Washing Machine Smells Like Rotten Eggs

When the unpleasant smell of rotten eggs spreads from your washing machine, there are several potential causes. Most people don’t know, but this is a common occurrence. Therefore, you don’t need to worry if this happens to you too, because solving this problem is quite easy. There are also methods you can use to prevent unpleasant odors from reappearing. In this article, we’ll talk about how to solve this issue and prevent it from happening again. So, let’s start!

So Why Does Washing Machine Smells Like Rotten Eggs? The most common cause of why washing machine smells like rotten egg is a substance called hydrogen sulfide gas, which is an integral part of sewer gas as a metabolic bacteria byproduct. However, the smell can also be caused by mold, mildew, the buildup of dust, or even soap itself.

Hydrogen sulfide gas usually occurs when you have mildew, mold, build-up dirt, or detergent residue inside the washing machine that has accumulated on the drain plug or next to the rubber part that is located under the appliance. The great thing is that there is no reason to worry because you can easily remove that ugly stench yourself without hiring and paying a professional plumber for this job.

If you use your washing machine often, be sure to read How Much Power Does a Washing Machine Use?

Front Load Washing Machine Smells On Rotten Eggs

For users that use a front-load washer and feel the bad smell of rotten eggs coming from your appliance, there are several potential reasons. Below we will go through each of them in detail. Let’s analyze them one by one:

Reason 1: Check Inside the Washing Machine

Be sure to check inside the washing machine

Your front-load washing machine has a built-in rubber part (picture below). In this part, your lost socks or smaller items made of fabric that you forgot to take out of your pockets before washing can occasionally get stuck. As they are wet and cannot go anywhere, after while mildew starts to form on them.

To solve this problem, first, pull the rubber part towards you and peek inside. Keep in mind that if you use the washing machine often, it is recommended to inspect and clean this part regularly, at least 1 time a week. Soap scum, dirt, mold, and mildew often accumulate in the area that is surrounded by the rubber, bacteria develop, and a stench appears.

Each time you use your machine: To prevent the formation of mold and mildew, it is important to leave the washing machine’s door open after each wash cycle to allow the interior of the appliance to dry. If you cannot leave the door of the washing machine open for some reason, then you can use a rag and clean it from the inside and below.

Recommendation: To avoid odor problems, be sure to run an empty washing machine once every 60 days on the program with the highest temperature and put some bleach inside the wash tube. Depending on which model of washer you have, there is a possibility that a program called “Clean Cycle” or “Sanitary Cycle” is available to you. If you have such a program, activate it to clean your appliance, including drain lines, pump, and washing tub.

Need for Replacement: Sometimes the area under the washing machine has worn out with age, or a too thick layer of mold and mildew mixture has been deposited on that part of the device so that it can’t be easily cleaned. If this is the case, there is a good chance that you will have to replace the old part with a new one.

Reason 2: Inspect Your Drain Plug

Washing Machine drain plug

Many front-loading washing machines come with a drain plug that has a filter installed inside. It is usually located under the appliance (picture above). To get to the drain plug, there is a possibility that you will need to remove the cover plate. When you see the drain plug, make sure to slowly turn off the cap. Before you start this job, be sure to prepare the cloth. You will need to pick up the leaking water after the cap turns off.

After removing the plug, wipe the whole area well. Keep in mind that you’ll probably notice the stench of rotten eggs intensifying at this point. Now put your hands inside the hole and slowly pull your drain filter out. It is recommended that you wear gloves for this task as it is quite a messy job. After removing the filter, see if there is a hose in the hole that has a plug on it. Take out the hose, make sure that the cap is removed, and let all the water flow out.

Take the drain filter in your hands and remove the slime from the plastic bag. Then rinse the filter well in the sink under a stream of hot water. After you’re done, you shouldn’t have any problems with the bad smell of rotten eggs anymore.

Now is the time to put the drain plug back in place while doing the hole scrape around to remove the remnants of slime. Put it in the plastic bag. After the slime is cleaned, take the rag, push it well inside the hole, and turn it vigorously a few times. This way you will also pick up the last remnants of the sludge from there that may not have noticed before.

Finally, fill the glass with hot water and then spill the water inside the drum. At that point, you will see the water you have poured flows out through your drain hole. Repeat the procedure several times. After you’re done with this job, and there is still the smell of the rotten eggs, pour a small amount of vinegar inside your drum and let it drain even if it is only a mild stench.

