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Learning Troubleshooting Techniques For That Washing Machine Smell

What’s Behind Your Washing Machine Smell?

It’s not a common topic of conversation, by any means, but homeowners frequently have to deal with an unusual and unwanted washing machine smell. It can ruin a hurried load of laundry or put a damper on a day of chores.

But a washing machine's smells need not disrupt a whole weekend. This article will be covering some advice on how to handle these foul smells. Once you’re armed with this information, you’ll be the wised washing machine sage with advice to help friends and family.

Smelly Soap Scum Buildup

soap scumUsing the right detergent for your washing machine is essential. In past years, when you may have used dorm machines, laundromats, and shared usage washing machines, you could use any soap at all and it didn’t matter. Now that you have a washing machine of your own, take the time to research the detergent and fabric softener that you’re using.

Here’s what happens…

The wrong detergent coats the inside of the drum in a layer of soap scum. In the warm, wet environment of a washing machine, mildew runs rampant, growing in the layer of soap scum. Dirt and debris from clothes accumulate, exacerbating the problem. Instead, switch to high-efficiency detergents and reduce the amount used.

Stop Leaving Wet Clothes

Everyone forgets a load of laundry now and then. But if you leave wet clothes they will get smelly in your machine every time you do a load, you’re not doing yourself any favors in more ways than one. Wasted water, if you have to re-wash mildew smelling clothes a second time, is rough on the environment and rough on your wallet.

leaving wet clothing

Also, leave the door of the laundry machine open after you empty your wet clothes to give the drum ample time to dry. If you’re ready to reform your habits and have a layer of mildew to address, run the washing machine without clothes. Instead of detergent, pour baking soda in the detergent loader and a few cups of vinegar into the drum. Run a high-heat cycle, which should kill off anything growing on the inside.

Every few weeks, take the time to wipe down the inside of the washing machine with a gentle cleanser. Give the rubber gaskets special attention, as they’re a prime spot for the buildup of mold and mildew.

Search for Hidden Clogs

hidden clogMaybe you’re a laundry all-star, using high-efficiency detergent, promptly removing wet clothes and letting the drum dry out after every usage. If you’re still experiencing a washing machine smell, then there’s a chance that you have a hidden clog behind the machine. Hidden clogs will trap dirty water in the pipe, leaving a foul smell to emit from the washing machine.

Once you’ve run a cleaning cycle on the machine and still experience an odor, check to see if there’s standing water in the machine. Standing water is a tell-tale sign of a clog. Clogs happen naturally in washing machines because of the tiny fibers washed out of clothes. Detergent and debris build-up contribute to the problem.

Luckily a clog doesn’t mean the death of the machine. It’s a modest repair and, when addressed promptly, will extend the life of your (now sweet-smelling) washing machine.

Plumbing for Peace of Mind

S and J Plumbing take the stress and aggravation out of plumbing disasters. Arlington Heights residents can trust their 24-hour service to provide personalized solutions that accommodate every budget and timeline. With clear communication, honest quotes, and high-quality workmanship, they can handle everything from washing machine smells to burst pipes.