Why does my washing machine smell even after cleaning? 4 ways to get the smell forever.

There’s some irony in the fact that an appliance that’s made to wash our clothes and make them fresh and clean can smell so bad. The bad odor of the washing machine is a stubborn smell that can persist even after you clean it. We’ll help you to find an answer to the question: Why does my washing machine smell even after cleaning?

Washers can keep a bad smell after cleaning because of a build-up of mold, mildew, and other gunk inside. The environment that is humid and watery, like the inside of washing machines, is perfect for growing fungus that causes a damp and musty smell that is hard to get rid of.

We’ll try to make things easier for you and offer you possible solutions for getting rid of this annoying smell. Besides, you’ll find out what you can do to prevent this smell from coming back and making your clean clothes smell bad.

What causes the smell in the washer? 

Why does my washing machine smell even after cleaning?

Before we explore how to get rid of the bad smell in the washing machine, first we need to find out what causes it.

An odor in your washing machine is a result of a build-up mixture of stagnant water, bacteria, mold, dirt, limestone, and detergent debris.

All these components cause problems and odor in your washing machine if it’s not cleaned often.

Continuous exposure to wet conditions and a musty, dirty combination of these elements will make your machine smell bad even after cleaning.

There lies your answer to the question – why does my washing machine smell even after cleaning.

Sometimes, the washing machine smells worse after cleaning

Yes, unfortunately, it is possible to perform deep machine cleaning and feel it smell worse than ever before.

You’re probably wondering why your washing machine smells worse after cleaning and how is that possible?

The reason is simple: deep clean loosens dirt and grime, but it’s not completely flushed away and that’s the reason why your machine smells so bad.

If you’re cleaning your washing machine for the first time after a while, it’s possible to see black specks of dirt, detergent debris, or that the wastewater has a nasty, sewage-like color. 

Fortunately, this shouldn’t be a serious concern to you. You probably need to run a second cycle and the issue will be solved.

If your machine is extra-musty, then you’ll probably have to repeat the process and do the extra flushing.

The math is simple: repeat it until you get a refreshing smell and clear wastewater.

How to get rid of the odor?

If you’ve performed a detailed cleaning and your machine smells of poo, you need to take additional actions.

The first step is to repeat the process to make sure it’s washed out properly.

Then, if it still smells, here are some cleaning methods you should try:

Clean the drain

A clogged drain is one of the main culprits of a nasty smell. If your drain pipes and machine hose aren’t installed properly, it can easily cause a backlog of wastewater.

In other words, your machine can be shiny and clean, but the odor will still be there.

There are a few proven methods to unclog your drain:

Commercial cleaning agents – there are plenty of them in almost every store. For a few bucks, you can buy an effective cleaning agent. Still, read the manual and perform precaution measures.

Boiling water and baking soda – just melt the soda in boiling water, pour it into the drain, and wait for a few minutes to react, then run the cycle to wash it out.

Hydrochloric acid – Pour it into the drain and wait for 15 minutes then wash it. Just pay attention to how you handle it, it can permanently damage your skin, so rubber gloves are mandatory.

Seal cleaning

Drum seal is constantly exposed to water, chemicals, and dirt, so it easily gets a nasty smell. 

If the seal isn’t cleaned often, it develops mold which can damage the rubber seal itself. 

Therefore, it’s important to clean the seal often if you don’t want to spend extra money to replace it.

Clean the detergent drawer

It sounds strange, but the detergent, as a powerful cleaning agent, can also be a culprit of a bad smell.

If the detergent builds up in a drawer, it could be the perfect home for bacteria and mold. 

Fortunately, it can easily be cleaned with white vinegar, a commercial cleaning agent, or you can just use hot water and wash it a few times.

Run service wash cycle

Almost every standard machine has a service wash cycle. It’s a cycle designed to clean inside the machine.

Some manufacturers have special guidelines for how to perform service wash, so if you’re doing it for the first time and you don’t know how to do it, you should read the manual or contact your local service.

How to prevent the smell?

It’s always easier to prevent the issue rather than cure it later. So, there are some steps and actions you need to take before you start smelling a fishy smell in your washing machine.

1. Keep your drum dry

A dry drum is a clean drum, so try to keep it that way as much as possible. First, try to remove your laundry as soon as the machine ends the cycle. This will keep your machine dry and prevent the creation of stagnant water. 

Also, once you’re done washing, always remember to keep the door open. A sealed wet drum is an ideal field for bacteria formation. On the contrary, if you let the air in, it will speed up the drying process.

2. Run a service wash at least once a month

Always find some time for your machine. Most people usually remember they have a washing machine at the moment when they need to wash their laundry, but that’s the wrong approach. 

You should have a habit to run a service wash at least once a month. If you’re using the machine every day, you should do it even more often, 20 cycles are more than enough for the next service cycle.

3. Change your washing temperature

These days, we have many eco-friendly campaigns to wash the laundry at the lowest temperatures, with the least possible detergent, which is OK, but cold water isn’t just strong enough to kill bacteria.

Thus, you need to consider increasing your washing temperature. If not at all, then try to perform high-temperature washing at least once a week, it will kill bacteria and keep your machine clean and fresh.

Frequently asked questions

Below you can find the most common questions people ask about smelly washing machine cleaning.

Why does my washing machine smell like sewage?

If your washing machine smells like sewage, it’s likely your drain is clogged and you need to clean it. A commercial cleaning agent, white vinegar, or hydrochloric acid may help you with it. 

Why does my washing machine smell after using soda crystals?

If you’ve cleaned your machine with soda crystals and it still smells very bad you probably have to repeat the process and wash the machine at least one more time.

How do I get rid of a bad smell in my washing machine?

The first step to getting rid of the bad smell in your washing machine is to take preventive measures and don’t let it get moldy and musty. Then, you should wash it often and repeat the process a few times. Although your machine may look clean, there can be invisible dirt leftovers, so additional washing will do the work.

To sum it up!

This article was all about smelly washing machines. I hope after reading this short article you have an answer to the question:” Why does my washing machine smell even after cleaning?”

The first thing you need to know is that’s something that frequently happens because of a build-up of mold, mildew, and other gunk inside.

Luckily, the good news is that you can get rid of this annoying problem by cleaning the washer’s drain, seal cleaning, detergent drawer cleaning, and running the service wash cycle.

In case you want to share your experience with us or need extra advice, write to us. Happy cleaning!

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