How to Get Rid of Mildew Smell in Your Washer Machine: Easy Solutions

Tired of that funky mildew smell coming from your washer machine? Ever wonder how to get rid of it for good? Imagine doing your laundry without that unpleasant odor lingering on your clothes. In this article, you’ll discover simple and effective ways to banish that mildew smell from your washer machine. Say goodbye to musty laundry and hello to fresh, clean clothes every time. Let’s tackle this together and make your laundry routine a pleasant experience again.

Understanding the Mildew Smell

When your washer machine produces a musty odor, it’s often due to mildew growth. This fungus thrives in damp environments, making your machine a perfect breeding ground. The mix of moisture and darkness creates an ideal home for mildew to spread.

Common Causes of Mildew in Washer Machines

To prevent mildew in your washer machine, it’s crucial to understand the common causes behind its growth:

  • Excessive Moisture: Water left in the drum or gasket after a wash cycle creates a damp environment perfect for mildew.
  • Limited Airflow: Tight seals and closed doors post-use trap moisture, aiding mildew growth.
  • Low Temperatures: Cold wash settings can fail to eliminate mildew-causing bacteria, leading to that unpleasant smell.

By addressing these root causes, you can effectively combat and remove the mildew smell from your washer machine.

How to Prevent Mildew Build-up

To prevent mildew build-up and keep your washer machine smelling fresh, follow these simple steps:

  • Leave the Door Ajar: After each wash cycle, keep the washer door slightly open to allow air circulation and prevent moisture accumulation.
  • Dry the Drum: Wipe down the washer drum and door gasket with a clean towel after each use to remove excess moisture.
  • Clean the Dispenser: Regularly clean the detergent dispenser to prevent mold and mildew growth in this area.
  • Run Cleaning Cycles: Use a washer cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to run a cleaning cycle every few weeks to eliminate mildew and residue.
  • Remove Wet Clothes Promptly: Avoid leaving damp clothes in the washer for an extended period. Remove laundry promptly after the cycle ends.
  • Use Hot Water: Occasionally run a hot water cycle with no laundry to help kill bacteria and mold inside the machine.

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By incorporating these preventative measures into your laundry routine, you can combat mildew build-up and keep your washer machine smelling fresh.

Top Methods to Remove Mildew Smell

When dealing with a persistent mildew smell in your washer machine, there are a few effective methods you can try to eliminate it. Here are some top methods to help you get rid of that unpleasant odor:

  • Cleaning with Vinegar: Mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the solution around the seal and inside the detergent dispenser. Let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it clean with a damp cloth. Vinegar‘s acidic properties help break down mildew and eliminate odors.
  • Baking Soda Absorption: Place an open box of baking soda inside the washer machine. Baking soda is great at absorbing odors. Leave it in there for a few hours or overnight to help neutralize the mildew smell.
  • Lemon Juice Freshness: Lemons are natural deodorizers. Mix lemon juice with water and spray it inside the washer machine. The citrus scent helps in masking odors while adding a fresh aroma.
  • Regular Cleaning Routine: Develop a cleaning routine for your washer machine. By keeping it clean and dry after each use, you can prevent mildew from building up and causing odors.
  • Inspecting Rubber Seals and Filters: Check the rubber seals and filters regularly for mildew buildup. Clean them thoroughly to prevent odors from lingering.
  • Drying Washer Drum: Ensure the washer drum is properly dried after each use. Leaving it moist can create an environment conducive to mildew growth.

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Method Description
Cleaning with Vinegar Equal parts water and vinegar sprayed around the seal and detergent dispenser.
Baking Soda Absorption Place an open box of baking soda inside the washer machine to absorb odors.
Lemon Juice Freshness Lemon juice mixed with water sprayed inside the washer to add a fresh citrus aroma.
Regular Cleaning Routine Establish a cleaning routine to keep the washer clean and prevent mildew buildup.
Inspecting Rubber Seals Regularly check rubber seals and filters for mildew buildup

Maintaining a Fresh-Smelling Washer Machine

To keep your washer machine smelling fresh, consistency is key. Here are some practical tips to maintain a pleasant odor in your washer:

  • Run an Empty Cycle: Regularly run an empty hot water cycle to remove any lingering odors.
  • Use White Vinegar: Add white vinegar to a cycle to disinfect and deodorize the machine.
  • Clean the Seals: Gently scrub rubber seals with a mixture of water and vinegar to prevent mildew growth.
  • Ventilation: Leave the washer door open after each use to air out and dry the drum.
Run an Empty Cycle Once a month
Use White Vinegar 1 cup in an empty cycle
Clean the Seals Weekly with water and vinegar
Ventilation After each use, leave door open

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your washer machine remains fresh and odor-free.


Keep your washer machine smelling fresh by following these simple tips. Regular maintenance, such as running hot water cycles and cleaning with white vinegar, can help prevent mildew buildup. Remember to clean the rubber seals weekly and leave the door open for ventilation. By incorporating these practices into your routine, you can ensure that your washer machine stays odor-free and your laundry comes out smelling clean and fresh every time. Happy washing!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the recommended practices to maintain a fresh-smelling washer machine?

To maintain a fresh-smelling washer machine, run empty hot water cycles, use white vinegar for disinfection, clean rubber seals with a water and vinegar mixture, and ensure proper ventilation by leaving the washer door open after each use. It is also recommended to run an empty cycle with white vinegar once a month, clean the seals weekly, and practice ventilation by leaving the door open after each use.

How often should I clean the rubber seals of my washer machine?

Cleaning the rubber seals of your washer machine should be done weekly to prevent mildew growth and maintain a pleasant odor.

Why is proper ventilation important for washer machines?

Proper ventilation, such as leaving the washer door open after each use, is crucial to prevent mildew growth and ensure 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.

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