Urgent help... how to get rid of the smell of death from the washing machine?!

40
Found 22nd Aug 2012
As it says... how to get rid of the stench of dead things from my washing machine?

Home from hols yesterday and the house stunk. Several hours of investigation eventually located a fieldmouse that the cat must have brought in, which had crawled up inside a spare duvet and died between the cover and the duvet.

Disposed of stinking creature, and decided I was never going to use the duvet and cover but they'd do as dog-bedding if I boil-washed them. So I did - a 2.5hr 90 degree wash with tons of Persil and Lenor. And they came out as smelly as they went in, therefore going straight into the wheelie bin.

Have since washed the machine with a mega-strong cleaning/descaling powder that I've got, and a plain boil-wash with just detergent and conditioner, but when I smell the machine it still has that rancid smell of death in it and I'm scared to put any clothes in it.

Got the holiday stuff to wash, and don't know what to do...any advice on what to run through the machine to get rid of the smell? Help!!
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The smell was there before you washed the duvet i reckon, just leave the door open when not in use, most people keep it closed, thats why washing machines usually smell anyway, simples.

Edited by: "Daytrader" 22nd Aug 2012
Daytrader

Just leave the door open when not in use, most people keep it closed, … Just leave the door open when not in use, most people keep it closed, thats why it smells, simples.



I do normally, and it doesn't usually smell. It's the dead stuff that was washed that it stinks of, and I don't have time to leave it for a while to dry out, plus I don't really want the smell wafting into the house from it in the meantime!
Use calgon to clean the inside of your washing machine. Drop in a tablet and do a normal wash, preferbly at 60 or 90 degrees.
Daytrader

The smell was there before you washed the duvet i reckon, just leave the … The smell was there before you washed the duvet i reckon, just leave the door open when not in use, most people keep it closed, thats why it smells, simples.


No, definitely no smell, and dead rhodents produce a very distinct smell. It was fine before, but absolutely stinks now.

2sly

Use calgon to clean the inside of your washing machine. Drop in a tablet … Use calgon to clean the inside of your washing machine. Drop in a tablet and do a normal wash, preferbly at 60 or 90 degrees.


Not got any Calgon around, was hoping there might be a household remedy that I've got before I need to go out. The stuff I've already run through though, is like Calgon but 10 times stronger - it was an industrial strength cleaner and limescale remover. Barely shifted the smell at all
Similar thing happened to me with a rat and a fur coat... cats are great aren't they?
I had to throw loads of coats away, but like you only after trying to wash them. I got rid of the smell in the washing machine by using bleach in the machine, not thick bleach though, it produces suds. Thin bleach on a very hot temperature, and I had to do it loads of times.
Good luck.
rose_cat_jr

Similar thing happened to me with a rat and a fur coat... cats are great … Similar thing happened to me with a rat and a fur coat... cats are great aren't they? I had to throw loads of coats away, but like you only after trying to wash them. I got rid of the smell in the washing machine by using bleach in the machine, not thick bleach though, it produces suds. Thin bleach on a very hot temperature, and I had to do it loads of times. Good luck.



Thanks! Only got normal Domestos-type bleach at the moment or toilet duck...what do your reckon to either?
Or do a hot wash with some white vinegar?
(or put a cup of bicarb in the drum, close the door and leave for a while for the smell to be soaked up)
Edited by: "chuckiedoll" 22nd Aug 2012
chuckiedoll

Or do a hot wash with some white vinegar?



Thanks! I did think of vinegar, but only got the brown Sarcens stuff in - do you think that would be worth a try?
panddda

Thanks! I did think of vinegar, but only got the brown Sarcens stuff in - … Thanks! I did think of vinegar, but only got the brown Sarcens stuff in - do you think that would be worth a try?


Its the acidity that cleans/neutralises the bacteria.

