What is Causing The Washing Machine to Smell so Badly?!

Why the Washing Machine Smells, But Doesn’t Smell Clean

Ahh...the smell of clean laundry! It’s so refreshing and warm, especially when the clothes are taken straight out of the dryer. Many people really enjoy doing the laundry because it’s a chore that smells good and doesn’t just smell like strong cleaning chemicals. However, sometimes when the clothes are taken out of the washer, it smells. And not in a good way.

This is something that a lot of homeowners have had to deal with. There are a few common reasons that the washing machine starts to smell, and they are typically easy to resolve.

Soap Scum Build-Up

soap scum Of course, there has to be soap used when washing clothes. The water itself won’t help them be fresh and clean, no matter how fast that washer spins! However, if too much soap is used or if the wrong soap is used, soap scum can start to build up in the washing machine and cause a terrible smell.

When the washing machine is on, the suds splash up along the sides of the washing machine. If the suds splash up above the water line or are still there after the water has drained, the leftover soap suds build-up and can leave a nasty smell. One way to prevent soap scum from building up is to run a load with 2-4 cups of white vinegar about once a month. Just make sure not to do this right after bleach has been used.

The vinegar will help to dissolve any soap scum sitting on the sides of the machine or the agitator. Another way to prevent build-up is to use less soap or smaller loads of laundry. If there’s too much detergent or too much laundry in one load, it’s difficult for the machine to rinse properly and can leave leftover soap scum.

Wet Clothing Left in the Washer

Humans are easily distracted. They start one thing and then begin watching the nightly news or making a meal or getting lost in an email inbox that hasn’t been checked for a week. So when people start a load of laundry, it’s easy to forget that the clothes are in there. However, one of the biggest reasons that washing machines smell is because of wet clothing that is left in there for too long.

leaving wet clothing

When wet fabric is clumped together, it has no room to breathe, so it starts to smell. Not only does the machine start to smell, but the clothes can smell too! It’s best to transfer clothes from the washer to the dryer as soon as they are done. If needed, set an alarm as a reminder to check on the clothes before they are left too long.

Hidden Clog in the Pipes

hidden clog Another common cause for smelly washing machines is a hidden clog. Whenever there is a clog behind a washing machine, dirty water can be trapped causing a foul odor.

This can also cause the clothes to smell because the dirty water can’t drain through the pipes so it stays clung to the clothes.

If a hidden clog is the suspected problem, it’s best to call a professional plumber rather than trying to put chemicals through the washer to clear it.

About Super Plumbers

Super Plumbers is a local Tyler, TX plumbing company specializing in safe, effective plumbing installations, repairs and replacements. With unparalleled customer service, 24/7 emergency repairs and competitive pricing, their customers have found plenty of reasons to choose them.