How to Clean Washing Machine

Updated on December 28, 2008
J.H. asks from Edmond, OK
6 answers

Our washing machine has a bad smell. We've taken apart the fabric softener dispenser and cleaned it completely, but the smell is still there. Help!

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answers from Dallas on

I think if you run white vinegar through an empty wash cycle it should take the smell away. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If you have a front loader like I do, you must leave it open when you are done with your wash. Otherwise, it can't dry out because the seal is airtight. It helps alot. Also, if you use dryer sheets, quit using them and go for a liquid fabric softener like Downy. I could never get my towels to smell right and after doing some research, found out that the dryer sheets leave a coating on the towels that is hard for the water to penetrate since the front loaders use such little water. Try these two things and you should see a big improvement. (I guess that is if you have frontloaders). Good luck.



answers from Dallas on

There are two things you can try. Do not do them together.

1. Throw in something you don't care about or won't get ruined, like a plastic shower curtain that has no color, and dump in about a cup of bleach. Wash on large load. Add your regular clothes soap to the mix. After you run this through do a rinse load.

2. Throw in some towels and about a cup of vinegar. Wash in large load. Add your regular clothes soap to the mix.



answers from Dallas on

I haven't had to do this since switching to distilled white vinegar for my "fabric softener," but what I remember from before was running an empty machine with the water level set to high, and the temperature set to the hottest setting, and adding EITHER a cup of vinegar or a cup of bleach (I'd suggest vinegar, but I think the first suggestion I received was bleach). Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

They have washing machine cleaning tablets you can purchase. Affresh™ High Efficiency Washing Machine Cleaning Tablets - work really well.

Also I found some at Target I believe...not that brand but they worked ok. You gotta look for them b/c they are kind of hidden on a bottom shelf.



answers from Dallas on

That is scrud you have. It happens when detergent and softner form a waxy build up from contact with each other. You can mix up some very hot water and vinegar or lemon juice to clean the inside of your washer with. Be sure to clean your softner cup after each use (I just rinse mine out) and run a warm water cycle every 5-10 washes.

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