Having your washing machine smell bad is the worst nightmare. Unfortunately, it happens all the time, even after you do your best by trying different methods, as some of you are especially careful when cleaning and maintaining your home appliances.

So, how to make washing machine smell better? I’ve found some solutions that work wonders, which might also help you.

Continue reading, as I will share valuable tips!

How to Make Washing Machine Smell Better
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How to Make Washing Machine Smell Better

If you want your clean laundry to smell fresh and clean, you must make sure your washer smells good too. The ultimate tips that do miracles for bad washer odor are:

  • Thoroughly clean the inside of the tub with a eucalyptus oil solution.
  • Regularly run a hot water cycle with laundry soap and chlorine bleach.
  • Use descale powder/liquid.
  • Use citrus-based cleaner.

Ultimate Tips on How to Make Washing Machine Smell Better 

Eucalyptus oil solution 

Eucalyptus oil is an excellent disinfectant and can help your washing machine smell fresh and clean. Make a mixture of eucalyptus oil and hot water, and damp a cloth in it. Clean the interior of your washing machine after every usage. 

Another option that would be more effective is to run the washer on a hot cycle while it’s empty. Make a mixture of ½ cup of baking soda, 2 cups of white vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of eucalyptus essential oil. Add the mixture to your washer’s liquid detergent dispenser.

Laundry soap and chlorine bleach 

After you are done with the laundry, run a full cycle without anything in the washer using a full measure of laundry soap and chlorine bleach.

When it’s done, open every part of the washer (drawer, tub’s door, filter) and let it completely dry for a few days.

Descale powder/liquid 

An especially effective product that I recommend is a descaling powder or a liquid. It can be used during the longest cycle and the highest temperature.

However, when using descale powder, clean the washer’s filter and avoid washing clothes after descaling. Rinse the machine at least once to remove the residue and smell after using descale.

Citrus-based cleaner

Citrus-based cleaners are highly effective in removing bad smells inside the tub. Spray the cleaner and wait a couple of minutes to set it down. Then take a dry microfiber towel and thoroughly wipe the tub down.

Make sure there is no grunge left behind. Finally, wipe it down again with a Clorox wipe and check if it is still picking up residue. 

Read more: Is Vinegar Safe For Washing Machine?

How to Prevent Bad Smell in Washing Machine
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How to Prevent Bad Smell in Washing Machine

Most often than not, the reason why your washing machine smells bad is that, most likely, there is a buildup of mold, mildew, and product residue.

However, the good news is that it’s very easy to fix it. Most washing machines have a clean washer cycle specially created to remove all the gunk stuck inside.

Clean the washer in between cycles 

Problems with bad odor are mostly common with front-load machines, especially if you only use them for cold water washes. This is due to the accumulation of bacterial growth in the internal pipes and inner workings.

You’ll need to clean the filters of accumulated lint and use hot water wash every once in a while, as it helps remove the detergent and softener buildup. 

Rinse your washing machine with baking soda and vinegar in between washes. It will remove all bad odors and keep the inside of your washer clean. Also, leave your washer’s door open between uses to dry the inside easily.

Don’t overload the washing machine

One of the biggest reasons why your washer smells bad is because you overload it. It’s not good for the washer and your clothes as it won’t be able to clean them properly, causing the bad odors to stick on the machine too. 

The washer should be loaded at most 75% of its capacity with dry clothes. 

Carefully measure how much detergent you use 

Use the right amount of detergent. Most washing machines only require two tablespoons of detergent as most washers are made to use less water, making the extra product build up fast. 

Switch petroleum-based detergents with plant-based ones 

Stop using scented detergents and liquid softener agents that are petroleum based. Instead, use plant-based detergents and soaps. If you want that perfumey smell on your clothes, you can use essential oils. 

Add a water filter

Do something about the hard water. Compared to soft water, hard water causes clogging, restricted water flow, and poor rinsing.

You can either add a filter on your whole house water system or just for your washer water supply line.

Also read: Why Do Washing Machines Shake Like Crazy?


Dealing with a bad-smelling washing machine can be a frustrating experience, but there are effective solutions to tackle this issue. So, how to make washing machine smell better?

Regular maintenance and cleaning are key to keeping your washer smelling fresh and clean. Running hot water cycles with laundry soap and chlorine bleach, using a eucalyptus oil solution, and employing citrus-based cleaners can eliminate unpleasant odors.

Prevention is equally important, and simple steps such as cleaning the washer in between cycles, avoiding overloading the machine, using the right amount of detergent, and switching to plant-based detergents can help maintain a pleasant-smelling washer.

Additionally, addressing hard water issues with a filter can improve overall washing machine performance and prevent buildup.

By following these valuable tips, you can ensure your washing machine remains odor-free, providing clean and fresh laundry every time.