Tips for Cleaning Your Washing Machine and Avoiding Bad Odors

To clean your washing machine you need to use specialized cleaning products. A standard laundry cycle isn't enough to keep bacteria at bay. Keep reading to learn more!
Tips for Cleaning Your Washing Machine and Avoiding Bad Odors

Last update: 29 March, 2022

It’s a strange thing to think about cleaning your washing machine because it’s an appliance that’s designed to clean. However, direct contact with soap, bleach, and laundry products doesn’t represent any guarantee that this appliance won’t accumulate bad odors, dirt, or debris.

Like other humid rooms in the home, such as the kitchen and the bathroom, the washing machine and the area where it’s installed can harbor bacteria and mold that reproduce easily. For this reason, we’re going to explain how to clean your appliance in order to avoid bad odors and keep it disinfected.

By following our advice, your appliance will be much more efficient. So keep reading.

Natural products to clean your washing machine

Apply baking soda.

It’s a common misconception to think that your washing machine cleans itself each time it performs a laundry cycle, but it doesn’t. To clean it properly you should use certain products. However, the best thing is that it’s a very simple process and it doesn’t require a lot of your time.

In addition, the products that you can use are those that you probably already have at home. Let’s take a look!

Sodium bicarbonate

Also known as baking soda, this is an excellent product for removing mold and grime that accumulates inside the washing machine drum and detergent tray. In addition, if soap, detergent, or bleach residues have started to accumulate they can create a smelly and slimy paste, but this product will help you to remove it.


Vinegar to clean your washing machine? That’s right! It’s also used in household cleaning and the washing machine is no exception. In addition to helping to remove the dirt that accumulates inside the appliance, it helps to neutralize bad odors.

This is vitally important because the bad smell from the washing machine can begin to permeate your freshly washed clothes.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid is a citric agent that’s present in various cleaning products. It’s common to find this vitamin in soaps, degreasers, and floor cleaners, especially those products that are of organic origin.

How to clean your washing machine

Clean the rubber parts.

Now that you know about the natural products to clean your washing machine, it’s time to know the best way to use them. Keep in mind that hot water will be your best ally, as it’ll help to easily loosen any soap paste, debris, and hair that usually harbor bad smells associated with washing machines.

In addition, hot water enhances the properties of the natural products that we’ve mentioned: bicarbonate, vinegar, or vitamin C. This helps to forcefully eliminate any fungi and bacteria that may proliferate inside your appliance.

Hand cleaning

The first thing you should do is take a clean cloth and moisten it with the natural product you’ve chosen to clean the inside. Clean as far as you can reach with your hands.

After that, you can put your washing machine on a fast cycle so that the water reaches your drainage systems and also cleans them.

Don’t forget the detergent tray

The detergent tray is where soap tends to accumulate the most. In principle, the smell may be pleasant, but the humidity will start to create a smelly and slimy paste that begins to affect the results after each wash.

The water that passes through the tray isn’t always enough to remove detergent remains, so before starting the cycle, make sure you wipe the entire tray and each compartment with a damp cloth. You can also rinse the tray dispenser with hot water under pressure.

Clean the filter

Many people are happy when the salesperson explains that their new washing machine has a filter that collects hair and debris from each cycle. However, they rarely inquire about how to remove the filter and dispose of the debris. Indeed, it may even be several months before they discover where it is!

Well, this element is very important! It’s usually easy to remove too and you should remove it every week to clean it.

At the same time as you complete your general clean of your washing machine, take out the filter, remove the contents, and disinfect it with a little vinegar and hot water.

Cleaning the rubber seals

Clean washing machine.

The rubber seals can often become affected by humidity and they create a kind of mold that smells very bad. Depending on the make and model, you’ll find the seal around the drum, on the lid, and on the water connections. Use your damp cloth with cleaning products and give it a thorough wipe.

Cleaning the outside of your washing machine

Finally, the external appearance of your washing machine shouldn’t be overlooked. Depending on where it’s located it’s advisable to clean the floor underneath and around it, where dust and cobwebs accumulate that can affect its performance.

For this step, use a damp cloth with a mixture of vinegar and water. If the smell of vinegar bothers you, you can add some floor cleaner or a scented product that you like.

Ready to go clean your washing machine?

As you can see, cleaning your washing machine isn’t complicated at all. In fact, it creates benefits for you. Try to do this at least once a month.