How to Remove Mold Smells from Your Washing Machine: Effective Tips

Tired of that musty smell lingering in your laundry room? Ever wonder why your freshly washed clothes come out smelling less than fresh? Imagine a world where your washer smells as clean as your clothes feel.

You’re not alone in the battle against that pesky mold smell in your washing machine. But fret not, for we’ve got your back with simple yet effective solutions to banish that odor for good. Say goodbye to musty laundry and hello to a washer that smells as fresh as a spring morning.

Understanding the Cause of Mold Smell

Mold smell in your washing machine can be a frustrating issue, but understanding the root of the problem is key to addressing it effectively. Here are a few factors that contribute to that unpleasant odor:

  • Moisture Build-Up: When moisture lingers in the machine after a wash cycle, it creates an ideal environment for mold and mildew to grow.
  • Residual Detergent: Detergent residue left in the machine can mix with moisture, leading to mold development.
  • Lack of Air Circulation: Insufficient ventilation in and around the washer can trap moisture, exacerbating the moldy smell.

To tackle the mold smell in your washer, it’s crucial to address these underlying causes. Remember, prevention is key to maintaining a fresh-smelling laundry room.

Cleaning the Rubber Gasket and Drum

To eliminate mold smell from your washing machine, start by cleaning the rubber gasket thoroughly. Use a mixture of vinegar and water or a specialized cleaning solution. Scrub the gasket with a soft brush to remove any mold or mildew buildup.

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Next, focus on the drum of the machine. Run a hot water cycle with vinegar or bleach to disinfect and eliminate any lingering mold or mildew. Wipe down the drum with a clean cloth to ensure all residues are removed.

Remember to keep the washing machine door open when not in use to allow for proper ventilation and prevent mold growth in the future. Regular cleaning of the rubber gasket and drum will help maintain a fresh-smelling appliance.

  • Consider using baking soda as a natural deodorizer in your cleaning routine.
  • Inspect and clean the detergent dispenser tray regularly to prevent mold development.

Running a Cleaning Cycle with Vinegar

To start, remove any clothes or items from the washer. Pour 2 cups of white vinegar into the detergent dispenser. Set the washing machine to the hottest and longest cycle. Let it run through the entire wash and rinse cycle with the vinegar solution.

After the cycle is complete, open the door and let the drum air out. This process can help eliminate mold and mildew smells. You can also wipe down the rubber gasket and door with a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar to tackle any remaining odor.

Repeat this cleaning cycle with vinegar once a month to maintain a fresh-smelling washing machine.

Using Baking Soda and Bleach Solution

To combat mold smells in your washing machine, another effective method to try is using a baking soda and bleach solution. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Mix 1/4 cup of baking soda with an equal amount of water to create a paste.
  • Apply the paste to the rubber seal around the door of the washer machine.
  • Let it sit for about 15 minutes to neutralize odors.
  • Next, mix 1/4 cup of bleach with 1/4 cup of water.
  • Using a cloth, wipe down the rubber seal with the bleach solution.
  • After cleaning, run a rinse cycle to ensure all residues are washed away.

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Reminder: Always follow safety precautions when working with bleach, and make sure your laundry area is well-ventilated.

Mixtures Amount
Baking soda paste 1/4 cup + water
Bleach solution 1/4 cup bleach + water

Preventing Future Mold Build-up

To prevent mold build-up in your washing machine, here are a few tips to keep it smelling fresh and clean:

  • Leave the door open: After each wash, keep the washing machine door slightly ajar to allow air to circulate and prevent moisture buildup.
  • Clean the detergent drawer: Regularly remove and clean the detergent drawer to prevent mold growth in this area.
  • Use a washing machine cleaner: Consider using a washing machine cleaner once a month to keep it free from mold and mildew.
  • Remove wet clothes promptly: Don’t leave wet clothes sitting in the washing machine for an extended period as it can promote mold growth.
  • Check the rubber seal: Periodically inspect the rubber seal for any signs of mold or mildew. Wipe it dry after each use to prevent moisture buildup.
  • Run a vinegar rinse: Once a month, run a hot water cycle with white vinegar to help clean and deodorize the washing machine.

By following these simple tips, you can help prevent mold and mildew from building up in your washing machine, keeping it fresh and odor-free.


You now have a range of effective strategies to banish mold smells from your washing machine. By incorporating these simple tips into your routine, you can keep your machine smelling fresh and clean. Remember to leave the door open, clean the detergent drawer, use a washing machine cleaner, remove wet clothes promptly, check the rubber seal, and run a vinegar rinse regularly. With these practices in place, you’ll enjoy a mold-free washing machine and laundry that smells as fresh as it should. Happy washing!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I eliminate mold and mildew smells in my washing machine?

To eliminate mold and mildew smells in your washing machine, try leaving the door open after each wash, cleaning the detergent drawer regularly, using a washing machine cleaner monthly, promptly removing wet clothes, checking the rubber seal for mold, and running a vinegar rinse monthly.

Why is it important to prevent mold build-up in washing machines?

Preventing mold build-up in washing machines is important to avoid foul odors, maintain hygiene, and ensure the washing machine functions effectively. Mold can spread and impact the cleanliness of your clothes, leading to potential health risks. By following regular maintenance tips, you can keep your washing machine fresh and odor-free.

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.

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