How to Get Rid of Bad Smell in the Washing Machine

Useful tricks and tips that are also easy to put into practice

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By Alex

bad smell in the washing machine

Have you noticed a bad smell in your washing machine? Now, how can you identify the causes and remedy them? This is a fairly common problem in everyday household appliances, but it can be solved in a short time. First of all, by trying to identify its causes and origins.

Let’s see what the most frequent cases are and the related remedies.

What to do if there is a bad smell in the washing machine

The bad smell can have different causes or come from different parts of the appliance.

The causes of the bad smell of the washing machine

Limestone. The bad smell of the washing machine can be caused by water that is too calcareous: the limestone remains inside the pipes causing an acrid and unpleasant smell, or it can accumulate in the drum.

Exhaust pipes. Sometimes the washing machine gives off an unpleasant sewage smell. There could therefore be a cause deriving from problems in the pipes and in the aqueduct itself. If the problem concerns the pipes then the smell should also be noticeable in other household drains, in the kitchen and bathroom for example. Drain pipes can also produce a bad smell if there is a deposit of laundry soap that gives off a bad smell similar to the smell of sewer.

How to eliminate bad smell in washing machine

We need to ascertain the cause of the bad smell and then find the remedy. Here’s how to clean every part of our appliance.

How to clean the drum

To clean the drum, we recommend using a spray based on a solution of equal parts vinegar and water, or a stove degreaser, and also cleaning the rubber seals which can retain dirt and mold well with a brush.

After cleaning everything, put a glass of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of baking soda in the drum and do a short empty wash.

How to clean pipes

To clean the pipes, you can use commercially available products designed to eliminate residual traces inside.

In any case, empty washing to clean the drum can also be used to degrease the drain pipes.

Bonus tip: add coarse salt, which helps clean the drains.

How to clean the washing machine filter

To keep the washing machine clean and consequently our scented laundry, we recommend always keeping the loading filters and the water drain clean.

The filters must be removed carefully when the washing machine is turned off and the water taps are closed.

How to prevent odors from forming in the washing machine

To avoid the formation of a bad smell in the washing machine, a periodic monthly empty wash with vinegar or bicarbonate or simply lemon is necessary.

There are also other good habits to follow to always keep your washing machine smelling fresh:

  • when it is off, keep the door open to ventilate the drum
  • use vinegar frequently if the municipal water is particularly calcareous
  • do not use excessive quantities of detergent, especially powder detergent
bad smell in the washing machine
The bad smell in the washing machine also affects the quality of our laundry.

Advice for the most tech savvy users

To ensure continuous and deep cleaning and preserve our washing machine intact, there are tools such as the domestic ozonizer for washing machines. This is advanced, latest generation technology that sanitizes the laundry and keeps the washing machine intact thanks to the power of ozone.

Ozone, a natural sanitizer, is able to easily eliminate viruses, mold and bacteria that cause bad odors.

DIY remedy to eliminate bad smell in the washing machine

To eliminate the smell in the washing machine there are DIY remedies such as making a natural spray detergent to be used methodically.

  • 500ml water
  • 100 ml of white vinegar
  • 4 drops of lemon essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon Marseille soap


  • Pour all the ingredients listed above into a spray bottle and shake well. Spray the insides of the washer and the seals and rinse. Dry well with a soft cloth.

More on this topic

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