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GE Washer Odor Problem Or Smells Bad

Over time, washing machines can develop odd odors and smells. When the smell becomes noticeable, you need to make a plan to clean them out. Otherwise, it can affect your clothing and other washing.

If a GE washing machine has an odor problem or smells bad, it’s usually a result of a buildup of soap scum, bacteria, or mildew. Limescale can also cause bad smells. Running mostly cold wash cycles doesn’t clean out the washing machine. You need heat to kill bacteria and remove post-wash residues.

Woman holding clothes with bad smell

Washing powders work with both cold and hot water, but for effective cleaning, you need to run a hot cycle. If you tend to only run cold washing cycles, the soap residue will build up in the pipes and crevices within the washing machine. After some time, these deposits will start to decompose and create a bad smell.

Any time you have human sweat or other bodily fluids in contact with clothing or bedding, there’s an opportunity for bacteria to grow. Your washing machine is the perfect environment for bacteria as it is warm and wet.

To avoid bacteria getting a foothold on your washing machine, run a hot cycle at least once or twice a month. The heat will kill the bacteria as well as help to loosen any soap residue inside the drum and the pipes.

Mildew forms a white or gray coating on any surface that is damp and dark. Mildew is a fungus that spreads wherever the wind blows its little spores. These spores will grow as soon as they find a damp, dark place. Washing machines provide the perfect conditions in which mildew thrives.

To prevent a build-up of mildew, run a regular hot cycle and use a little bit of bleach when washing white clothing or bedding. The bleach kills the mildew inside the drum, on the rubber seals and hoses. Don’t add bleach when washing dark or colored clothing as it will leave white streaks on the fabric.

GE Washer Smells Like Burning

Woman holding clothes with bad smell

It is unusual for your washer to give off strong smells.

If your washer has a burning smell, it’s an indication that something is wrong and you should switch it off immediately and investigate what is causing it.

If a GE washer smells like burning, it’s possibly the drive belt that is incorrectly adjusted. The belt may rub against the pulleys or other components inside the washer. The burning smell may also be a burned-out motor. A control panel or wiring short may melt the insulation, causing a burning smell.

The washer motor is connected to the drum by a rubber drive belt. The drive belt is located on the pulleys. If the pulleys are not correctly adjusted, the belt may run at an angle, causing it to rub against one or both of the pulleys. The friction on the pulleys will generate a lot of heat, which will then give off a strong burning smell.

If the belts start to fray, parts of the belt could contact other parts of the washer. This will create friction that can melt the rubber.

It is not common for a new washer motor to burn out. However, older GE washing machine motors can wear out. When the motor burns out, it creates a lot of heat and melted insulation.

Because of the constant movement and vibration, wiring can wear through. The exposed core can come in contact with metal parts of the washer which results in a short. The heat from the short melts insulation on the wires which results in a strong burning smell.

As soon as you become aware of any suspected burning smells, switch off your washer and investigate the cause.

Top Causes of GE Washer Burning Smell

It can be disconcerting to smell burning when you run your washer.

It is best that you switch it off straight away and check out what is causing the smell.

The most common cause of a burning smell coming from a GE washer during the spin cycle is a seized drain pump. If the pump is prevented from turning, it can cause the belt driving the pulley to overheat and start melting. Pumps that are not belt-driven do not suffer from this problem.

A worn motor pulley is also known to cause a burning smell. As the washer ages, the pulleys become rusted and worn. This creates extra friction on the belt which can make it overheat. The build-up of heat will start to melt the rubber, causing it to produce a burning smell.

A sure sign that your washer motor is burnt out, is the smell of burning accompanied by a stationary drum. After switching on the wash cycle, the drum may or may not turn, followed by the smell of burning. If the drum was turning, it would stop and refuse to move.

This indicates that the motor is damaged or components inside the washer are damaged and need replacement.

If the drive belts are worn, they’ll stretch and slip on the pulleys. The friction of the belt slipping on the pulley will cause it to heat up and melt. The partially melted rubber is where the smell of burning comes from.

There is a start capacitor that provides a boost of electricity to get the washer drum moving. After a few years, the capacitor can swell or short circuit internally. You will then get a burnt smell. You can check the capacitor by inspecting it to see if it is swollen or melted.

Drive motors last for many years, but they eventually wear out. If there is a short circuit inside the motor, it will fail to start and you’ll get the smell of burning. There may also be signs of smoke.

Idler pulleys are located on some GE models, between the motor and the drum pulley. If the idler pulley wears out, it may cease to turn freely. This causes friction between it and the drive belt accompanied by the smell of burning.

How To Fix GE Washer Burning Smell

While you may at first think that your washer is beyond repair when it breaks down and smells like smoke, this is not always the case.

On closer inspection, the problem could be minor and your washer will be up and running again in a few minutes.

To fix a GE washer with a burning smell, you need to remove the main access panel on the back. Locate the two drive belts and inspect them for wear or signs of damage. Pull the belts towards you to assess the amount of movement in the belts. If they are too loose, replace them.

The access panel is held on by screws that must be removed before you can access the inside of your GE washer.

Once the panel is off, you can inspect the drive belt, capacitor, and motor.

If the drive belt is damaged, you should replace it. But you should check that the drum, as well as the drain pump, move freely if they are driven by a belt. Any resistance in the drum or motor must be checked.

