How Do You Fix a Smelly Washing Machine?

To clean out a smelly washing machine, run a full cycle with no clothing and either bleach or white vinegar and hot water. Keep the washer smelling great by allowing it to dry in between uses and occasionally washing it with bleach or vinegar.

A smelly washing machine only gets worse and can eventually leave that smell in clothing. By cleaning the washer even periodically, owners can remove that smell.

  1. Check the lint trap
  2. If the washer is equipped with a lint trap, check to see if it needs to be emptied. Lint can serve as a trap for mold.
  3. Wash out the interior
  4. Periodically the interior needs a good washing. Do this by running an empty cycle with hot water and either 1 cup of bleach or 2 cups of vinegar. Both kill mold and mildew, but vinegar is less harsh on the gaskets inside the washer.
  5. Allow the washer to dry out between uses
  6. Since mold and mildew thrive in damp environments, leave the lid up on a top-loading machine or the door cracked on a front-loading machine. This allows the machine to dry out between uses. If possible, dry the interior with a towel or rag as well to slow down mold and mildew even further.