How to Clean Out your Washing Machine

Washing machines work tirelessly day after day to rid your clothes of dirt and grime. After a while, that hard work can show, even if you use strongly scented detergents. In fact, it’s not uncommon for your washing machine to get a little smelly from mildew and buildup. You may find it hard to combat this smell, but here are a few tricks you can use to keep your washing machine from smelling and passing that scent onto your clothes.

Everyday tips

If your washing machine smells like mildew, changing a little bit of your daily laundry routine may be the fix you need. Front-load washers in particular tend to develop a smell over time, but this is easily preventable. After you remove your clothes and place them in the dryer, wipe out the inside of your drum and leave the door open. The open door allows air to circulate freely, preventing mildew buildup. In addition, you can help prevent odors on any washing machine model by using the proper amount of detergent every time. Too much detergent will build up over time and start to break down, which can be causing some of your odor issues. Likewise, try not to use liquid fabric softener, which builds up in the machine over time.

Regular cleaning

Your washing machine should be cleaned regularly, just like any other appliance you use. The simplest and cheapest method is to toss some vinegar into the machine and run a hot water cycle with no fabric items inside. Vinegar neutralizes odors and also helps disinfect the inside of your machine. A hot wash will help to loosen residue and kill any growing bacteria or other organisms, giving your machine a fresh smell. Do this vinegar wash once a month to keep on top of odors.

Deep cleaning

If a regular vinegar hot wash isn’t working, you may need to use something more intense. Fabric detergent companies also manufacture special wash tablets for your machine that clean it out from the inside and replace the foul odors with a fresh scent. These tablets usually include some harsher detergents that will scrub away foul odors and buildup.

Regular maintenance

To prevent a smelly washing machine altogether, stay on top of regular maintenance. Clogged drains or tubes can encourage stagnant water and the buildup of odors, so it’s important to unhook your machine and snake out the water pathways a couple times a year. Clear drain lines prevent organism growth and keep your washing machine in working order and smelling fresh. With a little extra time, you can stay on top of odors and keep your clothes smelling great load after load.


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