18 answers

Musty Smell in Laundry Room

For several weeks I've been smelling a strange odor in my laundry room. It seems to be coming from the washer. The best I can describe it is "musty." I thought of mildew, but I don't see anything that could be mildewed. It's just an empty washer. The smell does not transfer to the clothes, as far as i can tell (I have a poor sense of smell). My teens have left things in the washer for too long at times, but seems to me that that would make the clothes smell, not the washer. Can machinery get mildewed? Has anyone had this and did you figure out what it was and how to get rid of it?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Leave the lid open after washing to allow the machine to dry. My front loader does this. All I have done is leave it slightly ajar constantly and it has never had that problem again.

1 mom found this helpful

You can try running the washer without clothes and throw in some vinegar. It will probably get the smell out.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

You can try running the washer without clothes and throw in some vinegar. It will probably get the smell out.

1 mom found this helpful

Well, I don't use bleach because of it's very harmful affects on your lungs, eyes, etc.........but you need to find some sort of deodorizer that you can put in your washer.....maybe vinegar.....white vinegar.....give that a shot......

It could be your pipes...........or your washer just might need to be cleaned just like your garbage disposal and dishwasher do......If that doesn't work, then I would call a plumber.......you might have a dead mouse in the washer somewhere or something else...............

Good Luck and take care.

1 mom found this helpful

Leave the lid open after washing to allow the machine to dry. My front loader does this. All I have done is leave it slightly ajar constantly and it has never had that problem again.

1 mom found this helpful

Now is a good time to just remove the washer and dryer from the laundry room and give everything a good cleaning. It is possible to have water leaks in the wall, in the washer, in the drain, so many places. You can pour some bleach or some foam cleaner down the drain too. Another thing you can do is install a vent fan in the ceiling - this has become mandatory for most new houses now. When the washer is out in the garage, you can hook up the garden hose, extension chord and point the drain house down the driveway and run a cold-water cycle. This might reveal any washer leaks.

1 mom found this helpful

If you have a front load washer there are several things that can cause this. First take the "drawer" out that you use to put soap/fabric softener etc in. This can get mold on the back. you won't see it where you put in the soap but it is behind. the drawer pops out and then back in. also all around the rubber ring in the front wipe down both inside and outside. Tide makes a washing machine cleaner also. it is in little packets. I have started doing it once a month and the smell is gone from my washer. it can be used in both frontload and top load washers. so check that out. good luck

Try washing vinegar in the machine with no clothes. Let the washer go through the whole cycle.

I was having this problem a couple of months ago. I always leave the door open now, and I haven't had a problem since.

Do you, by chance, have a front loader? I've heard lots of people complain about a moldy smell from the seal around the door. If so, call your appliance place & ask what to use to clean it.

Run the washer with baking soda only in the water; you can add bleach if you like depending how strong the odor is.
To keep moisture or odors out of a room buy "Damp Rid". Works great. You can buy it at Walgreens, Albertsons etc. Or go to the website and it can give you locations.

Run your washer using Afresh tablets ro Clorox washing machine cleaner (both found in detergent isle). It will clean the washer. If its front loading try and leave the door open whenever not in use, I also run a bleach only cycle once a month. If its top loading, leave door open as well ad if the tablets do not get rid of smell, then fill washer witj hot water and bleach then let sit for about 20-30 min, set to rinse cycle (prob run rinse cycle twice) and you shoudl be good to go.

Run a wash and rinse cyle with 1 cup of vinegar. That should take care of it. Check under the washer for some leakeage as well.

Do you have a front load washer? I've had several friends with these types of washers say they they hold water and thus emit a musty smell.

Put some baking soda in your wash.

This is discusting but actually happened! We had a MOUSE stuck in the washer where the water pours out. The smell wasn't bad until it came out. I can't tell you how much I freaked out - and the smell! OGH!!! I can still smell it! I was 13 and my dad thought it was so funny that he wouldn't come get it, he made me get it out - he was laughing so hard - I still give him Hell over that. And NO - we were not nasty people, we just lived in a neighborhood where lots of homes were being built and so lots of little "critters" decided to move to our yard/house when it first started. UGH!!!

I agree always leave the washing machine door ajar just a little. It cannot drain out every drop of water and if the room or area is humid with a lack of good ventilation it can smell musty.

Also consider purchasing a product called "Damp Dry". It is sold where the closet stuff is sold , sometimes close to the detergents. It will absorb any kind of moisture. Follow the directions. You just take it out of its packaging and either hang it it or set it somewhere.

If it is a dead animal, the odor will become worse, you will want to move things around and look for it.

If you have a front loading washer, then yes- it can get mildewy around the door where the rubber rib is and water sits. If you have a top loader, I don't know what it would be.

I had the same issue with my front load washer. If you have a front load, try cleaning inside the rubber part where water collects and with bleach and that should take care of the smell.

We went through this last summer. Here are a few things to try (none of which worked for us):
1. Run hot water and Vinegar with no clothes.
2. Run regular dish soap (not too much) through with no clothes.

If all else fails, it may be worth it to have your machine taken apart for regular maintenance.

We had to have a guy come out (a Maytag contract guy) and he took out the drum and had me wash it in the bathtub. It was GROSS!!! It is just the natural oils, dirt, etc... from our clothes that builds up after a while.
He said most people should really have their washers taken apart and cleaned every 3-5 years.

He is the one the suggested the regular dish soap. He said it works better than the Vinegar because it breaks up oil and that is what is the worst culprit.
Just my two cents,

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