Why does my washing machine smell like rotten eggs?

An awful smell coming from the washing machine can make anyone not look forward to doing laundry. If your home appliance smells like rotten eggs, you should work on it immediately.

The smell coming from a washing machine is not only unpleasant, but it can also be harmful if you ignore it for a long time. When a washer smells this way, it indicates the growth of bacteria, build-up dirt, or mold in the appliance. This smell can also come when there is a natural gas leak. Knowing how to handle such a washing machine is essential.

What to do when your washing machine smells like rotten eggs

The smell of rotten eggs in a washing machine is caused by a gas known as hydrogen sulfide. This shows that areas such as the drain plug or rubber bellow have accumulated lots of dirt, mold, mildew, or even soap. You can quickly eliminate this odor by cleaning the washing machine. Start with the following.

Inspect the bellow

If you have been using a front load washer and it has a rotten egg-like smell, you should first inspect the bellow. Such machines often feature a bellow which can easily trap small objects such as a facecloth or sock in them. If such an object gets stuck inside the bellow, it continues getting wet and starts accumulating mildew.

For you to inspect the bellow, you should first pull back on this rubber to see if you see any foreign objects inside it. Ensure that you wipe the rubber once every week after laundry to prevent the washer from developing such smells.

Leaving the bellow unclean creates a good environment for bacteria to accumulate, leading to the smell of rotten eggs. Every time you do your laundry, do not shut the door immediately. When you inspect the bellow and notice that it is too old, you should think of replacing it.

Pay attention to the drain plug

Front-load washing machines also feature a drain plug that comes with a filter inside them. You should be keen on the drain plug since the smell of rotten eggs could be coming from here. Removing the cover plate can help you access the drain plug. Ensure you turn the cap off slowly and have a rag nearby so that you can wipe water that flows out.

Wipe around the drain plug properly and try pulling out the drain filter. You will also see the hose that is located near the drain hole. Remove the cap on the hose and allow any water on it to flow out. Feel free to clean the drain filter over a sink that has hot water. After a thorough clean, the rotten eggs smell should disappear. You should clean the filter every four months. Ensure you get gloves before you start this process. If you notice that the drain filter is broken, you should replace it.

Use the self-cleaning setting on your washer

Some washing machines do not have any visible drain plug or filter that you can clean. If you have such a model, you can eliminate the unpleasant smell coming from the washer by running the self-cleaning setting. Let the device’s manual guide you through this process. If you want to run this self-cleaning option for the first time, consider adding bleach into the drum before you begin. You should also rerun the machine one more time using distilled vinegar.

Check whether the smell is emanating from the standpipe

If you still cannot find the source of this smell, you should check the back part of the washer. Check where the drain hose is connected. This is usually linked to a standpipe that is found near the laundry sink. Try lifting the drain hose and confirm whether the rotten eggs smell is coming from inside the standpipe.

Sometimes a dried p-trap can allow sewer gas smell to pass through the standpipe and into your home. Once you confirm that p-trap is the problem, pour lots of water down the pipe. If the standpipe is clogged or is dirty, it could also be encouraging bacteria growth within it. You can clean it using baking soda and white vinegar.

A summary of what to do

Check the bellow
Confirm whether there is a foreign object stuck there

Clean the bellow to get rid of build-up dirt, mold, or mildew

Check the drain plug.
Wipe around the drain plug and clean the filter thoroughly over a sink
The smell could be coming from inside the standpipe.
Pour water down the standpipe.

Clean the standpipe with baking soda and white vinegar.


Maintaining your washing machine well can prevent odors. If you are already dealing with a rotten eggs smell scenario, you can easily eliminate it by cleaning the washer. Start by finding out the source of the smell, then follow the guidelines above.


Why should you leave the door open after laundry?

Leaving the door of a washer open can allow it to air dry to prevent mold formation on the bellow.

Can soap scum cause this smell?

Yes. If a lot of soap scum builds up around the rubber components of a washer, it can make it start smelling.

Dennis Vaughn

Dennis Vaughn is a certified plumber and has been offering apprenticeship experiences to most of his employees for the past 12years. Dennis owns and runs an appliance store, and has a team made of different expertise from electricians, appliance repair individuals, and plumbers. According to him dealing with appliances is one thing but the after-sales services are what makes for the loyal clients. Many people don’t know who to call when their appliances break or become faulty, and a good number are not aware of the varieties of appliances in the market tailored to fit their expectations. The above is what necessitated the creation of the extensive excerpts on the washing machine units, which come complete with directions on the simple home repairs.