Washing machine stinks

Do you have a stinky washing machine? That is very annoying. Especially because at some point the musty, foul smell will also linger in your laundry. Want to know why your washing machine smells musty and how you can get rid of that smell? Read on.

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Why your washing machine smells

In most cases, foul smells in your washing machine are caused by grease lice, but don’t worry – they’re not actual lice. Grease lice is a buildup of soap scum that then traps all kinds of other dirt. This includes dust, pet dander, grease, but also a lot of bacteria. Besides the fact that it stinks, it is also not very hygienic. It looks like a gray gunk, often found in the rubbers of your washing machine – but sometimes it collects in less visible places, like the soap dish. Nowadays, washing machines suffer from this problem a lot.

We wash at low temperatures, increasingly not hotter than 40 degrees. This is good for the environment, but all the dirt in your washing machine is not going anywhere.

Many people tend to use more liquid detergent when their washing machine smells, but in the case of grease lice this is counterproductive. The excess detergent gets stuck in the drum, which actually increases the likelihood of odor.

If you don’t do anything about your grease lice, chances are your clothes will smell like it too. Over time, it can even cause stains that are very difficult to wash out.

How to get rid of a smelly washing machine

The number one remedy for a smelly washing machine is cleaning. Some people don’t realize that they need to clean their washing machine regularly, after all it cleans your laundry. But if you think about it, it’s not at all surprising that you need to clean your washing machine from time to time – after all, you’re always putting dirty laundry in it. Carry out the following steps to get rid of grease lice and to ensure that your washing machine no longer smells.

Remove grease

You can use a sponge or a cloth to wipe away the grease lice, soap scum and other dirt. You will find the gray gunk mainly in the rubber parts near the door and in the soap dish of your washing machine. Clean this thoroughly.

Run a boiling wash

Nowadays we are used to washing at low temperatures, but the occasional 90 degree wash is good for your washing machine. A simple, old-fashioned boil removes almost all odors, bacteria, grease and excess detergent. To do this, run a wash at a minimum of 90 degrees – with or without clothes. Centrifuging is not necessary, but do run the wash cycle through all the rinses.

Repeat with vinegar

After a regular wash at 90 degrees, you can run the same program again with a dash of cleaning vinegar (this time without laundry). The vinegar neutralizes any unpleasant odor, removes grease and even counters limescale – which may also make your washing machine last longer. You should now have a fresh-smelling washing machine again!

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Preventing a smelly washing machine

Once you get rid of that stink, of course you’d prefer to keep it that way. With the following tips, you can prevent your washing machine from smelling and getting fat lice in the drum.

  1. Use less detergent: If your laundry doesn’t smell as fresh, we understand the temptation to use more detergent – but don’t! The more detergent you use, the more likely it is that soap duties will be left behind. Detergents today are very concentrated, so the average Dutch person uses too much liquid detergent. If these soap residues remain in the drum, this could be a cause of why your washing machine smells.
  2. Washing machine cleaning: some people think you don’t need to clean a washing machine – they are wrong. It is important to run a wash at 90 degrees or higher at least once a month. If you want, you can also add a splash of natural vinegar or a cup of baking soda to this – this will also directly combat limescale.
  3. Clean the door and soap dish: the soap dish and the door of your washing machine are the places where detergent gets stuck. Therefore, clean them regularly to prevent grease lice from forming. Try to clean it once a month.
  4. Leave the door open: bacteria love damp washing machines. By leaving the door of your washing machine open after running a wash, no water will remain in it and it can dry better.