Wally Blanton Plumbing & Sewer

Understanding and Eliminating Sewage Odors from Your Washing Machine

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Understanding and Eliminating Sewage Odors from Your Washing Machine


As a homeowner, encountering unpleasant odors is never pleasant. When your washing machine starts emitting a smell like sewage, it can be both frustrating and concerning. Fear not, as we are here to help diagnose and solve this issue once and for all. In this article, we will discuss the potential causes of sewage smells from your washing machine and provide you with step-by-step solutions to eliminate them. Let’s dive in!

Table of Contents:

  1. Understanding the Causes of Sewage Smells
    1.1 Accumulated Dirt and Grime
    1.2 Clogged or Damaged Drainage System
    1.3 Issues with Sewer Venting
    1.4 Mold and Mildew Growth
  2. Step-by-Step Solutions to Eliminate Sewage Smells
    2.1 Clean the Machine Thoroughly
    2.2 Check and Clear the Drain Hose
    2.3 Examine the Washing Machine Standpipe
    2.4 Inspect the Drain System
    2.5 Address Mold and Mildew Growth
  3. Preventive Measures for Long-Term Odor Control
    3.1 Regular Machine Cleaning
    3.2 Proper Drain Maintenance
    3.3 Regular Plumbing Inspections
    3.4 Use of Odor Neutralizers
  4. Seeking Professional Assistance

Understanding the Causes of Sewage Smells:

  1. Accumulated Dirt and Grime:
    Over time, dirt, grime, and detergent residue can build up within the washing machine’s drum, causing an unpleasant odor that resembles sewage. This build-up provides the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and mold.
  2. Clogged or Damaged Drainage System:
    A clogged or damaged drain hose, sewage backup, or a compromised septic system can cause foul smells to escape from the machine. It is crucial to assess the condition of your drainage system if the odor persists.
  3. Issues with Sewer Venting:
    Sewage smells can also occur if there are problems with the sewer venting system. If the plumbing vents are blocked or improperly installed, the air pressure within the drainage system gets disrupted, leading to odors escaping into your home.
  4. Mold and Mildew Growth:
    The moist environment of a washing machine is ideal for mold and mildew to thrive. If not properly maintained, these organisms can develop inside the machine, leading to unpleasant smells. Mold and mildew growth should not be underestimated as they can pose health risks.

Step-by-Step Solutions to Eliminate Sewage Smells:

  1. Clean the Machine Thoroughly:
    Empty the machine completely, and remove any visible dirt or residue. Use a mixture of hot water, vinegar, and baking soda to clean the drum and gasket. Run a full cycle with this solution, and wipe down the interior afterward. Repeat this process every month or as needed.
  2. Check and Clear the Drain Hose:
    Inspect the drain hose for clogs or damage. Remove any lint or debris, and flush warm water through the hose to ensure smooth water flow. If the hose is damaged, replace it immediately.
  3. Examine the Washing Machine Standpipe:
    The standpipe is essential for proper drainage. Ensure it is correctly installed and intact. If there are leaks, clogs, or air gaps, they may contribute to the sewage smell. Correct any issues as needed or consult a professional.
  4. Inspect the Drain System:
    If the smell persists, check the main drain pipe or the house sewer. Look for any clogs, leaks, or signs of damage. If necessary, contact a licensed plumber to thoroughly inspect and address any issues.
  5. Address Mold and Mildew Growth:
    If you suspect mold or mildew growth, run an empty cycle with a cup of bleach or a mold-fighting washing machine cleaner. This will help kill any existing mold or mildew and prevent its regrowth.

Preventive Measures for Long-Term Odor Control:

  1. Regular Machine Cleaning:
    Perform routine cleaning by wiping down the drum, gasket, and detergent dispenser after each use. Additionally, leave the door ajar to allow airflow and prevent moisture buildup.
  2. Proper Drain Maintenance:
    Clean the drain filter regularly to prevent debris from accumulating. It’s also advisable to use a drain cleaner once a month to keep the pipes clear and odor-free.
  3. Regular Plumbing Inspections:
    Schedule annual or bi-annual plumbing inspections to identify any potential issues with your drainage system. Promptly fixing problems will prevent sewage odors from infiltrating your washing machine.
  4. Use of Odor Neutralizers:
    Consider using odor neutralizers or deodorizing products specifically designed for washing machines. These can help to keep your laundry smelling fresh and prevent any undesired smells from developing.

Seeking Professional Assistance:

If you’ve followed all the steps mentioned above and are still unable to eliminate the sewage smell from your washing machine, it is time to call in a professional plumber. They have the expertise to identify underlying issues and offer tailored solutions to resolve the problem effectively.


A washing machine that emits a foul odor reminiscent of sewage can quickly become a source of frustration for homeowners. By understanding the potential causes and implementing our step-by-step solutions, you can eliminate the unpleasant smell and restore a fresh scent to your laundry. Remember to undertake regular maintenance to prevent future occurrences, ensuring a hygienic and odor-free washing experience.

Learn More About Home Plumbing Solutions at https://wbplumbingsewer.com/schedule/

Have an emergency? Call us now at (262) 228-9821.

Have an Emergency?

Call Now: (262) 228-9821

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