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Help! Nasty washing machine smells.

(62 Posts)
Katek Mon 14-May-18 11:43:42

Every time I pass the utility room door all I can smell is a sour, dampish sort of aroma from the washing machine. I’ve run it through on 60c with bleach, cleaned all the drawers and door seal and even tried a washing machine cleaner. I actually think that’s made it worse. Fortunately there’s no smell transferring to the laundry but need to get this sorted out. Any handy hints or tips are very welcome!

jusnoneed Mon 14-May-18 11:50:30

Does your machine have a filter? It may need a clean.
Or is it possible you have a leak or the water pipe moved (has happened to me) and that's resulted in damp at the back of the machine, it may just smell as if it's inside.

Katek Mon 14-May-18 12:28:10

Thanks-will get DH to pull machine out and check plumbing.

Nanabilly Mon 14-May-18 13:03:34

When ours stank a few months ago it turned out to be tiny holes that the soap and conditioner passes through before getting into the drum.
Remove the dispenser and use a cocktail stick or similar to poke all the gunk away then run through a quick cycle with white vinegar in the dispensers.

lemongrove Mon 14-May-18 16:16:52

Just had the same problem here and think it’s because I use gel.I put some sheets through on a 60 wash and used bio powder, then put the machine on again on a hot wash with no washing inside and a bit of bio powder, and that has solved the problem.

jusnoneed Mon 14-May-18 18:02:32

Soda crystals usually help clear grungy stuff, I find them good for drains. Maybe worth a try, use on a hot wash.

bikergran Mon 14-May-18 21:28:08

Will follow this thread as I have the very same problem.! still not solved and everytime I come in the house its there!
So much I am embarrassed asking anyone in.!

So far I have
Pulled the washing machine out took the grey ribbed pipe off and took it outside cleaned with bleach and hot water.

Took the rubber seal off and cleaned all the balck gunk off with cillit bang.

Cleaned the filter twice (first time bit of gunk) second time nothing.

Run the washer with a full bottle of white vinegar

Run washer with half packet of dishwasher salt.
Same again on boil wash with otehr half .
Bought packet of washing machine cleaner (twice)

Run abother boil wash with no clothes in.

Run 2 more washers with dishwasher tablets.

and still!!! a stink when I come in musty wet washing"!

Have removed my kick boards to check under sink area no leaks nothing!

It is a pretty sure it is the machine and nothing else in the house.

My daughter said maybe there is a sock or soemthing stuck in between the inner drum and the outerdrum.

Ive changed from liquid soap back to powder so will see if that makes any diff! [hmm} running out of options now!

lilypollen Mon 14-May-18 21:43:21

OMG Bikergran...what more can you do?!

SpringyChicken Mon 14-May-18 23:21:17

The pong is caused by bacteria in the machine. This is how I prevent my machine from smelling and it works. You may find just carrying out number 1 is enough.
1. Put a capful of disinfectant (cheapest you can find) in the fabric softener compartment. You need to do this every time you use the machine (or in the final wash of the day if you have more than one load). I've been doing this for years and since doing so, the machine has never smelled.
2. Dry the seal and leave the door open for a few hours after use, remove the detergent drawer and dry the compartment with a cloth (it takes seconds) and again, leave the drawer out for a few hours - this prevents black mould growing in there.
3. Stop using fabric softener (if you can bear to!) as it coats everything with a slimy film.
4. Avoid gel, go back to powder, I read somewhere that the machine is more likely to smell with gel.
5. Wash at 60℃ once a week or so.

Do let us know if this works for you too!

Katek Tue 15-May-18 08:05:16

I’m willing to try anything! I use Fairy non bio capsules and softener (I develop a rash with bio detergents) and wash at 30c. My machine is now showroom clean, no leaks anywhere so am off to buy a bio detergent and run it through on empty.

Thanks for all the tips ladies!

bikergran Tue 15-May-18 08:34:06

lillypollen getting ready to wizz the machine in the garden grrrrrrrrrrr..

plus not helping my water bill being on a water meter {hmm]

Will go anf buy some disinfectant as final try!

Just running it through yet another empty cycle at 90 deg.

One thing I haven't tried! is....using the pre wash..but it doesn't seem to have on my machine that does a pre wash..I thought that maybe somewhere in the " pre wash pipes" there may be some gunge..

