Your laundry stinks? These 10 tips will help!

Everyone knows it, hardly anyone talks about it and many are helpless when faced with the problem: You open the washing machine and the laundry stinks. So what to do? At the latest, if you get smelly laundry out of the washing machine that has just been run several times in a row, you should take measures against it!

Why does my washing machine stink?

The reason for a smelly washing machine – and with it bad-smelling laundry – is very simple: the cause of the problem is nasty bacteria and germs that accumulate in the washing machine over time and spread a musty smell. But you can do something about it, because with small changes, such as the right detergent or the right care, your laundry will soon smell fantastically fresh again!

Possible causes of smelly laundry:

  • Poor hygiene in the machine
  • Washing machine is not ventilated
  • Deposits inside the machine
  • Wrong detergent - try the bluu washing strips
  • Laundry stays in the drum for too long

These tips against smelly laundry will help you to finally get the unpleasant problem under control!

1. Remove dirt and mold from the washing machine

A few simple measures that you can easily integrate into your everyday washing routine create long-term remedies against odor-causing bacteria. First, you should thoroughly clean your washing machine. The best place to start here is with the washing drum. Over time, residues of fluff, detergent and fabric softener are deposited there - an environment in which germs feel very comfortable. Also clean the rinsing compartment and the seals at the same time, because dirt also gets stuck here. Wipe everything down with a damp cloth and some cleaner and then dry the surfaces thoroughly.

Hand cleaning washing machine with rag

2. Keep the fluff filter and drain hose clean

The fluff filter and the drain hose are also happy about a thorough cleaning action. Foreign bodies such as fluff, fibers or hair can get caught here, which over time start to smell or even clog the drains. Therefore, clean the filters and hoses of your machine regularly - this way you avoid bacteria and odors. You can find more information on cleaning your washing machine in the relevant user manual.

3. Remove bacteria with a boil wash

To ensure that the inside of your washing machine is really clean, you should also use a hot wash cycle at 95 degrees as part of your cleaning activities. This removes all bacteria, germs and also traces of mold in places that you have difficulty reaching yourself. However, make sure that the drum contains laundry, otherwise the water level will not be high enough to clean the entire washing machine.

4. Thorough disinfection helps!

Regular disinfection is not only a must for your hands, but also for the washing machine! This reliably removes bacteria that arise in everyday use. Special hygiene detergents or environmentally friendly home remedies help here, for which you can find more information further down in the article. Just add a small amount to a wash cycle - not only will you get rid of germs in the washing machine, but also bad smells!

5. Clean the washing machine regularly

Cleaning the washing machine is not something you can do once and then forget about. To ensure that your laundry always comes out fresh from the machine and does not stink, you should attach importance to a constant cleaning routine. Although there is no general answer to the question "How often do I have to clean my washing machine?", you can use the following rule of thumb as a guide: The more often you wash, the more often you should clean your washing machine! With three wash cycles per week, the drum, rubber seals and sink compartment should be cleaned about every three months. The drain hoses and the fluff filter should be thoroughly cleaned once or twice a year to prevent dirt from settling.

6. Air out after washing

Do you always close the washing machine door after cleaning or doing the laundry? You're doing bacteria in the machine a favor! As a rule, after washing or cleaning, there is still moisture in the machine, which you lock in with it. This is how you unintentionally create the ideal environment for bacteria and germs! Therefore, leave the drum and drawer open after each wash and air out the machine for several hours. In this way you prevent the development of bad smells in the machine in the long term.

Washing machine with an open drawer

7. Biodegradable detergent helps against stench from the machine

Many conventional detergents deposit residues in the washing machine, the rubber seals, filters or drain pipes. Therefore, treat your machine and your laundry to a biodegradable detergent that dissolves without leaving any residue. There are now modern and environmentally friendly detergent alternatives, such as bluu washing strips, which are good for nature, the machine and the laundry. These clean reliably even at a washing temperature of 30 to 40 degrees and also save energy!

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8. Wash without fabric softener

Of course, fabric softener leaves your laundry smelling fresh and might therefore be your first thought as a solution to smelly laundry. However, you are literally pouring oil on the fire, because fabric softener only makes the situation worse. The reason: many fabric softeners contain animal fats, which are supposed to make the laundry cuddly. Unfortunately, bacteria are attracted to these fats that collect in clothes and the washing drum. So reduce your use of fabric softener or look for vegan alternatives. Tip: There are now detergents on the market that allow you to do without fabric softener completely!

9. Home remedies for smelly laundry: this really helps

There are little household helpers for almost every problem. Fortunately, this is also the case with smelly laundry: If your laundry comes out of the washing machine smelly, you can mix some lemon juice with water and put it in the drum before the wash cycle. This way you kill germs and odors in an uncomplicated way. The same goes for colorless vinegar - you should put this in the fabric softener drawer. Baking soda or baking soda also work against bacteria if you mix them with the detergent before washing.

Person pours baking soda into washing machine

10. Proper laundry washing prevents unpleasant odors!

After you have thoroughly cleaned your washing machine, it is important to prevent future bacterial contamination. It starts with the preparation: Let your dirty laundry dry before washing so that no bacteria can build up in the laundry basket and then get into the machine. Also, do not put too much or too little laundry in the drum with each wash. Under no circumstances should you fill them up to the top - because then the individual items of clothing will not be rinsed properly. If the washing machine has been running, it is best to empty it immediately. Because if the damp clothes stay in the drum for too long, a musty smell develops that settles in the textiles and this should ultimately be avoided!

As you can see, washing properly isn't rocket science, and freshly scented laundry certainly isn't! You can find more useful washing tips here.

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