Why do washing machines smell ?

For a washing machine to bring out your clothes clean, with nice and fresh scents, washing machine itself must be clean and free of foul odours.

Washing machines can get really smelly after a few months of usage. Some people have complained of their washing machines smelling as bad as rotten eggs. Your washing machine can become smelly for a number of reasons, which may include an accumulation of dirt, germs, limescale or soap scum.

 Where does the odour come from ?

Foul odours in your washing machine can come from a number of its components and locating its source should be the first step in stopping it. The possible sources include:

  • The door seal
  • The drum 
  • The filter
  • The sump hose 
  • The detergent dispenser
  • The heating components.

Causes of foul smells in your washing machine

There are a number of factors that could cause your washing machine to give off bad smells. They include:

A poor drainage system

When used water is left in the system for too long, it develops a foul smell. It also leads to the accumulation of bacteria, scum, and mold.

A dirty drum

When you leave the drum unwashed for too long, it causes dirt and germs to build up in your washing machine, and in time, they become smelly.

A dirty door seal

Dirts easily build up on door seals. So, if you haven’t cleaned your door seal in a while, there’s a good chance the smell is coming from it.

Washing at low temperatures

While using your washing machine at low temperatures can be power efficient, it eventually leads to your washing machine smelling bad. This is because low temperatures allow the growth of bacteria. 

Excess soap

When you use excess detergents while washing, it can lead to a situation whereby soap residues are left in the drum after use. The accumulation of this will lead to bad smells.

How to stop a washing machine from smelling

This is simple and straightforward, to stop your washing machine from smelling, all you’ve to do is clean it.

You shouldn’t wait till it starts smelling bad. This is because the bad smells can get on your washed clothes and we don’t think you want that.

 What do you need to clean your washing machine?

You don’t need a whole lot to clean your washing machine and with the right tools, cleaning should be quite easy. They include:

  • Sponge
  • Wager
  • White baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Brush


The smell can be avoided if proper timely actions are taken. Every appliance needs deep cleaning once in a while and so does your washing machine. Continuous usage will lead to the accumulation of dirt and soap which will eventually smell.

The cleaning of the washing machine will not only keep it safe from the bad smell but also allow it to function properly for a longer period of time. This will allow you to get your money’s worth.


Preksha is passionate about writing articles that will inspire readers to make better choices. You will find her eating desserts for lunch, dinner and any time of the day. Also, she is the chief playlist engineer for any road trip.

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