Does your washer smell?

@tammyr (5954)
Etowah, Tennessee
April 17, 2007 8:17pm CST
I usually wash laundry on the weekends. I rarely do them on week days. So my washer sits all week not used. The little bit of water that sits in there all week starts to smell musky after a few days. Do you know any way to stop this from happening? I thought about using a spot of bleach in the bottom, but figure I would dump dark clothes in there and not remember, so I do not want to do that, and besides, the bleach is about as bad as the moldy smell.
13 people like this
26 responses
@Chryssi (828)
• United States
18 Apr 07
I would try washing the next load with a little bit of baking soda to take the smell away. Since baking soda neutralizes odor.
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
18 Apr 07
It only smells days after washing. I think using baking soda is a good idea, though if used after it would work. Thank you for responding, Chryssi.
1 person likes this
@Chryssi (828)
• United States
18 Apr 07
You're very welcome. =)
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (127073)
• United States
18 Apr 07
If it were me, I would dump a little bit of vinegar in it. Vinegar will kill mold and odors, and is harmless if you get it on your clothes. I use it if anything ever sits too long in the washer (like in the summertime) and gets dank smelling. If you do not like that idea, the other thing I would do is sprinkle a little baking soda in the bottom of the washer. Either one of these makes a good laundry booster when added to the wash, and neither one of them will harm fabric fibers or septic systems.
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
18 Apr 07
I am going to try the baking soda. I really don't like the vinager smell though. If the soda doesn't work,I may have to try it anyway.
1 person likes this
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
18 Apr 07
cookies, or do you call them biscuits? Want some?
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Apr 07
I'd try the vinegar too. Actually, vinegar is really great in a first rinse cycle -- it'll keep clothes whiter and it takes out skin oils and soap residue which can cause stored items, like linens, from getting that funny smell over time. Perhaps, at the end of your wash, running an empty rinse cycle with the vinegar would leave enough vinegar-treated water in the machine to kill the odor without that strong vinegar smell?
@Rosepetal (352)
• United States
18 Apr 07
Do you keep the lid open on your washer? Maybe you should soak up that little bit of water after a wash and keep the lid on your washer open so the air can dry it out.
3 people like this
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
18 Apr 07
That is a very good answer. I will try that.
1 person likes this
@winky73 (1396)
• United States
18 Apr 07
I keep the lid open and it does help with the smell.
1 person likes this
@kodie420 (872)
• Canada
18 Apr 07
God no our water does'nt stink but of chourse if left sitting it eventually will. I dont know exactly what you can use but there would have to be some cleaning product out there for that problem because you cant be the only one in the world who thinks that or has smelly water. I do remember going to a friends house in the country before and going to the sink to get a glass of water. Well I turned it on and let it run for a second and got a glass full but at this time I could smell sulfure or a fart smell and it was coming from his water. Needless to say I never drank water from out there after that agian.
3 people like this
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
18 Apr 07
Oh we have good water. It is only after sitting all week that I can start to smell anything. Leaving the lid open sounds like a good idea. It will allow it to dry out. I had a friend that had sulfur water. I don't see how they stood to shower in that water!LOL
@rodeotexas (1153)
• United States
18 Apr 07
I've never noticed mine smelling or having a litle bit of water sitting in it. Maybe try something that is made to clean them if there is such a thing and see if that helps.
3 people like this
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
18 Apr 07
Mine only smells from the water that is left in the bottom in the pump and lines. I have a sensitive nose and it really bothers me.
1 person likes this
@patootie (3593)
7 May 07
I only do my washing once a week ... I just leave the door open ... that way any water left in the machine probably dries up after a few days ... so no smelly water next time you wash ...
2 people like this
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
7 May 07
tHAT IS SEEMING TO WORK. i ALSO RAN A EMPTY LOAD WI9TH BLEACH AND DISHWASHER POWDERS. I THINK THAT MAY HAVE DONE SOME GOOD GETTING THE LEFT OVER SOAP SCUM AND OTHER MUCKY STUFF OUT OF THE INSIDE.
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
7 May 07
Sorry about the caps! I did not realize it was on.
@patootie (3593)
7 May 07
One of the 'cost cutting' things I do is to use half the powder or just one of those little tablets you can get now for each load of washing .. the clothes wash just as well .. and by using less powder it's easier to rinse out all the soap suds .. and often it's washing powder residue that makes coloured clothes look less bright and white clothes look grey .. In fact since I started halving the dose all my clothes look better .. look cleaner .. feel nicer .. and they look newer for longer .. and I am saving 50% on my detergent bill ....
