No one wants to open their washer and get hit with the smell of mildew. Even worse, when your washer smells bad it’s only a matter of time until your clothes start smelling less than fresh.

A smelly washer can be caused by mildew, soap scum, and even bacteria. Poor drainage can lead to stagnant water in your washing machine which can cause foul odors as well.

What to do When Your Washer Smells Bad

Your washing machine works hard to remove dirt by combining motion with detergent and water. Most of the dirt from your clothes is drained away during a rinse cycle but some can remain inside your washer.

In front loading machines, a rubber gasket around the door prevents leaks. Unfortunately, this can also be a catchall for dirt.

Dirt from your clothes isn’t the only thing that sticks around after a washing. Over time, oils, soapsuds, and other byproducts can build up.

Mold can grow quickly in the warm, moist environment of a washing machine tub. Before you know it, your washer smells bad.

washer smells bad

Photo Credit: Today Show

How to Clean a Washer that Smells Like Mildew

Fortunately, there is an easy intervention when your washing machine smells like mildew. Use dispel foul odor and destroy mildew when your washer smells like mold.

The citric acid in Lemi Shine washing machine cleaner works to break up mold and other buildup to leave your washer clean and smelling fresh. Best of all, it uses naturally based ingredients instead of harsh chemicals to clean the hard-to-reach places in the washer tub.

Follow these steps and your washer will smell so fresh and so clean in no time:

  1. Pour the Lemi Shine washing machine cleaner into the empty washer tub
  2. Run a normal clean cycle using the hot water setting
  3. Enjoy your fresh-smelling washer!

How to Prevent Washing Machine Odors

Now that you know why your washer smells bad and how to correct it, here are some washing machine maintenance tips to help you avoid a smelly washer altogether:

  • Wipe down the wash tub after each use to remove moisture and residue.
  • For front-loading machines, wipe the rubber gasket off after each cycle.
  • Consider using a laundry detergent booster to improve your detergent’s performance.
  • Pretreat stains by dabbing some detergent on the spot and allowing to sit before washing. This will help lift dirt and grime before the garment even enters the washer.
  • Use a washing machine cleaner such as Affresh monthly to destroy mold and dispel any lingering odors.
how to clean a washer that smells like mildew

Photo Credit: Affresh

A little upkeep and some easy interventions can go a long way to prevent smelly mildew and eliminate the need for professional washer repair.