A washing machine smells like rotten eggs due to the emission of hydrogen sulfide gas caused by bacterial infections. This occurs when bacteria grow on damp dirt and debris accumulated in various washing machine parts. This may cause your washer and the whole laundry room to stink. Most of the time, you can get rid of this yourself without going for professional support. However, follow the necessary safety precautions when handling the electrical components.
- 1 Possible Causes
- 2 Frequently Asked Questions
- 3 Conclusion
These components can be the possible cause of your washing machine smelling bad. Check these to diagnose the reason that your washer smells like eggs.
A rubber boot or bellow is available in front loader washing machines, in which small clothes can get stuck occasionally. This results in causing mildew and an unpleasant odor due to the damp clothes. Pull back the rubber and check this area. If you do laundry regularly, it is necessary to check this area and clean it at least once a week. This can often get plastered with soap scum, mold, and debris, resulting in bacteria build-up over time. So if your front load washer smells like rotten eggs could be due to this problem in the bellow.
Leave the washer door open after every use, allowing it to air dry. If you cannot leave it open, then wipe the bellow and the inside of the door well using a clean rag. You can also find products that can be purchased from a hardware store that will secure the door while leaving it ajar. This prevents the formation of any mold and mildew on the bellow. If this is very old and worn out, the mold formation would grow thick, and cleaning will not be easy. In this case, you may have to replace the bellow with a new one.
To keep your washing machine clean and hygienic, it is recommended to run the washing machine on a Sanitary or Clean Cycle at least once every two months. Use only bleach in the washing tub and run it empty on the hottest temperature setting of water. It will help clean the washing tub, pump, and drain lines thoroughly to remove potential build-ups.
Most front load washers have a drain plug with a filter inside it. This is located on the bottom of the machine, situated at the front, on the side, or back. Remove the cover plate, and then the drain plug would pop out. Then turn off the cap slowly and use a rag to clean the water that will flow out.
Remove the plug and clean it thoroughly. At this point, you will notice that the washer smells like rotten eggs more than ever. Put on some rubber gloves and reach the hole to pull out the drain filter. You can find a hose with a plug at the end next to the drain hose. Pull this hose out a little, remove the cap, and clean any water that flows out.
After removing the drain filter, clean any debris on it. Then clean the filter over the sink thoroughly using hot water. After cleaning this, you will find that the rotten egg smell has disappeared from the filter. Next, scrape around the drain plug hole and clean out all the sludge and collect everything in a plastic bag for disposal. After removing all the accumulated dirt, clean it again by shoving the rug in the hole to remove any sludge that might have been missed in the previous round.
Put some hot water into the washing machine drum, and the water will run down the drain plug hole. Repeat this about two or three times to clean the area. If your washer smells like eggs still, then dump a small amount of white vinegar into the drum and let it flow out of the drain. After this cleaning, put the filter back in place and tighten the cap.
Next, place the drain plug at the end of the drain hose and push it into the correct position. Set the cover back and dispose of the debris collected in the plastic bag in a garbage bin outside as it can be smelly. After all these, you will find out that the pungent odor of rotten eggs has disappeared.
Removing the filter and cleaning it thoroughly at least once every four to six months is recommended. Sometimes the filters break and should be replaced. If you find that the screen is cracked, it is sufficient to replace it. You can find a replacement filter for an average cost of about $10 to $15.
If no Drain Plug or Filter
If you cannot find a drain plug or filter on your washing machine, it is probably built internally. The most suitable way to clean this is to run the washer in self-cleaning mode. If you cannot find how to do this, refer to the user manual for guidance. Add some CLR or chlorine bleach to the empty drum and run it through the cycle if you are running the self-cleaning mode after a very long time.
After this cycle is over, run the machine again with 3 cups of distilled vinegar. Bleach kills bacteria and molds built while white vinegar dissolves soap scum and tough mineral deposits that block the way. This ensures that your washing machine is cleaned perfectly.
Top load washing machine smells like rotten eggs
If your top load washing machine smells like rotten eggs, you need to clean it thoroughly using the following steps.
- Open the lid of the empty machine and set it to the highest temperature and largest load capacity setting available.
- Add one quart of chlorine bleach while the water is filling up.
- After the water is filled, close the lid and start a spin cycle for about five to ten minutes. When the cycle is over, let everything rest for about an hour.
- Turn on the machine and run a normal cycle after an hour.
