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Hints & Tips

Smelly Washing Machine: How to Clean It

Drum-cleaning wash

Most washing machine manufacturers now recommend that we run a service wash around once a month. This is because most of the people here in the UK wash their clothes at 40°c, and whilst this is great for the environment and saving money on energy bills, it can sometimes cause our washing machines to smell.

If your washing machine doesn’t come with a drum-cleaning cycle setting, it’s recommended that you spin the machine at a high temperature without any clothes in it.

Switch it off

Before completing the following steps, you’ll need to turn off your washing machine and then unplug it.
Clean the drawer, seal and filter

washing machine

Mould can often build up around the rubber seal which lines the washing machine door. After the drum-clean wash, check to see whether or not this has happened and whether or not it needs to be cleaned. If the mould has been there for a considerable amount of time, a simple scrub may not be enough, and you might need to replace the door seal.

Mould can also fester in the washing machine drawer and lint filter. It is recommended that you clean both of these too to avoid nasty smells.

Air it out

washing machine and man

Leaving the door and drawer open allows air to circulate round the drum and helps stop the build-up and growth of mould and bacteria.

Check the stand pipe

If, after you’ve taken all of these steps, bad smells continue you may have a partial blockage in the stand pipe. If you think this might be the case, it’s wise to invest in some drain unblocker.

26236668-327-125x80Which? exists to make individuals as powerful as the organisations they deal with in their daily lives, their advice helps consumers make informed decisions. Here, we’ve shared some of their handy tips for cleaning washing machines.



Community Manager

Tina's been part of the Preloved family since 2014 and spends most of her time reviewing Preloved policy and speaking with external parties, such has charities, forums, and government agencies. She enjoys spending quality time with her family, pets, friends, and Netflix.