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What's Causing Your Washing Machine to Smell so Badly?!

The Reason Behind the Smells From Your Washing Machine

It is interesting to note how many homeowners struggle with a washing machine that has a bad odor. It can be a tough dilemma if the cause and solution are not clear. The situation can also be embarrassing to homeowners. Many residents fear that their plumber will automatically assume the home is dirty, or there is a lot of filthy laundry being washed.

There are two pieces of good news, though. Professional plumbers understand where the smell is coming from and how it is caused. Secondly, they know how to prevent the smells from occurring in the first place. In the article below, plumbing experts will share the most effective ways of curtailing the washing machine smells before they start.

Use The Right Soap

soap scumWhen it comes to foul smells, soap is usually the least likely culprit, but not always. Soap can actually be the reason there is an odor coming from the washing machine. This is especially true if the washer is a high-efficiency front loader. Technically, though, it is not the soap that is causing the odor, but rather the wrong type is being used. When this happens, it causes soap scum and mildew.

A high-efficiency front loader washer uses a lot less water than other models. In fact, the water is only at the bottom of the tub, and the clothes are tumbled through the water as the drum spins. If you picture a dryer with a small amount of water at the bottom, you have the right idea.

The issue occurs when high-efficiency laundry detergent is not used. As the machine uses so little water, it has a hard time rinsing away the heavy more concentrated soap. This will cause a build-up of soap scum that can also lead to mildew growth. Using the right soap for the particular model will stop the problem in its tracks, however.

Take Out Wet Clothing ASAP

Everyone is guilty of leaving wet clothes in the washing machine for too long, making the wet clothes smell really bad. Forgetting about the load in the wash before leaving for work in the morning or for extended time away from the home, can cause the fabric to develop a musty odor which can be noticed as soon as the door is opened.

leaving wet clothing

When wet clothes are left clumped together for an extended period of time, mildew will begin to grow. A wet and warm area is the perfect breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria which is exactly what happens when laundry is not tossed in the dryer right away. Usually, if the mistake is made once or twice, an additional wash will be the only consequence.

On the other hand, if the situation happens frequently, the musty odor can spread to the washing machine itself. Mold and mildew can spread quickly to tiny areas of the washer. Small areas like the space behind the gaskets can be infected and cause a continuation of the unpleasant smell. With that being said, the best way to combat this issue to make sure the clothes are put in the dryer right away. Problem solved!

Search For Hidden Clogs

hidden clogAnother common cause of a bad-smelling washer is a clog in the plumbing of the washing machine. Though the clog can be due to the laundry cleaner itself, the problem can stem from other areas of the home. When there is a clog, the dirty water from the laundry cycle will not drain correctly.

This will leave dirty water and other small debris in the piping and sometimes the machine, as well. Besides that, dirty water from other parts of the home (like the bathroom) can get lodged in the plumbing near the laundry room causing the smell to escape through the washer.

Regardless of the issue, a professional is going to be needed to diagnose the problem and repair the issue. This is especially true if you do not see any other evidence of a block within the home.

About Valley Plumbing and Drain Cleaning

There may come a time when you do need help from a plumber, however. In that case, it is important to work with a professional you can trust. Valley Plumbing and Drain Cleaning has been a valued member of the Salt Lake City community since 2011. Their dedicated technicians provide superior workmanship and are available to assist you at any time.