If you’re struggling with washing machine odor in your front load washer, or just hoping to avoid it, here are a few simple tips to ensure you always have a fresh washer.
The Water Factor
Water plays an important role in the function of your washing machine. Not only does it clean your clothes, water is also responsible for ensuring your washer is clean (or not!)
When a cycle is complete, there is a gallon or more of residual water left behind that does not drain. This water is not visible as it remains on the bottom of the plastic outer tub and in the drain pump in the bottom of the washer.
Many people like to use only cold water for washing in order to save energy. This is great but a hot wash or soak should be done as the last cycle on wash day. It’s a perfect chance to do more soiled laundry! If leaving for a vacation or the washer is not going to be used soon a second rinse is a good idea. These methods are the easiest ways to prevent a smelly washing machine. The temperature of the water can also be a culprit of washing machine odor. While it’s unrealistic to wash all your laundry in hot water, heat kills bacteria and can help prevent mildew from growing. At the very least, run the hottest cleaning cycle once a month with no clothes in the washer.
Don’t use fabric softener
If it’s a fresh washer you crave, liquid fabric softener is one of your worst enemies. Liquid fabric softener has a tendency to leave a residue behind that builds up on the inside of outer tub. It also accumulates in hard-to-reach places such as under the agitator and above the splash line. When combined with water, this residue makes the perfect food source for mildew to grow and cause washing machine odor.
The solution is simple: switch to fabric softener sheets or dryer balls. The sheets can be cut in half and even reused and still be effective. They even have an added bonus of preventing static in the dryer. Keep in mind softener and/or sheets can be overused and cause problems with long dry times and multiple repair attempts by coating the lint screen and/or the moisture sensor in most dryers.
Use A Washer Cleaner
Using a washer cleaner, such as Smelly Washer, monthly will ensure you always have a fresh washer. Smelly Washer uses all natural ingredients to eliminate odor, fungus and mildew that cause washing machine odor.
Smelly Washer should be used in the hottest or “clean” cycle of your washer with no clothes. For more stubborn odors, allow the solution to soak in the washer. If odor persists add a cap of Smelly Washer or Smelly towel to a full load of whites. The added bulk of the clothing will lift the water level to include the splash area 3-5 inches above the normal waterline. This “splash area” is always the worst area for buildup. Use Smelly Washer before washing machine odor begins and you’ll always have a fresh washer.
Smelly Washer can also be mixed in a spray bottle of warm water to clean the detergent drawer, rubber door gasket, or under the lid – all those hard-to-reach places! Just spray liberally and allow to soak. This method is also great to remove mildew stains from showers and tile grout.