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Got a smelly washing machine? That's because even washing machines get dirty and musty, even though we associate them with fresh smelling clothing. There's technically nothing wrong with your washing machine (particularly front-loading models); it just needs a good cleaning. Don't put up with that mildew smell. Do your part to get it clean again with these tips.

Why the Smell Happens

Front loaders use less water than their traditional counterparts, with a horizontal spin cycle that douses the clothing in the water/detergent mix. While this is certainly energy efficient and more convenient for you, it can lead to a buildup of mildew, bacteria and even mold. That's because the smaller amount of water doesn't fully rinse your clothing of all the dirt. Add to that the heat and dampness of your washing machine and you've got a breeding ground for nasty smells.

Cleaning Tips

You don't have to get fancy with expensive cleaners. Just head to your pantry and get a box of baking soda. Mix 1/4 cup with the same amount of water and add it to the detergent slot of your washing machine. Then, in the drum of the machine, add two cups of white vinegar, suggests Reviewed.com Laundry. Run a normal load and allow the baking soda and vinegar to work their magic. This combo will remove any residues that are sticking to your machine, killing the offensive odors as a result. Do this once a month to keep your laundry room odor free.

Keep it Fresh

To keep your washing machine from giving off odors in the future, change up your old detergent and get a new one. Make sure the drum is completely dry before closing the lid, removing damp clothes promptly after washing and leaving the door open for a while. Clean out the gasket every so often and wipe it down with a mixture of vinegar and warm water.

You'll never have to smell those odors again!