why does my washer make my clothes smell

When we think of washing machines, we think of clean, fresh-smelling clothes. Laundry is supposed to have a comforting aromaone thats so well-loved that there are even
designed to mimic its scent. But what do you do when your front-load washer stinks? Before you resign yourself to a musty, mildewy, sour-scented existence, consider this: Your washer probably isnt defectiveit just needs some TLC. A few simple steps could help eliminate that stench forever. Thats right, my friends: Its all smooth, fresh-smelling sailing from here on out. Grab your hampers, keep your heads high, and scrub stinky clothes from your life for good. We took an in-depth look at the relative performance of front- and top-load washers, and found that in virtually every way. That came as no surprise, since front-loaders are designed not only to be more efficient, but also to be gentler on clothes while cleaning them better. But it s that efficiency part that can cause some headaches when it comes to smell. See, high-efficiency front-loaders use a lot less water than their top-load counterparts, since they fill just the bottom of the wash tub with water. Since the drum rotates on a horizontal axis, your clothes tumble through the water, eliminating the need to fill the tub up all the way. That s all fine and dandy if you use high-efficiency detergents, but when you douse your laundry with the wrong kinds of soap and softeners, the smaller amount of water cant fully rinse them away.


The drum ends up getting coated with a layer of soap scum, which is itself peppered with debris and dirt from your clothing. In the heat and damp of your washer, this scum makes a happy home for mildew, bacteria, and mold. The stinky situation is compounded by the fact that front-load washers use a rubber door gasket to keep water from leaking out. Dirt, soap, and bits of fabric can get trapped under the gasket, creating yet another breeding ground for nasty smells. Most people use WAY too much detergent, and this is one of the main causes of dirty, smelly washing machines. A smelly washer is no fun, so lets hit that foul odor where it hurts. 1. Bring out the baking soda. Your first inclination may be to reach for the bleach, but we prefer to use something a little gentler. suggests mixing 1/4 cup of baking soda with an equivalent amount of water. Add this solution to your machines detergent container. 2. Bring out the vinegar. Pour two cups of white vinegar into the drum, then run a normal cycle at high heatwithout any clothes, of course. The baking soda and vinegar should break up any residue stuck to your drum and kill any mold that might be present. Theyll also help remove any foul odors. 3. Scrub away any remaining grime If stubborn spots remain, attack them with the rough side of a kitchen sponge and a mixture of one part white vinegar, one part water.


Ta-dah, good as new! You can repeat this cleaning method once a month for maintenance if youd like, or try some other odor prevention techniques. If you want clean clothes, you need a clean washing machine. Your washer is finally free of nasty odors, and you want to keep it that way. But how? 1. Break Up With Your Old Detergent If you own a front-loader, you should always use detergents made for high-efficiency machines. Normal detergents simply produce more suds than your front-loader can handle; less suds means less scum for stinky lifeforms to cling to. Liquid fabric softener is also off-limits for front-loading washing machines, so do yourself a favor and ditch it. 2. Keep the Drum Dry Once youve got the soap situation under control, its time to make sure the drum doesnt stay damp for long periods of time. Always remove your laundry promptly after the cycle ends, and be sure to leave the door open when its not in use, so the moisture can escape. You can also run a fan in the room where your washer lives to improve airflow, and consider investing in a dehumidifier. Remember: You don t want bacteria or mold to feel at home here, and nothing invites bad smells quite like wet, stagnant heat. 3. Clean the Gasket Even with the correct detergent and anti-humidity efforts, there s no guarantee your washer drum won t develop some mold-friendly buildup.


The rubber seal around the doors is especially problematic, so you should regularly remove any debris you see trapped in the gasket and wipe it down with a cleaning solution made of one part white vinegar and one part water. Finally, be sure to dispose of any lint that may have accumulated in your machines drain trap filter. Once a week should do the trick. Tackling Smelly Washing If your clothes smell bad after being washed, dont worry theyre not ruined. Odours can usually be removed from fabrics very quickly and easily, leaving you with clean, fresh clothing that not only looks good, but smells good too. Heres how to remove some of the most common smells from fabrics: How to Get Damp Smell Out of Clothes If your clothes have been stored in an area thats prone to damp, such as near to an external wall for example, they may have a bit of a mouldy smell to them. The trick to removing this smell is to pop a cupful of white vinegar into the washing machine drum along with your laundry. Vinegar is a great deodoriser, and dont worry your clothes wont smell like pickled onions! How to Get Rid of Musty Smell in Clothes Musty smells can occur if your clothing is stored in enclosed wardrobes that arent cleaned regularly or are prone to damp. To remove the smell, soak your clothing in a bowl of cold water mixed with one cup of baking soda. The baking soda will help release any odours that are trapped in the fabric.


Remember to test a small amount of your baking soda solution on a hidden area of the garment first to check there are no adverse effects. After soaking, wash as normal in the washing machine. Check out our tips on and remember to clean your wardrobes regularly to prevent build-ups of dirt or damp. How to Get the Smell of Smoke Out of Clothes If your clothing is stored on open shelves and exposed to cigarette smoke you may notice a bad odour trapped in the fabric. The good news is that this type of smell is really easy to remove all it needs is a good airing. Try hanging your clothes outside on the washing line on a breezy day, allowing the wind to blow out any bad odours and refresh your clothing. After washing with the right dose of good detergent, clothing should always smell clean and fresh, and with these handy hints you can be sure that youll never say pee-ew to clothes ever again! Top tip: If you want a detergent that gives you great-smelling laundry, you don't have to compromise on things like stain removal or fabric care. Our Powercaps Bio capsules contain a Triple Action formula for stain removal, clothing care and freshness perfect for busting those mould stains while banishing their musty smell. Have you got any tips for removing bad odours from clothes? You can also find more handy laundry advice in our section.

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