The washing machine gets a work-out regularly and often needs a cleaning because of a mildew smell. This is often caused by wet clothing that sits too long in the washer before being placed in the dryer or because of a dirty clothing debris build-up.
Another reason the washer may smell like mildew is the water line might need to be voided of old water or the water itself that is pumped into your home by the local water department may have an odd odor.
However, the washing machine like most appliances can be cleaned easily and economically with a simple solution of bottled bleach found at any grocery or home improvement or discount store. A bleach solution is strong enough to break down mildew and any other odors. It can also clean pipes that bring water into the house and through the washer also clearing up any odor pipes have acquired over time.
Check With Manufacturer
Before adding bleach to the washer, be sure you read your owner’s manual or call the manufacturer of the washer to make sure it can tolerate bleach.
Here is how to quickly and efficiently clean your washing machine with ordinary bleach when it starts to have an unpleasant odor. You can also use bleach that has a fragrance like citrus.
Step #1: Get Washer Ready
Remove any dry, wet or dirty clothing from the washing machine before adding the bleach.
Step #2: Prepare Yourself
Because bleach can stain clothing and damage anything around it, be sure to put on rubber gloves to protect your hands, and an old work shirt or apron to cover clothing. You might also want to put on a pair of safety goggles to keep your eyes from possibly getting sprayed from any free-flying bleach.
Step #3 Turn on Fan
Be sure that you turn on the laundry room fan or do have a window or some form of ventilation open before adding bleach.
Step #4: Cover Flooring
Place old newspapers or dry towels under and around the floor near the washing machine just in case the bleach spills or sprays.
Step #5: Cycle One
Turn on the regular wash cycle of your washing machine and use cold water.
Step #6: First Step
Let the wash machine fill itself about half way before adding one cup of bleach to the water.
Step #7: Let It Run
Let the washing machine run a full cycle with the bleach and water combination.
Step #8: Plain Rinse Cycle
After the cycle has completed, run a plain rinse cycle without any bleach or detergent to make sure any and all bleach has dissipated.
Step #9: Dry
Once the final rinse cycle has stopped, use dry cloths or old towels to dry the inside drum of the washing machine.
Step #10: Clean Up
Mop up any spills outside of the washer and put away bleach in safe place far from animals and children.