Is there an unbearable sewage-lie smell coming from your washing machine? Many people expect their laundry room to have a fresh scent of cleaning laundry — which is why many homeowners are caught off guard when they notice a sewage odor. 

If your washing machine smells like sewer water, you’re not the only one. In fact, many homeowners experience this problem. But what causes this foul smell? Keep reading to learn what may be causing the bad odor coming from your washer and how you can correct it.

Why Does My Washing Machine Smell Like Sewage?

Reasons Your Washing Machine Smells Like Sewage

There are a few possible reasons why your washing machine has a sewage odor.

Accumulation of Residue

Over time, the organic residues (dirt, soap scum, and fabric softener to name a few) start to build up within the washing machine. The residues make the environment perfect for the bacteria and mold to grow, and they cause bad smells in your laundry.

Clogged Drainage System

Stagnation of water would occur in case the drainage system becomes clogged or partially blocked, preventing water from clearing out properly. This type of water can emit a foul smell similar to sewer water, particularly if the drainage system is blocked by residue and organic matter.

Drain Trap Issues

The drain pipe is a hose attaching the washing machine to your plumbing. It carries wastewater away from the machine and transfers the dirty water to your home’s sewage plumbing pipes. When a clogged drain pipe occurs, it can lead to stagnant water in the washing machine’s plumbing, which can cause a foul smell.

Mold and Mildew Growth

The humidity and heat inside your washing machine are perfect conditions for mold and mildew to thrive. Such fungi can develop on wet areas and produce moldy odor, which is transferred through the washing process onto your clothing.

What to Do to Get Rid of the Sewage Odor

1. Clean Your Washing Machine

To get rid of the bad smell, start by cleaning your washing machine. Frequent cleaning after you run a load of laundry is a great long-term solution to stopping odors and removing them. Run a hot water cycle with vinegar or baking soda to clean the residues and kill bacteria. In addition, clean the drum, seals, and detergent dispenser with a mixture of water and vinegar to eliminate any deposits.

For front loaders, dry the water pooling at the bottom of the door boot when you’re done using your washing machine for the day. 

2. Allow for Proper Ventilation

Washers and dryers are often located in small spaces without windows or doors, making ventilation challenging. If you don’t have a window or door to open, consider running fans. After you’re done using your machine for the day, make sure you leave the washing machine door slightly ajar, to allow for adequate ventilation and the free flow of air. This will allow the machine interior to dry and thus prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

3. Check the Drainage System

Remember to inspect the drain hose for litter or blockage fuelling the sewage odor. Dirt or debris in your hose can cause bad odors to occur. Make sure the hose is connected properly and not kinked or bent. If that doesn’t help, we recommend calling a professional to take a look and they can make a recommendation to resolve the issue.

When to Call a Professional Appliance Repair Company

Should the sewage smell linger even after you clean the washing machine well, it might be an indication that your washing machine is suffering from more serious problems. 

Consider contacting a professional appliance repair company if you experience any of the following:

  • Resilient stench even after cleaning.
  • Obvious signs of mold or mildew within the machine.
  • Leakage or water problems.
  • Abnormal sounds or vibrations during operation.

An experienced appliance repair technician can accurately diagnose the problem and recommend the necessary repairs or maintenance to eliminate the odor and bring your washing machine back to its best performance.

Addressing a washing machine that smells like sewage requires identifying the underlying causes and taking appropriate action to eliminate the odor. By following these steps and knowing when to seek professional assistance, you can always ensure a fresh and clean laundry experience.

At Pete’s Appliances, we provide home appliance repair in Boston, and service most major brands. We can diagnose the issue and fix your washing machine to keep it odor-free. Contact us for a quote today.