What To Do If Your Washing Machine Smells Like Sewage

EcoClean doesn’t service washing machines, but we know that sewer and drain problems can start from this common household item. Washing machines make life a lot easier, but can come with a series of hassles. As a wet, enclosed space with a direct connection to your home’s sewage system, your washing machine is an inviting space for odors to breed and thrive. A foul smell could be attributed to mildew, musk, or plumbing, but it might be difficult to pinpoint the exact problem.


There are a series of at-home remedies you can try before calling a professional plumber like EcoClean. Persistent sewer smells can be dangerous (and flammable), so be sure to give us a call if these tricks don’t alleviate the odor. Most likely, the smelly washer is a sign of plumbing problems, and that’s where EcoClean can help.


  1. Run a load of hot water through the washing machine (without clothes). Add a cup of distilled white vinegar to the load. If there is a hard water issue, repeat the process with baking soda to suspend hard water deposits. After the cycle completes, leave the washing machine door open to allow the space to dry completely. This simple remedy removes dirt, detergent, and water residue buildup that causes a musty smell, often confused with sewage.
  2. If you have floor drains in your laundry room or basement  (a circular grate usually close to the machine) pour down a gallon of water. This restores water to evaporated drain traps, which releases sewer gas. Then pour four ounces of mineral oil into the drain to slow down the evaporation of water.
  3. Take a look at your sewer vent pipe to see if any leaves, dirt, or debris are clogging the pipe. Clogged vent pipes redirect sewer fumes back into the home via toilets or washing machine pumps.
  4. Keep your washing machine door open after every use to cut back on odors caused by mold and mildew.


If these strategies fail to remove the sewer smell in your washing machine, contact EcoClean. Stubborn odors are a sign of cracked drain lines, vent pipes, or other larger issues. EcoClean has over 30 years of experience specializing in sewer and drain maintenance, repair, and cleaning. Best of all, EcoClean offers 24/7 service. Call today!