Another thing that works is Soda Crystals
WoolyM

Its the acidity that cleans/neutralises the bacteria.Another thing that … Its the acidity that cleans/neutralises the bacteria.Another thing that works is Soda Crystals



Is brown vinegar more/less acidic that white stuff then? Thinking I can alternate brown vinegar and thick bleach for a few washes since I've not got the proper stuff? Then pick up some white vinegar, thin bleach and soda crystals when I'm out this afternoon if that hasn't worked!
Edited by: "panddda" 22nd Aug 2012
Try the bi-carb too. (maybe overnight) Dry in a cup in the drum, not washed with!
It does get rid of smells well, used it in my pongy fridge and it did the trick!
Edited by: "chuckiedoll" 22nd Aug 2012
Domestos and toilet duck will both make suds and you will end up with a room full of bubbles. The only thing that worked for me was thin bleach.
WoolyM

Its the acidity that cleans/neutralises the bacteria.Another thing that … Its the acidity that cleans/neutralises the bacteria.Another thing that works is Soda Crystals



???????? I just know that its something chemistry related that either allows the smell to build or kills the smells off.
chuckiedoll

Try the bi-carb too. (maybe overnight) Dry in a cup in the drum, not … Try the bi-carb too. (maybe overnight) Dry in a cup in the drum, not washed with! It does get rid of smells well, used it in my pongy fridge and it did the trick!


Another thing that I don't have...really should stock up on this sort of stuff!
rose_cat_jr

Domestos and toilet duck will both make suds and you will end up with a … Domestos and toilet duck will both make suds and you will end up with a room full of bubbles. The only thing that worked for me was thin bleach.


Oops... Found the empty bleach bottle in the recycling, and the toilet duck turned out to be Domestos Zero Limescale Toilet Cleaner. Currently got a cup of that running through the empty machine on a 15-minute 30 degree wash, to be followed by the brown vinegar. We'll see what happens!!
When I have said acidity it could actually be alkalinity. Its sometime to do with bacteria living a certain PH balance.
Change the PH balance and the bacteria dies off = end of smell

Where is Chesso when you need her?
WoolyM

When I have said acidity it could actually be alkalinity. Its sometime … When I have said acidity it could actually be alkalinity. Its sometime to do with bacteria living a certain PH balance. Change the PH balance and the bacteria dies off = end of smellWhere is Chesso when you need her?



Certainly not my area of expertise! It must be acidity that does it, because I know vinegar does kill bacteria off and get rid of smells, and vinegar is definitely acid...but perhaps there's a flaw in that logic. Just wasn't sure if brown vinegar does the same as white, as I don't know what the difference is.
Update... the Domestos toilet cleaner seems to have lessened the smell slightly, but there was a load of blue residue (maybe a bit like the stuff you get in the tumble dryer, but wet and slimy?) in the drum.

The machine is now running on a 60 degree wash with the liquid from 2 jars of pickled onions and a quarter bottle of Sarcens. And I've had enough, so given up on the washing for now and off out to sack the the last day of my hols off at Meadowhall instead
Onions mmmmmmmmmn lovely

I saw chesso had been in her calendar thread but she obviously didnt see this one
Yeah... I did consider putting the onions in the machine as well- they absorb paint smells after all! - but thought I might live to regret it, so ate what I could and binned the rest
panddda

Yeah... I did consider putting the onions in the machine as well- they … Yeah... I did consider putting the onions in the machine as well- they absorb paint smells after all! - but thought I might live to regret it, so ate what I could and binned the rest


That will probably create some smells of a different variety in an hour or so!!
They could also block the pipes.

Plumber anyone ........
The blue residue is possibly washed slime which may suggest that maybe you have 'the slime' in the various channels that the water goes through and possibly in the exits as well. I don't know anything much about washing machine engineering!

I do know a bit about bio-films, like the black slime in washers though, and it seems to me that, although they are difficult to shift and you should physically remove as much as possible, so that the bacteria, fungi, yeasts don't have anything to re-colonise, there isn't a living organism that can survive 2.5hr @ 90 , vinegar, limescale remover, bleach and whatever else. Bleach kills all cells.

