One of the most common problems owners have with their washing machines is the development of unpleasant odors. Even if you're not washing otherwise "stinky" clothes, odors can start to develop in your washing machine. This may not seem like that big of an issue, but the smell will linger on the clothes you wash, making it difficult to wear your clothes. Until you get the problem fixed, you'll likely prefer to wash your clothes by hand in order to avoid these odors. Thankfully, though, there are a couple of things you can do to make your washing machine smell better.
What Causes Washing Machine Odors
First and foremost, you have to try and identify the cause of the odors if you plan on preventing them. If you cover up the odor without fixing the cause, it will only return in the future, which is why you must find out what's causing it. The fact is that your washing machine could smell bad for a number of reasons, but one of the most common is the mildewing of soap and suds. If you use too much detergent when running a cycle of clothes in your washing machine, the soap can seep down into the gears where it sits without getting rinsed away. Over time, it will mildew and begin to stink, causing your entire washing machine to smell as well.
If you think you're using too much detergent, try cutting back to a smaller amount. Most liquid and powder detergents have a recommended usage size listed on the box. Take a minute to see what it is for your detergent and don't go beyond that amount.
The most effective way to remove bad washing machine odors is to run an empty load with warm water and a couple cap fulls of bleach. The bleach will not only make it smell better, but it will actually kill any mildew, mold or bacteria that your washing machine is harboring. After you've ran an empty load bleach, I recommend running one with water only to remove any excess bleach; otherwise, you could end up stripping the color out of your clothes.
Hopefully, running an empty load with a small amount of bleach will make your washing machine smell better. However, you have to remember to avoid using excessive amounts of detergent in the future. This is usually the cause of most bad washing machine odors, so be aware of how much detergent you're using.