@amydawn11 (906)
• Canada
18 Apr 07
Hi there, as others have said leaving the lid open works, I always leave the lid open when not in use and mine never smells.As for your cat sleeping in there at night maybe you could find something sturdy and vented to put over the top of the washer so that you can still leave it open but something so that the cat can't go in and sturdy enough it won't fall through. Just a though unless of course it's a front loading washer. Maybe you could get a bit of chicken wire and staple it to a few boards to make your own cover. Also here is a link i found http://www.applianceaid.com/washer_odor.html
2 people like this
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
18 Apr 07
WOW. I checked out the link and am going to do what they say. It was very nice of you to search it for me. I never even thought of searching it! Welcome to mylot. I am honored to be one of your first 2 posts. Hope you like it here as much as I do. I assume you read the guidelines. It will be of great help to you.
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
24 Apr 07
There you go Amy! I have referred several people back to the best response to check this link. I bet they thought I was crazy!! I hope it stays this time.
@carolynpb (647)
• United States
18 Apr 07
I don't think there is suppose to be any water sitting in your washer, at least there never is in mine. It sounds like your washer is not draining correctly. I do sometimes run a cleaning cycle in my washer every once in awhile by filling it on the lowest water level, putting clorox or some kind of nice smelling cleaning stuff in the water and letting it run one cycle.
2 people like this
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
18 Apr 07
There is no visible water. It is the little bit bit left in the pump. I have never understood high up behind the washer!
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
18 Apr 07
OOPs. I don't understand the PIPE being so high up behind the washer.
• Canada
22 Apr 07
I have always lift the lid to my washer opened. I think I started doing it for that paticular reason. It is so many moons ago that I forget. Why not give it a try and see if it helps. I do my laundry on weekends to. I have been trying to force myself to do it on a Monday or Tuesday.. Hubby is off on the weekends and I feel bad that I have left my major cleaning for that time. It would be so much nicer if house were cleaned through, laundry done and then we could have nice relaxing weekend and maybe go visit people we haven't seen in a while. About that site you mention.. sure that is great.. I just hope I am not a member. I have joined so many a few weeks ago. I was thinking of giving up on them but decided not to so tonight I was sitting here trying to organize them. Test them out again and see which ones seem good and which ones don't.. So sure send me the link and i will sign up under you. Maybe if I have a good one that I am part I can send you the site and visa versa. LOL
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
22 Apr 07
I think I would try to do it on Thursday or Friday so it would not be on my mind over the week end. I am working all week and have Girl Scouts 2 night a week plus other obligations and it is impossible for me to do it through the week. I have tried the things listed on the link in the best response also and I am leaving my lid open. I think my son may have solved it for me though. He is staying here and he wears a uniform to work so he has to wash more often and does so through the week so it will not be left unused as long.
@gabs8513 (48708)
• United Kingdom
19 Apr 07
I can't understand that you have a bit of water left in there Tammy but I never shut my Door on the Washing machine I always leave it open a bit so if you shut the Door don't shut it all the way leave it open a bit
2 people like this
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
20 Apr 07
Leaving it open a bit and not all the way would keep my kitty out or it and let the air circulate also. Thank you.
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11188)
• United States
18 Apr 07
I have had this problem during the hot months. I just leave the lid open and let it air dry if I am not going to use it for awhile. Also, to rid the smell try running an empty "small fill" load with some vinegar or baking soda in the water to neutralize the odor.
2 people like this
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
18 Apr 07
I am going to try leaving the lid open. I have to close it at night because my cat likes to sleep up there at night. I don't want her to get inside. I do not want to use the water to run an empty load, but if nothing else works I will. It was hot last week and i could smell it. It is worse the warmer it is. I had to do a load this morning because my daughter was throwing up and made some extra dirty clothes. I will leave the lid open.
@AmbiePam (56903)
• United States
18 Apr 07
The one I use doesn't smell. Perhaps that is because I use the Downy ball? Releasing the good smell of the liquid fabric softener could counteract the bad smell the washer would normally have.
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
18 Apr 07
I use fabric softener, and it smells good the first few days but after 6 or 7 it begins to sour.
@byfaithonly (10715)
• United States
18 Apr 07
Umm my washer is in the basement and the only time I go down there is when I have to do laundry so I guess I never noticed it. How about a few drops of fabric softener. I got some last time that is lavendar sented and I love it. My 15 year old son even commented on how he like 'the new smell'.
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
18 Apr 07
I have mine right out side of my door and I walk by it every time I go in or out of my room. I have tried fabric softener, and it doesn't help. I will look for the lavender softener. I like lavender and i like the different smelling softeners.
@bluewings (3857)
18 Apr 07
I wash my clothes thrice a week if it's not my lazy week.After washing my clothes I always drain out the water because I too have seen from experience that the water that sits in the machine might start smelling.So, I always drain it out and run fresh water through the machine.
