How to Clean Musty Washing Machine?

How to Clean Musty Washing Machine?Tackling a musty washing machine can be a challenge. But, to keep the performance and hygiene of your appliance, it’s essential. Ignoring this chore could lead to bad smells, mould growth, and harm your clothes. We’ll be discussing effective ways to clean your washing machine and keep it odor-free in this article.

When you smell bad odors from your washing machine, it might mean mould or mildew. This usually happens when there’s trapped moisture, detergent residue, or dirt inside the machine. To tackle this, it’s important to clean and disinfect regularly.

  1. Begin by cleaning the exterior with a damp cloth and mild detergent. Pay attention to areas prone to grime like the control panel, knobs, and door seal. When the exterior looks spotless, start on the drum inside.
  2. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution generously inside the drum and on the agitator. Let it sit for half an hour to loosen any dirt. Use a soft brush or a toothbrush to scrub away remaining residues.
  3. Next, run an empty hot water cycle with two cups of white vinegar. This will dissolve any debris through the washing process. Vinegar works as a natural disinfectant, while removing bad odors.
  4. For the final step, run another empty hot water cycle without vinegar. Instead, add half a cup of baking soda directly into the drum. Baking soda will help deodorize and fight stubborn stains.

Cleaning your washing machine regularly will keep it fresh-smelling and free from mould or mildew. Taking preventive measures can make it last longer and keep your clothes clean and hygienic. Don’t let a musty washing machine ruin laundry time! Start cleaning now and enjoy fresh-smelling clothes!

Understanding the Musty Smell in Washing Machines

Don’t let that nasty smell ruin your laundry day. The stench in washing machines is caused by bacteria, mold, and mildew. These microorganisms grow in damp places and can easily get into the crevices of your machine.

You must know the cause of the musty smell. One common reason is leaving wet clothes inside for too long. This creates a perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow.

Using too much detergent or fabric softener can also cause this issue. Too much of these products can make a breeding ground for bacteria. Not cleaning your machine can lead to a buildup of residue and debris, which smells bad.

Front-loading machines are more likely to have a musty smell than top-loading ones. This is because front-loaders have airtight seals, trapping moisture and making it easier for microorganisms to grow.

To prevent and get rid of the smell:

  1. Take out your clothes quickly after they’re done washing and leave the door open for air circulation. This will help dry out the moisture and stop mold from growing.
  2. Clean your machine at least once a month. Run an empty cycle with hot water and one cup of distilled white vinegar or bleach. This will kill bacteria and mold.

Prevention is key when it comes to the musty smell in washing machines. Wipe down the seal, detergent dispenser, and other accessible parts regularly to remove any buildup. By doing this, you can say goodbye to the smell and have fresh laundry again.

Did you know that a study done by The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) found that washing machines are one of the germiest appliances in our homes? It’s essential to keep them clean and odor-free for health and comfort.

Preparation for Cleaning

Ready to get your musty washing machine clean? Here’s a 3-step guide:

  1. Empty the machine. Take out any clothes, remove dispensers and lint filters. Give them a wash.
  2. Get cleaning supplies. You need vinegar, baking soda, microfiber cloths, a toothbrush and hot water.
  3. Create a cleaning solution. Mix vinegar and hot water. For odors, add baking soda.

Wear gloves to protect your hands from irritants.

Pro tip: Leave the washing machine door open after use to reduce moisture and prevent odors.

Cleaning the Interior of the Washing Machine

Cleaning the interior of a washing machine is a must to keep it efficient and give us clean clothes. Here are the steps to make it happen!

  1. Empty the machine. Take out clothes and look for coins or tissues in pockets.
  2. Get a cleaning solution. Equal parts of white vinegar and water in a bowl. It’ll break down residue and get rid of odors.
  3. Clean the drum. Pour the solution into the detergent dispenser or straight into the drum. Run it on the longest, hottest cycle – without any laundry. This will clean the drum.
  4. Wipe down. After the cycle, use a cloth soaked in the solution to wipe down all surfaces, such as the rubber door seal, dispenser, and filter (if present). Pay special attention to grimy or moldy areas.