(Yes, Wooly, the bacteria and fungi will die in an environment of unsuitable pH - their proteins will be denatured. Mind you the different species will have different susceptibilities. Vinegar isn't a very strong acid but I don't think that strong acids should be used in washers. )

Is the smell still lingering because the washer is in a small room? Is there some smelly duvet stuff that is partly blocking an exit?

Enjoy your retail therapy pandda.
WoolyM

Onions mmmmmmmmmn lovelyI saw chesso had been in her calendar thread but … Onions mmmmmmmmmn lovelyI saw chesso had been in her calendar thread but she obviously didnt see this one


It takes a while to 'compose' .X)
any money you use liquid detergent......

use powder and say goodbye to black gunk, blocked pipes and smelly machines! Cheaper too.
chesso

The blue residue is possibly washed slime which may suggest that maybe … The blue residue is possibly washed slime which may suggest that maybe you have 'the slime' in the various channels that the water goes through and possibly in the exits as well. I don't know anything much about washing machine engineering!I do know a bit about bio-films, like the black slime in washers though, and it seems to me that, although they are difficult to shift and you should physically remove as much as possible, so that the bacteria, fungi, yeasts don't have anything to re-colonise, there isn't a living organism that can survive 2.5hr @ 90 , vinegar, limescale remover, bleach and whatever else. Bleach kills all cells.(Yes, Wooly, the bacteria and fungi will die in an environment of unsuitable pH - their proteins will be denatured. Mind you the different species will have different susceptibilities. Vinegar isn't a very strong acid but I don't think that strong acids should be used in washers. )Is the smell still lingering because the washer is in a small room? Is there some smelly duvet stuff that is partly blocking an exit?Enjoy your retail therapy pandda.



Thank you! It's in the utility room, which doubles as main (back) entrance so well ventilated and not a bad size. All the offending items are now in the wheelie bin outside, so I'm guessing that as you say, the slime that's inside the machine is what's harbouring the smell.

I was really surprised that after the 2.5 hour 90 degree wash the duvet itself still smelt almost as bad as it did when it went in - I thought a boil wash would kill just about any smells. So is it just bacteria that causes smell? Had something similar a while ago (found a dead mouse under the sofa after several days of bad smell of increasing intensity) - dead things seem to cause smells completely unlike no other smells you ever get anywhere, very distinct, a bit like a cross between leaking gas and rotten wheelie-bin.

Any advice on how to stop the cat from killing things? Getting rid of the cat-flap isn't an option as long as we have a cat as we work shifts and wouldn't be able to keep track. Getting rid of the cat is a much more drastic alternative that I'm currently considering if I can find a good home for her with somebody I know!


csiman

any money you use liquid detergent......use powder and say goodbye to … any money you use liquid detergent......use powder and say goodbye to black gunk, blocked pipes and smelly machines! Cheaper too.



I thought it was the other way around...I generally always use powder as it's cheaper, but find that the soap drawer always ends up really mucky. Went through a phase last year of using liquid (as it was on a good offer, so bought about 6 months worth) and it seemed to keep it all cleaner? Currently using Persil powder - got to use non-bio as hubby and my youngest both get irritated by bios.
It can still build up the gunk. I tend to ignore all of the well known brands now and do my wash completely with soda crystals and some stain remover. Vanish or similar.

Its a lot cheaper as well as not having to deal with the black slime.
Maybe adding fabric conditioner is part of the problem.
Possibly it is. I love the smell of it though. I tried some of those soap-nut things a while ago rather than using detergent and they just didn't seem to work for me. I love the smell of fresh washing, but sadly that's just the smell of the fabric softener rather than the washing itself. I'll add soda crystals to my list for today, when I finally get everybody out. Wonder if Poundland sell them - save a trip to a proper supermarket.
vingegar and bicarbonate of soda, put loads in and start her up, the smell of death will be the least of your worries
If you wash continually with liquid detergent it can leave a unclean odour from the drum. You need to wash with powder the smell will go
chesso

