How to Eliminate Mildew Smell from Your Washer Machine: Effective Tips

Understanding the Mildew Smell in Washer Machines

When it comes to mildew smell in your washer machine, understanding the root cause is key. Mildew thrives in damp environments, often due to lingering moisture or soap residue.

To tackle this issue, it’s essential to comprehend why mildew grows in washers.

  • Mildew: a type of mold
  • Dampness: perfect breeding ground

By grasping these factors, you’re better equipped to combat the unpleasant odor.

Common Causes of Mildew Smell in Washer Machines

When it comes to tackling that pesky mildew smell in your washer machine, understanding the common causes is key to effectively eliminating the odor. Here are some factors that can contribute to that unwanted mildew odor:

  • Dampness: Leaves and clothing items left in the washer for too long can create a damp environment, ideal for mildew growth.
  • Soap Residue: Excess detergent or fabric softener can build up in your washer, providing a food source for mildew to thrive.
  • Closed Doors: Keeping the washer door closed when not in use can trap moisture inside, leading to mildew smell over time.

By addressing these common causes, you can take proactive steps to prevent mildew smell in your washer machine.

Steps to Remove Mildew Smell from Washer Machines

When it comes to eliminating that stubborn mildew smell from your washer machine, here are some effective steps you can follow:

  • Clean the Seal: Start by cleaning the rubber seal around the door with a mixture of vinegar and water.
  • Run a Cleaning Cycle: Run a hot water cycle with vinegar or baking soda to deodorize the washer.
  • Scrub the Drum: Use a scrub brush and a homemade cleaning solution to scrub the drum and remove any mildew buildup.
  • Check the Dispenser: Don’t forget to clean the detergent dispenser to prevent soap residue from causing odors.
  • Leave the Door Open: After each use, leave the washer door open to let it dry and prevent mildew growth.

Click here to preview your posts with PRO themes ››

Fact Data
Vinegar Great for deodorizing
Baking soda Effective cleaner
Open door Prevents mildew smell

Natural Remedies for Eliminating Mildew Smell

If you’re dealing with a persistent mildew smell in your washer machine, don’t worry – there are simple and natural remedies you can try right at home. Here are some effective ways to address the issue:

  • White Vinegar and Baking Soda: Pour a cup of white vinegar into the detergent dispenser and run a hot water cleaning cycle. Then, sprinkle baking soda directly into the drum and run another cycle. This powerful duo helps eliminate odors and cleans your machine.
  • Lemon Juice: Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto a sponge and wipe down the rubber seal, drum, and other surfaces of your washer. Lemon’s natural acidity can help combat mildew and leave behind a fresh citrus scent.
  • Essential Oils: Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil (such as tea tree oil or lavender oil) to a cloth and wipe down the inside of your washer. Not only will this help fight odor, but it’ll also leave your laundry with a pleasant fragrance.
  • Sunlight: After completing your laundry, leave the washer door open to allow fresh air and sunlight to circulate. Sunlight can help kill mold and mildew spores, keeping your machine smelling clean.

Remember, regular maintenance is key to preventing mildew smells in the future. By incorporating these natural remedies into your routine, you can enjoy a fresh-smelling washer machine every time you do your laundry.

Maintenance Tips to Prevent Mildew Smell

  • Regular Cleaning: Wipe down the rubber seal after each wash.
  • Leave the Door Open: Keep the washer door open when not in use.
  • Run Maintenance Washes: Use cleaning cycles with white vinegar or baking soda regularly.
  • Check for Buildup: Inspect the detergent dispenser for mold or mildew growth.
  • Use Essential Oils: Add a few drops of tea tree oil or lavender oil to a cloth and wipe the inside of the drum.
  • Dry Washer Thoroughly: Ensure the washer is completely dry after use to prevent mold growth.
  • Clean Filters: Regularly clean or replace filters to prevent blockages.

Click here to preview your posts with PRO themes ››

Fact Data
Maintenance is key Regular cleaning and running maintenance washes can prevent mildew smell.


Maintaining a fresh-smelling washer machine is key to preventing mold growth and unpleasant odors. By following simple practices like regular cleaning, using natural remedies like white vinegar or baking soda, and keeping the washer dry, you can ensure a pleasant laundry experience. Remember, a little effort in maintenance goes a long way in keeping your washer smelling fresh and clean. So, incorporate these tips into your routine to enjoy a mold-free and odor-free washing machine for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my washer machine have a mildew smell?

Mildew smells in washer machines can occur due to trapped moisture and mold growth. Lack of proper maintenance can lead to this unpleasant odor.

How can I prevent mildew smells in my washer machine?

To prevent mildew smells, regularly clean the rubber seal, leave the door open when not in use, run maintenance washes with white vinegar or baking soda, check for mold in the detergent dispenser, use essential oils like tea tree or lavender, ensure the washer is dry after use, and clean or replace filters as needed.

Are essential oils effective in eliminating mildew smells?

Yes, essential oils like tea tree or lavender can help eliminate mildew smells in washer machines due to their natural antibacterial properties and pleasant scents.

How often should I perform maintenance on my washer machine?

It is recommended to perform maintenance tasks like cleaning the rubber seal, running maintenance washes, and checking for mold at least once a month to prevent mildew smells and maintain a fresh-smelling washer machine.

Charlie Thomson is Appliance Mastery's expert on laundry appliances. With a degree in mechanical engineering and over 8 years of experience in the appliance repair industry, Charlie is a go-to resource for homeowners who want to tackle common issues with their washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers.

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend