Why Does My Washer Smell?

Have you noticed a strange, unpleasant smell in your laundry room? It might seem impossible that the foul odor is coming from your washing machine at first. After all, your washer is responsible for providing you with fresh, clean-smelling clothes. However, there’s a good chance that this critical appliance could actually be the culprit behind the stench.

So, why does your washer smell? There are a few potential reasons why you could be dealing with this issue. Fortunately, we’re here to walk you through the possibilities and show you a few ways to remedy them.

What Are the Most Common Washer Problems?

There’s nothing worse than discovering a foul smell in your home — and having no idea where it’s coming from. In some cases, the odor could be coming from where you’d least expect it, such as the washing machine.

So, why do washing machines smell? Before we can answer this question, it can be helpful to know the other types of problems that you can encounter with your washing machine over its lifetime. This way, you can be better prepared in the future should one of these problems occur.

Why Do Washing Machines Smell?

There might come a time when your washing machine starts acting strangely or breaks down. In fact, many homeowners know that they may one day find themselves needing to schedule washing machine repairs in the Cayman Islands to get their appliance back up and running, especially if it’s getting up there in age. However, no one is ever truly prepared for the day they notice their washer smells bad.

Are you currently experiencing this particular conundrum? If so, you’re probably eager to know why your washer smells. Let’s answer this question below.

Dirty Washing Machine

Washing machines all work the same way. Once you load the appliance with your clothes, you add detergent to clean them. Simple, right? Well, not really. Depending on the type of washer you have, you could be using more detergent than necessary, which can lead to a buildup of soap scum within the appliance.

So, why does your washer smell when soap scum builds up? When it comes down to it, soap scum can combine with dirt, hair, and body oil — among other things. Unfortunately, soap scum and debris can result in the growth of mold within the washing machine. Since the interior of the appliance is damp and warm, that makes it the perfect breeding ground for mold, mildew, and bacteria.

If you have a high-efficiency washing machine, you’ll want to ensure that you’re using the right detergent. These high-efficiency appliances use a much smaller amount of water than others, so they can’t handle certain types of detergent. If you use the wrong products, this can cause the interior of the washing machine drum to become covered in soap scum.

Trapped Pieces of Clothing

Depending on the type of washing machine you have, there’s a chance that pieces of clothing can get stuck on the rubber door seal. Unfortunately, if you don’t catch this particular problem early on, this can lead to foul odors.

So, why do washing machines smell when clothing gets stuck in the door seal? Really, it all has to do with mildew. After going through a wash cycle, the trapped garment will be wet, which makes it a prime location for mildew to start growing.

Blocked Drain Pump

If you’ve noticed bad smells coming from your washer, you may want to check the drain pump. That’s because a blockage could be causing these foul odors.

Now, you probably want to know: why do washing machines smell when they have a clogged drain pump? Well, if the plug is blocked, the dirty water will sit in the drain and give off a bad stench.

How to Clean a Washing Machine That Smells Bad

There are several reasons why you might find yourself with a smelly washing machine. However, as you can see, one of the root causes of this problem is a dirty drum. Fortunately, giving your appliance a regular cleaning (about once a month) can remove these odors and prevent this issue from reappearing in the future.

If you’re worried about mold growth inside your washing machine, you might want to start by washing it with chlorine bleach. All-in-all, bleach is a classic washing machine cleaner that can help you get rid of harmful mold and mildew.

You can also use white vinegar to remove odors. Simply add vinegar to your washing machine drum and place it on the “hot” setting. You’ll need two cups of vinegar for a front-load washer or four cups if you have a top-load appliance. Once the wash cycle has finished, keep the door open to let it dry and get rid of any lingering moisture.

Top Load Washer

If you have a top-loading machine, you might want to take a few precautions to ensure the drum is as clean as possible. For example, when cleaning the drum with vinegar, it’s recommended that you let the vinegar and water sit for at least one hour before letting it continue its cycle. Hopefully, letting the vinegar work overtime will help fix your smelling washing machine.

Front Load Washer

Even if you have a front loader, there are a few extra steps you’ll want to take to ensure it’s as clean as possible. For instance, after you’ve finished cleaning your washing machine with vinegar, you will need to dry the inside of the drum with a dryer to thoroughly remove all moisture. It’s also a good idea to wash the bleach and fabric softener dispensers. 

Turn to Our Washing Machine Experts in the Cayman Islands!

So, why does your washer smell bad — even after just running a wash cycle? It’s plain to see that this frustrating problem can have various causes. If your washing machine smells, you can take a few steps to clean it and restore your laundry room to its former glory.

When you need professional assistance with your washer, turn to Appliance Doctors for services you can count on! We’re proud to offer reputable washing machine installations in Grand Cayman and beyond. Contact us today to request an appointment with our friendly team!