1 person likes this
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
18 Apr 07
I have tried letting the water drain extra and it does not work. I am too busy thru the week to do them until late and it keeps my daughter awake. I'd hate to waste the water if there is another way other than running water thru it.
@bluewings (3857)
18 Apr 07
Ah, yes that's true ,Tammy.If using baking soda and keeping the lid open can solve it, then it's better not to waste water.Thanks for the discussion Tammy as I too learned these techniques from here.
1 person likes this
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
18 Apr 07
On page 3 there is a link. I am going to check it out.
@royal52gens (5392)
• United States
18 Apr 07
After I run a load of laundry, I always leave the lid open for several hours to let it dry out. You could also take a towel to dry out the drum before closing it up. We have well water so we make sure there is salt in the water softener. The well water is good but has an odor to it because of the calcium and iron content. This makes for hard water normally. The water softener helps to keep white clothes from turning yellow.
1 person likes this
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
18 Apr 07
I am going to keep the lid open more. I can not leave it open at night cause my female cat sleeps there.LOL I have never had well water before. What is the water softener. What would I have to do with it? ( I kinda feel blond right now!)
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Apr 07
Talk to you local Culligan water guy or local office. They are the ones that have the bottled water in the big jugs. They can tell you about Water Softeners and how they filter, clean the water and their other benefits. Your local Home Depot might also be of assistance to you. Some companies will do the installation for you and some will tell you have to save money by doing it yourself. Then all you have to do is add the bags of salt every so often.
1 person likes this
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
18 Apr 07
Thanks. I don't have a Home Depot. I have a Lowe's. I will talk to them. Ours does not have an odor and tastes good,but several in the area have complained of bad water so I will get mine tested again(it was done years ago and it was good)
@susieq223 (3742)
• United States
21 Apr 07
Mine has been doing that also, lately. My towels smell rancid, even after being in the dryer with a freshener sheet! I hate it.
1 person likes this
@susieq223 (3742)
• United States
21 Apr 07
P.S. Maybe running a small load through with a bit of bleach would help. Some rags or something. I'm going to try it.
1 person likes this
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
22 Apr 07
Take a look at the best response. It links to a site that can help.
• United States
18 Apr 07
No, my washer doesn't have a nose. If yours does you should call Jay Leno...
1 person likes this
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
20 Apr 07
LOL aren't you the funny one!
@Foxxee (3653)
• United States
18 Apr 07
I didn't use my washer for about a week and when we got it fixed I noticed a smell. The smell kind of smelled moldy. I asked my mom how to get rid of it and she told me that if you don't use a washer after a while it could have moldy smell and she said that using a little bit of bleach and running the washer like you usually would, just with no clothes, only bleach, it will help with the mold smell, and you really wont smell the bleach if you run the washer becuase the water will rinse that smell out during rinse cycle. Or you could just try to use the washer a little more. If you can't, then you can use fabreeze or some kind of spray around the washer to help. I don't know what else will help, but good luck. By the way my smell went away when I started using it again. I have to do laundry everyday though because I have two kids, plus me and my husband and we go through laundry like crazy.
1 person likes this
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
18 Apr 07
I only use it weekends because I do not have time to do them though the week. I had a bad experience with Frabreeze and can not stand to smell it. The air infusions is nice though. I use it when I smell that smell, but i want to get rid of it, not just cover it up.
@Signal20 (2281)
• United States
18 Apr 07
I haven't read through your previous posts here, so if this is a repeat, sorry :) I know what you're talking about though, my old washers were the same. Usually I'd forget I had clothes in there, and would have to rewash them. What I do now, if I can't put the clothes in the dryer right away, I lift the lid on the washer when the cycle's done. That allows them to somewhat air dry and avoid the musty mold smell. I know you don't want to use bleach, but wash your whites with bleach in there for your last load. That'll kill off any mold growing. Then when you're completely done doing laundry, leave the lid open for a day or two to air dry the insides. I do this as well, and have had no problems.
1 person likes this
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
18 Apr 07
I forget them sometimes too. If I could remember to open the lid I would just throw them in the dryer. I can try washing whites last with bleach. Half the time I do not use bleach. I make the clothes look yellow because of the minerals in the water. I have my lid open now and will leave it open in the day, but my cat sleep on the washer a lot at night.LOL
@loujac3 (1188)
• United States
18 Apr 07
I leave the washer open so that it dries out. That way it doesn't get musty. If this is a problem then shake some baking soda in it. It won't hurt the laundry and actually aids in the wash cycle.
@tammyr (5954)
• Etowah, Tennessee
18 Apr 07
Both very good tips. I had not thought about using baking soda. It would not harm the clothes if I forgot to turn the water on first. Thank you.