No matter how hard we try to keep our appliances clean, dirt and grime will inevitably sneak back up on us. For an appliance as essential as a washing machine, this can become a major problem. If unchecked, smelly washing machines can lead to dirty, bacteria ridden clothes and obviously, unpleasant lingering smells!
Most people wash their clothes on a 30-40 degree cycle- which is great the for the environment and conserving energy but unfortunately using low temperature washes allows bacteria and mould to build up as they are not killed by the low temperature of the water! However, that does not mean you need to start washing on higher settings, have a look at these top tips on how to keep your washing machine clean and bad smells will soon be a thing of the past, even if its a second hand washing machine!
- After you use a cool, low temperature cycle to wash your clothes bacteria and mould particles may be left behind and over time these can lead to an unpleasant smell. To prevent this most washing machine manufacturers recommend putting your machine on a service wash at least once a month. A service wash helps clean the drum of the machine as the high temperature water thoroughly rinses out the drum, preventing the buildup of smell causing bacteria and mould. So if you continue to wash clothes at energy efficient temperatures remember to include a few service washes too!
- Regularly check and clean the Seal and Filter of the washing machine. Mould and bacteria can build up around the seal and the filter, so cleaning out these areas regularly is a great way to reduce the chances of bad smells forming. If your washing machine is quite old, it may be worth considering replacing the rubber door seal too.
- After completing a wash leave the door to the drum open to allow air to circulate inside the drum. This helps prevent the growth of mould and bacteria. The detergent drawer should also be left partly open as well.
- Check the Standpipe. If you suspect it is blocked a universal drain blocker can be used to help flush the pipe out and remove any blockages.
- Try using baking soda and white vinegar to clean your machine. Forget about buying industrial cleaners, using a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar can work wonders! Mix half a cupful of baking soda with two cupfulls of white vinegar and put the mixture inside of the drum. Next, put the machine on it’s hottest cycle and after it has finished use a clean cloth to wipe away any residue. Lastly, pop your machine on a cool water cycle to rinse the drum out. This simple and inexpensive trick usually gets rid of bad smells in no time at all!
- If you suspect your washing machine might be smelling because of the water that fills the machine then you will need to call a plumber to take a look into your water system. Problems with the water system usually produce a tell-tale unpleasant smell like rotten eggs, so if this smell occurs contact a plumber.
- Check your warranty. If the washing machine is new or fairly new, and you have tried to clean it and stop smells forming without success, then check your warranty as you may be able to have it professionally cleaned free of charge.
As always, prevention is better than cure, so if you follow the above guidelines and clean your machine regularly then your washing machine will be smelling as fresh as a daisy in no time.