Think will go and buy some dettol will see how it goes. thanks all

SpringyChicken Tue 15-May-18 09:05:37

It’s such a waste running the machine on empty at 90C, Katek so you might as well wash the towels at 60C weekly instead. Just try the disinfectant, a cheap one. The washing doesn’t smell of disinfectant, btw.

GreenGran78 Tue 15-May-18 10:05:43

I found that the washer, which was connected to the kitchen sink drain, had a dip in the pipe. This resulted in water and gunk collecting in the dip. I had a new drain put in, through the wall and directly to the outside drain, and the problem was solved

Notsoold27 Tue 15-May-18 10:07:59

Definitely use bio powder to kill off any nasties lurking. Gels will not kill off the bacteria. I rarely clean my machine and it’s over 15 years old. Never smells musty. Don’t use conditioner either. Can’t stand the sliminess.

GrAnne2 Tue 15-May-18 10:16:43

Only things to add: check that the tube you use to drain water before cleaning the filter isn’t silted up (ours was once completely blocked & we had to remove & massage (!) it all out. I now use the ‘tub clean’ prog every week or so, draining the tube & cleaning the filter afterwards. Also, NEVER close the machine door completely when it’s not in use - I put a clothes peg on the catch.. Ours never smells now.

moobox Tue 15-May-18 10:20:45

It is likely the smell from the cleaning process is a good thing, as it must have dislodged some gunge somewhere. Keep at it, but once the specialist cleaner is through, bio powder is the way forward for now, as gels and capsules do make it worse

NfkDumpling Tue 15-May-18 10:30:10

I use bio powder and leave the door ajar between washes and don’t get a smell.

DD1 keeps her door shut to keep the cat out and had smelly problems so now runs it with a good dose of washing soda in the rinse only cycle. This seems to have fixed it. She also put washing soda in the bottom of her dishwasher. Wonderful stuff, washing soda!

pinkjj27 Tue 15-May-18 10:35:50

run an empty wash through with a cheap mouth wash it kills bacteria bad smells works for me

Everhopeful1 Tue 15-May-18 10:54:00

I think it's a combination of liquid gels/low temp washes. I cured mine by doing all my tea towels on a hot wash with bio powder as often as possible. I used to do a lot of 20 degree /20 min washes and I think the gunge just builds up.

Yorkshiregirl Tue 15-May-18 10:55:11

White vinegar

JanaNana Tue 15-May-18 11:09:48

I alternate between using powder on hot wash, and liquid on cooler wash for coloured and darks. I never use the dispenser drawer for putting the powder or liquid in but put straight into the drum with the washing. What I do put into the dispenser drawers is cheap white vinegar with a very small splash of fabric softener in the softener drawer.Always leave the door and dispenser drawer slightly open between washes and check the filter every so often to make sure it's clean. Once in a while run the hottest wash possible using just washing soda in the drum and white vinegar in the dispenser drawers and this keeps any build up of bacteria at bay. My last washing machine lasted 17 years using like this before it finally wore out and the engineer said not clogging up the dispenser drawers with powder and liquid had contributed to its long life.

farmgran Tue 15-May-18 11:24:10

I had a front loader machine for a while and it developed these sinister smells too. I went back to a top loader and what a relief! No more smells.

luzdoh Tue 15-May-18 11:29:10

I love bicarbonate of soda! It is a disinfectant and easy to use. I put it in the drum with my washing. It is great at removing smells.

Like many others, I leave the door open wide at the end of the wash and also wipe out the soap tray and leave it sticking out.

I have been lucky and not had any smells so far in about 48 years of washing. However I do periodically give my machine a clean out with the specially made machine cleaners. I do this with the dish-washer too.

If you don't like fabric softeners and you use a tumble-dryer, you can put a couple of screwed-up balls of aluminium foil (baking foil) in with the laundry. It helps to keep it soft.

Madmartha Tue 15-May-18 11:31:08

For a couple of years I had a bad smell from the sink that I remember from childhood - dirty floorcloths that were left wet outside the door for years, full of bacteria obviously. Treated the sinks with caustic soda loads of times, poured down gallons of bleach, even called a plumber who said his wife complained of the same smell but he didn’t know what caused it!! Eventually I called in another plumber who said it came from one of the washing machine pipes, he altered the angle I think of one of the pipes and, hey presto, it vanished overnight. If I’ve been away for a few days I smell it faintly on return, but it disappears with the first wash.

rebbonk Tue 15-May-18 11:53:16

Is there a 'drain' function to remove water from the sump at the end of the wash?