How to stop a washing machine from smelling

If you've noticed an unpleasant odour coming from your washing machine, it's important to address the issue as soon as possible. There are several reasons why your washing machine may emit a bad smell, but there are effective ways to eliminate it and prevent it from recurring. By reading this article and following our top tips for cleaning a smelly washing machine, you can leave your appliance fresh, hygienic, and ready for use.

Why does my washing machine smell?

There are a few reasons why your washing machine might be giving off an unpleasant odour. The most common causes include:

  • Moisture: If your washing machine is not properly ventilated, moisture can build up in the drum, causing mould and mildew to grow. This can lead to a musty or damp smell.
  • Residue build-up: Over time, detergent, fabric softener, and dirt can build up in the drum and pipes of your washing machine. This can create an environment where bacteria can fester, which can cause an unpleasant smell.
  • Clogs: A clog in your washing machine's pipes or drain can lead to stagnant water and an unpleasant smell.
  • Overloading: Overloading your washing machine can lead to poor washing results and a lingering odour.

How to get rid of smell in washing machine

A washing machine that smells musty, like sewage, or even like rotten eggs can be frustrating and unpleasant. Not only can the smell linger in your clothes, but it can also get worse over time, impacting the performance of your appliance. To clean a smelly washing machine and prevent the odour from coming back, follow these simple steps:

  1. Clean the drum: Start by cleaning the drum of your washing machine. You can do this by setting your washing machine to the hottest temperature and the longest cycle, for example Cottons 90. This will help to remove any residue build-up and kill any bacteria. For more information, please read our dedicated ‘how to clean a washing machine drum’ article.
  2. Clean the detergent dispenser: If left uncleaned, your washing machine’s detergent dispenser can become a breeding ground for bacteria, resulting in unpleasant odours. To clean the dispenser drawer, remove it from the machine and wash it with warm, soapy water. Rinse it thoroughly and let it dry completely before reinserting it. For more detailed instructions, please read our ‘how to clean a washing machine detergent drawer’ FAQ.
  3. Check the filter: Your washing machine's filter can become clogged with lint, hair, and other debris. To clean the filter, please refer to your manufacturer's instruction booklet. If you own a Beko washing machine, please read our ‘how to clean a washing machine filter’ article.
  4. Use the right detergent: Some detergents can leave behind residue, which can lead to a bad smell. When running a wash cycle, use a high-quality detergent and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  5. Don't overload: To avoid poor washing results and an unpleasant odour, stick to the recommended load size for your washing machine.
  6. Leave the door open: After each wash, leave the door of your washing machine open to allow air to circulate and prevent moisture build-up.
  7. Use a washing machine cleaner: If your washing machine smells particularly bad, you can use a washing machine cleaner to help eliminate the odour. Follow the instructions carefully and use the product as directed.

Why do my clothes smell after washing?

If your clothes smell after washing it could be due to several reasons. First, make sure you're using the right amount of detergent and the right type of detergent for your clothes. Overloading your washing machine can also lead to poor washing results, which can leave your clothes smelling musty. Finally, if your washing machine is not properly ventilated, it can lead to moisture build-up and mould growth, which can transfer to your clothes and cause them to smell bad.

If you've tried all the above solutions and your washing machine still smells bad, it's time to call in a professional. Equally, if you are noticing a burning smell from your washing machine, please contact a professional as soon as possible. A technician can inspect your washing machine and diagnose any underlying issues that may be causing the smell. Please contact Beko customer service at 0333 207 9710 or visit our website for more information.

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