Why Does my Washing Machine Stink?

By Mary Smith. Updated: January 20, 2017
Why Does my Washing Machine Stink?

Washing machines that are not working properly or that is smelling bad can cause you headaches. One fine day you will discover that your washing machine stinks and you don't know why. This is problem that will develop over time, and that is why at OneHowto we will help you solve the mystery: why does my washing machine stink?This way you can nip the problem in the bud.

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Steps to follow:

After years of relying on your washing machine, it has now betrayed you. Worst of all you will have absolutely no idea why it stinks, especially when its main function is to make your clothes smell better. First of all, you need to find out why your washing machine is in such a state. If it appears to be a problem with the drum or drainage, you will need get it repaired because this will be a major issue.

There are many reasons why the washing machine can smell bad. Worst of all, your clothes now stink of the same smell. Your cottons, polo shirts and towels will never be the same again and putting them through another wash cycle will not get rid of the smell.


Trapped socks, lint and bacteria build-up are the three fiercest enemies of your washing machine. If you keep losing socks every time you put on a wash, this may be the reason behind your smelly washing machine.


If you've got a front-loading washing machine, you may have noticed that it has tight rubber rims that can generally trap some clothing. Make sure you free any trapped clothing or dirt from the rims in order to prevent bad odours.


If you normally set your washing machine to colder temperatures to stop your clothes from shrinking, this may also be the root of the problem. From time to time, set your washing machine to a hot wash because this will kill the bacteria lurking inside the machine as well as in your loads.

Why Does my Washing Machine Stink? - Step 4

Bleach will eliminate that rotten or mouldy smell coming from your washing machine. Put on a bleach wash on a short cycle and let us know if it has worked.


We usually use too much washing powder because we think that it will make our clothes smell much better and cover up the bad odour. We are afraid to tell you that this is another possible reason why your washing machine smells so bad. You should only put in just enough detergent to wash your clothes in order to avoid the stink of leftover excess water and the problems this causes.

For more information on how to remove this awful smell, at OneHowto we recommend you read our article: how to get rid of bad smells in your washing machine.

If you want to read similar articles to Why Does my Washing Machine Stink?, we recommend you visit our Maintenance and home security category.

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