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A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Fix a Smelly Washing Machine


There’s nothing worse than opening your washing machine to a less-than-fresh aroma. A smelly washing machine can be caused by a variety of factors, but fear not – you can restore your appliance to its clean, odour – free state with a few simple steps. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of identifying and eliminating the unpleasant odours that may be lingering in your washing machine.

Understanding the Causes of Washing Machine Odours

  1. Mould and Mildew Buildup: Over time, moisture and detergent residue can create a breeding ground for mould and mildew inside the drum and other components.


  2. Clogged Drainage: A clogged drain filter or drainage system can lead to stagnant water, resulting in foul odours.


  3. Detergent Residue: Excessive use of detergent or using the wrong type can leave behind a soapy residue that contributes to unpleasant smells.


  4. Closing the Door When Not in Use: Leaving the door closed between washes can trap moisture inside, promoting mould growth.

Step-by-Step Guide to a Fresh-Smelling Washing Machine

  1. Clean the Drum: Run a hot water cycle with a cup of white vinegar. This helps to disinfect and remove mould and mildew. For a pleasant scent, add a few drops of essential oil.


  2. Clean the Rubber Seal: Wipe down the rubber seal around the door with a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar. Ensure you reach into the folds where mould tends to hide.


  3. Inspect and Clean the Drain Filter: Locate the drain filter (typically found at the bottom front of the machine) and remove any lint, debris, or foreign objects. Rinse it thoroughly and replace.


  4. Run a Hot Water Cycle with Baking Soda: Add one cup of baking soda to an empty drum and run a hot water cycle. Baking soda helps neutralise odours and break down detergent residue.


  5. Clean the Detergent Dispenser: Remove and clean the detergent dispenser tray. Soak it in warm, soapy water and scrub away any residue. Allow it to dry completely before reinserting.


  6. Leave the Door open: After each wash, leave the washing machine door open to allow air circulation and prevent moisture buildup.


  7. Use High-Efficiency Detergent: If you have a high-efficiency (HE) washing machine, ensure you’re using HE detergent. This type of detergent is designed to produce fewer suds and prevent residue buildup.


  8. Monthly Maintenance Routine: Implement a monthly maintenance routine to keep your washing machine in top condition. This can include running a hot water cycle with vinegar or using specialised washing machine cleaning tablets.

Prevention Tips for a Fresh-Smelling Machine

  1. Measure Detergent: Use the recommended amount of detergent to prevent excessive residue buildup.


  2. Remove Wet Laundry immediately: Immediately remove wet laundry after the cycle to prevent moisture accumulation.


  3. Regularly Clean and Air Out Gaskets: Include cleaning the rubber gaskets and leaving the door open in your regular laundry routine.


  4. Inspect and Clean the Drain Regularly: Periodically check and clean the drain filter to prevent clogs and odours.

If the problem still persists or if you’d rather leave it to the experts, DP Electric is at your service. Our skilled technicians specialise in washing machine repair and maintenance, ensuring your washing machine operates at its best. Click here to book your appointment and experience a smell-free washing machine!


By following these simple steps and incorporating preventive measures into your laundry routine, you can say goodbye to the unpleasant odours that may have taken residence in your washing machine. Keep things fresh, clean, and odour-free – your clothes will thank you!

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