Cleaning a Smelly Washing Machine

I wipe down the inside rubber gasket of my washer thoroughly dry immediately after each use with a cotton towel to prevent mold, mildew, and smells. If you do not, bacteria and mold will grow.


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September 12, 2013

Turn machine on, fill with warm water (full load level) and add a bit more than 1/2 gallon of the cheapest vinegar available. Let the machine finish its cycle.

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Just recently my three year old machine has begun to smell really disgusting on the hot wash. I ran Calgon through it, no good. My daughter suggested trying a biological detergent in an empty machine ( I can't wash with a bio, it makes me itch). No good. I've also checked the drain. I don't want to buy a new one if I can avoid it, but doing the washing in the sink is hell. I'm desperate. Any ideas?

By Marg


June 29, 20120 found this helpful

Two thoughts. Both ideas are run with no clothes in the machine. What I use is Tide washing machine cleaner available in the soap isle of your grocery store. Also try some vinegar. Maybe some other posters have more ideas.

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June 29, 20120 found this helpful

Foxum41 had a good idea with the vinegar. I was thinking baking soda. Again, with no clothes as Foxum41 had said.

Another thought I just had was you need to make sure the smell is from the machine and not from the drain the machine uses. Take the exhaust hose off the drain pipe and give the pipe a sniff. It could be you have odors in the pipe and they are coming up into the machine. I don't know what you would do in that case. I'm not sure baking soda or vinegar would help in that situation. You might need to talk to a plumber.

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July 1, 20120 found this helpful

Fill the washer with water, add a full bottle (l liter, 1 quart) of white vinegar and run thru a cycle.

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July 2, 20120 found this helpful

I know the soap used for a dish washer does work.

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March 10, 2007

I am getting smelly washing from a Bosch washing machine. Any advice?

Glyn from Birmingham, UK


March 31, 20110 found this helpful

I have the same problem with this smell with my Bosch. But I am very sorry to say, I wipe the rubber part of my machine dry after every wash and I leave the door open after every wash, in just thinking (have never heard of this problem before) to keep the rubber part dry, just in case it might cause mold some day. And still my machine has developed this odor. I purchased the Affresh tonight at Sears and im hoping this works. If not, I do plan on checking for water storage (if I can find the drain plug & ect and possibly using the baking soda and vinegar. Thanks so much for everyones help.

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January 28, 20160 found this helpful

There is an access door front bottom right corner face of the washer. After completing "all" your weeks wash with machine turned off openthe door inside is a black hose with plug. Get a catch pan , put it under the hose and pop out the plug ... smelly water will come out. Replace the plug empty the catch pan and then put it under the twist ring by the little hose. Turn the cap till it opens .... more smelly water .... if you do this exercise at the end of each week the waher is used and dry the rubber seal ring inside the load door you will be smell free. do not use bleach, vinager or chemicals cause they will corrode the piece parts ....

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December 17, 2013

I moved into a long term rental in September with a state of the art HE washer and dryer. The previous owner loved using extremely scented detergents, scent boosters, etc. I am very very allergic and I have not found anything that has worked in getting the conflicting scents out of the washer and dryer. We don't use the washer and dryer because every time we run the washer, I have another allergy attach. Please help.

By Katie from San Francisco, CA

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August 19, 2013

I cannot get rid of the smelly odor coming from my washing machine.

By dndfox1998

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February 16, 2013

My washer broke and I thought all the water was out of it. Well the landlord told me he would go get it fixed and now I have nasty build up and a nasty stink. Please help. I have three kids and need to do laundry. lol

By Sandra

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January 25, 2017

Frequently musty odors are associated with front loading washers, however a top loading model can also develop a musty smell. This is a page about top loading washer smells musty.

A top loading washing machine, empty.

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February 26, 2011

I am getting smelly washing from a Bosch washing machine. Any advice?

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March 10, 2007
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