Fixing a smelly washing machine

January 4, 2015

If your washing machine smells more like a sewer than anything else, something is definitely wrong. Discover the causes and solutions to this laundry-room problem.

Fixing a smelly washing machine

Check if the drain hose is clogged

If your drain hose is clogged or kinked, it’s trapping water. That’s going to build up a stench after a while. Check the hose to make sure there are no kinks or clogs. Run a hot cycle to try to clear the hose and see if that helps to eliminate the odour.

Reach for the bleach

A very simple remedy is to run a hot cycle using bleach. The bleach should help to kill the germs in the hose and inside of the washing machine.

Check for trapped items

Have you ever wondered where that other sock really went? Look under the agitator to see if any small items, like a stray sock, have become trapped. The sock may be absorbing the machine's moisture under there, causing a nasty smell.

Check the waste outlet

Another place to check is the waste outlet, where the dirty water filters out. If you put your washer on a cycle with no clothes, check to see the water is actually emptying during the cycle. If there is a block, the water could be trapped and the smell is from continually recycled water. Make sure the drain is clear.

Try more hot water washes

Cold water washes can save money and energy, but it’s important to follow with a hot soak for your last cycle of the day. The hot water will help to dissolve the bio-film buildup so it can drain properly. Hot water will help to eliminate the buildup that can potentially cause that foul odour.

Empty the lint trap

It may not occur to you to clean the lint trap on your washing machine as with your dryer, but trapped lint in a moist environment can cause mould and odour.

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