How to Rid Your Washer of Odors: Effective Natural Solutions

Ever wondered why your washer sometimes smells less than fresh? It’s a common issue that many of us face. Picture this: you’re ready to do a load of laundry, but instead of that clean scent, you’re hit with a musty odor. Not exactly the laundry day vibe you were going for, right?

In this article, you’ll uncover simple yet effective ways to banish those unpleasant smells from your washer. Say goodbye to the funky odors that seem to linger no matter what detergent you use. You deserve laundry that smells as fresh as it looks, and we’re here to help you achieve just that.

Understanding the Cause of Smelly Washers

Sometimes, despite regular use of your washer, it can emit unpleasant odors. Why does this happen? Here’s what you need to know:

  • Residual Detergent: Leaving detergent residues in the machine can lead to an unpleasant smell.
  • Moisture Buildup: Moist environments in washers can result in mold and mildew growth.
  • Fabric Softener Buildup: Accumulation of fabric softener can cause a musty odor.
  • Closed Washer Doors: Closing the washer door when not in use can trap moisture and odors.
  • Hard Water: Mineral deposits from hard water can contribute to a musty smell.

Now that you know why your washer might smell, let’s explore effective solutions to tackle this issue.

Regular Cleaning Routine for Prevention

  • Run an empty cycle: Once a month, run a hot water cycle with a cup of white vinegar to break down detergent residue and eliminate bacteria.
  • Clean the door seal: Wipe down the rubber door seal regularly to remove any moisture or debris that might cause odors.
  • Leave the door open: After finishing a load, keep the washer door ajar to allow air to circulate and prevent mold or mildew growth.
  • Use the right detergent: Opt for high-efficiency detergents and avoid using too much to prevent buildup.
  • Inspect the detergent drawer: Clean the detergent drawer regularly to avoid a buildup of detergent or fabric softener residue.
  • Check for leaks: Ensure that there are no leaks from the washer that could contribute to mold and mildew growth.

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Quick Comparison of Washer Cleaning Methods

Cleaning Method Frequency Effectiveness
Vinegar Monthly High
Baking Soda Bi-monthly Moderate
Bleach Quarterly High
Affresh Tablets Monthly High

Using Natural Remedies to Deodorize

To naturally deodorize your washer, you have several effective options that are eco-friendly and safe for your machine. Here are some great natural remedies to get your washer smelling fresh again:

  • Vinegar: It’s a popular choice for deodorizing washers due to its antibacterial properties. Run a cycle with hot water and white vinegar to eliminate musty odors.
  • Baking Soda: This versatile ingredient can help neutralize odors. Sprinkle some baking soda inside your washer drum and run a cycle to combat funky smells.
  • Citrus: Cut a lemon or orange in half and add it to a cycle. The natural citrus oils will leave your washer smelling clean and fresh.
  • Essential Oils: Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a cleaning cycle for a pleasant fragrance. Essential oils like lavender, tea tree, or lemon work great.
Method Effectiveness
Vinegar Highly effective
Baking Soda Good for neutralizing odors
Citrus Freshens washer
Essential Oils Adds pleasant scent

Remember to always follow your washer’s manufacturer guidelines and recommendations when using these natural remedies. Enjoy a fresh-smelling washer with these simple and natural deodorizing methods.

Checking and Cleaning the Washer Filter

When dealing with unpleasant odors in your washer, one crucial step is Checking and Cleaning the Washer Filter. This part of the appliance is often overlooked but plays a significant role in keeping your washer fresh.

Here are some steps you can follow to clean the washer filter effectively:

  • Locate the filter: Refer to your washer’s manual to find where the filter is located.
  • Prepare for cleaning: Get a shallow pan or towel ready to catch any excess water.
  • Remove the filter: Depending on your washer model, you may need to twist, pull, or unscrew the filter to take it out.
  • Inspect for debris: Check the filter for any trapped lint, coins, or other objects that could be causing the odor.
  • Clean the filter: Wash the filter with warm soapy water and a brush to remove buildup.
  • Dry and reassemble: Ensure the filter is completely dry before putting it back in place.

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Regularly Checking and Cleaning the Washer Filter can help prevent residues and buildup that contribute to unpleasant smells in your machine.


You now have a range of natural solutions to keep your washer smelling fresh. By using vinegar, baking soda, citrus, or essential oils, you can easily eliminate any unwanted odors. Remember to stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations for best results. Don’t forget the importance of regularly checking and cleaning your washer filter to maintain a pleasant scent. Follow these tips to ensure your laundry always comes out smelling clean and fresh.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are some natural remedies for deodorizing washers?

A: Natural remedies like vinegar, baking soda, citrus, and essential oils are effective for deodorizing washers. They help eliminate odors and leave behind a fresh scent.

Q: How should I use natural remedies to deodorize my washer?

A: Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when using natural remedies to deodorize your washer. For example, run a cleaning cycle with vinegar or sprinkle baking soda before starting a wash cycle.

Q: Why is it important to check and clean the washer filter?

A: Checking and cleaning the washer filter is crucial to prevent unpleasant odors. A dirty filter can trap debris and cause mold or mildew growth, leading to bad smells in your washer.

Q: How can I effectively clean the washer filter?

A: To clean the washer filter, locate it according to the manufacturer’s instructions, remove any debris or buildup, rinse it under running water, and reinstall it properly to maintain a fresh-smelling washer.

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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