The last thing you need to do is return the filter and cap to their original positions. Don’t forget to fasten the cap well. You must also drain the hose to return the plug. Then place your cover back and remove that plastic bag (outside of your home). Now you really shouldn’t be feeling any stench of rotten eggs.

Recommendation: Remove the filter from the washing machine and clean it well at least every 4 to 6 months.

Broken Filter: Like any other part, the filter can break, so you have to replace it with a new one in such a situation. The new filter is easy to find, you can also order it from Amazon. The cost is between $10 and $15.

Reason 3: Self-Cleaning Option

There is a possibility that you simply can not find a filter or drain plug on your washing machine because these parts are located inside the device. This problem can be solved if your washer has a self-cleaning program. If you have not used it before, be sure to check the appliance manual, where you will find the procedure for using the option for self-cleaning.

It’s a good idea to pour a little chlorine bleach or CLR into the drum before activating the program. To make sure you do the cleaning thoroughly after the washer is over with the cycle, run it again as usual, but make sure that this time you add three cups of vinegar that is distilled to the drum.

Top Load Washing Machine Smells Like Rotten Eggs

When the top load washing machine is filled with laundry and you feel the smell of rotten eggs from the appliance, bacteria have probably accumulated in the small cracks inside it. Here’s how to clean your device:

  • Step 1: Empty the washer and then open your lid. Set the washing machine to the maximum temperature that is available and turn the settings on to the largest capacity.
  • Step 2: When water starts filling up you should insert one quart of liquid chlorine bleach.
  • Step 3: When water is filled up, the lid needs to be closed. Turn on a spin cycle between 5 to 10 minutes. After it’s finished let it sit for an hour.
  • Step 4: After one hour, turn the washer on the normal cycle and wait until it finishes.
  • Step 5: When the cycle ends, open your lid, throw in the hot water, and set it again to the largest setting capacity. When water is filling, add half a cup of baking soda and 3 cups of distilled vinegar.
  • Step 6: When the washer is filled with water, put the lid down and turn on the spin cycle to last up to 10 minutes.
  • Step 7: Next, just open your lid and use a rag to wipe around the washer inside. Be sure to clean under the rim and around the little lint trap.
  • Step 8: Let the washer sit for close to an hour. Then, as usual, run the cycle. This move will remove everything.

Note! We recommend after each washing cycle, you always leave open the washer’s door. By doing that, your washing machine with front loading will properly dry out. This will also prevent mold and mildew from developing.

Sewer Is Causing The Rotten Eggs Smell From Washer

Sewer causes the bad smell from Washing machine

On the back side of the washing machine, you will find a drain hose. Be sure to check where it ends. It is common for a drain hose to be connected to a water source, usually a water faucet near the washer. Separate the drain hose from the faucet and smell the inside of the faucet. If the culprit for the smell of rotten eggs is a sewer, you will immediately feel the awful stench coming out.

If you do not smell anything, there is a possibility that the P-trap has dried out, which allows sewage gases to enter the home. This problem can be solved by pouring water (of 1 gallon) down the tap. If the stench is gone after that, you can conclude that a drought in the P-trap caused it. You have to consider that the venting problem can be present that causes the P-trap to dry out. If this is the case, it is time to call a professional for help.

There is also the possibility that the stench spreads because the faucet itself is clogged or dirty, which in turn causes the formation of bacteria. For the faucet to be cleaned, pour a cup of baking soda into it, and then a cup of vinegar. Leave the baking soda and vinegar to act for about half an hour, this should be enough for the bacteria to disappear.

For more tips and tricks, be sure to watch this YouTube video.

If you want to learn more about bathroom problems, be sure to read Water Coming Out Of The Shower Head While Filling Bathtub.

Final Thoughts

The smell that homeowners usually call the smell of rotten eggs is most often hydrogen sulfide gas. It is a gas that is a common occurrence in sewers and is formed as a metabolic bacteria byproduct. If a rotten egg-like odor comes from your washer, there is mildew, mold, build-up dirt, or detergent residue in the appliance or just one part of it. The great news is that there is no cause for concern, you can easily get rid of the ugly stench. In most cases, it will go away if you just clean it well. I hope that this article has helped you.

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