Why Do Your Freshly-Washed Clothes Smell Bad?

If you often open your washing machine’s door to be received by an unpleasant odour, then you are not alone. Often, freshly washed clothes can have an annoying odour, which defeats a major purpose of washing. It has nothing to do with your clothes or the detergent you use. Rather, its cause is that your washing machine is not clean.

Comparatively, those who use top load washing machines don’t find such an issue. This is because front loaders have a tight rubber door gasket which is a breeding ground for mold. 

Shawn Ashby, Whirlpool Laundry brand manager recommends deep cleaning the washing machine every 30 minutes to prevent dirt, detergent and mold from building up in the washer.

To understand the right way to clean a washing machine, we have talked with expert cleaning professionals and rounded up some practical tips.

How To Clean Your Washing Machine Drum?

Washing machine drums have raised bumpy surfaces to provide the necessary abrasion to clean the clothes and remove stains. Over a period of time, dirt, soap scum and limescale may get deposited in these grooves. Moreover, dirt and laundry residue could linger in the outer tub which is a favourable spot for mold to thrive.

There are several methods to clean the washing machine drum.

The method which we found the best is using a drum descaling powder. Not only will it clean the drum, but also help remove any limescale deposits in the pipes, outer tub and other components. Newer washing machines have drum clean wash programs. If yours don’t, then running it in the hottest wash program cycle will suffice.

Alex Varela of Dallas Maids recommends another method. He suggests running the cotton wash cycle for 10 minutes. After letting it drain, add 1 cup each of baking soda and vinegar and fill up the washing machine with water. Then, switch off the washing machine and let the drum get soaked overnight in the vinegar-baking powder solution. The next day, complete the cycle to remove any hard stubborn deposits.

How To Clean Mold From The Rubber Gasket?

A problem with mold is that it can recur if you don’t do regular maintenance. The first tip to reduce mold is to keep the doors open whenever the washing machine is not in use. Mold doesn’t thrive when there is sufficient exposure to air and sunlight. 

Also, avoid using top load washing machine detergents on front loaders because they foam a lot and may damage the rubber gasket.

According to Alex Varela, it is better to use washing powder rather than liquid detergents as mold feeds on liquid detergent residues. 

He suggests the best method to remove mold is to soak an old towel in a solution made of equal quantity of vinegar and water and squish it into the gasket and leave it for an hour or two. Then, wipe off the area and run the washing machine in drum clean cycle or the hottest wash program to remove any residues.

How To Clean Detergent Dispenser?

Detergent dispensers are an often-ignored part when it comes to cleaning a washing machine. Over a period of time, the accumulated detergent residue may lead to blockages and prevent detergent from properly getting mixed with the water. 

If your washing machine’s detergent dispenser is removable, then just hold it under running water and scrub it using an old toothbrush. If not, then pull out the dispenser till you feel resistance. Then, using water and an old toothbrush, scrub off the detergent residue and wipe the area with a damp cloth.

How To Remove Limescale Deposits?

Limescale deposit is one of the main culprits that reduces the lifespan of a washing machine. Over a period of time, limescale gets accumulated not only in the drum and pipes but may also leach into the tub which encases the drum and even around the motor. 

The best solution is to run the drum clean cycle using a drum descaling powder. Every major brand has its own drum descaling powder which you can buy online. 

If you haven’t descaled your washing machine for more than a year, then seek professional help to ensure that deposits have not built up in the motor area.

How To Clean Drain Pump?

If top load washing machines have lint filters, front loaders have drain pump which captures lint, stray tissues, coins and dirt. Jack Miles of Sarasota Mold Pros says, “Being a warm, humid area, it is a harbour for bad odour and mold.”  He suggests emptying it regularly to remove the fluff and dirt accumulated. 

You may also want to place a bowl or pan below while cleaning the drain tube so that the water from it doesn’t spill on your utility area.

Regular cleaning of washing machine improves its durability and keeps your clothes fresher too. Though it may appear overwhelming, it takes hardly 30 minutes of your time a month to maintain your washing machine as the drum clean cycle takes care of a major portion of the maintenance. 


Smart Home Guide Team

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