Woman loading washing machine

Why Does My New Washing Machine Smell?

If you’ve just had a new washing machine installed and have used it for the first time, you might find that there is a strange smell coming from your washing machine. This is common, and fortunately it is usually nothing to worry about.

Depending on the washing machine, the smell might present itself as burning, plastic, rubber, or even fishy in nature.

Most new washing machine smells will resolve themselves in time, however if it is particularly strong, there are things that you can do to speed up the process.

1. Rubber Gasket

Any new appliance that has rubber components, such as gaskets and seals, may suffer from a “new rubber” smell.

As the machine runs, the gasket behind the door will get wet and warm up, causing that nasty odour. This odour is a by-product of the manufacturing process, and many people report that it disappears after a few weeks or a month.

2. Hoses

In the same way as the rubber gasket, new washing machine hoses can produce a nasty odour. As the washing machine warms up, the smell from new washing machine hoses can smell like either rubber or burning.

To determine if the cause is the inlet hoses, start a washing machine cycle so that it fills with hot water, then pause the cycle.

If you can smell the burning rubber from the fill cycle alone, it is coming from the hoses. This smell will fade overtime as the machine is used.

Washing machine hoses

3. Lubricant

All appliances will have lubricant and other chemicals in and around components from the manufacturing process. It is likely that there will be excess lubricant on some components, and as the machine heats up, it burns off, producing an odour.

4. Shipping Bolt Sleeves

Most washing machines will have shipping bolts in when they are delivered to hold the packaging and stop the machine rattling around. Some machines may have rubber sleeves around the shipping bolts. If these rubber sleeves are left in, it can lead to a burning rubber smell when the washing machine heats up.

5. Trapped Plastic

Another potential cause of a new washing machine smelling, especially if the smell is plastic in nature, is trapped plastic or packaging.

If any tape or plastic covering was left in any part of the machine before it was used, this will heat up, resulting in a burning plastic smell.

If plastic is missed when the machine is unpacked, it is commonly found on the sides, underneath, or back of the washing machine.

6. Dust

A build-up of dust can also result in a burning smell. If the washing machine was left exposed to the air for any period, dust can settle on the surfaces inside the machine.

When the washing machine heats up, this dust will burn off, resulting in a warm, musty smell.

Getting Rid of a New Washing Machine Smell

Most new washing machine smells will dissipate over time as the washing machine is used. If the smell is particularly pungent, you can run a clean cycle on the washing machine.

Consult the manufacturer’s guidelines before starting, as some new washing machines may have a maintenance cycle built in that you can use to clean the washing machine.

Some manufacturers will also recommend a specific cycle to clean the machine, even if they don’t have a cleaning cycle as such.

If your machine doesn’t have a built-in cleaning cycle, run the washing machine empty on the highest temperature wash you can.