Washing machines: Washing machine repairs tool Cleaning a smelly washing machine
We use our washing machines to remove the grime and odours - so the last thing we want is for the washing machine itself to start smelling. But reports of a musty odour in the drum are becoming more common, so here's our video showing you how to deal with it.
If this doesn't sound like what you were after, use our washing machine repair tool to diagnose your faulty washer and find the problem.
But if you just fancy a change of machine and want to minimise the risk of your next washing machine breaking down, have a look at our Best Buy washing machines. We only recommend top-scoring washing machines as Best Buys if they get a rating of three stars or better in our annual washing machine reliability survey.
Video: cleaning your smelly washing machine
1Turn off your machine
Before doing any sort of maintenance on your washing machine, turn it off and unplug it before starting.
2Run a service wash
Here in the UK, most people wash their clothes at 40 degrees or less. This is a great way to save money on energy bills and is better to the environment, but there is a down side.
Washing at these temperatures will not completely rid your washing machine of mould and bacteria as high temperatures would. You need to run a service wash to deal with this problem.
A service wash means spinning the machine without any clothes in at a high temperature. Ideally done once a month, most manufacturers now recommend you use a certain cycle to do this or provide a special drum-cleaning program. Your instruction manual should have this information.
3Clean the seal, drawer and filter
Mould and bacteria can fester in the rubber seal around the door hole. After washing have a look at the seal to see if it needs a scrub - doing this regularly can help prevent the build-up of mould and bacteria. If mould has had too long to fester, it may have sunk into the porous rubber of the seal and be impossible to remove. If this happens, you may need to replace the door seal.
Mould and bacteria also have a tendency to build up in the detergent drawer and lint filter. Watch our videos on cleaning the detergent drawer and strange noises in your washing machine for instructions on how to clean these areas.
4Leave the door and drawer open
Leaving the machine's door open after washing allows air to circulate in the drum and helps prevent the growth of mould and bacteria. You should also leave your machine's detergent drawer open for the same reason.
Check the stand pipe
If bad smells continue, you may have a partial blockage in the standpipe. If you suspect this is the case, use a drain unblocker to try and clear the pipe. Which? has reviewed and rated drain unblockers - go to our drain unblocker reviews for the latest Best Buys.