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How to Clean a Smelly Washing Machine Published 02/07/2014

A common fault for many homes is a smelly washing machine. This can be caused by a number of reasons. In this eSpares video, Mat explains how to clean your washing machine to get rid of unpleasant odours.

View eSpares Washing Machine Limescale and Detergent Cleaner Now »

How to Clean a Smelly Washing Machine:

A smelly washing machine is a common problem for many households, as more people wash their clothes at lower temperatures, which results in a build up of bacteria.

In the above video, with the help of our experienced engineers, we explain how to remove the build up of bacteria from your washing machine and below we’ve compiled a simple step-by-step guide which takes you through every point covered in our video.

Step 1: Before you even begin looking at the affected areas of the washing machine, the first step is to purchase a cleaner which will remove detergent build up and limescale, such as the eSpares Dishwasher & Washing Machine Cleaner (which consistently gets great reviews on our site).

Once you’ve purchased and received our cleaner, dissolve a sachet into a spray bottle with some warm water, this will enable you to reach those hard to reach areas such as the detergent drawer and door seal.

Step 2: Time to tackle the three main problem areas where bacteria builds up in the form of mould and residue.

Step 2.1: Remove the detergent drawer, place into a bowl of hot water and scrub with a brush to remove the mould.

Step 2.2: As the video shows, the detergent drawer housing is another area where bacteria can build up, and the build up of mould in these areas can affect the performance of the jets. Using the solution of warm water and the eSpares Dishwasher & Washing Machine Cleaner, spray the draw housing before using a long handled brush to remove any mould and residue build up.

Step 2.3: The final area to look for mould and residue build up is the door seal. Again, the video shows how this area can harbour a build up of bacteria; particularly if the seal is damaged. (If, whilst cleaning your washing machine, you notice your machine’s seal is damaged, we have produced a handy video explaining how to replace the seal in a quick and efficient manner, using spare-parts available from our site).

If the seal is intact, but suffering from a build up of mould and residue, liberally use the spray making sure that it gets into the folds, before giving the seal a good scrub with a scourer.

Step 3: Refit the soap drawer into its housing unit, and empty the remaining solution in the spray bottle into the draw, before putting the washing machine onto a hot wash.

N.B. If your machine has a tub clean function, be cautious of using the cleaner here, as the machine will fill the tub and drain most of the cleaner solution away immediately; making the solution redundant.

To help prevent the build up of mould and residue within your washing machine, which will cause it to smell, once a washing cycle has finished, remove the washed items and leave both the detergent drawer and the machine’s door open to dry out. This will enable air to circulate through the machine, preventing the build up of bacteria.

There you have it, a step-by-step guide to keeping your washing machine clean, fresh and performing at its optimum level.


Video Transcript

Hi I'm Mat from eSpares.

If you have a smelly washing machine those smells are caused by bacteria. This is becoming a much more frequent problem as people are washing at lower temperatures, which allows the bacteria to multiply, causing smells.

Now we've re-made this video with the help from our engineers to ensure that we give you the best advice possible to help resolve the problem. Now the problem can be avoided by carrying out a few simple steps that will help both your machine and your washing smell only of the detergent or conditioner that you have chosen.

eSpares has a fantastic cleaning product which helps kill bacteria, stops detergent residue from building up and gets rid of any smells, and it's called the eSpares Limescale and Detergent Remover; and it consistently gets great reviews on our website, and can be used on both washing machines and dishwashers.

To use the cleaner most effectively, dissolve a sachet into a spray bottle with some warm water. This will allow you to spray the cleaner in exactly into the areas where it is required.

Next remove any mould or residue from the machine in these three main areas. Firstly the soap drawer which as you can see on this machine has a lot of mould building up on it, this will cause the smells. Put that into it bowl of hot water and give it a good scrub removing any of the mould with a brush.

Next we will look at the detergent drawer housing. If I shine a torch up here you can see that there is a lot of mould and residue there as well as at the bottom; now the mould residue up there will actually affect the spray jets from working correctly. So grab your spray bottle and give it a thorough spray inside and using a long handle brush get rid of any mould or residue inside. Be careful not to spray into your eyes.

The next place to take a look at is the door seal. If I pull back the folds of the door seal and just shine the torch, you can see there's a lot of mould and residue in there. Now if your washing machine door seal was particularly bad or damaged it's an idea to replace it. Now you can see me changing the door seal in a separate video. But for this I'm going to put a lot of the spray cleaner into the folds and give it a good scrub with a scourer. And there is the door seal, nice and clean. Some stains won't be able to be removed from a door seal such as this sun bleaching which you can see here. And any black marks that you can't remove with your fingernail that's fine as that's dead bacteria which won't affect your washing machine.

Lastly put your soap drawer back into its housing and empty the remaining cleaner into the machine via the drawer and put it on a hot wash function.

Now some machines have a tub clean function. Be wary of using the cleaner with that because what the machine will do is fill the tub and drain almost immediately, thus making the cleaner redundant. Now top tips for stopping the bacteria from building up is to empty the washing as soon as a cycle is finished and leave both the drawer and the door open. This allows air to circulate through the machine and helps prevent bacteria building up. Leave it open until the machine is dry.

Now the cleaner is available on as well as appliance accessories and spares for thousands of other makes and models of machines.

Thanks for watching.

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