laundry detergent

Picture this: you muster up the energy to finally throw in a load of laundry. You pull out a pile of fluffy towels from the drier, and they smell...funky. 

If your washing machine smells, your clothes might start to smell too. No one wants to snuggle up in a sweatshirt or blanket that smells like mildew. 

Why has no one ever taught us how to clean our washing machine? Next to dishes, dusting, and all the other household chores, it may have gotten skimmed over or forgotten. 

Let’s get your washing machine into tip-top shape so you & your clothes can smell great.

Why Does My Washing Machine Smell?

You may have wondered why your washing machine smells worse than your piles of dirty laundry. The lovely odors that come from your washing machine are most likely a combination of mold, mildew, and bacteria. 

Over time, your washer can collect body oil, hair, and dirt, creating the perfect environment to breed bacteria. Not the place you want to wash your anything!

To prevent this bacteria build-up, your washing machine should be cleaned more often than, well, never. We don’t blame you for being a little late to cleaning your washing machine. It seems like throwing in laundry detergent makes a washing machine do some “self-cleaning”. Unfortunately, some detergents are part of the problem, creating a build-up of soap residue and minerals. 

All this mildew and mold growth can carry over to your clothes, leaving you wondering if they are actually clean. Even worse, all the debris and gunk can even leave stains and marks on your clothes!

Cleaning your washing machine can make your laundry loads worth the hassle. So, let’s get to it.

How to Clean A Smelly Washing Machine

Some of your google search results may advise you to clean your washing machine with bleach, which is, one, harsh on septic systems and, two, may leave you with irritated skin and a headache by the end of your scrubbing sesh. 

Another option is a washing machine cleaner, but these are usually unnecessarily expensive. 

Here’s how to clean mold from your washing machine without the harsh chemicals (and, yes, it’s just as effective!) Whether you have a front-load or a top-load, keep reading for a 101 of washing machine washing. 

Pst. You can forget the gloves for this one. 

What You’ll Need:

  • Distilled White Vinegar
  • Baking Soda 
  • Toothbrush
  • Rag or Microfiber Cloth
clean washing machine

1.Get In There

Start by spraying vinegar around the rubber seal, using a rag or toothbrush to remove the soap scum, mildew, and detergent buildup. When we say get in there, we mean it. All the crevasses and nooks should be scrubbed. If there are any removable pieces, take them out to soak. 

white vinegar

2. Run Once With White Vinegar

Set your washing machine to the largest load and hottest water. Add two cups of vinegar and let the cycle run. 

Top-load washing machine: Go ahead and throw the vinegar directly into the drum

Front-load washing machine: Add vinegar into the dispensing compartment.

baking soda

3. Rerun It With Baking Soda

If you want to go above and beyond, throw a ½ cup of baking soda into the washing machine and run a second time on the same settings. This will clean all the residue loosened by the vinegar. 

Top-Load Washing Machine: Pour ½ of baking soda into the water as it is filling

Front-Load Washing Machine: Mix ¼ cup water with ¼ cup baking soda. Then pour this solution into the compartment where you regularly put the detergent. 

cleaning washing machine

4. Final Wipe Down

After the cycle(s) end, wipe down all the excess nasty residue with a rag. You want to get inside the washing machine drum, in and around the rubber seal, and inside the lid.

washing machine

5. The Outside Counts Too

Clean the outside of your washing machine and dryer with our Universal Cleaner to leave it sparkling inside and out. Wipe down the lid, dials, knobs, and handles. 

Voila – you’re done! You can repeat this about every month to keep your laundry situation fresh and gunk-free. Of course, this will become more or less frequent depending on how often you do laundry. 

Keep it Clean

Stay fresh for longer. It can be easy to forget your clothes in the washing machine way after the timer goes off. This creates a major musty odor trapped inside the washing machine and your clothes. 

The fix? Transfer your clothes to the dryer ASAP! Remember, once you’re finished with laundry day, leave the washer door open between loads, letting things air out and preventing mildew growth. 

Best Smelling Laundry Detergent

So, now that we’ve got the cleaning technique down, you probably want to try out your basically brand new washing machine. Plus, get that mildew smell out of your clothes, sheets, and towels. 

Our Everyday Laundry Detergent cleans clothes with fragrant notes from naturally derived ingredients. We developed a highly concentrated formula that cleans with the power of plants. Our natural ingredients are tough on sweat, germs, and stains but gentle to your skin. 

Everyday Laundry doesn’t have any harsh chemicals making it gentle on your washing machine. With less residue buildup, you can avoid the stinky washing machine and clean it less often. Where do we sign up?