How to Get Mildew Smell Out of Washing Machine

Although washing machine are built to clean and freshen your fabrics, they can easily develop an odor of their own. When this happens, the source is most commonly a result of mildew developing within the machine.


Fortunately, there are several household remedies available to freshen the washer and kill off the mildew infestation within it. By using the following tips and tricks, you can be sure that your washing machine is mildew-free and smelling it’s best.


Mildew Smell Removal Solutions for Washing Machine


1 Leave Washer Door Open Between Uses

One of the most effective ways to lower the smell of mildew within washer is to keep the washing machine door open in-between washes. Many machines inability to fully drain after a wash causes stagnant water to sit and develop mildew. By having the door to the washer open, you can be sure that if any water remains it can naturally evaporate away though the open door within the machine.


2 Use High Efficiency Powder Detergent

Many people do not consider detergent as contributing to mildew odor, but in many cases it is a leading cause. You should avoid detergents that create too many suds and bubbles within the machine. These detergents will cause moisture to rise and get within cracks and crevasses that leads to stagnant mildew puddles. By using a high efficiency powder detergent, you can avoid this problem altogether.


3 Check Tray

If your washing machine requires water tray due to a preexisting leak, this may very well be the source of the mildew odor. When water builds up within this tray and is left to sit for multiple days, a foul mildew stench can develop. To prevent this from happening, be sure that you make a practice of regularly removing and emptying this tray after you run a wash cycle.


4 Hot Wash or Self Cleaning Option

Usually, running the washing machine on the hottest setting can help to eliminate any source of mildew within the machine. The hot water will work to increase the temperature of the washer to a point that mildew cannot survive. Likewise, many newer models of washing machines have a built in self cleaning function that works to automatically deliver a hot mildew killing cleanse to wipeout this unwanted aroma.


5 Cup of White Vinegar

Using this household acid can be very effective in eradicating any mildew within the washing machine. Measure a a cup of white vinegar and add it to an empty hot water washing machine cycle. Upon completion, the vinegar will have worked it’s way into all the nooks and crannies within the machine and killed off the mildew odor.


6 Cup of Bleach

In a similar practice as the vinegar, bleach works well at cutting through any mildew living within the machine. Measure a cup of bleach and add it into an empty hot washing machine cycle Once completed, the washing machine will be cleansed of any mildew and will be smelling fresh.


7 Pinesol

As a product solution, the use of Pinesol can yield similar results as white vinegar and bleach in killing difficult mildew washing machine odors. Add half a cup of Pinesol within an empty hot washing machine cycle. Once finished, these chemical compounds will have worked to kill off any mildew living within the washer.



  1. Anonymous February 11, 2012
  2. Lisa August 4, 2017

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