Washing machines are not just appliances that make your life easier. They are the tools that work their magic and turn dirty, smelly laundry into clean and aromatic clothes that we want to put on. But if you do laundry regularly, you might have experienced times when your washing machine starts to stink. I mean literally stink.
It is easy to give up to the musty and sour-scented washing machine and to buy a new one. However, a stinky smell is in no way indicator that your machine is broken. It just implies that you need to take care of the hygiene of your machine.
Experts at BDS Drainage explain that the bad smell in washing machines can occur for a number of reasons. In most situations, no professional help is needed and following some simple steps you can eliminate the stench on your own.
Type of washing machine
The front-load washing machines are more vulnerable than top-load washers when it comes to bad smells. The reason is how the front-load washers are designed. A front-load washing machine is designed to be a lot more efficient than top-load washing machines. Front-load washers use a lot less water and are gentler on the clothes, not to mention their cleaning capabilities are a lot more superior.
So, where the problem is?
With front-load washing machines, you only have to fill the bottom washtub with water, unlike top-load machines that require to be filled up to the top. The front-load washers have a horizontal drum that makes your clothes tumble through the bottom wash tub. This saves a lot of water, but the catch is you cannot use any ordinary detergent with front-load machines.
Now if you always use high-efficiency detergents with your washing machine you will not have to face the sour-smell ever. However, if you use the wrong kind of soap or softener, the small amount of water in front-loading machines is not able to rinse them out properly. This results in the drum getting coated with residual soap scum that is filled with dirt from the clothes. When this dirt combines with the hot and damp environment inside the washer, it makes flourishing ground for bacteria, mould and mildew.
There you have it, the reason why your expensive washing machine stinks like the dead.
How to get rid of the stench?
Now before we explain the solution, you need to know you can use these for the top-load washers as well. Let’s start the fun.
Baking soda to the rescue
Baking soda is an ingredient that can work with most bad smell situations. Your first instinct might be to use bleach but we want you to refrain as it can be too harsh. Mix ¼ cup baking soda with an equal amount of water and put the solution in the washing machine’s detergent container. Backing soda has anti-bacterial and anti-fungus properties that will kill the bacterial growth in the machine.
Vinegar can do the trick
Put around two cups of white vinegar into the drum and then run the machine at high heat (without clothes). Working together, vinegar and baking soda will kill any mould present and break down the residual scum stuck to the drum. This will considerably remove the foul odour from the machine.
Now if some of the grime is still there, it means you have to get your hands dirty and scrub away the stubborn spots. Just follow these steps once a month and you will be able to keep your washing machine odourless.
Prevention is better than cure
For me, the idea of bacteria and mould growing inside my washer is truly disturbing, and the stench is only an indicator that their growth had been unchecked. But I prefer to keep preventive steps so that no nasty odours ever haunt me.
How to keep your washing machines fresh?
To keep your washing machines fresh, you can:
Use high-efficiency detergent
High-efficiency washing machines require detergents that are made for them. If you use ordinary soaps and detergents with them, they produce high suds that high-efficiency washers cannot handle. High-efficiency detergents produce a lot less suds that mean less scum. Also, do not use liquid fabric softener with front-load washing machines.
Keep the drum dry
This is a no brainer if you keep the drum dry there is no moisture or damp to encourage the growth of nasty life form that can result in a stench. Leave the door open after you are done with laundry so that the drum dries out.
Follow these simple steps, and you will no longer have to worry about bad smells from washing machines ever.