Charlie's Corner

August 24, 2020

How to Clean a Smelly Washing Machine

smelly washing machine

How to Clean a Smelly Washing Machine

Your washing machine cleans all your clothes, towels, linens, and fabrics… but after while it seems like your fabrics aren’t so fresh. It’s entirely possible for your washing machine itself to be the problem. Learn how to clean a smelly washing machine with the tips below! 

Why should you clean your washing machine?

Soap residue, minerals from your water, and ingredients in your laundry detergent can get trapped inside your washing machine, breeding bacteria and clogging its inner workings. Because washers are naturally hot, humid environments, bacteria can also easily grow and spread. 

Look over your washing machine right now. You might notice pet fur, hair, or other debris building up around the seals, meaning it’s time to clean it. If you notice your freshly washed clothes are starting to smell musty, or your washer itself smells unpleasant, those are other signs it’s cleaning time. 

Freshen up your washer first

Non-natural detergents often cause residue buildup in places like door seals and the detergent drawer. This residue can shorten the life of your washing machine and decrease its effectiveness in cleaning your fabrics.

Before you wash your garments or other fabrics, start with a clean slate: clean your washing machine first. Then you can start using natural laundry detergents for clothing, linens, and towels regularly like Charlie’s Soap. 

Follow Charlie’s Soap’s recommendations on how to clean your washing machine below.

How to clean a smelly washing machine with Charlie’s Soap 

When you’re ready to clean your washing machine, choose ONE of the following and add it to your washing machine:

Once you’ve added your chosen detergent, add some old rags or towels to your washer. Run a full wash cycle with rags, set on hot water with a double rinse. The extra rinse will fully ensure there’s no buildup left lingering in your washer.

When the cycle is finished, leave the washing machine door open and allow it air out fully.  It’s a good idea to do this after every wash cycle to prevent mold growth. Wipe the machine’s seals and clean the drain filter, if your machine has one.

Keep your HE or front load washer clean all the time

Many HE washers really are efficient at cleaning with less water than traditional top-loading washers. However, some HE machines are inefficient with their use of lower levels of water and thus need a little help, especially if they’re front-loading.

To avoid build-up and residue in front load washers, leave your washer on the heavy soil setting for extra agitation when you clean your clothes and fabrics. Consider adding soft, plastic, knobby dryer balls to restore some agitation. If your washer rarely uses enough water, use the bulky cycle or add a wet towel to the wash. This will help signal to the machine that more water is needed. And last, if you have hard water, Charlie’s Soap booster and hard water treatment will help prevent scale buildup. 

Most importantly, add Charlie’s Soap natural laundry detergent (powder or liquid!) directly to the clothes (instead of the dispenser). We always recommend a good double rinse, and that you leave the door open after washing to prevent mildew and odor!

Pro tip: Keep your front loader open between washings to allow any lingering water or moisture to evaporate and prevent mildew from forming. 

Continue using Charlie’s Soap for the best results

You don’t have to worry about detergent build-up again with a natural formula like Charlie’s Soap. Our biodegradable, non-toxic laundry detergent formulas rinse out of clothes completely, plus they’re safe for septic tanks and the environment. 

Charlie’s Soap laundry detergent doesn’t get left behind on fabrics, either. It simply cleans and washes away dirt, grime, and odors, leaving behind only fresh and clean fabrics. No perfumes, dyes, or brighteners to irritate sensitive skin in our formula.

Now that you know how to clean your washing machine, pick up natural laundry detergent from Charlie’s Soap today and get started!