Smell in Laundry Room

Updated on December 22, 2009
S.K. asks from Castle Rock, CO
9 answers

HELP! I have this smell that is like a musty smell. It started a little while ago and we thought something had died, we looked in the vents and didnt find anything. Then the washing machine broke and flooded the floor and we got a new one. The smell is still here. It fades in and out but I cannot determine where the heck it is coming from. I know its not the washing machine since it started before the new one. I didn't seee water damage and the smell also started before the flood. Has anyone else had a stinky laundry room????? I keep it clean I'm at a loss

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answers from Salt Lake City on

My washing machine smells if I haven't used it for more than 4 days. Run a cycle with white vinegar (very cheap) or bleach instead of soap--no clothes in with it.

That'll take care of the smell if it's in the washer or drain.

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answers from Salt Lake City on

Do you have a drain in the floor of your laundry room? I do and it gets stinky from time to time and I just pour a couple of cups of water down the drain. That takes care of it. Our drain looks like an oversized bathtub drain.
Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

it might be ur water that is making that stinky stintch, that might be the reason,or a died animal that fell into ur tank that can make ur cloths and water smell bad ? we had a died raccoon that died and fell in r messed up r drinking all got messed up in there,i would check it out.good luck

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answers from Denver on

1) Make sure the drain is can buy a plumber's hand snake for about $20 and run it through the drain line to make sure that is clear...same w/ floor drain if you have one, or if there is a sink in the room.

2) Make sure your sewer vent is clear. This is a pipe that allows the gases that accumulate in your drains to escape to the outside of the house. You may be able to use the hand snake for this too if you know where the vent comes out...or you may need to hire a plumber. This could be the culprit if the smell is like an outhouse/poopy/septic.

3) If the smell is more like a moldy/funky/laundry smell, it sounds like water collecting in your wall or floor. This could be related to the washer drain, or you could have a leak in your nearby plumbing that is unrelated to your laundry. Follow your nose. It sounds like you may need to cut into your drywall, or flooring, since it's not obvious...but if you discover the problem, it will be worth it.

I manage rental properties and recently got a call from my tenants in a mountain home about a foul smell in the laundry room. The dryer vent (flap) to the outside was stuck open and I found 6 dead rodents in the vent line, including one inside the dryer itself... reaching in through the rear of the vent.

Additionally...if you have a septic tank, it could be getting full. If your laundry room is the lowest drain in you house, this would cause the smell to come out there, (especially if the vent I mentioned in (2) is blocked!)

It may be worth it to hire a plumber to help figure this one out (since most of them, the oldtimers atleast, have seen it all, in terms of the possibbilities) but it couldn't hurt to call and ask their opinion, if you know of one that is helpful.

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answers from Salt Lake City on

Perhaps your cabinetry wood is harboring the smell? My sis-in-law said her bathroom cabinets smelled like pee for months next to the toilet no matter how much she cleaned (and she cleans a LOT). She used the pet enzyme cleaners and soaked the wood cabinets and where they met the floor and got rid of the smell completely.

It could also be your drain area. Try getting Liquid Plumber and getting it all cleaned out of the pipes. Also notice when you get the smell... is it when the water is running? When it's draining? That may be a clue.

My dishwasher was making a musty smell, but couldn't see any water. There ended up being a hose leak way back behind the toilet. Did you replace the hoses with the washer/dryer? Or maybe there's a leak somewhere in the drain unit underneath the flooring (I'd hate for it to be that, but you never know). Is the floor "soft" anywhere in the room?

Good luck!

Good luck, I hate those mystery smells!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

If it is a front loader make sure that you keep the door open also check the rubber seal around the door water often gets trapped in the folds and starts to smell. When I had a front loader I would wipe it out with a dry cloth and left it ajar had no problems after that!



answers from Boise on

I agree with the washing machine smell, especially if it comes and goes. If you can leave it just unlatched (if it is front loading), that seems to do it for us. If yours has the notice that it needs a self cleaning cycle, make sure you do that, if not, start doing one yourself.



answers from Salt Lake City on

Is your new washer a front loader? There have been lots of complaints about those smelling, more so than top loaders. You can Google or search the Mamasource archives for this topic -- sorry I don't remember all the ideas people had, except to occasionally run a load with bleach and keep the door open (which is inconvenient for me, b/c its in front of a closet), and that seems to work at my house.



answers from Pocatello on

My washing machine smells if the door remains shut. If I leave the lid open, it smells great. Water remains in the drum of the washing machine, and some machine instructions say to leave the lid open when not in use, I'm guessing it reduces mildew.

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