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Why Does My Top Loader Washing Machine Stink?

Nobody likes a smelly washing machine. You might open your top loader washing machine and smell something strange that might spread across the room. You may be wondering now what led to this smelly odor. We've done in-depth research about this topic and looked into a few possible causes of odors in your top loader washing machines.

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Bacteria are mostly to blame for the smell of your top loader washing machine. The accumulation of bacteria is caused by detergent residue, no ventilation, poor maintenance, clogged drainage, low temperatures for washing, and using dirty water to wash clothes. However, you can quickly eliminate this offensive, musty smell from a top-loading washing machine.

But what should you do if your washing machine starts to smell? You should think about finding a quick fix for your smelly washing machine because this strong odor might damage how your clothes smell. The wonderful scent of your chosen detergent should be the only thing you smell the next time you go to a load of laundry. Continue reading to learn more about the causes of your stinking top load washing machine and how to eliminate the undesirable smell.

Detergent and softener compartment in top load washing machine - Why Does My Top Loader Washing Machine Stink

Causes Of Your Stinking Top Loader Washing Machine 

Top Load Washing Machine Isolated on White. Top Side View of Stainless Steel Fully Automatic Top Loading Washer with Integrated Control Panel. Household Domestic Appliances. Home Innovation

It's crucial to take immediate action if your washing machine stinks. To take action, you must first know the probable causes of your stinking washing machine. Most frequently, a buildup of bacteria is to blame for unpleasant odors in your washing machines.

Here are a few of the leading causes of your top loader washing machine odors:

1. Detergent Residue

Bacteria is the usual cause of the strange odor in your washing machine. It's possible that the detergent wasn't entirely rinsed away and is now collecting bacteria in your washing machine.

Over time, fabric softener and detergent accumulation in your washing machine might result in what is known as soap scum. This scum provides germ and mold with an ideal habitat in the warmth and humidity of your washer.

Using excessive amounts of detergent might also make your washing machine stink. Always use the recommended amount of detergent when washing clothes since detergents are great hiding places for bacteria.

2. No Ventilation

Molds can quickly grow in damp regions. Water accumulation in your top loader washing machine that is never vented or cleaned causes a stinky smell. If you are not careful, any area that experiences persistent moisture and wetness may eventually acquire a scent. 

After the cycle, remove your clothing immediately and keep the door open to let the moisture out when it's not in use.

Open Top Load Washing Machine Isolated on White. Household and Domestic Appliances. Home Innovation. Side Top View of White Fully Automatic Top Loading Washer with Integrated Control Panel

3. Poor maintenance

Your washing machine may become clogged with clothing or insects, which can release an odor. This situation indicates that cleaning your washing machine has an impact. Without routine maintenance, a washer eventually begins to smell about as repulsive as that accumulation of filth.

4. Drainage

Hand of a plumber holding a broken flexible drain hose of washing machine, clogged and covered with lime scale, dirt limescale and rust.

If cleaning your washing machine didn't help, a clogged drain plug might be the next potential source. Strong odors may indicate inadequate drainage or something obstructing the drainage tubes. When this occurs, the odor could enter your washing machine through the drain line.

Most of the smell should go away once the drain is fixed, but you might need to rinse the pipe again to get rid of the odor thoroughly.

5. Low temperatures

Low temperatures encourage the growth of bacteria because they don't produce the heat required to remove residue. So, if you frequently use cool wash cycles, you're giving germs a place to grow. Mold grows best in humid climates and can also rot as bacteria in clothing lines.

6. Washing with dirty water

If you wash your clothes in dirty water, the sulfur odor will permeate your laundry area and washing machine. Use only clean water to avoid a rotten-smelling washing machine.

How Do I Get Rid Of The Smell In My Top Loader Washing Machine?

Nothing is more inconvenient than having your laundry routine ruined by a lousy washing machine. Use the following 9-step procedure to get rid of those unpleasant smells and bring back your washing machine's fresh scent:

1. Clean the gaps

Pay close attention to the gaps around the doors where filth tends to hide. Owners of top-load models should clean the area around the door and hinges where dirt may hide. You may leave the top open so that it can thoroughly dry out between cycles. 

To boost ventilation, you can also turn on a fan in the space where your washer is located. You may opt to buy a dehumidifier. Keep in mind that moisture promotes foul odors.

Click here to see this Ivation dehumidifier on Amazon.

2. Clean Dispensers

Remove your soap and softener dispensers and give them all a thorough cleaning. If water enters any of these areas, it remains as standing water between cycles, which serves as a haven for mildew.

3. Fill And Wash The Machine 

Choose the most extended wash cycle and set the machine to fill with hot water.

4. Add Baking Soda

Close-up of baking soda in a glass jar. Bicarbonate of soda.

Add half-cup of baking to the flowing water and let it dissolve.

Click here to see this Arm & Hammer baking soda on Amazon.

5. Add Vinegar

white vinegar on the wooden table top

Include 3 cups of white vinegar. Vinegar also eliminates hard water deposits and germs due to its acidic nature. This baking soda and vinegar mixture is a supplementary washing machine cleaner and deodorizer for your washer. Any remaining dirt should be removed, leaving your washer odor-free and functional.

Click here to see this distilled white vinegar on Amazon.

6. Complete the cycle

Permit the washer to finish an entire cycle of washing and rinsing. The washing machine cycle's agitation will cause the baking soda and vinegar to foam up, dislodging any odor-producing detergent accumulation.

7. Add additional vinegar

After the cycle, use equal parts white vinegar and water to remove any last stains.

8. Clean the Washing Machine

To clean the machine, run the last cycle with hot water. 

9. Inspect drainage

If the odor continues, the washing machine's drain may be the source. Pipes that are clogged or unclean can produce unpleasant odors.

Inspect the drainage to make sure nothing is obstructing it. Use a pipe cleaner to remove any buildup stuck inside pipes. Once you believe the obstruction has been eliminated, run water through the pipe with a garden hose to ensure it is evident. 

Click here to see this pipe cleaning brush on Amazon.

You may also use commercial washing machine cleaning products to eliminate odors within the machine.

Click here to see this Affresh washing machine cleaner on Amazon.

 

Can Vinegar Damage My Washing Machine?

Vinegar washes away detergent residue and eliminates odors from clothing and washing machine. It can also soften the fabric and get rid of stains. 

However, vinegar can corrode rubber components within a washing machine which could cause leaks. Your washing machine's seals and hoses will start to deteriorate if you add a lot of vinegar to your loads daily.

Using it in the washing machine is acceptable as long as you don't use too much vinegar. 

Does Baking Soda Damage The Washing Machine?

Baking soda has been used in laundry-related products for a very long time. Baking soda exploits the natural ability of pure sodium bicarbonate to neutralize odors by bringing pH levels into balance. It can kill bacteria present in your washing machine.

Due to its non-toxic characteristics, it has been proven safe for people and washing machines. However, using a lot of baking soda consistently over time could damage the drive shaft that controls the cycle-switching.

Baking soda will not hurt your washing machine when used in moderation. 

In Closing

Don't let your washing machine turn sour. You can fight the odor and stop it from coming back. Always remember to use only the appropriate amount of laundry soap. Then, remove the clothing as soon as you are through washing.

Give the air inside it some time to circulate. You should have a well-ventilated system in your laundry room.

Unplug your device if you smell any burning in your washing machine. A washing machine can be hazardous for some time, even after it has been unplugged and turned off. If you're uncertain what to do with the issues with your washing machine, you may call a professional. 

We hope our post gave you the answers that you needed. Before you go, please check out these washing machine-related posts:

Bosch Washing Machine Won’t Start—What To Do?