Whilst its job is to clean your clothes, you still need to maintain your washing machine and keep it clean too.

As well as the laundry detergent you use, what a lot of people don’t realise is that your laundry machine itself plays an important role in the level of cleaning and subsequent pleasant smell of your clothing. As such, it’s important to care for your machine and keep it clean.

Your washing machine may start to smell due to a number of residues, including:

  • A build-up of old detergent
  • Dirt removed from clothes in the washing cycle
  • Water hardness minerals


When in a dark, warm and damp environment, this is only exacerbated and can affect the way your clothes smell.

How to prevent bad smells

The easiest way to prevent unwanted smells from your washing machine is to leave the detergent drawer and the washing machine door open when it’s not in use – simple but effective. This will allow the washing machine to dry out, preventing that lingering damp smell. Keep the air circulating.

Whenever you can, you should always remove your laundry from the machine immediately after the cycle finishes. When you leave laundry in the washing machine, bad smells will develop relatively quickly. If you can’t take them out immediately, always aim for within two hours. It saves both your clothes and your machine smelling of damp. Which is a smell that is very hard to get rid of.

Every month or so, conducting a maintenance wash will clean out your machine and make it fresh-smelling once more. Simply put a wash on at 90oC with no clothes in, just a detergent containing bleach.
Clean out and wash your washing machine filter. You would be amazed at how dirty and clogged this can become. Locate on your machine and unclog it and pop it back in clean and ready for some more hard work

It’s always a good idea to read the instruction manual as some manufacturers have their own cleaning advice. By reading the instruction manual, you can identify if your washing machine has its own specific drum-cleaning cycle, or if the manufacturer recommends a particular cycle to clean the machine.