Why does my washing machine smell musty?

If the washing machine smells musty

A washing machine that is used regularly should smell strange?

In itself it is paradoxical for many people that a washing machine that is used regularly can smell musty at all. After all, laundry is washed in the washing machine, i.e. cleaned. One would think that washing powder and fabric softener would also clean a washing machine.

Unfortunately, tips that are not entirely correct are spreading frantically

That is why the statement has become more and more widespread on the Internet that a musty smelling washing machine would be related to the temperatures at which laundry is usually washed today. One writes it and everyone writes it off. In the past, 60 to 95 degrees Celsius was completely normal, but today it is water temperatures between 20 and 30 degrees.

Detergent powerful even at low temperatures

The detergents have become so efficient that they can also develop their full potential in this temperature range. The problem with bacteria cannot really be dismissed entirely. However, not in the association that some websites try to suggest - namely because of a lack of hot washing.

Hot washing only helps to a limited extent against musty smells

It is said that all bacteria would be killed if the washing machine was operated at 95 degrees. But that is only partially true. Many bacteria cannot even be eliminated by boiling them. No matter how hot you wash, these bacteria will always be there.

It is therefore possible that even a washing machine that is used for washing very hot on a regular basis can have musty smells. The cause can usually be found elsewhere. We humans tend that everything always has to be in order.

The washing machine is often closed during idle times

So it goes without saying that the loading door of washing machines is also closed between washing processes. The same applies to the detergent compartment. This behavior can often be seen explicitly when washing machines are not in a washroom or laundry room.

Lots of heat and water, which cannot escape

But something happens in the closed washing machine. The warm water used for washing, but also the heat generated by the motor and on the V-belt, creates a warm environment in the washing machine. In addition, there is always residual water in a washing machine.

Then a real bacterial biotope is created in the machine

Both together are an ideal breeding ground for numerous bacteria. Under these conditions, they can spread extremely quickly. This musty smell comes along with the bacteria. Of course, a washing machine should always run in hot water temperatures and with the appropriate detergent.

A washing machine must be able to ventilate permanently

But you can only really remedy this if you always leave the opening of the washing machine ajar. The washing powder flap should also always be a little open. In the vast majority of cases, this is completely sufficient that you never have to suffer from unpleasant odors again.

Hot washing only with a suitable detergent

But of course you can clean your washing machine from time to time. In this case, however, you should use a detergent that contains bleach or is intended for correspondingly high washing temperatures. Heavy duty detergent, also known as universal detergent, is one such detergent.

Do not just rid the washing machine of smell and clean it

In addition, there are other cleaning agents that you can use in the washing machine:

  • citric acid
  • Vinegar essence or acetic acid
  • Descaling agent
  • Detergent tab

Acetic acid or vinegar essence is particularly recommended. It kills bacteria, decalcifies the washing machine's heating elements and immediately neutralizes the musty odor of a washing machine.

Citric acid is mostly available in powder form. In small quantities, this acid powder tends to flake in hot water. In the wrong mixing ratio, it can damage the washing machine. When used correctly, however, it is extremely effective and effective.

Acetic acid or vinegar essence is less risky. It is added to the washing water in a mixing ratio of 1: 5 to 1: 2. As an alternative to this, you can also use a lime cleaner you have bought (usually contain the same acids).

To clean, run the washing machine without any laundry. Just before the program pumps out the water, turn the washing machine off. Let the water mixture soak in the washing machine for at least a few hours, but even better overnight. Afterwards, another wash cycle (briefly) for rinsing is recommended.