Old  November 19th, 2006, 5:08pm     #1
chinchilla is offline
chinchilla
Senior Master Sweeper
Senior Editor
 
chinchilla's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,582
Location: Seattle area
Why does my washing machine smell sour, and what can I do about it?
I think the title pretty much says it all. My husband has mentioned this to me before so it's been going on for a while. He usually does the laundry, but today I'm washing some sheets and blankets, and man, my washer reeks with a really sour smell! Is there something caught in the works that I can't see? How can I clean it out or fix it? I almost hate to put clothes in there... the sour smell is very strong.
Reply With Quote
  Old  November 19th, 2006, 5:14pm     #2
wildbirds is offline
wildbirds
Senior Master Sweeper
 
wildbirds's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,752
Location: Colorado Rockies
My machine has a cap looking thing on top of the agitator where the fabric softner goes. I had no idea it came off until my Mom told me about it. It was caked with goo and smelled really nasty. It was so bad I had to use a butter knife ans spoon to get all the goo out. If you have a machine like mine maybe that is what smells sour in your machine too.
Reply With Quote
  Old  November 19th, 2006, 5:17pm     #3
Nickyle is offline
Nickyle
Grand Master Sweeper

 
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 13,851
top or front loader?

don't judge my path if you haven't walked my journey
Reply With Quote
  Old  November 19th, 2006, 5:23pm     #4
sabinennc is offline
sabinennc
Master Sweeper
 
sabinennc's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,022
Location: Fredericktown, MO
it could be gunk on the outside of the drum, I had a similar problem years ago, and they had to change out the drum, since the drain holes in the first one didn't go up high enough, stuff would gunk up at the top.

My Wins
Reply With Quote
  Old  November 19th, 2006, 5:24pm     #5
Txsweeper is offline
Txsweeper
Grand Master Sweeper
 
Txsweeper's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 17,377
Location: Lake Travis Texas
It appears to be a common problem, I imagine that the humidity in the laundry room is probably the culprit. I googled "washing machine odors" and found tons of stuff on it. Here's some solutions you might try:

http://ca.answers.yahoo.com/question...8153204AA7FtKv

As you slide down the banister of life, may
the splinters never point the wrong way.
Reply With Quote
  Old  November 19th, 2006, 5:30pm     #6
skpaw is offline
skpaw
Grand Master Sweeper
 
skpaw's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 15,744
Location: Michigan
I don't know what type of machine you have. I had a small part break in mine and the repairman had to remove the center agitator. There was mildew inside between the agitator and the part it attached to. While he had it apart, I was able to scrub it out really well. If you can't take it apart, you might try running a load of hot water and strong bleach with no clothes to try to disinfect the machine.

That took care of the problem for me. My machine is over 16 years old and working great.

I could not have cleaned between these parts if it was not taken apart. Good luck finding the cause of your problem. Check to see if you have a lint trap inside the washer -- some washers have those and they need to be cleaned out.

Reply With Quote
  Old  November 19th, 2006, 7:18pm     #7
chinchilla is offline
chinchilla
Senior Master Sweeper
Senior Editor
 
chinchilla's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,582
Location: Seattle area
Thanks for the suggestions and information! I'll check all of that out. My machine is a top loader.
Reply With Quote
  Old  November 19th, 2006, 8:08pm     #8
stan1162 is offline
stan1162
Master Sweeper

 
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,192
Front Loader...
I have a front loader, and there is this rubber, flexible thingy all round the outside of the drum. When you peel it back, oooowwwwweeeee, there is massive ammounts of black smelly gunk you need to clean!
Reply With Quote
  Old  November 19th, 2006, 11:38pm     #9
skpaw is offline
skpaw
Grand Master Sweeper
 
skpaw's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 15,744
Location: Michigan
One more thought -- we bought some cheap laundry soap and the towels kept coming out stinky. They seemed fine till you went to dry off after a shower and then you could tell they smelled bad.

We went and bought some Tide and the clothes and towels are clean and fresh. The machine is not dirty inside right now, it was the soap that was the problem.

Reply With Quote
  Old  November 20th, 2006, 1:13am     #10
Nubbs820 is offline
Nubbs820
Senior Master Sweeper
 
Nubbs820's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,171
Location: Somewhere between crazy and institutionalized
I run a load every so often with nothing but hot water, bleach, vinegar and baking soda. I read about bleach and hot water in some book about home fixit's and minor problems. I also read about mildew in there and it said vinegar and baking soda. I run all 3 because I have no idea what the smell is, but I don't want my clothes smelling like that
Reply With Quote
  Old  November 20th, 2006, 10:38am     #11
okibrat is offline
okibrat
Master Sweeper
 
okibrat's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,243
Location: CT
i have a top loader, too. it's less than a year old and was having that problem. i went to the manufacturer website and pulled up the info on this problem.

their recommendation was to run a large cycle of hot water with 1/2 cup of baking soda. i had my doubts, but it took the smell out of there!

it also said NOT to leave the washer closed up after you had washed and were done with laundry. it said there will always be some water or moisture left, and if you close it up that it will smell.

hth!
Reply With Quote
  Old  November 20th, 2006, 10:58am     #12
bomar97 is offline
bomar97
Grand Master Sweeper
 
bomar97's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 17,302
Location: Upper Central/Lower Northern/sometimes Downeast ME
Quote:
Originally Posted by okibrat
i
it also said NOT to leave the washer closed up after you had washed and were done with laundry. it said there will always be some water or moisture left, and if you close it up that it will smell.

hth!

I've always left the top open.. per learning at home from my mom. Never had to run any cycle of vinegar, baking soda, bleach etc... The only time I had sour smelling laundry were towels I had washed and forgot to put into the dryer right away.. maybe had them in the washer for a day until I put them into the dryer..

Time to win, win, win!!
Reply With Quote
  Old  November 20th, 2006, 11:52am     #13
okibrat is offline
okibrat
Master Sweeper
 
okibrat's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,243
Location: CT
Quote:
Originally Posted by bomar97
I've always left the top open.. per learning at home from my mom. Never had to run any cycle of vinegar, baking soda, bleach etc... The only time I had sour smelling laundry were towels I had washed and forgot to put into the dryer right away.. maybe had them in the washer for a day until I put them into the dryer..
see, now my mom always closed ours! maybe she was afraid our cat would fall in!
i had just always shut mine because it seemed like to leave it open was like leaving a cabinet door in the kitchen hanging open. but, now that i know that closing it can cause the sour smell, i just leave it open.
Reply With Quote
  Old  November 20th, 2006, 12:46pm     #14
TrueBrunette is offline
TrueBrunette
Senior Master Sweeper
 
TrueBrunette's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 6,264
Location: Expect the unexpected! =)
Mine is a top loader & I always keep the door open even when it's not running (is that ever in my house?!?) Anyway, helps keep it a bit fresher. Also, I run a cycle of the works about 1x a year. That cleans it up too!! GL!

Just waiting on that BIG win & it will happen soon!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 9:54pm.