5 tips to clean your washing machine and get rid of the smell

The washing machine is now an essential piece of equipment in households across the world. Using it saves a lot of time and relieves us of the physical effort associated with washing and other forms of hand washing. We should therefore value it and take good care of it. Here’s some advice on how to clean your washing machine and get rid of any odours that may be coming from it.

How to remove odours from a washing machine

A number of factors can cause odours from a washing machine, from poor quality detergent or fabric softener, to an unmaintained gasket, to a dirty filter. In the beginning, it’s typically only the washing machine drum that smells unpleasant and the clothes remain as soft and fragrant as before. However, the quality of the wash gradually decreases and the clothes start to smell even freshly washed. There are two solutions: buy a new washing machine or remove the smell from the washing machine, how?

First of all, you need to clean your washing machine regularly. In its nooks and crannies, residues of washing powder, forgotten tissues in the pockets or dirt from the clothes themselves can build up. Among the most problematic places are especially the seals, the powder/ detergent dispenser and the filter. The easiest way to clean the washing machine and thus remove the odour that comes from it is to wash the filter and clean the seals.

In the case of the filter, a hot water rinse once every six months is plenty. You should clean the detergent dispenser and gasket more frequently, ideally after each wash, but a monthly interval is also sufficient. By following this procedure to remove the smell from your washing machine, you will not only get rid of your problem, but also extend the life of the seal and the appliance as a whole.

How to clean a washing machine

Another way to clean a washing machine is often made available to you directly by the manufacturers. In fact, newer washing machines have a special cleaning mode that you just need to run once in a while. If your washing machine does not offer this mode, you can use another programme with a temperature higher than 50 °C and wash the machine “empty”, possibly with some older clothes or clothing. Even so, you should not neglect the above maintenance points.

You should always let the drum dry after washing, in other words, do not open the door to prevent mould from forming in the washing machine. There are also a range of products that specialise in removing odours from the washing machine. They are quite easy to find in drugstores. However, you can also rely on some of the time-tested alternative methods described below.

How to clean a washing machine?

Among these alternative ways to clean your washing machine include cleaning with baking soda and vinegar, which you may have heard about from older generations. However, you should take into account that these techniques were used with completely different washing machines than are made today. Washing machines in the past used different sensors etc., so it is worth considering whether it might be better to rely on specialist products.

However, the procedure for cleaning a washing machine with vinegar still cannot be denied its effectiveness, so as long as you apply the procedure in moderation you probably have nothing to worry about:

  1. Mix one bag of baking soda with water.
  2. Pour it into the detergent dispenser.
  3. Pour two cups of vinegar into the drum.
  4. Wash on the longest wash cycle with the highest temperature possible.

how to remove washing machine odor

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If your washing machine allows it, break the cycle before draining the water and let the mixture sit for a few hours. Then run it again and let it finish. You can vary the procedure in many ways, even if you pour the vinegar into the dispenser or put the baking soda solution directly into the drum.

The procedure to clean the washing machine with vinegar and soda brings other benefits besides getting rid of the smell, it will also deal with limescale and clean the drain filter. Moreover, this method is one of the cheapest.

Does vinegar ruin a washing machine?

Vinegar itself is non-toxic. However, using it too much can damage the rubber parts of the washing machine (seals) and reduce the life of the machine. You should therefore not use more than 1 litre per batch. As a less radical way of cleaning your washing machine with vinegar, you can add it to fabric softener reasonably every time you wash. Smaller doses should not be as destructive.

How do I clean my washing machine with citric acid?

Another way to clean a washing machine uses citric acid. This is widely used especially in places with hard water. Some also use it as a substitute for fabric softener, when 80-100 g of citric acid is mixed with a few drops of essential oil. The laundry is softer after this solution and more suitable for allergy sufferers. It is dosed like a regular fabric softener.

To remove the odour from the washing machine via citric acid, you can then simply put two bags of citric acid in the drum and run a longer programme with a higher temperature. Similarly, you can mix the solution:

  1. In hot water, mix a little bit of stock, three quarts of vinegar and three sachets of citric acid.
  2. Let stand.
  3. Add washing powder.
  4. Rinse at about 90°C.

How do I clean my washing machine with absorbent detergent?

A common method to clean a washing machine is to clean it with SAVEM. SAVO has developed a special product for this purpose, so don’t use an all-purpose cleaner:

  1. Mix one cap of SAVO with three litres of warm water.
  2. Submerge the detergent container in this solution for half an hour.
  3. Soak an older rag or towel in the solution and clean the seals with it.
  4. Pour the solution into the tray and run a longer washing programme at a minimum temperature of 60 °C.

how to clean a washing machine

Source: Pixabay

In addition to removing odors from your washing machine, the washing machine will also help you get rid of mildew and disinfect the inside of the drum. Be careful when handling it, use gloves and try to avoid contact with bare skin.

How to clean washing machines with a dishwasher tablet

An alternative way to clean a washing machine is also to use dishwasher tablets, which remove odors while clearing clogged pipes. Simply place two tablets in the drum and run the washing machine for a longer programme.

How to clean the washing machine hose

The smell from washing machine doesn’t always have to come from the drum alone. Therefore, in addition to cleaning the gasket and filter, you should not forget about cleaning the hose. How to clean the washing machine hose?

  1. Close the water supply.
  2. Unscrew the hose from the back of the washing machine.
  3. Unplug the internal filter with a pair of pliers.
  4. Rinse.
  5. Replace the filter.

Alternatively, you can use a non-metallic cable with a small brush on the end to pull through the hose.

How to clean a top-loading washing machine

All of the above tips on how to clean a washing machine apply to both side-loading and top-loading washing machines. If none of them work for you, then it’s a good idea to have the heat pump checked, as a malfunctioning heat pump can cause the washing machine not to wash in hot but in cold water.


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