It is very common for washers to start stinking after prolonged use without any proper care. But you can easily clean a smelly washing machine without any extra effort.
Excessively soiled clothes are not the only factor that can cause that. A lot of different factors contribute to the smell. We will help you to clean a smelly washer yourself.
It is possible to clean a smelly washing machine perfectly. It is a very simple and short process. Some functions of your washer will themselves play a role in the cleaning. Here, we will also discuss them in detail.
It will also help you choose a better option if you don’t want to go through the hassle again. Top loaders perform better in terms of machine-related hygiene. Front-loaders perform well in every other way but get smelly and dirty quickly.
When you are going to clean a smelly machine, the first step is to pinpoint and enlist the causes of the smell.
What are the Possible Causes?
If you have a front-loading washing machine, you should know a few important things about it. While it tumbles your clothes along a horizontal axis, gravity does not assist the draining nearly as much.
Front-loaders also use less water and water is the primary solvent for everything. If it does not propel as effectively as it should, there will eventually be residues left. Both of these factors contribute a lot to the smell that your washer emits.
The doors of front loaders are airtight due to rubber gaskets and have a lot of exposure to dirty laundry and detergents. They are vertically placed so there is no chance for gravity to drain their gaskets entirely.
Hot wash cycles and moisture contribute to the eventual result – your front loader becomes a place where lots of molds can thrive. While those problems only exist for those with front loaders, on the other hand, there are other issues that can plague top loaders.
However, if you want to avoid the issues listed above in the future, you must buy a good top load washer for your home.
Another important cause of a smelly washer is a substandard laundry product.
If you are using a detergent or softener that is not up to mark, it will eventually create smelly residues. Better products wash out more easily. They are less likely to create such a situation for you.
Is there a Perfect Solution?
Some pantry essentials like baking soda and vinegar might just be all that you need for this purpose. While some people would go for bleach, we suggest that you do not expose your machine to such a corrosive agent.
Baking soda will be much gentler on the metal and will also disinfect your machine nicely. Mix a quarter of baking soda with three-quarters of water to achieve the best result. This solution of baking soda goes into the detergent drawer.
The next step is to pour two cups of vinegar into the drum. After that, close the lid and turn the machine on. Use the highest temperature cycle of washing to make sure that the germs are killed effectively.
If you have an Allergen or sanitary cycle, you can use that too. All of these steps will help you make sure that all the germs are dead. After this process, you can wipe off the remaining grime with a cloth soaked in vinegar.
Can your Washer help you with the Internal Cleaning?
There are certain features in your washer that can assist you in the cleaning process. Choosing the right washer is very important in this regard. Consider the following few factors when cleaning your machine:
Does your Machine Support Higher Temperatures?
Your machine must support a temperature high enough to kill certain microbes. That is an essential part of the cleaning and disinfection process. Machines that come with a wide range of temperatures and an internal heater can help you in this regard.
Does your Machine Have a Sanitary/Allergen Cycle?
Both of these cycles can help you with the cleaning process because of the techniques they use. When water is passed through the machine at a high temperature mixed with baking soda and vinegar, it can clear away all types of germs.
You can choose the best hygienic washing machine from our list that comes with all the necessary cycles for your cleaning endeavor.
Is your Machine Compact?
Front-loaders are generally more compact but that also makes cleaning easier. You have less surface area to handle when it comes to wiping off slime and grime manually. Check out our list of the best combo of compact washers and dryers to find a few highly hygienic compact sets.
Consider Changing the Products you Use
If you follow the steps listed above, no odors or grime, or germs will remain behind. You will have a perfectly hygiene-friendly washer once again and you will be able to relax until next time.
However, there are also ways to make this cleaning session less frequent. Prevention is always better than a cure. You can take measures to avoid having to deal with a smelly washer altogether – or make the cleaning sessions less frequent.
We will discuss those preventive measures in this section.
The products that you use for doing laundry like detergents and softeners always count. You can consider taking these steps:
- Upgrade the products
- Clean the gasket regularly
- Upgrade your washer to a more hygiene-friendly one
Does your machine have a Self-clean Tub?
A machine that can clean itself thoroughly can make the cleaning less necessary and less frequent. Self-clean tubs prevent mold and grime from developing to that level where you will have to clean it manually.
Does your machine have a smart dispenser?
Machines that come with smart dispensers have several different sections for fabric softener, bleach, detergent, and so on. Some of them also mix these products thoroughly with water before dispensing them which prevents the formation of the residue.
Thoroughly dissolved products drain easily. You can find machines with smart dispensers in our list of the best washing machines to buy in 2021.