How to get rid of the smell in the washing machine

Smelly washing machines are not ideal, especially if you want odour-free laundry. Read how to get rid of the smell in the washing machine in easy steps here.

Updated 2 October 2023


AuthorBy Cleanipedia Team

Reading Time2 minutes

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We’ve all been there, opening the washing machine and releasing a selection of unpleasant odours because the washing machine smells damp.

Over time as your use your washing machine to clean dirty laundry, a mixture of soap scum, dirt, body oil, and hair can become trapped inside parts such as seals, gaskets, and dispensers. This, along with mould, mildew and bacteria could be the reason your washing machine smells musty.

Read on to discover our guide for how to get rid of the smell in the washing machine with ease.

Key Steps

  • Clean the seal using white vinegar and water.  

  • Soak and scrub the detergent drawer.

  • Empty the filter.

  • Add 1:1 vinegar and water to the detergent drawer.

  • Add 2 cups of vinegar to the drum.

  • Run a hot wash.

  • Leave the door open after to allow it to dry out fully.

How to get rid of the smell in the washing machine

It’s easy to remove the mouldy smell from your washing machine with our step-by-step guide. Read on to discover how to get rid of the bad smell in the washing machine.

You will need:

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  • How to make washing smell nice

    1. 1

      First, clean the seal.

      You can do this in three easy steps. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water. Dip a soft cloth into the solution. Scrub away any mould and mildew in and around the seal.

    2. 2

      Next, wash out the detergent drawer.

      Leave the drawer to soak in a vinegar and water solution. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub away any stubborn marks.

    3. 3

      Don’t forget to empty out the filter.

      The stagnant water could contribute to bad odours.

    4. 4

      Add odour-busting mixes to your machine.

      We recommend adding ¼ cup of white vinegar and ¼ cup of water to the detergent drawer, and 2 cups of vinegar to the drum.

    5. 5

      Finally, run a hot cycle on your machine.

      If your washing machine has a clean cycle, use this.

  • Essential steps to remove the smell from your washing machine

    Now you have a clean, fresh washing machine here are a few top tips to prevent odours from building up again.

    1. 1

      Allow your washing machine to air after use.

      We recommend leaving the door open so it can dry out fully to prevent the build-up of mould and mildew.

    2. 2

      Clean your washing machine regularly.

      This should be done at least once a month.

    3. 3

      Don’t over-do it when adding detergent.

      The more detergent, the more soap suds. The more soap suds, the more soap scum! Check this detergent dosing guide for more information.

See, easier than you thought, right? With just a few simple steps you now know how to remove the smell from your washing machine quickly and easily.

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