How to Eliminate Washer Machine Odors with Vinegar and Baking Soda | Tips for Fresh-Smelling Laundry Appliances

Understanding the Cause of Odor in Washer Machine

When it comes to odors in your washer machine, understanding the root cause is crucial for effectively eliminating them. Here’s why your washing machine might emit unpleasant smells:

  • Excess Moisture: Trapped moisture in your washer can lead to mold and mildew buildup.
  • Detergent Residue: The accumulation of detergent residue over time can create a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Lack of Air Circulation: Insufficient airflow in the machine can contribute to stagnant water and odor.

To tackle these issues, it’s important to implement regular cleaning routines and maintenance practices. Remember, prevention is key to keeping your washing machine smelling fresh and clean.

Common Remedies to Remove Odor from Washer Machine

If your washing machine has a stubborn odor that just won’t seem to go away, don’t worry! There are several simple and effective remedies you can try to freshen up your machine and get rid of that unpleasant smell.

  • Cleaning the Drum: Start by running a hot water cycle with vinegar or baking soda to remove any lingering odors. Consider using a washer cleaner to deep clean the drum and eliminate bacteria and mold buildup.
  • Cleaning the Seals and Detergent Tray: Don’t forget to clean the rubber seals around the door and the detergent tray. These areas can trap moisture and detergent residue, leading to odor issues.
  • Allowing Air Circulation: After each wash cycle, leave the door of the washing machine open to allow air circulation and prevent moisture buildup that can contribute to mold and mildew growth.
  • Using Less Detergent: Using excessive detergent can leave residue in your machine, leading to foul odors. Be sure to measure your detergent carefully and avoid overloading the machine with soap.

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Fact Data
Hot Water Temperature for Cleaning Above 140°F
Frequency of Drum Cleaning Every 1-3 months

Using Natural Ingredients to Freshen up Your Washer Machine

To tackle unpleasant odors in your washing machine, natural ingredients can be powerful allies. Here’s how you can freshen up your machine using items you likely already have in your home:

  • Vinegar: Pour a cup of white vinegar into the detergent tray and run a hot water cycle. The acidic properties of vinegar help break down residue and eliminate odor-causing bacteria.
  • Baking Soda: Sprinkle a cup of baking soda directly into the drum of your washer. Run a hot water cycle to help neutralize odors and leave your machine smelling clean.
  • Lemon Juice: Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the drum of your washer. The citric acid in lemon juice can help cut through grease and grime, leaving behind a fresh scent.

By incorporating these natural ingredients into your washing machine maintenance routine, you can keep your appliance smelling fresh and clean without harsh chemicals.

Regular Maintenance Tips for Keeping Your Washer Machine Odor-free

  • Use vinegar and baking soda: Run a wash cycle with 1 cup of white vinegar to kill mold and bacteria. Follow it up with a cycle using 1/2 cup of baking soda to deodorize.
  • Keep it dry: Leave the washer door ajar between cycles to air it out and prevent mold growth.
  • Clean the gasket: Regularly wipe down the rubber gasket around the door with a solution of water and vinegar to remove any residue or buildup.
  • Clean the detergent drawer: Remove the detergent drawer and soak it in warm, soapy water to prevent old detergent from causing musty smells.
  • Use the right detergent: Opt for high-efficiency or HE detergent to prevent soap scum buildup that can cause odors.

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Data and Statistics

Fact Number
Top-loading washers 76% of households
Front-loading washers 24% of households


Maintaining a fresh-smelling washing machine is essential for clean laundry. By incorporating simple practices like using vinegar and baking soda, keeping the washer dry, and cleaning the rubber gasket regularly, you can easily eliminate odors. Choosing high-efficiency detergent is also crucial in preventing future smells. Remember, a little care goes a long way in ensuring your washing machine stays odor-free. So, follow these tips to keep your laundry smelling fresh and your washing machine in top condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I keep my washing machine smelling fresh?

To maintain a fresh-smelling washing machine, use vinegar and baking soda in wash cycles, leave the door ajar to keep the washer dry, clean the rubber gasket and detergent drawer regularly, and use high-efficiency detergent to prevent odors.

What percentage of households use top-loading washers versus front-loading washers?

According to data, 76% of households use top-loading washers, while 24% use front-loading washers.

Charlie Thomson

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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