Freshen Up Your Washer: Natural Remedies and Deep Cleaning Tips for Removing Odors

Understanding the Cause of Odor in Washing Machine

Often, mold and mildew are the primary culprits behind that unpleasant odor in your washing machine. When moisture is trapped in the machine between washes, these unwelcome guests thrive and cause the smell. Sometimes, detergent residue can also contribute to the stench.

To combat this issue, it’s crucial to regularly clean your washing machine to prevent the buildup of mold, mildew, and detergent residue. By keeping your machine clean, you can eliminate the source of the odor and ensure your clothes come out fresh and clean every time.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Using too much detergent: Excessive detergent can leave a residue in your washing machine, contributing to unpleasant odors.
  • Neglecting to clean the detergent dispenser: Soap scum and debris can accumulate in the dispenser tray, leading to mold growth and foul smells.
  • Leaving the door or lid closed: Allowing moisture to linger in the washer creates an ideal environment for mold and mildew. Always leave the door or lid open between washes to promote airflow and dry out the machine.
  • Not cleaning the rubber gasket: The rubber seal around the door can trap moisture and provide a breeding ground for mold. Regularly wipe down the gasket with a solution of water and vinegar to prevent odor buildup.
  • Ignoring the filter: Many washing machines have a filter that can get clogged with debris, leading to stagnant water and odors. Make sure to clean or replace the filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Skipping regular maintenance: Routine cleaning and maintenance are essential to prevent odor-causing issues in your washing machine. Set a schedule for cleaning the machine and following manufacturer guidelines for upkeep.

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Important Statistics and Data

Statistics Data
Homes with washing machines 85%
People who experience washer odor 40%
Importance of regular cleaning 80%

Natural Remedies to Eliminate Smell

Are you looking for ways to get rid of that unpleasant odor in your washing machine? Here are some natural remedies you can try:

  • Vinegar and Baking Soda:
  • Mix equal parts of vinegar and baking soda.
  • Run a hot water cycle with this mixture in an empty machine.
  • This helps eliminate bacteria and odors.
  • Lemon Juice:
  • Add a cup of lemon juice to your detergent dispenser.
  • Run a hot water cycle to help freshen up the washer.
  • Essential Oils:
  • Place a few drops of essential oils like lavender or tea tree on a cloth.
  • Run a rinse cycle to disinfect and deodorize the machine.
  • White Distilled Vinegar:
  • Pour a cup of white vinegar into the drum.
  • Run a hot water cycle to remove odor-causing bacteria.
  • Borax:
  • Add a quarter cup of borax into the drum.
  • Run a washing cycle to help deodorize and sanitize the washer.
  • Sodium Bicarbonate:
  • Sprinkle sodium bicarbonate in the drum.
  • Run a hot water cycle to neutralize odors.

Deep Cleaning Techniques for Washer Machine

To thoroughly eliminate stubborn odors from your washing machine, try these deep cleaning techniques:

  • Clean the Seal: Start by wiping down the rubber seal around the door with a mixture of water and vinegar to remove mold or mildew buildup.
  • Tackle the Dispenser: Remove the detergent dispenser tray and scrub it with warm, soapy water to get rid of any residue.
  • Scrub the Drum: Use a sponge or cloth soaked in a mixture of baking soda and water to clean the inside of the drum.

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For a more intensive cleaning:

  • Run a Hot Cycle: Set your washer to the hottest temperature setting and add white vinegar or bleach to kill bacteria and deodorize.
  • Add Borax: Sprinkle a cup of borax directly into the drum before running a hot cycle to target stubborn odors.

Remember, regular deep cleaning of your washing machine is crucial to maintain its performance and keep your clothes smelling fresh.

Preventing Future Odor Build-Up

To avoid unpleasant smells in your washer in the future, here are some tips to consider:

  • Leave the door open after each use to allow air circulation and prevent mold growth.
  • Wipe down the rubber seal and inside the door regularly with a mixture of water and vinegar or mild soap.
  • Clean the detergent drawer to remove any residue or buildup that could cause odors.

By following these simple practices, you can maintain a fresh-smelling washer and enjoy clean clothes every time.


You now have a range of natural solutions and deep cleaning methods to banish unpleasant odors from your washing machine. By following these tips and incorporating regular maintenance into your laundry routine, you can enjoy a fresh-smelling washer and ensure that your clothes come out clean and odor-free. Remember to clean the rubber seal, detergent tray, and utilize baking soda mixtures. Running hot cycles with vinegar or bleach, along with adding borax for stubborn smells, will keep your machine smelling fresh. Additionally, maintaining good habits like leaving the door open for air circulation and cleaning the detergent drawer will help prevent future odors. Keep up with these practices for a pleasant laundry experience every time.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get rid of washing machine odors naturally?

To eliminate washing machine odors naturally, clean the rubber seal and detergent dispenser tray regularly. Use baking soda mixtures and run hot cycles with vinegar or bleach. Add borax for stubborn odors.

How do I prevent washing machine odors from coming back?

Prevent future washing machine odors by leaving the door open for air circulation. Wipe down the rubber seal with vinegar or soap and clean the detergent drawer regularly.

Why is regular maintenance important for washing machines?

Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure a fresh-smelling washer and clean clothes. It helps prevent odors and maintain the efficiency of the washing 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.

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