One of the most common appliance repair calls we receive at S.O.S. Appliance is a complaint of sour, musty smell coming from a washing machine. Here are some tips on how to maintain your washing machine so that it continues to provide clean, fresh smelling laundry.
How is a High Efficiency (HE) washing machine different?
Most clothes washers sold in the last 10 years, both top load and front load, are considered high efficiency (HE) washing machines. High-efficiency washing machines use far less water than the traditional clothes washers most people are familiar with. Because these washing machines use a fraction of the water, undissolved detergent and fabric softener can be left behind and build up over time. This can result in a bio-film build up that results in mildew or musty smells.
How to remove stinky odors from a washing machine
On many newer high efficiency washing machines, a “Tub Clean” or “Clean Washer” cycle has been added. Typically these cycles use more water than a typical wash cycle to help flush out any build up. If your machine does not have a cycle specifically for self-cleaning, choosing a long cycle with the hottest possible water temperature will usually provide good results. Bleach, vinegar, or baking soda can be used to help neutralize and eliminate odors as well. However it is important to remember to never mix these together as a potentially dangerous chemical reaction can occur.
The safest and best results can be achieved by using one of the many commercial products available for the elimination and control of unwanted washing machine odors. In some extreme cases, these products may need to be used as directed multiple times to completely eliminate all odors. Then, once the odor has been removed, running a “Tub Clean” or “Clean Washer” cycle once a month using a quality odor removal product, should prevent most offensive smells and odors from returning. We have found both Smelly Washer and Affresh washing machine cleaner provide the best results.
What if my washing machine still stinks?
In some cases, a malfunctioning drain pump or defective water inlet valve can result in poor wash performance that may result in undesirable smells. If you suspect a problem with your machine and need washing machine repair, please give S.O.S. Appliance a call at 952-473-4499 or fill out a service request at http://dialsos.com/contact.html. We’ll be more than happy to help!