How do you get rid of smells in washing machines?

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What causes unpleasant odours in the washing machine and how to avoid them?

There's nothing worse than opening the door to your washing machine and being affronted by an unpleasant, stagnant odour. To stop your washing machine smelling you need to understand the source of the problem. Nasty smells in your washing machine are caused by a combination of mould, mildew and bacteria. When you put clothes in your machine, body oil, dirt, hair, and scum get trapped in the gasket, seal, and detergent dispenser. Over time, the concoction, together with the humidity of the laundry room, create a less than pleasant aroma. Ironically, the machine that's supposed to clean your clothes start smelling worse than your laundry itself. To get your machine back on track, we've got some simple tips on how to get rid of the smell in the washing machine.

 

Top tips on how to remove smells from your washing machine

  • Clean your machine inside and out: It may seem obvious, but it's some we all forget. To clean the washing machine inside and out simply remove parts, such as the detergent tray and soak with bicarbonate of soda before scrubbing with a toothbrush,and wipe the exterior with a damp cloth.
  • Don't forget the door seal: Another tip on how to get the smell out of your washing machine is cleaning the door seal after every wash. When you run a cycle, detergent, dirt, debris and residue may get left behind. When you leave the waste for a long time, it can allow mould and bacteria to grow.
  • Conduct a service wash: A service wash is where you run your washing machine without clothes in it. Most people in the UK run their appliance at 40 degrees or below when washing clothes to save on energy costs. But, when running a service wash, the temperature should be higher. Most manufacturers advise you to run a service wash once a month. 
  • Check the stand pipe: If the smell persists even after cleaning your appliance, consider clearing your standpipe. The pipe might be partially blocked. Use a drain unblocker to remove the build up of residue. Now you've got rid of the problem, it's vital to prevent the smell from coming back! Here are some handy tips to stay on top of unpleasant washing machine smells.

 

How to stop your washing machine smelling? Other advices

  • Consider changing the temperature of your wash: Certain machines, like the smart Axi washing machine, have automatic hygiene functions. By washing at 60°C, the Hygiene function is automatically activated, which provides deep cleaning of clothes while maintaining the same temperature for the entire washing cycle. All in the click of a button! 
  • Use the correct detergent: A washing machine manufacturer will usually recommend which type of detergent to use with your machine. If you use powdered detergent, especially with your front loader, it may produce more suds than your appliance can handle, so do check the manual. 
  • Ensure the drum is dry: Remove clothes as soon as the cycle is over and leave the door open for air to circulate. Use a fan in the laundry room to facilitate the circulation of fresh air. If the problem persists it may be worth purchasing a dehumidifier to help eliminate the moisture. 
  • Clean the gasket: Even with correct detergent and after emptying the drum after each wash, there is no guarantee your washer will keep fresh unless you clean the gasket too. For an ecofriendly option use a mixture of water and vinegar once a month. Invest in some Care+Protect products: There are some great products that keep your machine clean with minimal effort. Find the ones that work best for you and keep your machine smelling clean and fresh for longer. 

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