So, you did the ‘adult’ thing and cleaned your washing machine – tick (if you didn't, please stop and read this blog first) But the problem is, it still stinks! What gives? And how is it possible that it smells worse than it originally did? We called up our friend Dr Washing Machine to get to the bottom of this smelly mess. 

Flush the Funk

When you clean your washing machine for the first time in a long time (we’re talking 12 months or more but hey, no judgement!), you might notice a stronger stench afterwards. With the cleaning process, you’re dislodging a lot of funk and gunk after many, many cycles of dirty laundry over an extended period. The grime has loosened up, but it’s still in your machine, hence the bad odours. The solution? Flush out all the nasties with a second or third clean cycle on the hottest setting – that should do the trick. 

The M-word 

If flushing it doesn’t work, you might have a mould problem in the seals of your machine. If that’s the case, it’s time to level up with chlorine bleach – the only product that will truly eliminate mould in your washing machine.  Alternatively, you can stuff your rubber gasket (seal) with paper towels and pour bleach on top to absorb. Let it soak for up to 24 hours (depending on how bad the situation is) and give it a good wipe after, to remove any excess bleach. You can also watch the how-to reel here

Smell & Memories

Firstly, we believe you but also… have you developed an odour association? Meaning, are you linking the smell of your detergent with the memory of your musty clothes? Before you call us out on this wild theory, science proves that smell and memory are closely linked, so this isn’t as crazy as it sounds. Prove the theory by changing up your detergent. See what happens and after using one container, switch back to your regular. You might notice that your clothes are smelling as good as they should or nothing at all, as long as the dank has disappeared.

Worst Case Scenario

So none of the above worked and you’re looking at us like, “What now?” 

If your washing machine and freshly laundered clothes smell like rotten eggs (ew!) or sewage (double ew!), it’s time to pick up the phone and call in the professionals. It’s likely that your drain pipes are blocked with dirty water, residual soap and grime which together, create a foul smell (not to mention, a haven for mould growth) that you just can’t fix by yourself. Yep, it’s delegation time!


Need to deep clean your washing machine? Follow our 4 simple steps for a cleaner and more effective machine here. 

Frankie Layton