Even the best washing machines develop a bit of a funk after a time, and most of the products sold to ‘fix’ this problem just cover it up with perfume for a few days. Here are a few tips to solving the problem, and getting your washer really clean, at least for a few months.
First, run a ‘service wash’. If your washing machine doesn’t have a service setting, do a wash empty, and at the highest temperature setting. This will kill off the majority of mould and mildew that can survive lower temperature ‘eco’ washes. Check the manufacturer’s website for a guide if you’ve lost the manual that came with your washer.
Now, turn the machine off, and unplug it. You won’t be going near any of the electronics or mechanical connections following this guide, but you can never be too careful.
One of the easiest places for smelly bacteria and mould to hide is the rubber door seal. Give it a good scrub, into all the nooks and crannies. If the mould has gotten into the ‘meat’ of the rubber itself, you may have to replace the seal entirely.
Take out the filter and the detergent drawer, and give them the same thorough going-over.
Use a drain un-blocker to clear your standpipe. If there is a partial blockage there, it can contribute substantially to the smell which comes out of the washer. If it still seems to be flowing slowly, you might have bigger problems. Best to call a plumber at that point…
Leave the door and the detergent drawer open between uses. This helps the washer to dry inside, and will slow the build-up of new bacteria and other smellies. It wouldn’t hurt to run a service wash cycle once every few weeks, especially if you generally wash at lower temperatures.
You can find additional information on washing machine problems here.