Everyone loves the smell of fresh, clean laundry – so much so that laundry-inspired scents line the candle and perfume aisles. But what happens when one of your customers opens a washing machine expecting a fresh scent only to find a not-so-pleasant odor? The unfortunate truth is that laundromat equipment confronts dirt, bacteria, and foul odors all day long, and so washers often develop an unpleasant smell over time. Fortunately, there are solutions. Before you lose any customers, ask yourself, “Why does my washing machine smell?” Then don’t waste any time figuring out a solution.
Why Does My Washing Machine Smell?
There are several common causes for laundry machine odor. First, laundromat owners know that deposits can collect in a washer’s drum over time, leaving behind an unpleasant odor on customers’ clothing. But what if you’re regularly cleaning your equipment and it still smells? Unfortunately, some laundromat owners don’t realize that certain washers – high-efficiency machines, for example – can cause headaches in regard to odors. Since high-efficiency machines use less water, they sometimes fail to wash away soap and softeners. That can be a problem if customers use high-efficiency machines without high-efficiency detergent. Your front-loaders’ rubber door gaskets can also be a problem, easily trapping dirt, soap, and fabric. Oftentimes, a cursory cleaning is enough to wipe away these smells. But if mold enters the equation, a more intensive solution might be necessary.
Musty or Mildew-y Smells
So you’ve cleaned your machines, checked the door gaskets, and ensured customers are using the proper detergent on high-efficiency washers. But you still have a musty or mildew-y smell in and around your washer, and you need to address it immediately. Unfortunately, a musty or mildew smell in or around your washer – or on customers’ clothes – likely means you have a mold problem. Untreated mold is dangerous, unsightly, and a fast way to lose customers, so it needs to be treated immediately. Treat mold quickly with chlorine bleach, then set your washer to the highest possible temperature setting to rinse it away. Just make sure to treat machines during off-hours so the bleach doesn’t affect customers’ clothing.
Keeping Odors at Bay
Limescale, soap scum, and detergent buildup are all common causes of washing machine odors. Fortunately, these issues are easily treatable. Keep odor at bay by regularly using a good-quality limescale and detergent remover. Additionally, you can protect your equipment and your customers’ hard-earned money by following the machine manufacturer’s recommended cleaner to remove dirt and soap buildup. Regular cleaning will stop odors in their tracks. Finally, ask for support from your patrons. Encourage them to leave washing machine doors open after use, which will clear up any excess moisture and prevent mold growth. You can also help educate customers by setting out signage explaining the importance of using high-efficiency detergent with high-efficiency washers.
Still asking yourself, “Why does my washing machine smell?” It might be time to consult a professional. Between mold, soap scum, and poor detergent choices, there can be a wide variety of reasons for your machine’s unfortunate odor. The good news: most of these issues are easily treatable. For best results, contact your machine’s manufacturer for odor troubleshooting. If you’re still not satisfied, consider upgrading your laundry equipment.
If you own or manage a laundromat, be sure to check out Laundry Solutions Company, a full-service provider of premium vended, on-premises, and multi-housing commercial laundry equipment. Our leasing program provides no mileage fees, no service fees, and no parts fees. You will be able to use high-quality Speed Queen equipment while enjoying a flexible lease and predictable payments. To learn more about our products and services, please give us a call at 800-383-9274 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!