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What’s Causing That Sewage Smell In Your Washing Machine? (And How Can You Fix It?)

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Nobody wants to have to hold their breath when walking past their laundry room. If you’ve noticed a sewer smell coming from your washer, then usually scrubbing this down and doing the water/vinegar wash will do the trick. However, if you’ve tried this but the smell just won’t leave, then the problem might be something deeper.

A washing machine is one of the most useful appliances in a home. But when a strong sewage smell is coming from inside, you might start to doubt how clean your clothes are actually getting. Before you end up spending time and money in a laundromat, you might just be able to fix the problem yourself before that laundry pile gets too high.

A Water And Vinegar Wash Usually Does The Trick

Often, what causes odors to come from your washing machine is a buildup of soap scum, dirt, debris, and, in some cases, mold and mildew. Sometimes, even a sock or a rag will get caught in the seal of the washer, which in time will give off that distinctive rotten egg or sewage smell.

Thankfully, the majority of the time, the solution is in cleaning. You should be able to find everything you need in your own home. (You can find more information about banishing odors from your washing machine here.)

For a front-load washer:

  1. First check beneath the rubber seal. This is where the majority of buildup happens and is usually where something like a sock or some cloth would get trapped
  2. Using a rag, mix a solution of 1 part water and 1 part distilled white vinegar, scrub beneath the seal, cleaning away that dirt, soap scum, or mildew
  3. Once you’re satisfied, put 1/3d cup of baking soda and 1 cup of the vinegar into the detergent tray and run the machine on the largest and hottest setting

For a top-load washer:

Faulty Appliande?
  1. Scrub the inside of your washer with a solution of 1 part water and 1 part distilled white vinegar. If there’s any dirt, mold, mildew, or soap scum, this should get it loosened up
  2. After, fill the washer to half full, then add ½ cup of baking soda and 2 cups of the vinegar
  3. Run the machine on the hottest setting

This should take care of that rotten odor coming from your washing machine, but if not, then that could mean there’s a deeper issue going on.

This takes a little bit of investigation. You’re going to want to pull out the washer from the wall and look behind. Remove the drain pipe from the standing pipe to see if the smell is coming from there. If so, you can begin to narrow down the possibilities:

  • Your P-Trap Is Dried Out
  • Something Is Clogging Your P-Trap

Both of these are problems that you can easily fix yourself.

Your P-Trap Is Dried Out (Or Wrongly Installed Altogether)

The P-trap serves two purposes:

  1. One is to catch debris and prevent clogs before they can get too deep into your pipes
  2. The other is to catch gases that float in your underground sewer pipes. P-traps have a little bit of standing water which effectively catches those gases 

If you suspect that the p-trap might be dry, the solution is to pour a gallon of water down the pipes, which will replenish the standing water and allow the odors to dissipate.

If that sewage smell remains, however, that probably means it was improperly installed. In that case, you will need to call in a repairman. For appliance repair, iFiX has a team of technicians who can take care of washing machine troubles quickly and efficiently so that you don’t have to put your schedule on hold any longer.

Something Is Clogging Your P-Trap

Sometimes, things like hair, dirt, or lint can get caught in the P-trap and clog it up. In the dampness, mold or mildew could begin to grow, giving off that sewage smell. If left unfixed, the stoppage will normally get worse, leading to worse odors and deeper clogging.

Because P-traps can often become clogged or end up with lost pieces of jewelry that end up in the wash, they are designed to be easy to remove in order to clear out. In the case of a plastic P-trap, you can possibly remove it by hand. But if the P-trap is made of metal, you’ll need a wrench or some pliers.

From there, cleaning it out is as simple as using a rag and the vinegar and water solution to scrub the inside. Giving the P-trap a good deep clean can clear the blockage, remove buildup, and keep your washing machine running longer without a clog.

When It Comes To Appliance Repair, iFiX Is Your Solution

Washing machine troubles are a real strain. When yours goes on the fritz, you’re facing more than dirty clothes. You’re running the chance of packing your schedule, spending money with every load at the laundromat, and (in cases like the ones in this blog) trying not to breathe that sewage smell whenever you enter your laundry room.

Stop the hassle, clear your schedule, and get the problem fixed with iFiX. Our team of technicians are trained on all major brands of washing machines and dryers so that whatever you’re facing, we can help you.

Contact us today to schedule a time for one of our technicians to come to you, and feel free to view our full list of services to discover how else we can help you.

When your appliances are malfunctioning, iFiX is the way to get them running again. The sooner you contact us, the sooner you can get back to focusing on the things you love.

Washing Machine
Washing Machine

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