Appliance Repair: What’s That Unpleasant Smell Coming From My Washing Machine

Fred's Appliance
April 9, 2014

When you load your washing machine with your family’s dirty clothing, you can usually rest assured that, within an hour, the items will come out not only looking clean but also smelling clean. Unfortunately, there may be certain times when that expectation does not come true. If you’ve noticed a sour smell emanating from your clothes after you’ve washed them, or if the tub of your appliance has acquired a musty odor, the causes and solutions listed below can help you get your laundry smelling fresh without needing to call an appliance repair company.

Possible Causes


  • Using too much detergent when you wash a load of laundry can actually cause your appliance to acquire an unpleasant smell.


  • Constantly overloading your washer can also contribute to your clothing coming out of the machine smelling less than agreeable.


  • When you allow your clothes to sit wet in the washer machine for a prolonged amount of time, they will end up carrying an undesirable odor.


  • Bacteria that is growing around the lid of the appliance or on the gasket that seals the washer’s door can make your entire machine smell.


  • Mold and mildew can also develop inside your washer’s tub when the appliance is not cleaned regularly.



The above issues all have simple solutions that should quickly eradicate the odor from your washing machine.


  • Before you load the next batch of laundry into your appliance, check the washer’s manual to find out the correct amount of detergent to use and how large of a load is acceptable for the machine.


  • When your appliance finishes a cycle you should promptly remove your laundry from the machine; otherwise your clothes will gain a musty odor and that smell may get transferred to the inside of the washer.


  • Thoroughly cleaning your washing machine will rid the lid, gasket, and tub of any bacteria, mold, or mildew. To begin the process, run a hot water cycle with the machine completely empty, and instead of using detergent place a ½ cup of baking soda into the appliance. Once the first cycle has completed, run another one, this time with hot water only. The purpose behind the second cycle is to remove the grime and grit that was loosened by the first one. After the machine has drained, wipe it down with a rag and white vinegar. Be sure to also clean the lid and gasket of the appliance with the vinegar.


If you’ve tried the solutions above and an unpleasant smell is still lingering in the machine and on your clothes, please contact us today and we’ll be happy to help you.

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