Laundry Room Odors

Eliminate Unpleasant Laundry Room Odors: Washing Machine Tips and Solutions

Are you tired of entering your laundry room and being greeted by an unpleasant, lingering odor? We’ve all been there, wondering how to banish that uninvited stench that has taken up residence in our washers and laundry areas. Well, fear not, because in this blog, we’re diving deep into the world of laundry room odors, and we’ve got the solutions you need to reclaim that space and enjoy a breath of fresh, clean air again. So, if you’re ready to kick those unpleasant odors to the curb and bring back the sweet scent of success, keep reading for some tried and true tips on removing the stink from your laundry room and washer!

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Are You Experiencing Foul Laundry Room Odors Coming from Your Washing Machine?

If your washing machine smells bad, there are several reasons why. The most common one is that bacteria can grow in your machine because of soap, mildew, lint, mold, and dirt that build up over time. These things can gather in the hidden spaces inside the drum and the rubber seal if you don’t clean it frequently. Sometimes, a sock or washcloth can get stuck under the seal of a front-loading washer. If this happens, you must remove it, or it could get moldy and germ-filled.

The Foul Scent of Safety: Identifying Natural Gas Leaks with Mercaptan

Sometimes, the bad laundry room odors are a natural gas leak, but this doesn’t happen as often. To help people notice a gas leak, a specific chemical called mercaptan is included in natural gas to give it a distinctive odor resembling rotten eggs. Call your gas company or 911 immediately if you think the smell is natural gas. 

Dealing with the Unwanted Smell in Your Washing Machine

For front-load washers, first, make sure to check the rubber seal for any trapped items. Simultaneously, it’s essential to clean the seal thoroughly. To do this, take a cloth and immerse it in a blend of vinegar and water, both in equal measure. Alternatively, you can substitute bleach for vinegar to eliminate built-up soap scum, mildew, and debris. After this:

  1. Run your front-load washer on the hottest setting available.
  2. You can achieve effective cleaning by pouring a cup of white distilled vinegar into the detergent compartment and adding one-third cup of baking soda into the drum.
  3. When you reach the halfway point of filling top-loading machines, incorporate half a cup of baking soda and two cups of white distilled vinegar for a thorough clean.

The Importance of Leaving the Door Open and Wiping Down

To prevent future odors, ensure the washer door is fully open to allow it to dry. Additionally, after every use, thoroughly wipe down the machine, with a special focus on the space beneath the rubber seal for front-loading machines. It’s also essential to adhere to the manufacturer’s provided cleaning guidelines. If you have children, consider investing in a safety door prop for your washer, available for under sixteen dollars on Amazon or at your local home center. It will help keep your little ones safe around the washer.

Take a Look at the Cleaning Instructions Provided by the Manufacturer

If your washing machine is giving off a sewage-like smell, following the manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines and using a mix of vinegar and water solution to clean the cracks and crevices should help eliminate the odor. However, if the foul smell lingers even after cleaning, it might be related to an issue with the sewer main. 

front load washer

Factors to Investigate that Causes Sewage Odors in Your Standing Pipe

To investigate this further, move your washer away from the wall and disconnect the drain pipe from the standing pipe. When you detect a sewage odor coming from your standing pipe, consider the following three primary factors:

The P-Trap Serves as a Protective Barrier Against Sewer Gases

A p-trap is installed in every drainpipe in your home for two essential reasons. Firstly, it is a preventative measure to stop particles from entering your sewer system and causing troublesome blockages. Clearing a p-trap is much easier than locating and removing a blockage deep within your drainpipe or sewer line. 

Secondly, it plays an important role in trapping sewer gas emissions that might otherwise escape from the underground sewer lines. The p-trap maintains a small amount of standing water, creating a barrier to unpleasant laundry room odors from entering your living space.

Preventing Foul Smelling Laundry Room Odors 

When the p-trap in your laundry area dries out, it loses its ability to prevent sewer gases from entering, leading to an unpleasant sewage-like odor. Similarly, an incorrectly installed drain hose connecting to the washer can result in wastewater causing laundry room odors. To resolve this issue, try filling the pipe with approximately a gallon of water, which should effectively address the dry p-trap problem. If the odor persists and you remain concerned, it’s advisable to contact a plumber for a thorough inspection of all pipes and hoses.

