Washing machine stinks!

Washing machine recently smells like sewage or rotten eggs… Will calgon help?

The advert is very convincing

Vinegar and baking soda if you want a cheaper option


I have read that dishwasher tablets on a hot wash works wonders!


Ahhh thank you!

My pro tip to live by - leave your drawer and door open for an hour or so after each wash. Let’s it dry so bacteria doesn’t build up in the moist legs over. Especially the drawer.



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Check the door seal for smelly sludge, and make sure the coin trap is clean.

I had similar issues. I now use Calgon, sodium bicarbonate and Dettol Laundry Disinfectant in every wash (all washes are 40 degrees or above) and the problem disappeared. I don’t know which of these worked, so continue to use them all.

Cup of soda crystals and a hot wash (95C) fixes it, may need a couple of washes if it’s bad. Make sure the filter and drain pipework at the back isn’t clogged up with gloop too.

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As well as the drawer and door seals, check the filter to see if anything is trapped in there. This will probably involve draining the machine, which could be a little fiddly (too fiddly for anyone I live with to bother doing ours themselves, it’s always left to me to clean it of all sludge and hairs :nauseated_face:)

It may be you also need to check the pipes. Which no-one I know does because they’re right at the back of the machine so it’s a lot of work to get to them in the first place in the most cases. I admit I don’t check the ones on mine often enough (that is, as the manufacturer recommended) but they’ve never been a problem (so far, knock on wood).

Buy a box of Dr Beckmann Washing Machine cleaner and run it through the machine.

(Or try vinegar and baking soda.)

Once clean, if your machine has a self-clean cycle, running it at the recommended frequency helps keep it clean.


I use Calgon every other wash, but that’s really to stop the element hardening up.

I concur, leave the door and drawer open after every wash, and every so often run a hot wash (95°C) with just a dishwasher tab in the drum.

Also, don’t leave washed clothing sitting in the drum after a cycle.

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I do this every 6 months or so. And also avoid closing the door between washes.

90c wash every month if you use 30c washes. Door always left open between washes
If it really smells
90c cup of bleach
90c white wine vinegar
90c Dettol laundry cleanser

I’ve found always using liquids & strangely the lenor beads make things worse in long term.

If you think your washer is clean the drain it - usually bottom & if had fit a while the water will smell!
Wipe door seals!!!
Finally clean the drawer - have a closer look - likely to smell - clean with old tooth brush!

Repeat above every 3 months or once a month 90c wash with detergent.

You should be careful with the amount of vinegar though - acid degrades rubber tubing, I think

Lemon juice and a hot wash,

May be more for regular maintenance than cleaning up a bad smell, recommended to me by a domestic appliance enginer