- After the machine has finished the cycle, open the lid again and fill it with hot water on its largest capacity setting. Add three cups of distilled vinegar and 1/2 cup of baking soda when the water is filled.
- After the water has filled, close the lid and run a spin cycle for five to ten minutes.
- Having completed the cycle, open the lid and clean the inside of the washer using a rag. Clean under the rim and around the lint trap more attentively.
- Finally, let this rest for about an hour, and then run the normal cycles to flush out any remaining. This will clean the washer well and get rid of all odors.
Smell Coming from P-Trap
Sometimes, the reason why your washing machine smells like rotten eggs might be due to the smell coming from the sewer. To check this, follow the drain hose from the back of the washing machine and find where it is connected to. In most cases, this will be connected to the standpipe near the laundry sink. Lift the hose out of the standpipe and see whether you smell anything bad from inside this pipe. If this is the cause of the odor, you will notice it right away. If it smells, the possible cause for this is a dried P-trap.
The P-trap is used to trap debris so that clogs won’t occur too far in the system. This is easy to clean than finding clogs under the slab and cleaning them. The other use of the P-trap is to trap the sewer gases from underground sewer pipes. Usually, there is some standing water in the P-trap which acts as a barrier in preventing sewer gases from leaking to the house. So if this is dry, it cannot trap these sewer gases. This might also happen if the P-trap is not installed correctly. As a result of this, your laundry room and the washer smells like rotten eggs.
To eliminate this smell, pour a gallon of water down the standpipe. If this removes the rotten egg smell, it confirms that the problem is in the P-trap. There might also be a venting problem that causes the water in the P-trap to be sucked. If this is the issue, you need to get this fixed by a plumber. Bacteria might also grow within the standpipe if it is dirty or clogged. Clean the standpipe by pouring half a cup of baking soda and white vinegar into the pipe. Let this mixture sit for about 30 minutes, and the odor will be eliminated.
Clogged Drain Pipe
If the drainpipe gets clogged with lint and debris, it would eventually clog the pipe partially. This results in mold build-up and bacteria growth inside the drain pipe. If not cleaned at the required time, this can be the reason why your washing machine smells like rotten eggs. To fix this, you would need a sewer machine to clean this. However, sewer machines can be dangerous if you have no experience using them. So it is recommended to get this done by a plumber.
Clogged Vent Pipe
Like the drain pump, the vent pipe of the standing pipe in the washing machine can also get clogged. The vent pipe allows air into the system that helps in water flow and sewer gas escaping. If the vent pipe is clogged, sewer gases will get redirected back to your home, causing everything to smell like rotten eggs. To get rid of this smell, shine a flashlight down the vent pipe and check whether anything is blocking the way. Clean the pipe if it can be cleaned easily and if not, get an experienced person with tools to do this for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my washer smell like sewer?
This is mostly due to a plumbing problem. This can be cleared by running the washing machine empty with hot water. You can also add a cup of distilled white vinegar. This would possibly clean the bad smells from the washer.
Why does My Maytag washer smells like rotten eggs?
The bad smell of rotten eggs in washing machines is usually caused by hydrogen sulfide gas. This is the byproduct of bacteria metabolism, which is the main component of sewer gas. If the washing machine is not cleaned enough, the rubber parts can accumulate with detergent and debris. Then stinky bacteria build up in these parts and cause the sulfur smell.
How often should you clean your washing machine?
It is recommended to clean your washing machine and the whole system about once a month. Cleaning the washer is more of a preventative measure than something that you should do to fix a problem once it arises. If the washing machine is not cleaned properly, soap residues, minerals, and other chemical build-ups get clogged inside, causing bacterial growth that eventually emits a bad odor.
How do you clean a washing machine without baking soda and vinegar?
You can use hydrogen peroxide as an alternative to white vinegar and baking soda. First, add 2 cups (470 mL) of hydrogen peroxide to the washer drum. Then run the washing machine on a hot water washing cycle. Do this once a month to get rid of grime and mildew formation.
Can vinegar damage your washing machine?
Vinegar is used as a fabric softener and removes stains and odors in clothes. However, it can damage the rubber seals and hoses in some washing machines, which might cause leaks.
These are the possible causes of sewer or rotten egg smell coming from the washing machine. Clean your washer thoroughly once in a while to prevent odors and ensure proper hygiene. If this doesn’t help solve your problem or if you have trouble checking the components, you need to contact an experienced technician for the task. You can also troubleshoot it yourself if the dishwasher smells like eggs.