If the motor doesn’t turn, then you can remove it and have it checked by a service center.

Check to see that nothing is blocking the drain pump. This is a major reason the pulley stops turning, causing friction on the belt and the smell of burning.

If the capacitor is swollen or appears brunt, then replace it.

GE Washer Smells Musty or Moldy

Woman holding clothes with bad smell

If you don’t use your washer for a while, then it can develop a moldy, musty smell.

It may also become moldy if it doesn’t have a chance of drying out.

If your GE washer develops a moldy smell, you can run it with a washing machine cleaner to remove the smell and kill any bacteria or mold inside. A combination of baking soda, water, and white vinegar also works well to remove unwanted odors and mold from the inside of your washer.

While store-bought washing machine cleaners work well, a cheaper option is to use baking soda and vinegar.

Pour a ¼ cup of baking soda into the soap dispenser together with a ¼ cup of water. Then pour 2 cups of white vinegar into the washer drum and run the washer on the hot cycle.

To avoid your washer smelling moldy, run the hot cycle at least once a month to remove any bacteria and soap residue.

Once you have finished a load, you can leave the loading door open for a while to allow air to get inside. They will dry out the drum and door seal, preventing mold from growing.

Top Causes of GE Washer Smells Musty or Moldy

We generally take our washer for granted, expecting it to clean clothing and bedding without fail.

However, unless the washer is properly taken care of, it will eventually develop mold and funky smells that can work their way into our washing.

The number one cause of mold and odors in GE washers is due to leaving the loading door closed after use. This prevents air from circulating inside the drum and door seal. Moist air trapped inside the washer becomes stagnant. The stagnant air promotes smells and mold grows due to the moisture.

The best way to avoid musty smells in your washer is to leave the door open after use.

Also, avoid leaving dirty laundry in the washer. Once the wash cycle is complete, don’t leave your laundry in the washer. Take it out immediately and allow the washer time to air.

How To Fix GE Washer Smells Musty or Moldy

Removing musty smells from your washer is quick and easy.

There’s no reason why you should put up with your clothing or bedding smelling musty or moldy.

To fix a GE washer that smells musty or moldy, run washing through the machine on the hot cycle at least once a month. Scrub out the washer with a mixture of white vinegar and baking powder, not forgetting the door seal as well as the soap dispenser.

The hot cycle will kill any bacteria lurking inside the washer. Stagnant water and bacteria are the leading causes of smells inside your washer. The hot water also helps to clear away any old soap residue in the soap dispenser.

If the smell is still present after a hot cycle, then wash out the machine with bleach. Add the bleach to the soap dispenser and run the washer through a hot cycle without any laundry. Use a cloth dipped in bleach to wipe the door seal, removing any mold or stagnant water.

GE Washer Smells Like Rotten Eggs, Sewer Gas, or Sulfur

Woman holding clothes with bad smell

If your GE washer smells like sulfur, then you can be sure that it is caused by bacteria inside the machine.

The smell of hydrogen sulfide or sewer gas that comes from a GE washer is caused by the residue left behind after each wash cycle. If the washer isn’t allowed to air, mildew, mold, and soap residue create a distinctive smell that will permeate your laundry.

The easiest way to prevent your washer from smelling is to leave the door open after use and to run the hot cycle at least once or twice a month.

The open door will allow the washer to dry out, avoiding the problem of mold growing inside the machine.

Using a hot cycle helps to clean the inside of the washer as well as the soap dispenser. Any soap residue is washed away and the hot water kills bacteria and any mold or mildew that may be forming.

Top Causes of GE Washer Smells Like Rotten Eggs, Sewer Gas, or Sulfur

If you want to prevent your washing machine from smelling like rotten eggs, then the solution is quick and easy.

GE washer smells are caused by the warm, moist conditions inside the machine. Bacteria grow in these conditions, creating hydrogen sulfide. This gas has the smell of rotten eggs. If the washer is not allowed to dry out, the stagnant water will also produce unpleasant odors.

If the drain pump is not working properly or if the outlet is locked, you won’t be able to remove all the dirty water. The water will then become stagnant and create an unpleasant smell.

If soap suds are left in the washer, then bacteria will grow, creating a rotten egg smell.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on August 24, 2022.

How To Fix GE Washer Smells Like Rotten Eggs, Sewer Gas, or Sulfur

While smells coming from your washer may be unpleasant, they are easy to remove.

To fix GE washer smells, use the hot cycle regularly. Also, leave the door open after use, to allow the inside to dry out. Make sure that the door seal is cleaned regularly with bleach or white vinegar. Check the drain pump and filter and remove any obstructions that prevent the water from draining.

To clean out the soap dispenser, add ¼ cup of baking soda and ½ cup of water. Then throw ½ a cup of white vinegar inside the washer and run it on the hot cycle.

This will kill any bacteria that may be growing inside the machine and remove the smell.

Wipe the door seal with a vinegar-soaked cloth to remove any mildew and soap residue.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on August 24, 2022.

For particularly smelly washers, pour a ½ cup of bleach into the soap dispenser. Then run a hot cycle so that the bleach has a chance to run through the whole machine. The bacteria will not survive the heat and bleach.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on August 24, 2022.

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