House Smells Like Sewer When Doing Laundry (Fix, Causes, Guides)

It’s common to smell a strong scent when washing clothes, especially if you use scented laundry detergent or fabric softener.

The scent is a combination of the fragrance in the cleaning products, and the natural odor of the fabrics being washed.

However, if the smell you’re experiencing is unusual or unpleasant, it could be a sign that there’s something wrong with your washing machine, drain system, or your laundry habits.

house smells like sewer when doing laundry

Causes of Sewer Smell in House While You Doing Laundry

There are several possible causes for a house to smell like sewer when doing laundry. Here are a few:

  1. A blocked or partially blocked drain: If the drain in your laundry room is blocked or partially blocked, it can cause the sewer smell to back up into your home. This can be caused by a buildup of lint, soap scum, or other debris in the drain.
  2. A broken or clogged vent pipe: The plumbing system in your home has vent pipes that help to regulate air pressure and prevent sewer gas from backing up into your home. If one of these pipes becomes clogged or broken, it can cause a sewer smell to enter your home.
  3. A dry P-trap: A P-trap is a U-shaped pipe that is located beneath your sink, shower, or tub. It is designed to hold water, which creates a barrier that prevents sewer gas from entering your home. If the P-trap in your laundry room has become dry, it can allow sewer gas to enter your home.
  4. A damaged or broken sewer line: If your home has a damaged or broken sewer line, it can cause sewer gas to enter your home. This can be caused by tree roots, corrosion, or other factors.
  5. Improperly installed or vented washing machine: If your washing machine is not properly installed or vented, it can cause sewer gas to enter your home. This is because the machine is designed to release steam and gas during the washing process, and if it is not properly vented, the gas can enter your home.
  6. Dirty washing machine: If your washing machine is not cleaned regularly, mold and bacteria can build up inside and cause a foul odor. You need to clean it properly.

If you are experiencing a sewer smell in your home when doing laundry, it is important to address the issue promptly. You may want to consider contacting a plumber to help diagnose and resolve the problem. Read more about, Using castile soap for laundry.

Fix the Sewer Smell When Doing Laundry

Fixing a house that smells like sewer when doing laundry depends on the cause of the problem. Here are some potential solutions:

  1. Refill the P-trap: If the smell is caused by a dry P-trap, run water through the sink or washing machine drain to refill the P-trap and prevent sewer gases from entering your home.
  2. Clean the washing machine: If the odor is coming from a dirty washing machine, run an empty cycle with hot water and white vinegar to clean the machine. You may also want to wipe down the drum and door seal with a mild bleach solution or a specialized washing machine cleaner.
  3. Check the vent pipe: If the problem is a clogged vent pipe, a plumber can inspect and clean the pipe as needed.
  4. Unblock the sewer line: If the smell is caused by a blocked sewer line, a plumber can use a sewer snake or other tools to remove the blockage and restore proper drainage.
  5. Check the installation: If the washing machine was not installed correctly, contact a professional to inspect the installation and make any necessary corrections, such as adjusting the drain or vent pipe.

It’s important to note that if you smell gas or suspect a natural gas leak, evacuate your home immediately and contact your gas company or emergency services. Know, BV from laundry detergent.

Important Guide

  1. Clean your washing machine: If your machine has a buildup of mold, mildew, or other bacteria, it can produce an unpleasant odor. Run a cycle with hot water and vinegar to help clean the machine.
  2. Avoid overloading: If you cram too many clothes into the machine, they may not get fully clean, and the excess dirt and sweat can lead to a bad smell. Make sure you’re not overloading your machine.
  3. Use the right amount of detergent: Too much detergent can leave a residue on your clothes that can lead to an unpleasant smell. Use the recommended amount of detergent for your load size.
  4. Use the right water temperature: Some fabrics need to be washed in cold water, while others require hot water to fully clean. Make sure you’re using the appropriate water temperature for the fabrics you’re washing.
  5. Dry clothes thoroughly: If your clothes aren’t fully dry when you take them out of the machine, they can develop a musty smell. Make sure you’re drying your clothes completely.

If you’ve tried all of these tips and you’re still experiencing a strange smell when washing clothes, it may be worth consulting a professional to investigate the issue. Know about, Unfreeze a washing machine.

Other Types and Causes of Smells When You Doing Laundry

There are a few different types of bad smells that can occur when doing laundry. Here are some of the most common ones:

  1. Musty smell: A musty smell is often caused by mold or mildew growing in the washing machine or on damp clothes that were left in the machine for too long.
  2. Sour smell: A sour smell can be caused by leaving wet clothes in the washing machine for too long, or by using too much detergent.
  3. Smoky smell: A smoky smell can be caused by washing clothes that have been exposed to smoke, such as after a fire or in a home where people smoke.
  4. Chemical smell: A chemical smell can be caused by using too much detergent or fabric softener, or by using a low-quality detergent.
  5. Rotten egg smell: A rotten egg smell can be caused by bacteria growing in the washing machine or on clothes that have been left in the machine for too long.
  6. Fishy smell: A fishy smell can be caused by washing clothes that have come into contact with fish or other seafood.

If you’re experiencing any of these bad smells, it’s important to identify the cause and address it as soon as possible.

This may involve cleaning the washing machine, adjusting your laundry habits, or using different cleaning products. Read for, the leaking washing machine from the bottom.


In addition to addressing the root cause of the problem, you can also try using an odor neutralizer or air freshener to temporarily mask the smell while you address the underlying issue.

However, keep in mind that these products may not be a permanent solution and may not be effective if the underlying issue is not addressed.



Leave a Comment