How to Get the Smell Out of Washing Machines

Washing machines are made to get clothing clean, but in the process, they sometimes get dirty themselves. Musty odors build up in washing machines, especially during hot, humid weather, or when the machine is used infrequently. Mildew, mold, bacteria and detergent or fabric softener residues may cause odors. Clean your washing machine regularly, and don't overfill it. Chlorine bleach and hot water in wash loads helps prevent odors from developing.

Use chlorine bleach to remove odors from washing machines.

Preventing Odors

Step 1

Mix 2 tbsp. mild dish soap with 1 quart of warm water.

Step 2

Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the soap solution.

Step 3

Wipe out the inside of the machine. Push the cloth into the folds of a front-loading machine's door seal. Wipe this area well to prevent odors from building up.

Removing Odors

Step 4

Mix 1/2 cup chlorine bleach with 1 quart warm water.

Step 5

Wash the inside of the washing machine with a clean cloth or sponge dipped in the bleach solution. Wipe the door seal especially well.

Step 6

Run the washing machine rinse cycle to thoroughly remove any bleach.