Consumer reports- how to fight funky odors in your home

Consumer Reports

CONSUMER REPORTS — Melissa Werger likes her front loading wash machine, but she doesn’t love the maintenance.

“It’s a constant – constant – constant fight to keep it from getting gross and smelly,” said Werger. 

The question is, do you really have to wash out a washing machine?

“Excess detergent and fabric softener can build up in your washer, and become a smelly haven for mold and mildew,” said Keith Flamer, Consumer Reports Home Editor.

So always measure your detergent and fabric softener. And when the wash cycle is finished, remove damp clothing right away. Wipe down the door gasket and leave the door open – if there are no small children around – so the machine can dry out.

“Your kitchen can harbor some strange odors. When Consumer Reports asked dishwasher owners whether they cleaned their machine’s filter, most people said they weren’t aware that there was a filter,” Flamer said. 

A dirty filter not only smells bad, but the dishwasher can’t clean as effectively. Cleaning it is easy. Twist out the filter, gently wash under running water and replace it. Then sponge out the corners and floor of the machine, and your dishwasher is ready for another load.

In your fridge, spills can leak into the bins and crevices in the shelves. Remove them and soak in warm soapy water. Use a solution of a tablespoon of bleach in a gallon of water to wipe down and sanitize the inside of the fridge.

Another source of mysterious smells – the garbage disposal. To freshen the drainpipe, layer in — six ice cubes, a tablespoon of baking soda, three lemon slices, a teaspoon of bleach — and six more ice cubes. Grind it, rinse, and enjoy the non-aroma.

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