Our washing machines are designed to get our clothes smelling fresh and clean but, sometimes, they take on a stink of their own.
If you’ve walked into the laundry room recently only to be hit by a musty smell, or have found yourself holding your nose as you put in or take out your laundry, it’s probably time to show your washing machine a little deep-cleaning love.
Before we dive into how to get your machine clean, let’s talk about why it stinks in the first place.
We might assume that since our machines are getting doused in clean water and pleasant-smelling soaps and detergents each time we use them that they’re getting cleaned right along with the clothes they’re tumbling but, in reality, it’s that soap or detergent and water that ends up leading to the musty smell you’re trying to ditch.
While all machines have the potential to get stinky, front loaders and efficient machines are particularly prone to it since they tend to use less water as they wash your items.
Because the interior of the machine is not totally saturated at all times, detergent and soap scum often get left behind when the cycle ends.
This soap scum builds up over time and can lead to the musty smell you find wafting through your laundry room.
As a first step in ditching the musty smell, you’re going to want to use a couple of household staples to refresh your machine.
- First, mix ¼ cup of baking soda with ¼ cup of water and add the solution to your machine’s detergent container.
- Next, pour two cups of white vinegar into the (empty) drum of the machine and run a regular, high heat cycle. Running a cycle of baking soda and vinegar will help get rid of any active mold as well as break down any soap scum that’s causing a foul odor.
- After the cycle is complete, inspect your machine for any left-behind grime and do your best to scrub it away by hand using a mixture of water and vinegar as your cleaning agent.
- Once you complete your cleaning cycle, run your machine on an empty cycle again before adding any clothes to the mix.
While it might seem like quite a chore to clean a machine that’s supposed to help you keep your clothing clean, doing so will mean that your laundry room smells fresh and your clothes come out cleaner every time!