Before anything else, let’s understand why the mouldy smell happens. Surely, it’s because of mold and mildew building up in your laundry room, but why do they happen in the first place? Well, the laundry room (much like the bathroom) is the perfect place in your house for mold to settle, it has both heat and humidity.

And it’s important to keep an eye out for this because this issue can jeopardize your family’s health.

The smell can start straight from inside your front-load washer, for example, from a forgotten load of laundry inside. Mold can also be caused by accumulated soap scum, so don’t think because something is meant to clean, it won’t cause any damages.

More than that, odor can form because of poor drainage from the washer, causing dirty water to remain in the machine (a.k.a.: a pool for bacteria to grow). And last, but not least, mold and mildew issues could be indication you have a leak problem, so get that checked too!

Now that you understand the issue a little better, let’s see how to get it resolved!

“Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines. - Robert H. Schuller

High Efficiency Soap

It's important to have good quality soap.
It’s important to have good quality soap. Source: Dwelling in Happiness

There’s not a shadow of a doubt that good quality products are supposed to make your life easier. Even if they’re a little more expensive, most of the times they’re worth saving you from a lot of headache upfront.

With that in mind, you should always use high efficiency detergent in your front-load washer. This type of detergent won’t cause as many bubbles as other types and will reduce the amount of residue left inside the machine. In addition, use only the amount of recommended detergent! If you follow these tips, that’s halfway there to avoid the mouldy smell that comes from the washing machine.

Hot Water Cycle

Hot water helps kill bacteria.
Hot water helps kill bacteria. Source: Unsplash

Let’s say you’re done doing laundry for the day, so what will you do? You’ll run a last load in the hottest cycle possible. Even if it’s an empty load, this will help kill bacteria and leave less residues behind.

Clean the Front-Load Washer


If there’s clothes in the washer and there’s mouldy smell, you should do this with the clothes still inside. Otherwise, just run the cycle normally without any clothes inside. You should add 2 cups of white vinegar and pause the cycle in the middle (when the washer will be full of water). Leave it for about an hour and then add detergent and allow the machine to finish the cycle.

Baking Soda

If that’s not enough, do that again but add a cup of baking soda along with the vinegar. This will create a stronger reaction that should clear any mold and mildew stuck inside your washing machine. Not only that, baking soda is known as an excellent odor-neutralizer. Remember to use a hot water cycle!

Additional Steps

There are a few more things you can do to guarantee a clean, odor-free machine, like:

  • Clean the inside components of the machine (rubber boot seal, detergent dispenser, etc.) with hot water and vinegar + a cycle of hot water
  • Once you finish the cleaning part, don’t close the machine lid! Leave it open for at least a few hours so it can air out and dry properly
  • Never overload your washing machine
  • Always empty out pockets before putting clothes in the machine

These last two steps may sound a bit too simple, but they will help you prevent further damages and mold buildup in your machine.

Professional Help

Only a professional knows hot to deal with mold buildup.
Only a professional knows how to deal with mold buildup. Source: The Lily Pad Cottage

If none of these tips solved the issue completely, then it is a symptom of a deeper problem. A professional mold removal service can find out the mold source and make sure it's all clean and mold-free.

Why is it important for a professional to do this?

Because, even though there are chemicals at stores available for DIY cleaning, they can be really dangerous. If you don’t take the necessary measures (wearing masks and gloves to name a few), you can end up with skin allergies and health issues. Can you imagine wearing clothes all day with mold particles growing there?

More than that, you will need a professional to check if mold has grown into your walls or insulations. Because if that happened, you will need to have the whole thing replaced!

Tips to Avoid Mold Growth

Avoid mold with a dehumidifier in your laundry room.
Avoid mold with a dehumidifier in your laundry room. Source: The Spruce

Here are a few more things you can do to prevent mold from growing in your laundry room:

  • Keep humidity lower than 50% by using a dehumidifier
  • Open the windows whenever possible
  • Use semi-gloss paint in walls and ceiling (they have anti-mold agents added)

Get a free quote for a mold removal service!

Join the conversation