Why a Drain Snake is Your Best Choice for Clearing Your Main Drainpipe and Eliminating Laundry Room Odors

When your drainpipe gets partially clogged with soap, lint, hair, or debris, it creates an environment where bacteria can grow, causing that unpleasant rotten egg smell. If left unaddressed, this blockage can worsen over time, leading to more odors and potentially even a backup in the drainpipe. The solution is to clean your laundry room pipe using a drain snake. This tool not only removes debris but also leaves your pipes clean. If you need more experience using a drain snake, we recommend seeking the assistance of a plumber to handle the task. However, drain snakes come in all shapes and sizes, and you can buy one at your local home center or Amazon for a few bucks. They are very handy around the house.

Tips for Solving Vent Pipe Blockages

Clearing a blocked vent pipe maintains a healthy and efficient plumbing system. These vent pipes are vital in releasing sewer gases and allowing air to flow through the plumbing. Blocked vents can create a pressure imbalance within your drain system, resulting in reduced water flow through the pipes. Because the symptoms mimic the slow drainage caused by a partial clog in the drain itself, it’s possible you may not recognize the issue because it lies within the vent pipe. Address this issue by locating the blockage; debris can cause the blockage, leaves, or even nesting animals. 

Once identified, professional plumbers can use specialized tools like drain snakes or high-pressure water jets to clear the vent pipe, verifying that your plumbing system functions properly and preventing further problems. Regular maintenance and periodic checks of your vent pipes help prevent blockages and maintain the overall health of your plumbing system.

Aging Hoses and Odor Prevention

As a helpful tip, replacing aging washing machine hoses is important since they are prone to leaking. In many instances, preventing odors in the future is as simple as regular washing machine cleaning. Consistent maintenance is key. Additionally, allowing the washer’s lid or door to remain open for adequate drying is recommended. If you have young children or pets and find it challenging to keep the door open, you can find devices at your local home center or online that will secure the door slightly ajar, establishing safety.

Seeking Relief from Laundry Room Odors? Call in the Experts!

Professionals can be crucial in handling and eliminating the bad smell from your laundry room and washer. Here’s how they can help:


They can determine the origin of the unpleasant odor. They have the experience to distinguish between issues like bacterial growth, mold, mildew, or even a potential gas leak. The initial step towards a solution is pinpointing the issue with precision.

Thorough Cleaning

Experts have the tools and knowledge to perform a deep and thorough cleaning of your washer. They can disassemble specific components and remove any trapped debris, soap scum, or mildew from hard-to-reach areas, such as the rubber seal.


Professionals can recommend and perform routine maintenance tasks to prevent future odors. Maintenance may include cleaning the lint trap, checking and replacing hoses, and checking proper ventilation.

Gas Leak Detection

Professionals can detect and address this potentially hazardous situation if the stink is due to a gas leak. They can discover the leak source and confirm your safety.


Professionals can also educate you on the best washer and laundry room maintenance practices, including keeping the area dry and preventing future laundry room odors.

BIG B’s Plumbing: Your Go-To Plumbing Professionals

BIG B’s Plumbing is your trusted partner for all your plumbing needs, including addressing issues and installations in your laundry room or with your washing machine. Our team of skilled experts has comprehensive experience in tackling a wide range of plumbing problems, and we specialize in certifying the proper functioning of your laundry facilities. Whether you’re dealing with foul odors, leaky pipes, or malfunctioning washing machines, we have the expertise to diagnose the issue accurately and provide effective solutions. Our top priority is eliminating problems at their source and guaranteeing your laundry room is clean, safe, and pleasant.

BIG B’s Plumbing is committed to excellence and customer satisfaction. We are the professionals you can rely on to resolve plumbing issues and handle installations in your laundry room or with your washing machine, having a smoothly running household.

Brandon and Family, Licensed plumbing contractor

Family Owned & Operated

My name is Brandon Mageno. I'm the founder, President, and CEO of Big B's Plumbing Company. As the founder, I never thought about being average or good. My passion for being the best plumbing company in Southern California has always been the same. Providing plumbing services to this great county is simply in my DNA. Nothing makes me happier than to see a satisfied customer. Learn More About Us

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