A Fresh Smelling Washing Machine is pure joy! There are a few simple things you can do this spring to get it smelling fresh. Plus, some helpful tips for keeping it fresh throughout the year.
Are there unpleasant odors coming from your front loader washing machine? Well I’ve got a few tricks that will have it smelling fresh in no time. A fresh smelling washing machine is not only pleasant to your nose and clothes, but it’s also essential if you want to extend the life of your machine.
How to Spring Clean Your Washing Machine
High Efficiency (HE) washing machines, most specifically front loaders, are designed to use less water and energy. Because of this there is a buildup that occurs of detergents, molds and mildew which is what causes that funky odor in your machine. A deep, thorough cleaning, a couple of times a year, will take care of the problem.
Step 1: Soap Dispenser Tray
Remove the soap dispenser tray. Using a multipurpose cleaner, a sponge and a scrub brush, give the dispenser tray a good scrubbing. Then scrub clean the compartment where the dispenser tray goes. Dry the tray and compartment before replacing.
Related: 15 Homemade Multipurpose Cleaners
Step 2: Rubber Seal
Pull back the rubber seal and remove any debris that may have collected. Now wipe it down the seal with a multipurpose cleaner or some vinegar water to remove any mold or mildew.
Step 3: Door
Using a multipurpose cleaner, wipe down the inside of the washer door, including the seals, hinges and latches.
Step 4: Lint Trap
Warning: This is a disgusting job, especially if you haven’t done it in a while or ever. The smell is absolutely rancid, so if you have a weak stomach you might want to find someone else to do it for you.
The lint trap to my washing machine is located at the bottom. I had to remove three screws that hold the bottom kick plate in position in order to get to it. If you are unsure where yours is located, refer to your owners manual.
To clean, start by putting some kind of a pan under the trap before you open, you might want to put on a gas mask as well. If you’ve ever wondered where that nasty smell is coming you’ll know as soon as you twist open that trap.
Now don’t be surprised, a lot of things other than lint have gotten trapped in there; stagnant water, black sludge, socks, jewelry, even money.
Once all of the water has drained from the trap, give it a good scrubbing, cleaning inside the trap as well as the cap.
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Step 5: Sanitize
Make sure the washing machine is empty then select the “clean” mode. If your washer doesn’t have a cleaning mode, then select large load with the hot water setting. Fill the soap dispenser tray with distilled vinegar (no detergent) and start the machine. Allow it to run through the complete cycle, this should remove any lingering odors.
If you still find that the machine has a slight odor, repeat the above steps using bleach instead of vinegar.
Step 6: Rinse
Again, make sure the washing machine is empty, select the clean mode, but this time don’t add anything to the soap dispenser. Allow it to run through the complete cycle.
Step 7: Exterior
Using a multipurpose cleaner, wipe down the outside of the machine. While you’re cleaning it’s a good idea to check the hoses for any cracks or leaks.
Related: Teaching Kids to Do Laundry
How to Keep it Clean and Smelling Fresh
▪ Don’t allow clothes to sit in the washer, remove as soon as the wash cycle is complete.
▪ Wipe the rubber seal dry with a soft rag.
▪ Dry off the door and door gasket when done.
▪ Leave the door to the washer partially open between loads so that air can circulate.
▪ Sanitize the washing machine once a month.
Did you know that your washing machine had a lint trap?
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About the Author
A mother to three amazing boy, wife to an incredible husband and a former finance manager who traded in her spreadsheets for cookie sheets. I blog about things that make life a little more fun, a bit more manageable, slightly prettier, a great deal tastier and considerably cheaper.
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Michele Morin says
Thank you (I think) for the info about the lint trap. I’ve got to scrounge up my owner’s manual today!
While you’re looking for the manual, look for a gas mask! LOL
Lisa Lombardo says
I definitely need this info! I found your post on Tuesdays with a Twist and would love to have you join us on Farm Fresh Tuesdays!
Thank you for the tips and tricks for that smelly washing machine. I really love the water saving with my new washing machine, but was surprised by the musty smell.
Kristi Dominguez says
These are all great tips! It makes me want to go clean mine out right now!
I do this often. The lint trap is my husband’s job, though…
Thank you for sharing the tips at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned.
It makes a big difference!
Nina Lewis says
The thought that I ought to clean my washer flitted through my mind last week. You’ve given me motivation to actually do it! Thanks so much for sharing at our Party in Your PJs link party!
Funny how that happens!
These are great tips to keep your washer clean. Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday!
They really help get rid of the smell.
Oh lord I didn’t know about the lint trap…. I am afraid to look!! Thanks for sharing this with the #DreamTeam it is very useful.
Please do add our #DreamTeam badge somewhere on your site when you link up with us we would really appreciate it
Be afraid, be very afraid and be sure to wear a gas mask! LOL
Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle says
Thanks for sharing all this great info. I now have a job to do and a lint trap to look for 🙁
We will feature your post on the next Blogger’s Pit Stop to make some more washing machines healthy.
Thank you Kathleen, see you at the next Blogger’s Pit Stop!