The blue residue is possibly washed slime which may suggest that maybe … The blue residue is possibly washed slime which may suggest that maybe you have 'the slime' in the various channels that the water goes through and possibly in the exits as well. I don't know anything much about washing machine engineering!I do know a bit about bio-films, like the black slime in washers though, and it seems to me that, although they are difficult to shift and you should physically remove as much as possible, so that the bacteria, fungi, yeasts don't have anything to re-colonise, there isn't a living organism that can survive 2.5hr @ 90 , vinegar, limescale remover, bleach and whatever else. Bleach kills all cells.(Yes, Wooly, the bacteria and fungi will die in an environment of unsuitable pH - their proteins will be denatured. Mind you the different species will have different susceptibilities. Vinegar isn't a very strong acid but I don't think that strong acids should be used in washers. )Is the smell still lingering because the washer is in a small room? Is there some smelly duvet stuff that is partly blocking an exit?Enjoy your retail therapy pandda.

csiman

any money you use liquid detergent......use powder and say goodbye to … any money you use liquid detergent......use powder and say goodbye to black gunk, blocked pipes and smelly machines! Cheaper too.


no, powder contains bleaching agents unlike liquid so is far more effective at keeping your machine clean throughout and washes clothes twice as well.

White vinegar on a 90C wash should do it.
Don't forget to clean the door seals as well. I use an old toothbrush and some domestos spray bleach on mine.
Is your machine any fresher hun?
OP, are you sure it's not the dead mouse haunting the washing machine? X)
chuckiedoll

Is your machine any fresher hun?



It's a lot better - the Domestos seemed to work quite well for starters, and after the pickled onion vinegar it smelt fresher than it has in a while!
mutley1

OP, are you sure it's not the dead mouse haunting the washing machine? X)


Lol, probably. To top things off, after I'd eventually just about got everybody ready to go out yesterday afternoon, there was a scream from the front hallway from my 4-yr-old, who'd just seen a live mouse run across the floor. Spent another half hour trying to catch it before we finally got out. Took it half-way to Sheffield with us before letting it out in a layby so hopefully it won't be seen around here again!! Stupid cat though, she's bringing something either alive or dead in just about every day at the moment. Seriously considering re-homing because we can't be having mice in the house.
Has your cat got a collar with a bell on it? That helps, but mice aren't very clever and seem to freeze as a form of defence! Doesn't really work with cats.
rose_cat_jr

Has your cat got a collar with a bell on it? That helps, but mice aren't … Has your cat got a collar with a bell on it? That helps, but mice aren't very clever and seem to freeze as a form of defence! Doesn't really work with cats.



Yes, we tried a collar and put 3 bells on it. Kept it on for about 6 months, and it reduced the number of birds but didn't do anything for the mice. In the end she managed to lose it somewhere while she was out and we didn't bother replacing it as it hadn't made much difference, apart from driving us up the wall when she's running around in the night!

Lately she's mainly been bringing mice and voles and seems to be bringing more and more in alive - we're forever chasing them around the house. Found a full-on live rabbit behind the fridge a couple of weeks ago. I do love my cat, but it can't go on like this - apart from the fact that I/the kids don't like seeing (and my husband doesn't like cleaning up!) mutilated small creatures, the live ones are pooing all over the carpet as they run around, and we're worried that something will chew through a wire. Someone suggested getting rid of the cat-flap but we work shifts so there's little structure to the day, and she's so independent anyway that she is unlikely to be waiting to get in/out at the times that we're available to open the door. Don't really know what to do about the problem
gizmouk

White vinegar on a 90C wash should do it.


this plus bicarbonate of soda.

pickled onion vinegar? or malt vinegar isnt a good idea

whoever you are disposing off dont use the washing machine next time
to clean your washing machine you shouldn't waste your money on these 'oust' and similar products. Go to your local chemist and ask them for citric acid, put about 2 table spoons (or the pot depending on what size you can purchase - pot about 80-90p) into the washing machine and put on a 60º wash and when it finishes you will have a nice freah clean washibg machine.
There's a rat in me kitchen what am I gonna do?
There's a rat in me kitchen what am I gonna go?
I'm gonna fix that rat that's what I'm gonna do,
I'm gonna fix that rat.









Ohhhh you said a mouse........ bye.
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