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Say goodbye to your smelly washing machine with these 4 tips

Whether your washing machine smells like mold, sewer or old socks, a smelly washing machine is not only annoying, it's also unsanitary. Fortunately, you don't have to be a cleaning guru to get rid of this. Here are some tips to get rid of a smelly washing machine.

Causes of smelly washing machines

One of the biggest causes of smelly washing machines is not (correctly) cleaning the machine, as sooner or later you will have to deal with grease lice in the washing machine. Especially in the drain and in the rubber ring. So, if you think you can get rid of the bad smell by just washing with your lovely detergents and fabric softeners, then unfortunately I have some bad news for you. You also have to clean the machine itself.

Another cause of smelly washing machines is the use of too much or too little detergent. If you use too much, the detergent will clump together with dirt, which can make your machine smell quite bad. If you use too little detergent, it will not be effective at removing dirt and odors.

Now that you know what causes smelly washing machines, you can finally get started on solving the problem!

What does grease lice smell like in the washing machine?

Fat lice is a bacterial contaminant that settles in the washing machine and leads to a stinky odor. It occurs when washing too little at high temperatures or when the washing machine is not cleaned often enough.

What does fat lice actually smell like? Well, sticking your nose in the washing machine isn't exactly something that makes you happy. Fatty lice smell bad, sticky and musty. You can also compare the smell of grease lice with sewer smell.

How do you prevent a smelly washing machine?

Here are some simple, preventive measures you can take to keep your washing machine from smelling horribly.

1. Clean the rubber cuff
The rubber seal around the washing machine door can be a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Clean the cuff thoroughly with a mixture of water and vinegar to remove any buildup.

2. Clean the detergent drawer once a month
Good news for everyone who has a dishwasher: the detergent drawer can simply be placed in the dishwasher.

3. Clean the drum
Run an empty wash cycle at the highest temperature with a cup of vinegar. This will help kill any odor-causing bacteria and clean the drum of the machine.

4. Clean the drain pump
Regularly check the washing machine's drain pump and remove any lint, coins or other objects that could clog the pump. A clogged drain pump can cause a bad smell.

5. Leave the door open
Leave the washing machine door open after using it. This ensures that the machine can dry properly and helps prevent bacteria and odors.

6. Use a washing machine cleaner
Use a washing machine cleaner to clean and maintain the machine regularly. Recommended: Dettol is by far the best washing machine cleaner, it wins the war against unpleasant odors in your machine.

7. Use odor-absorbing products
Place an odor-absorbing product, such as washing machine cleaner or odor-absorbing granules, in the machine's drum during periodic maintenance. These products help neutralize odors and keep the washing machine fresh.

With these preventive measures, you can rest assured that your washing machine will always remain fresh and odor-free. Take them seriously and avoid ever having to deal with smelly washing machines again! Would you like more information about the Dettol washing machine cleaner? Click on the button below.

How do you get a bad smell out of your washing machine?

Now that you know what you're dealing with, it's time to get started on solving the stink problem.

1. Baking soda and vinegar
Add a cup of baking soda and/or a cup of vinegar to a normal wash. This helps remove unpleasant odors. Do not use fabric softener but vinegar instead. Add a small amount to the container with the flower each time you wash it.

3. Soda
Once a month, add a handful of soda to an empty machine and set the machine to at least 60°C. The soda will clean the machine and remove bad odors.

4. Lemon juice

Instead of soda, you can also add half a cup of lemon juice once a month. Run the machine at at least 60°C without laundry.

5. Dishwasher cubes

Add 1 or 2 dishwasher cubes/capsules to the drum, and turn on a hot wash (without putting any laundry in, of course). This way the drum can rinse properly and is cleaned extra.


In summary, a smelly washing machine is annoying, but luckily there are simple solutions to remove the odors. Additionally, it is important to take preventative measures to keep the machine smelling fresh. I recommend that you clean and maintain the washing machine regularly and leave the door open after use. Good luck!

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Last but not least: take better care of the clothes you already have!

Use the right care products to care for your clothes. Do not unnecessarily put your clothes in the washing machine, but for example run a clothes steamer over them to freshen up the fabric, or hang the fabric outside to air out. Does a substance pill? Or is there lint on it? Use a fabric brush or lint remover to breathe new life into the fabric. It certainly doesn't have to be thrown away. Use gentle detergent, without chemicals and harmful substances for your garment. This way the fabric lasts much longer!