You can try to ignore it all you like, but the simple fact of the matter is that a stale-smelling washing machine is trying to tell you something. What it’s trying to tell you is that there’s something unpleasant going on behind the scenes. In the vast majority of instances, bad smells tell a tale of excessive bacteria building that’s not exactly doing your fabrics a world of good. And the longer you leave the problem unaddressed, the worse it’s destined to become.
As is the case with most things, prevention of musty washing machine smells is much easier and more effective than trying to tackle them later on. So assuming you’d prefer not to have to declare war on a woeful washing machine further down the line, here’s a quick look at a few tips for keeping things fresh and fragrant for as long as possible in regards to washing machine cleaning:
Washing Machine Cleaning, Use Less Detergent
First of all, it’s important to ensure that you are following the detergent dosage guidelines of the product itself and your washing machine to the letter. Far too often, it’s assumed that to get clothes cleaner and make them smell fresher, you need to add more detergent. In reality, there’s nothing worse than excess detergent when it comes to contributing to a foul-smelling machine and musty-smelling fabrics. In this instance, less can be most definitely more.
The Big Brush-Off
If the line of work you’re in requires you to wash fabrics that are extremely heavily soiled, it’s worth brushing or even rinsing as much excess dirt off as possible before washing them. Most washing machines are designed to handle pretty grubby garments and fabrics, but have their own very specific limitations. The more grime you introduce, the more dirt builds up on the inside and the bigger the problem you’re left to deal with.
Limescale deposits can also have a detrimental effect on washing machine freshness – something to be aware of if you live in a hard water area. If you do, think about having a water softener installed, or using limescale-reduction products with every wash.
If you check your washer’s manual, it will probably tell you that it should be put through a self-cleaning cycle of some description over 40 washes or so. If you’re not already doing this, it’s a habit you need to get into right away. By giving the interior of your machine a good regular rinse, you lower the likelihood of dirt and bacteria building causing you a problem.
Open the Door
Last but not least, always be sure to keep the door of your washing machine open while it is not in use. The reason being that any moisture you seal inside with the door closed will create the kinds of conditions mould and bacteria thrive in. And for that matter, the same also applies to the detergent drawer, which likewise is better kept open when the machine isn’t being used.