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Do You Have a Smelly Washing Machine? Published 18/08/2009

Washing machine odours can leave your clean clothes smelling stale. Not only does this video have great hints and tips to keep everything smelling fresh but it also shows you how to clean the washing machine soap tray and how to clean a washing machine filter.

View All Washing Machine Cleaning Products Now »Video Transcript:

Hi, I’m Mat from eSpares. If you have a smelly washing machine I’m going to show you what the common causes of these smells are and how to get rid of them.

The smells are caused by a build up of bacteria, because we are all washing at lower temperatures with non-biological powders these days, which is a good thing, the bacteria isn’t being killed off in the same way as if we were washing at a higher temperature. The three most common places where bacteria can build up in your washing machine is in the detergent soap drawer, the rubber door seal and in the fluff filter located at the base of the machine.

Now, safety first, always unplug the machine before starting any work.

So, let’s start with the detergent drawer. As you can see there is a build-up of mould inside this drawer which probably means that there is probably also a build-up of mould inside the drawer compartment itself. In order to clean, or replace, the soap drawer you’re going to need to remove it.

How to do that depends on the make and model of your washing machine, for this model I simply push the catch down at the back of the drawer and the drawer lifts out. Before we start to do any work on the detergent drawer let’s take a look at the cavity. As you can see there is a build-up of mould in there and the best way to clean that up is to use a household kitchen bleach spray and scrub out the compartment with an old toothbrush.

Now let’s give the detergent drawer a good clean. I’m going to pop the drawer into the sink that’s full of hot water and bleach. Separate the parts and give all the components a good scrub with my old toothbrush. There we go, one drawer all cleaned up and looking as good as new. The drawer will simply slide back into your washing machine. The drawer is one of the most commonly damaged parts within a washing machine.

If you do need to replace it the drawer for your make and model is available on the eSpares website. The best way to avoid further bacterial build-up in your drawer is to simply not use it for detergent, use a ball instead. Put your detergent directly into the ball and then pop that into your washing machine.

The next culprit for bacterial build up in your washing machine is the rubber door seal, also known as the door gasket. Mould especially likes the bottom of the seal where the water collects. As you can see this one is a bit mouldy and manky so I’m going to give this one a good old clean. I’ll be using household cleaner with bleach and a cleaning cloth to wipe out the mould. There we go, one door seal nice and clean.

If your door seal is damaged, or leaking, you are going to need to replace it, there is another video available on the eSpares website that shows how to replace a washing machine rubber door seal.

Let’s now have a look at the filter. Put a towel on the ground below the filter compartment to catch any residual water, open the compartment up and release the filter inside. Clean the filter in the sink using bleach and your old toothbrush.

There you are, those are the three main places in your washing machine where bacteria can build up causing your machine to not smell nice. To stop these smells from coming back leave your door and your drawer slightly ajar every time you wash to help them dry out. I would also recommend that you do a maintenance wash once a month with this limescale and detergent remover.

It’s easy to do, all you need to do is empty the contents of a sachet into the drawer and turn the machine onto its hottest setting and run through on an empty wash. This solution helps prevent mould and bacteria from growing as well as keeping limescale from damaging your appliance and detergent from building up in the machine.

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