Repeat this process every three months for a fresh-smelling washing machine.

Don’t forget to check and clean the filter (if your machine has one). Clogged filters can lead to bad odor and poor performance.

Let me tell you a story to remind you why maintenance is so important. A friend of mine didn’t clean her washing machine for years. Eventually, a musty smell came out from it. On inspection, layers of mold were growing inside! It took hours of scrubbing and special cleaner to get rid of the smell.

Regular cleaning is needed for cleaner clothes and longer life for the machine. So don’t forget to maintain it!

Cleaning the Exterior of the Washing Machine

Cleaning the outside of your washing machine is super important. It ensures your appliance is hygienic and has a long life! Here’s how to do it:

  1. Unplug it from the power source.
  2. Mix a solution of warm water and mild detergent in a bucket/sink.
  3. Wring out a cloth/sponge and wipe down the entire exterior. (Including control panel, knobs, and door).
  4. Scrub off any stubborn stains.
  5. Rinse the cloth/sponge with clean water.
  6. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials.
  7. Use mild detergents and non-abrasive cloths/sponges.

Fun fact: washing machines used to have wooden exteriors. Cleaning them required special care and techniques to prevent warping or damage.

Follow these steps and take proper care of your washing machine’s exterior – you will keep it looking and performing great for years to come!

Preventing Future Musty Smells

  1. Run a hot wash cycle with vinegar or bleach regularly to clean your washing machine.
  2. After each use, keep the door open for air circulation and to avoid moisture build-up.
  3. Use detergent designed for high-efficiency machines to avoid residue build-up.
  4. Clean the detergent dispenser often to avoid mold.
  5. For further control of humidity and musty odors, get a dehumidifier for the laundry room.

Surprisingly, Consumer Reports say front-loading washing machines are more likely to create musty smells than top-loading ones.


Summing up, cleaning a musty washing machine is a must to keep it efficient and free of nasty smells in your laundry. Following the steps above will make sure your machine is always fresh and clean.

You should clean your washing machine frequently. It is suggested to do it at least once every three months to avoid the buildup of bacteria and mold. This will also make your machine last longer.

In addition to regular cleaning, there are some extra details to make your washing machine even cleaner. For example, using vinegar instead of bleach can be more eco-friendly and still work against smells and residue.

Also, leave the door or lid of your washing machine open after each use. This way, the drum will get some air circulation and help avoid mold growth.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to check and clean the filter of your washing machine! This can really enhance its performance and cleanliness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why does my washing machine smell musty?

A: A musty smell in your washing machine is often caused by a buildup of mold, mildew, and bacteria. These can thrive in the damp environment of a washing machine, especially if the door is kept closed when not in use.

Q: How can I get rid of the musty smell in my washing machine?

A: To eliminate the musty smell, you can start by running a hot water cycle with vinegar. This will help kill any mold or mildew. Additionally, regularly cleaning the detergent dispenser, door seal, and drum can prevent odor-causing buildup.

Q: Is it safe to use bleach to clean a musty washing machine?

A: While bleach is effective at killing mold and mildew, it should be used with caution. Check your washing machine’s manual to ensure that bleach is safe to use. If it is, dilute it and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Q: Can I use natural remedies instead of chemicals to clean my washing machine?

A: Yes, there are natural remedies you can use to clean a musty washing machine. Baking soda and white vinegar are popular choices. They can be used separately or together to remove odors and kill bacteria. Simply follow the instructions provided for each natural remedy.

Q: How often should I clean my washing machine?

A: It’s recommended to clean your washing machine at least once every month to prevent the buildup of mold, mildew, and bacteria. However, if you notice a musty smell or visible dirt, it’s best to clean it immediately.

Q: What should I do if the musty smell persists after cleaning?

A: If the musty smell in your washing machine persists even after cleaning, you may need to call a professional technician. There could be underlying issues such as clogged drainage or a malfunctioning pump.

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