Why Does My Washing Machine Still Smell After Cleaning It?
The average washing machine gets subjected to warm soapy water on a regular basis. As a result, it can accumulate a lot of grime and bacteria that can leave a musty smell behind. This is not only unpleasant, but it can also transfer to your clean clothes. The good news is that there are a few simple steps that you can take to keep your washer smelling fresh and clean.
The first step is to check the manufacturer’s instructions. They will likely recommend using a cleaning solution or a vinegar soak to get rid of any lingering grime and bacteria. Pour a cup of white vinegar into your detergent drawer (or directly into your drum for top-loading machines). Run a long hot cycle, using the highest water temperature available. Allow the machine to air dry before using it again. Do this at least once a month to keep your washing machine looking and smelling its best.
Another great way to keep your washing machine smelling clean is to regularly wipe down the controls and dispensers. This is important to avoid build up of mold and mildew, which will create a musty or foul smell. Make sure you use a damp cloth, and give the inside of the door seal a good scrub as well. If the dispensers for fabric softener and laundry detergent have removable lids, let them soak in vinegar water before scrubbing them.
It is a good idea to use a reputable brand of detergent that is compatible with your machine. HE (high efficiency) detergents are designed to dissolve faster and are more effective at cleaning than non-HE formulas. They are also better at removing tough stains. Detergents with added fabric softeners can leave behind residue and a bad smell, especially if they aren’t rinsed thoroughly.
You should also try to remove your clothes as soon as the cycle is finished. This will stop them from staying damp in the washer for a prolonged period of time, which can lead to mold and smelly bacteria. It is also helpful to use a fan in your laundry room, as this will help to circulate the air and keep it dry and fresh.
There is a special washing machine cleaner on the market that works great at killing off mold, mildew, and nasty smells. It is made from natural ingredients and can be used once every one or two months to keep your washing machine smelling clean.
If you still can’t get that foul smell out of your washing machine, or it seems to be smelling worse than before, it is probably time to move on to more drastic measures. Sanitizing your washing machine with bleach or a diluted solution of one part vinegar to four parts water can kill off any remaining odors, and ensure that your wash is as clean as possible.
As a last resort, you can also try running a hot water “service” cycle on an empty machine. This is a simple and cheap way to eliminate any bacteria or fungus that may be growing in the interior of your machine.