A clean load of clothes is as fresh as a sunny day. So when your washing machine smells it spoils the fun! Who wants clean clothes coming out of a smelly washer tub? Let’s look at some causes of a washing machine smelling foul and what you can do about it.

Why Your Washing Machine Smells & How to Fix It

What Causes the Smell?

The most common cause of a smelly washer tub is using an excessive amount of detergent. Say what? Yes, although it may seem counterintuitive, when your washing machine smells it’s often from using too much detergent. Many commercial detergents include ingredients that become gummy in your machine. When you put too much laundry soap in the washer, the soap to water ratio gets off-balance and doesn’t rinse out completely.

Eventually, the remaining soap residue builds up underneath the washer tub where you can’t see it. All that gooey yuck starts to grow mold and bacteria, which is why you notice your washing machine smells like mildew. Another culprit you may find when your washer smells bad is the door boot. The door boot is the flexible rubber seal between the door and the washing drum on a front-load washer.

Too much detergent leaves soap scum inside the door boot. After about six months to a year, that soap scum will begin to create its own little science experiment- mold. When mold starts to grow inside the door boot, you may need a licensed repair technician to carefully clean the machine and replace the boot.

How to Get Rid of Washer Odor

There are two main steps to keeping your washing machine smelling clean:

  1. Use only about a tablespoon of laundry detergent. Yes, that’s correct, ONE tablespoon should be plenty to get everything fresh and spiffy. Always measure the detergent when you add it to the washing machine.
  2. Use a washing machine cleaner tablet every month. These tablets use surfactants to safely clean and deodorize so that your washing machine smells like new again. These tablets are for both top and front loading washers.

If your washer is really putting off a stench- we won’t judge. Give Doug’s Appliance a call – we’re here to help!