The Reason Your Washing Machine Smells Like Rotten Eggs

washing machine with smelly drum

If your washing machine has started to smell like rotten eggs, then it might be an indication of a fault or bacteria and mould buildup.

Some people describe a smelly washing machine to be like sulfur, which also has an egg like smell.

Luckily there are things that you can do to make your washing machine smell nice and get back to working like new.

5 reasons your washer smells like rotten eggs

Nobody likes to walk into their kitchen and be hit with a wave of awful smells. It’s important to know how to tackle these odours and what you can do to prevent them in the future.

Let’s talk about some of the things you can check on your washing machine which might be causing it to smell bad.

1. The door seal is dirty and has mould build up

The rubber door seal on your washing machine has to deal with a lot during a wash cycle.

If you’re doing a lot of cold water washes, then you might find that your door seal will have more bacteria and mould buildup than you would like.

washing machine door seal with bacteria and mould

The door seal might become smelly because you’re not doing any hot temperature washes which would help to clean the machine.

If you would like to clean your washing machine door seal, you should go and check out our full how-to guide.

Sometimes the door seal might be beyond saving which means it would need to be replaced rather than cleaned.

When you are carrying out maintenance and cleaning on your machine, it’s also important to scrub the detergent drawer at the same time as it’s another hotspot for bacteria and old washing powder to build up.

2. The plumbing from your sink is backing up

The number one cause of a washing machine that smells bad during a wash cycle is when your drains back up into the machine.

The water waste pipe will usually be attached to the plumbing under your sink which means it’s susceptible to getting food down it.

unblocking the pipe under a kitchen sink

If you have rinsed food down the sink, it might have made its way into the end of the washing machine drain pipe, which means it can rot and start to smell.

When the machine is draining the water, it will push all of the smells out of the pipe and then you will be able to smell it in your kitchen.

The best thing to do for this problem is to remove the waste pipe and use cleaning products to scrub down the end of the pipe. An old toothbrush can be great for this.

It’s also important to use drain unblocker liquid down your sink and to use antibacterial sprays that smile nice to wash down the drain hole regularly.

This problem is caused by not regularly maintaining your plumbing and is an ongoing effort to fix.

3. You’re leaving clothes in the drum after a wash

We discussed this in our article about extending the life of your washing machine. It’s a problem because when you leave your clothes in a washer after the cycle has ended, the damp smell can get really bad.

washing machine with clothes that smell in the drum

It’s very common for people to ignore the beeping at the end of a wash cycle and leave their clothes in the machine for hours and sometimes even overnight.

The smell of wet clothes can soon be overwhelming, and the bacteria can stick inside the machine, causing even worst smells.

You should never leave wet clothes in the drum after a cycle for extended periods if you want your clothes and washing machine to smell nice.

4. The waste pipe is leaking dirty water

If your washing machine has a leak that you don’t know about, it can cause some really smelly water to be leaking out onto your floor underneath the machine.

It’s also pretty common for leaks to build up in the cabinet, which makes finding a smell really difficult.

Most of the time, the leak will be from the drain pipe because that’s where most of the dirty water travels through during a wash cycle.

You should pull the machine out and check for any cracks or holes in the drain pipe. If it had been trapped behind the machine it could have overstretched the pipe which can cause hairline cracks.

When you pull the washer out, look for any signs of water. If it looks like there has been some evidence of a leak, it might be intermittent.

5. The drum is dirty

The drum in a washing machine is where most of the dirt and bacteria will gather over the course of its life.

dirty washing machine drum

You can buy special cleaning products to help fight against bacteria and limescale buildup, primarily to combat this problem.

If you live in a hard water area, your washing machine has to put up with more than a soft water area, which makes prevention of build up more important.

If you run a lot of cold temperature washes, it also makes it difficult for the machine to clean itself while running wash cycles. You can start to tackle this problem by running service washes at 90 degrees along with some washing machine cleaner. If you find that the smell doesn’t go away, you might need to look into some stronger treatments.