Is your washer stinky? Do your clothes come out smelling worse than before? When you think of washing machines, you think of clean, fresh-smelling clothes. Laundry is supposed to give off a clean scent. However, when your washer begins to stink it quickly takes that beloved clean-laundry smell with it. There are several things that could be causing your washing machine to smell bad. Here are a few tips on how to address a smelly washer.

Why Do Washers Stink?

All washing machine can begin to stink over time. Between dirty laundry, detergent, and softeners, having a little bit of scum and buildup is inevitable. Most of the time, washers stink due to mold or mildew that has formed outside of the drum. When this is not the case, the drain pipe can also be a culprit. Mold and mildew like to grow in drain pipes, which can cause your entire washing machine to smell.


  1. Switch Up Your Detergent

Sometimes a smelly washer is caused by your detergent. If you have a high-efficiency machine, normal detergents won’t cut it. The amount of suds create scum that can quickly begin to stink up your washing machine. Trying out a different detergent, especially if you have a high-efficiency machine, can make all the difference in keeping your washer smelling fresh.

  1. Avoid Liquid Fabric Softener

While it makes your clothes feel soft, liquid fabric softener does more harm than good.  Liquid fabric softener is petroleum-based, which causes it to stick to the inside of your washer and drain pipes. This means that each time you use softener, it doesn’t get completely rinsed out. This petroleum debris feeds mold and mildew, causing your washer to stink over time. Avoiding liquid fabric softener will help keep your washer smelling clean longer.

  1. Locate the Source of the Smell

In order to get your washer smelling fresh again, you must find the source of the smell. Most of the time it is simple to tell where the smell is coming from. With front-loaders, it is typically easy to determine. Scum will begin to form on the door and inside the detergent drawer, which is an indicator that it’s time to clean your washer. In top-loaders, sticking your head down to the bottom of the drum will quickly give you an answer. Running a self-cleaning cycle with either a washer cleaner, bleach, or hot water should address any smells located inside. If the washer isn’t the source of the smell, check your drain pipes. They may need to be wiped out or be cleaned by a professional.

Don’t let your washer stink up your clothes. Taking the time to address your smelly washer with these few tips will have your laundry back to smelling fresh in no time. At Doc’s Appliance Service, we service all makes and models of washers. We know how to quickly locate and eliminate washer smells. If you’re ready to get rid of the stink in your washer, contact us at Doc’s Appliance Service today.