Why Does My Washing Machine Smell?

When it comes to home appliances, there’s one machine that you’d expect to constantly smell fresh… The washing machine.

It’s the unit that cleans all your clothes, bedding and linen so when the machine starts to omit a foul smell, it can transfer that smell onto all your washed products. This can be a huge waste of time and even electricity as it may leave you needing to wash them again.

In this article, we’ve shared three simple reasons why your washing machine is giving off nasty smells, along with the easy DIY fixes so that it can be repaired in your own home:

1. Faulty heating elements

One of the most common reasons why a washing machine smells is due to the heating element of the appliance.

In a washing machine, water must be of a high temperature to ensure that bacteria left on your clothing is completely killed. If not, your appliance will become a breeding ground for bacteria.

If this is set to an incorrect temperature or suffering with a fault, water being injected into the holding area of the unit will not be strong enough to kill bacteria, leading to a foul smell once the bacteria multiplies and grows.

The best way to test if the heating element is suffering with a fault is to ensure that the temperature on your machines’ settings is suitably adjusted. If you’re using the correct water temperature yet cold water is still being used, the machine is likely to be suffering a fault. This can be diagnosed and repaired by an experienced washing machine repairer.

2. Incorrect detergents

If the water being used within your appliance is hot enough, the issue may lie with the cleaning detergents you’re using inside the washing machine.

It’s recommended to use washing detergent that contains bleach to ensure that all bacteria and germs on your clothing are completely destroyed. Again, bacteria can build up if you’re using bleach-free detergents, leading to a dirty, musky smell from both within the unit and on your clothing.

This solution has a simple fix and can be solved by checking that you’re using the correct detergent within your washing machine.

3. Clogged filters

Another reason that could be the cause of a smelly washing machine is that the filters within the appliance have become blocked. This is a common issue with this type of appliance, especially if used frequently.

Hairbands, elastic bands and even small coins can be forgotten about in the pockets of your clothes and accidentally put into the machine. When the cycle is turned on, these items can fall out of the pockets and be collected within the filters.

The warm, wet environment of a washing machine filter will encourage bacteria to grow and if not cleaned regularly, can make the appliance smell.

Whilst there are several DIY fixes that can treat and solve the issue of a smelly machine, your appliance may require the attention of a qualified washing machine repair specialist to fully diagnose and treat the fault.

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