Why does my Laundry Room Smell | Reasons Explained With Examples


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Laundries are places where bed linen and clothes are washed and become clean and odorless. However, sometimes odors can penetrate and smell in the laundry itself for various reasons. So why does my laundry room smell and have an unpleasant odor? 

Why does my Laundry Room Smell

Why does my Laundry Room Smell

Laundries rooms can smell because the basket is dirty, or the clothes are not cleaned, and the smell spreads around the room, or the washing machine and dryer used to wash your clothes are dirty and create mold. Fortunately, there are solutions to combat odors in each of these cases.

There are three sources of odor that are commonly found in-home laundry. They are as follows:

Dirty clothes

If you leave clothes unattended in the laundry basket, they will start to smell after a while due to the accumulation of gases from bacteria that break down dead skin cells and bacteria from body fluids that may have been left on your clothes. Also, if you forget to take your clothes out of the washing machine, mold may appear on them.

Dirty baskets

Although plastic baskets can prevent unpleasant odors, those made of fabric or fabric lining and a closed lid are particularly sensitive to odors. Dust that collects inside can trap bacteria in clothing and transmit their odor to the basket.

Dirty washing machines

Although washing machines are designed to clean your clothes, they stink without regular cleaning and maintenance. Mold, mildew, and bacteria from your clothes can get trapped inside the washer seals, along with soap scum, dirt, body oil, and hair, creating an unpleasant odor.

Now that you know the basic causes of the smell of laundry, you can discuss how to remove and clean it to get rid of it. 

How to Clean Odors from your Laundry

How to Clean Odors from your Laundry

Cleaning your washing machine hints:

Here are all the steps you need to follow to properly clean your washing machine and return it to optimal operating condition.

  • Remove and scrub the detergent, soap, and bleach dispenser. Stale water is created in these parts if too much water enters them, creating an environment for mold to grow and causing unpleasant odors. To get into these areas, remove accumulated filth; use a clean, old toothbrush and a pipe cleaner.
  • Clean the inside of the washing machine using the same tools as described in the previous step. Be sure to use a reliable washing machine cleaner during this procedure.
  • Disinfect the washing machine with chlorine. Bleach is effective against mold and mildew. It’s hazardous, so keep it away from other cleaning products. Add two to four cups of bleach, start the rinse cycle and allow the bleach to absorb. After the bleach has stood in the water for 30 minutes, rinse it again to remove it.
  • Deodorize the washing machine with vinegar: The vinegar’s acid helps remove hard water and bacterial residues. Set the washing machine to the warmest setting and add two to four cups of white vinegar. Use the same procedure as for bleach disinfection.

When this process is complete, your washing machine will be as good as new and clean to begin with.

Clean your laundry basket

There are different cleaning methods you need to use for your basket, depending on the material it is made of:

Polyester or plastic

Use a mixture of baking soda and water (1 cup baking soda per gallon of water) and rub the basket with a soft bristle brush, letting it air dry when done.


Remove the cloth bag from the inside and wash it in lukewarm water with a strong detergent, allowing it to air dry when finished.

Wood or wicker

Since these baskets cannot get wet, clean them with a dusting brush. After that, wipe the inside with a moist cloth dipped in baking soda and water and air dry.

To disinfect the basket, use bleach mixed with clean water and gloves to gently wipe the basket if it is made of a material that does not stick when wet. A mild disinfectant spray can also be used on materials that cannot be soaked.

Clean clothes that have been left out

To get rid of smelly clothes left in the basket or otherwise in the laundry, simply wash them regularly with a detergent and a fabric softener of your choice. This way, a clean scent will neutralize any bad odor and leave you with fresh clothes.

If you still smell the odor on your clothes, make sure you clean and disinfect the washing machine and basket before trying to wash it again.

How to Avoid Odors in the Laundry

How to Avoid Odors in the Laundry

Knowing how to keep your laundry tidy and get rid of odors quickly when you smell them is just a key part of maintaining odors. You need to focus on ways to reduce the possibility of unpleasant odors before they occur:

Here are some ways to cool your laundry:

  • Start and finish your laundry in one go: this will prevent your clothes from getting dormant and developing the unpleasant smell of mold.
  • Keep the washing machine’s door open after you have finished filling – this will allow the excess water to dry and reduce the possibility of mold growing in the washing machine.
  • Open any window in your laundry room: 

Letting in the fresh air will neutralize bad odors.

Use an air freshener

Keep a plug or fresh air spray close to the door to always have a pleasant smell in the room.

Mix tumbles dryer sheets with washing

It helps soften and freshen your clothes and affect their pleasant scent throughout the room, removing the bad ones present before. If you use any of the above methods or even a combination of some, you will be able to keep your laundry as fresh and functional as possible. Washing clothes is a very pleasant task when there is a safe and clean space.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do my clothes have such a foul odor?

A dry siphon is one of the most typical reasons for sewage stench in the laundry. Even your washing machine’s drain hose contains a siphon that prevents sewage gases from going through the drain hole. These traps should always be full of water.

How can I remove the smell of mold from the laundry?

  • Use a vinegar-washing cycle on your garments. Set the water temperature to the warmest setting on your machine.
  • Wash again with baking soda. 
  • Air dry clothes (if possible, in the sun).

When my washing machine is turned on, why does it smell?

The smell of mold in or around your washing machine or on your clothes indicates the presence of mold in your washing machine. Is it correct? This can remove the smell of water trapped in the pipes. Baking soda should be added to 2 cups of distilled white vinegar.

Why does my new washing machine smell?

A synthetic rubber seal common in front-loading washing machines can transfer scents to your clothes from your new washing machine.

Why does my washing machine smell after cleaning?

Several contaminants can cause the smell of your washing machine. Soap scum, dirt, body oil, and hair get trapped inside the sealant and dispenser sealant over time.


If the washing machine or hamper items are not cleaned and handled properly, the laundry might smell awful. An unpleasant odor might be caused by bacteria, mold, or hard water.

You may keep your laundry cool by doing all of your laundries at once, using deodorants and dryers, or keeping the washing machine door open to allow air to circulate.

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