Laundry day has arrived, and you have loads and loads of laundry to clean, from towels to clothing, and even bed linens. As you get ready to start your laundry routine for the day you notice an incredibly strong smell hit your nose as you open the washing machine up. The smell can only be described as a pungent sewer odor that leaves your nose tickled and irritated by the stench upon exposure. No way are you going to clean your fabrics in this machine while its producing this weird, dirty smell. So, what can you do? And most importantly, what is the cause of this sewage smell in your washing machine?

In this article we are going to discuss why sewage smell will seep into your home’s washing machine and learn the best methods to properly neutralize and remove the smell of sewage from within your washing machine, for good!

What is Sewage Gas?

What is Sewage GasSewage gas is not only offensive to the nose, but it can also be potentially threatening to human health. Sewer gases contain toxic components such as ammonia and hydrogen sulfide in its concentration and depending on the levels of each of these chemicals in the sewer gas, the release of this gas can be quite hazardous. These chemicals are collected in the sewage system through the decomposition of organic household and/or industrial waste.

This type of gas is usually restricted from entering buildings through plumbing traps that manufacture a water seal at areas of potential entry. Nearly every drain in your home, including the drain pipe of your washing machine, have this design to help keep the sewer gas from opening into the air of the home. The trap of the pipe will stay full of water at any given time, and when you are not frequently using your washing machine this pipe’s water will not be replenished and will evaporate. As the trap dries, sewer gas will pass through the piping and come seeping into the washer and eventually into the laundry room.

What Does Sewer Gas Smell Like

The smell of sewer gas is often times identified as a sulfuric odor that is similar to rotten egg smell that is sometimes smelt when running water in the home. This smell is caused by sewage odors and gas that is released from the piping, often in homes that have not run the water for quite some time or that have a pipe leak issue. Many times, new apartment owners will experience this sulfur, sewer gas smell when they rent their place – since many apartments can sit empty for months on end until the next renter comes and takes occupancy.

The sewer gas smell inside of a home can come from the following issues, a sewer or septic pipe leak, toilet sewer gas leaks, roof vent pipes, septic blockage, or even drain traps like the one that is used for your washing machine. When the drain trap of the washing machine become dry or clogged, the gas will begin to release from the piping, and this will cause the odor issues in your washing machine.

Washer Smells Like Sewer

Washer Smells Like SewerWashing machines are used to obtaining their fair share of odors including moldy/musty smells, bacteria odors, and even fragrance odors from a buildup of laundry care products used in the machine over time. Occasionally, however, a far more offending odor will take precedence in your washing machine that will have the distinct odor of rotten eggs, also known as sulfur sewer gas smell. As we discussed earlier, hydrogen sulfide is one of the main components to sewer gas, and this compound is a byproduct of bacteria metabolism. Due to the fact that bacteria are often an occupant in sewers, they are able to also thrive in washing machines when released from sewer gas – which will create that unwanted odor within your washer.

If you begin to smell this odor in your washing machine, the first thing you will want to do is to look at the drain to make sure there is not a leak of any sorts. After looking at the drain hose, if you find nothing wrong with the hose, then the odor problem can either be within the piping of the hose or actually inside of your washing machine (around the lip of the door on front loaders or on the sides of your top load washer). This odor inside of the machine can be a result of bacteria and product buildup in the machine that can produce this harsh odor.

How to Get Rid of Sewer Smell in Washing Machine

Now for the important stuff, how can you get rid of this putrid sewer smell in your washing machine? The key is to get rid of the odor-causing bacteria present in the washer, and once that is removed the odor will be eliminated. There are many methods that people will commonly use in their washing machine to forge odors out such as bleach, vinegar, and baking soda. However, when it comes to the smell of sewage gas in your machine, will these solutions work effectively?

  • Bleach is a strong and effective disinfectant that is known to be effective at killing bacteria, fungus, and viruses. When you use bleach in your washing machine it will help to kill the odor-causing bacteria, but when it comes to removing all the odors, the bleach will unlikely be thoroughly effective.
  • Vinegar is a highly used laundry care deodorizer that is used in wash cycles to rid the odors out of clothing and in washing machines. Although vinegar will work to remove this odor, the vinegar over time will wear on the hosing of the washer and potentially corrode the rubber of the hose – which is not good for you washer or your pocket.
  • Baking Soda: Similar to vinegar, baking soda is also a deodorizer that can be used in the washing machine to help dissipate odors from within this machine. Baking soda is effective against many odors, but when it comes to strong odors like sewer gas odor, it may require multiple washing attempts, unlike other deodorizing products.
  • Washing Machine DeodorizerOdorKlenz Washing Machine Deodorizer: The OdorKlenz Washing Machine Deodorizer was specifically designed to help remove and neutralize odor-causing residues that build up in your washer over time – particularly in the areas of your washer where you can’t see dirt and grime, but you can definitely smell it. The OdorKlenz technology is formulated using patented earth minerals that work to eradicate odors directly at the source without the use of masking agents. No odor is a match for the OdorKlenz Washing Machine Deodorizer, and this versatile product can be used in any washing machine types with ease and effectiveness – removing the worst odors including sewer gas smell permeating from the washing machine.

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