process.
Preventive Measures: Keep the washing machine dry between uses, and consider using a dehumidifier in the laundry area to reduce humidity.
6. Cleaning the Detergent Dispenser and Softener Compartment
Remove and Clean Detergent and Fabric Softener Compartments: Regularly take out the detergent and fabric softener compartments to clean them thoroughly with warm water and a mild detergent.
Preventing Clogs and Residue Buildup: Dilute fabric softener with water before using it to prevent residue buildup. Additionally, clean the dispenser drawer regularly to avoid clogs.
Consider Alternatives to Liquid Fabric Softeners: Replace liquid fabric softeners with dryer sheets or wool dryer balls to reduce the risk of residue accumulation.
7. Regularly Cleaning the Drain Pump and Filter
Understand the Role of the Drain Pump and Filter: The drain pump and filter remove excess water from the washing machine. Cleaning them regularly ensures smooth functioning.
Safe Cleaning of the Drain Pump and Filter: Refer to your washing machine’s manual to locate and clean the drain pump and filter properly.
Establish a Routine for Drain Maintenance: Create a monthly reminder to check and clean the drain pump and filter, ensuring your washing machine runs efficiently.
8. Run Monthly Maintenance Washes
Benefits of Monthly Maintenance Washes: Performing monthly maintenance washes helps remove detergent buildup, grime, and odors from hard-to-reach places.
Step-by-Step Guide: Set your washing machine to the hottest water setting, add a cup of white vinegar or baking soda, and run a complete cycle without any laundry.
Recommended Products: Consider using specialized washing machine cleaning tablets for a more targeted and effortless maintenance wash.
9. Using Washing Machine Cleaning Tablets
Understanding Washing Machine Cleaning Tablets: These tablets are specifically designed to dissolve and remove residue buildup from your washing machine.
Instructions for Using Cleaning Tablets: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and place the cleaning tablet directly into the drum.
Frequency and Precautions: Use cleaning tablets every 1-3 months, depending on your washing machine’s usage, to maintain optimal performance.
10. Troubleshooting Persistent Odors
Identify Underlying Issues: If you still experience odors despite regular maintenance, identify any persistent issues such as leaks or faulty components.
Addressing Challenging Smell Problems: Contact the manufacturer’s customer support or a professional technician to diagnose and resolve complex odor issues.
Maintaining a fresh-smelling washing machine is vital to ensure your laundry comes out clean and pleasant. By following these 10 preventive measures, you can keep your washing machine odor-free and extend its lifespan. Remember to implement these tips regularly and troubleshoot any persistent odor issues to enjoy fresh and clean laundry for years to come.
Bleach can be used to clean your washing machine, but it should be used sparingly and with caution. Mix one part bleach with ten parts water and wipe down the interior of the machine. Ensure proper ventilation during this process and avoid mixing bleach with other cleaning agents.
Regular cleaning is essential. Clean the detergent drawer, lint filter, and drum at least once a month. Conduct maintenance washes and clean the drain pump and filter every 1-3 months, depending on usage.
Front-loading machines are more prone to mold and mildew growth. Follow our guide to cleaning the drum, door gasket, and detergent drawer. Leave the door ajar after each wash to allow proper airflow.
Using regular detergent in an HE washing machine can cause excessive suds and potential damage. Always use detergents specifically labeled as “HE.”
Most washing machine cleaning tablets are safe for septic systems. However, always check the product label to ensure it is septic-safe before use. If you have concerns, consult a septic system professional.