How to keep your washing machine smelling fresh

Strange smells propagating from a washing machine is not unheard of, in fact it seems to be a common occurrence. Many people tend to assume that something is wrong with the washing machine; however there is no component or fault with the machine that can create a bad odour from inside the washer. More often than not it is usually some external source that has caused the problem.

Firstly, let’s consider what causes these bad odours. Frequent low temperature washes without maintenance will often result in a build up of bacteria inside the drum. This problem is then exacerbated by the use of liquid detergent. Because there are no chlorine bleaching agents in liquid detergent it has a tendency to begin to smell a bit ripe after a while.

Also, it is extremely easy to use too much; this can then leave to a congealed mass of goo in or on the drum. Sometimes it can be a case of an incorrect installation allowing dirty water from your drain to come back into your appliance; if you see the machine slowly filling when it’s switched off then this is almost certainly the case and you should contact a plumber.

To try and prevent the problem it is a good idea to use powder. If you’re already in this situation then you can carry out what is known as a maintenance wash; this involves using powder detergent and washing through a boil or hot wash with the machine empty. Ariel has proved to be quite effective for maintenance washes as it has components in it that deal with limescale. Doing this once a month or so can actually stop the problem from occurring in the first place and is recommended by most service engineers. Also, make sure that you clean the soapbox properly; there will be a way to get it out so as to do the job properly. Finally, above the soap draw there will be a set of jets where the water comes in; ensure that these are clean too as they can get mouldy.

Depending on where you live, your washing machine will be prone to either a build-up of detergent or a build-up of lime scale. If you live in a hard water area then your machine will be more prone to a build-up of lime scale; this can have an affect on the internal components of the machine such as the heater or pump, causing it to be less efficient. If you live in a soft water area then you are more likely to see a build-up of detergent, manifested as a black mould. While this does not affect the internal components like limescale it still emits a foul odour, certainly not one you’d want on your clothes.

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