Clean your washing machine regularly and you'll keep it free from mould and that smelly, musty odour some washing machines give out. You don't need to buy any additional detergents or washing machine cleaning products, just watch our video above or follow the five easy steps below to prevent a smelly washing machine.
A service wash means spinning your washing machine without any clothes in at a high temperature. How does this clean my washing machine, you might ask. Well here in the UK, most people wash their clothes at 40°C or less. This is a great way to save money on energy bills and is better for the environment, but there is a down side. Washing at these temperatures won't completely rid your washing machine of mould and bacteria. That's why you need to regularly run a hotter service wash to deal with this problem.
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. If not, call the manufacturer's customer service line and ask which program to use.
The only down side to running a hot wash is that it will cost more. That's why when we test washing machines we measure how much energy and water it uses, so we can tell you how much it'll cost to run.
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.
Leaving the machine's door ajar 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 partly open for the same reason.
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.