A smelly washing machine is a common household woe that can turn laundry day into a less-than-pleasant experience. If your once-fresh clothes are coming out with a less-than-pleasant odor or if you’re noticing a musty smell every time you open the washing machine door, it’s time to take action. Fear not! With a few simple steps and some regular maintenance, you can banish those odors and have your washing machine smelling as fresh as a field of flowers. Let’s dive into the solutions to fix a smelly washing machine.

Clean the Drum:

The main culprit behind a smelly washing machine is often a buildup of detergent, fabric softener, and dirt in the drum. To clean it:

  • Run an Empty Cycle with Vinegar: Pour two cups of white vinegar into the detergent dispenser and run a hot water cycle. Vinegar is effective in breaking down detergent residue and eliminating odors.
  • Wipe Down the Drum and Gasket: After the cycle, wipe down the inside of the drum and the rubber gasket with a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar. Don’t forget to reach into the nooks and crannies where mold and mildew can hide.

Clean the Dispensers:

The detergent and fabric softener dispensers can harbor bacteria and mold, contributing to the unpleasant smell. Clean them regularly:

  • Remove and Rinse: Take out the dispensers and rinse them under warm water. Use an old toothbrush to scrub away any residue.
  • Soak in Vinegar: Soak the dispensers in a solution of vinegar and water to break down stubborn buildup. Rinse thoroughly before placing them back in the machine.


Check the Drain Pump Filter:

A clogged drain pump filter can lead to stagnant water and unpleasant odors. Locate and clean the filter:

  • Refer to the Manual: Consult your washing machine’s manual to locate the drain pump filter. It’s usually at the front of the machine.
  • Clear Debris: Place a shallow dish under the filter to catch any water, then unscrew the filter. Remove any debris, lint, or foreign objects.


Leave the Door Ajar:

Prevent mold growth by leaving the washing machine door ajar when not in use. This allows air to circulate and helps to dry out the drum and gasket.

Use High-Efficiency (HE) Detergent:

Traditional detergents can leave behind residue that contributes to odors. Switch to a high-efficiency detergent and use the recommended amount to keep your machine clean and fresh.

A Guide to Fixing a Smelly Washing Machine


Now that you’ve tackled the steps to rid your washing machine of those stubborn odors, you’re on your way to enjoying the scent of clean laundry once again. However, if you find that the problem persists despite your best efforts, it might be time to seek the expertise of professional washing machine repairs Brisbane. A qualified technician can assess and address any underlying issues, ensuring your machine operates at its best. Remember, a well-maintained washing machine not only keeps your clothes smelling fresh but also extends the lifespan of your appliance.