It’s baffling to unload your washing machine and find that your clothes from the washer smell bad. Though you may want to blame some stinky socks, the washer itself may be the source of the smell. When a washer smells moldy, the only solution is to clean it. But first, here’s why a washer smells bad:

Why Your Washer Smells Moldy and How to Clean it

Dirt and oils from our clothes can build up in the washer. The rubber gasket of many front-load washers is often a catch basin for these substances. So the longer they sit, the more they can develop mold. This makes for a smelly washer tub.

Regular washer maintenance will do the trick when your washer smells moldy. Read on for some easy tips on how to clean a washer that smells bad and prevent the smell from returning.

Clean the Washer Tub

Here’s how to clean the washer tub in four easy steps:

  1. Make a cleaning solution with ¼ cup baking soda and ¼ cup water mixed together. Pour the solution in the detergent dispenser
  2. Pour 2 cups distilled white vinegar into the empty washer tub
  3. Run the empty washer on a regular wash cycle with warm/hot water
  4. Wipe down the washer’s interior to remove the vinegar smell

Clean the Washer Gasket

If your washing machine smells like mildew, the washer gasket could be the cause. Here’s how to clean it and banish the smell:

  1. With a damp cloth, wipe away any grime from the exterior of the gasket
  2. Remove the gasket from the washer
  3. Dip a paper towel or cloth into a small bowl of water with a tiny amount of bleach
  4. Use the wet cloth to scrub the gasket, removing all visible residue
  5. Reinstall the gasket

washer smells moldy

Prevent Washing Machine Odors

Now that you know what to do when your washer smells moldy, here’s how to prevent it from happening again:

  • Clean the washer tub and wipe down the interior and gasket regularly
  • Make sure you use the right detergent for your type of machine. An HE detergent must be used with an HE washer
  • Remove clothing as soon as the wash cycle ends to avoid dampness
  • Leave the door of your front-loading washer ajar when not in use to allow the drum to dry

Though these guidelines should keep your washer in tiptop shape, Sloan Appliance Service is here to help if you need a washer repair.