Do you notice a mildew-like smell coming from your washing machine? It may not be that concerning at first, but once all your clothes start smelling like mildew, you’ve got a real problem on your hands. Also, mildew and mold go hand-in-hand, so there’s a good chance mold can start developing if you allow it to go unnoticed. Here we’ll take a look at the possible causes of mildew smells and reveal how you can treat it.
Causes of Mildew Smell in a Washing Machine
The truth is that there could be one of many different things causing your washing machine to smell like mildew. You may not realize it, but using too much detergent can actually contribute to the smell. When you overload a washing machine with detergent, there might not be enough water to absorb the suds, so instead of them draining properly, they sit on the sites of the washing machine where they develop mildew colonies.
Another possible cause of mildew smells in a machine machine is liquid fabric softener. Using a little bit here and there to help fluff out our clothes isn’t going to pose a problem, but using it for each load may. Just like too much detergent can create ideal growing environments for mildew, so can liquid detergent.
Fixing The Smell
Everyone has their own solution to cleaning out a bad smelling machine machine, but I’ve found that using bleach is a sure-fire way to eliminate any and all unpleasant smells. Place about a cup of bleach inside your washing machine and turn it on the hot water setting. Allow it to fully drain and then repeat the cycle once more. Some individuals use vinegar in place of bleach, which also works well. Remember, though, you should never mix bleach and vinegar together, as doing so produces toxic chlorine gas. Before using your washing machine again, allow it to sit with the top open for a couple hours. This will ensure all the bleach, water and mildew has completely dried out of it.
Once you’ve removed the smell from your washing machine, try to get into the habit of using warm to hot water for your loads. There’s nothing wrong with using cold water on your special clothes that you want to protect, but warm water helps to remove the microorganisms that cause mildew and mold to grow. In fact, you can even run some empty loads once in a while using just hot water.