How to clean a washing machine that smells – quora save electricity images

You don’t need Affresh or whatever other overpriced product they are trying to sell you. The reason why washing machines smell these days, is because they don’t use enough water, hence stuff that used to get flushed away, now turns into a sticky sludge of detergent, bacteria, and who knows what else. It creates a detergent sludge that gets stuck in the machine’s plumbing. This is just one of the reasons why many people like top loaders better. They don’t have as many places that sludge can get trapped. Notice how before we had these eco-friendly, computerized clothes washing machines, we didn’t have this problem? Things that make you go hmmm..There is nothing eco-friendly about them if you have to run two or 3 cycles on the same load of clothes to get the results you want.

• Stop using scented detergents and softening agents. Most of that commercially available stuff ( Tide) is petroleum based. The cheap perfumes in them are petroleum based. They just coat and do not get rid of bad odors. Use plant based detergents/ soaps. Essential oils are cool, too. If you want your clothes scented, using the powered dryer for that helps keep your washer odor free. You can make enviro-friendly scent sheets or use the “Bounce” sheets, etc. Hint: One half of a bounce sheet softens just as well, you just don’t get the pungent fragrance pumped into your clothes. There ya go, a 50% coupon on your Bounce sheets.

• Use vinegar and baking soda rinses periodically inbetween wash loads, and use it on an empty soak cycle if you have one. And there is your “Affresh” at a fraction of the cost. Hint: a half cup of vinegar in wash water will soften clothes. The vinegar smell will not linger or survive the rinse cycle. Using vinegar in the wash water also helps keep your washer clean.

• Do not overload the washer. It is not good for the washer or your clothes and will not let the machine give your clothes an optimum clean. It can cause bad odors to stick in the machine, too. The washer shouldn’t be loaded more than 75% of its capacity with DRY clothes. The key word here is dry clothes because when the washer condenses the mass of the dry clothes with water, that doesn’t mean you can add more clothes to the tippy top. It is very dumb to do this. The clothes need room to move around. Freedom to move around is part of the agitation process

Smells in washing machines are typically due to mold growing inside the tub. New front load washing machines are especially prone because they are completely sealed and when the door is closed there is no ventilation and therefore no ability for the tub to completely dry out. This is a perfect environment for mold growth. Around 2005 there was a class-action lawsuit against Maytag alleging odor, mold and mildew. The lawsuit was settled by paying money to each of the class participants but the problem was never fully resolved. The mold which was very noticeable on the rubber ring of the Maytag Neptune was abated by changing the color and composition of the rubber.

Today’s washing machines suffer from what I call “Stinky Washer Syndrome”. It’s a combination of poor ventilation, combined with modern detergents and fabric softeners which do not kill mold and bacteria and in fact promote the growth of these microbes. In addition, we have what is in our laundry to add to the potpourri of smells.

There are harsh chemicals that can be used in the washing machine on a weekly basis to combat the problem, but they are expensive and are harmful to the environment, especially those with septic systems. The best way is to use the same method used by most major hospitals and hotels. It’s called ozone laundry. It’s the same technology a hospital will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to obtain but now scaled down for residential laundry. The product is called pureWash Pro and it’s available directly from the manufacturer at Home – pureWash Pro

Ozone is 3000 times more powerful than chlorine and it allows you to do laundry in cold water with little or no detergent. Hospitals use ozone, washing critical linens in cold water because scientific studies have shown that ozone in cold water can disinfect better than 168°F water and bleach combined. That same pathogen killing power is available for your home laundry, and one of the benefits is no more stinky washer.