LG Washing Machine Smell

Updated February 21, 2017

An LG washing machine may leave small amounts of wash water in the bottom of the machine after each cycle. Your laundry, especially towels and heavy knits, may begin to smell musty or like mildew if the water is allowed to stagnate in the washing machine. Regular maintenance and cleaning should prevent water stagnation and detergent build-up that can cause these smells.

Door Gasket

The LG washing machine door gasket is a very flexible ring of rubber that is mounted on the washing machine to seal the door tightly. The gasket should be wiped dry after every load of laundry. Mildew and mould can grow behind this flexible gasket; look behind the gasket for build-up. Clean the interior of the gasket with 1/4 cup bleach mixed with a gallon of water and a sponge. Leave the door open for one to two hours.


You must use the manual drain hose and pump on a regular basis to remove standing water from the LG washing machine; it will not completely drain on its own. Stagnant water can have a terrible smell that can permeate your laundered clothes. Empty the drain hose into a bucket, and remove the drain pump filter. Scrub off any build-up, pat the filter dry and replace it in the pump.

High-Efficiency Detergent

A special detergent called high-efficiency detergent is made specifically for use with front-loading washing machines. It prevents detergent residue from being left behind on the washtub as the washing machine drains. The detergent residue can have a very strong, unpleasant smell that may dissipate somewhat if you leave the washing machine's door open for one to two hours. If the machine continues to smell, you can quickly clean the washtub with front-loader cleaner and a sponge.

Tub Clean Cycle

The "Tub Clean" cycle is meant to remove any detergent residue left in the LG washing machine. This detergent build-up can start to smell, and the smell cannot be removed with typical household cleaners. Unless the LG owner's manual tells you to do so, do not use household cleaners on your washing machine. Run the "Tub Clean" cycle on a regular basis before the detergent build-up hardens and begins to smell.

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About the Author

Mary McNally has been writing and editing for over 13 years, including publications at Cornell University Press, Larson Publications and College Athletic Magazines. McNally also wrote and edited career and computer materials for Stanford University and Ithaca College. She holds a master's degree in career development from John F. Kennedy University and a bachelor's degree from Cornell University in counseling.