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When my washing machine drains, it sends a vile poo/rotten egg smell round the house!

(25 Posts)
OnFoot Sun 19-May-13 11:51:22

We are in a rental house and it's not our washing machine. I ran a service wash on it about 10 days ago but for the past 3 days, every time the machine drains and the draining water bubbles away under the sink, a truly vile smell comes out throughout the ground floor. (I initally accused DH and the DCs but after futilely checking DD's nappy several times I realised it was the washing machine smile.

Is the problem with the machine or the drains? Do I need to get a plumber out? Put drain cleaner down the sink? We hope (builders permitting) to be moving into our own house in about 5 weeks so it's not a long term problem for us but if the machine or the drains are about to implode I'd rather report it to the landlord now than leave it as a lovely surprise for the next tenant.

I feel I should clarify that I don't put poo in the washing machine or the kitchen sink! Any baby clothes with poo on are rinsed off in the loo before they go in the machine. In case it's relevant, I only use Fairy liquitabs in the machine, no powders and no conditioner.

If anyone can tell me why this is happening and what I ought to do about it, that would be most appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
thebestpossibletaste Sun 19-May-13 11:56:17

I don't know what it is but think there was a similar thread not long ago. Also I get this with my dishwasher often. I put bleach in there on a regular basis and drain unblocker down the sink next to the dishwasher which helps temporarily but then it comes back.

OnFoot Sun 19-May-13 12:01:37

Thanks, I'll try to find the other thread. What bleach do you put in your dishwasher - the thick or thin stuff?

OP’s posts: |
OnFoot Sun 19-May-13 12:09:54

Lots of threads about the drum smelling bad, but there is no smell from our drum, just when it pumps out the water to drain.

OP’s posts: |
alienbanana Sun 19-May-13 12:11:02

Try some soda crystals down the drain initially, and you could try putting the plug in the kitchen parents have the same problem - something to do with how the washer fills or drains.

fuzzywuzzy Sun 19-May-13 12:16:21

It's a drain problem, the main drain is probably overflowing or blocked and needs to be checked.

I had this then my drains spectacularly overflowed, with the help of MN I got the outside drains unblocked by calling out Thames water, apparently the main waste pipe down my street was completely blocked!

It was horrendous I had all this sewage spewing out of my drain!

Tell the landlord, you're really lovely considering the next tenants.

flow4 Sun 19-May-13 13:52:26

It sounds like a drain problem to me too.

Drains within the boundary of a property used to be the responsibility of the owner... But round here at least, the water company has taken over responsibility for all drains, so it may not even cost your landlord anything to fix it.

thebestpossibletaste Sun 19-May-13 16:50:00

Actually I think it was a thread about a shower smelling that turned into a general thread about drains smelling.

thebestpossibletaste Sun 19-May-13 16:51:41

I put a cup of thick bleach in the dishwasher and wash it (empty) on the hottest setting and put a good measure of Domestos drain unblocked down the sink.

OnFoot Mon 20-May-13 17:36:30

Thank you. I think I will put some bleach or soda crystals down the drain and see whether the problem goes away. If it doesn't go away, I'll report it to the landlord.

Fuzzywuzzy - Thank you - I'm not really a fluffy person but I do believe that a little common decency and "do as you would be done by" goes a long way.

OP’s posts: |
RatherNot Mon 20-May-13 19:09:12

Have you tried cleaning the filter? They can be shockingly clogged and smell disgusting. Bottom right of machine - I also squirt a bit of bleach in there prior to a maintainance wash.

WeAllHaveWings Mon 20-May-13 19:19:27

Dad had this with his dishwasher recently and it was something to do with plumbing.

There should be a water trap (u-bend) in the plumbing which is correctly installed so it makes a waste water seal and prevents smells coming back up through the plug hole.

WeAllHaveWings Mon 20-May-13 19:20:19

line that works - water trap

WeAllHaveWings Mon 20-May-13 19:20:40


Willdoitinaminute Mon 20-May-13 19:56:07

I recently found out that if you use non bio detergent on low temp you may get bacterial growth in washing machine. Try bio detergent on hottest wash to clean machine. Bacterial biofilms develop in water pipes when water is left standing.

treesntrees Mon 20-May-13 23:09:09

i get this from time to time and find a good glug of Jeys Fluid disinfectant down the outside drain solves the problem for a goodish while. The periods between treatments has extended over the eighteen months I've lived here. Also routinely treat inside drains as well.

Steffanoid Mon 20-May-13 23:19:31

my machine or drains didn't smell before I did this but realised I hadn't cleaned my machine in a while, used a tub of Dr somethings washing machine cleaner -helpful I know, it was by all the vanish products and was about a pound, that might help? it's a little cardboard box

valiumredhead Mon 20-May-13 23:22:10

When you do a service wash you end up dislodging all the smelly gunky stuff-just do a few more and use soda crystals-half a bag in the drum will do.

valiumredhead Mon 20-May-13 23:22:29

Don't use bleach!

KeepYerTitsIn Mon 20-May-13 23:31:21

Why shouldn't bleach be used in the dishwasher? I do this quite regularly and always wonder if I'm doing the right thing.

flow4 Tue 21-May-13 08:35:42

I'd discourage doing this routinely, because all those cleaning chemicals are bad for the environment! It's reasonable to sort out any problem promptly, but pouring chemicals down the drain 'just in case' is not a good idea.

valiumredhead Tue 21-May-13 20:38:18

Because it will froth everywhere and you'll end up with bleach spots on your clothes which is more important than the environment wink wink

ZolaBuddleia Tue 21-May-13 20:47:31

Powder is always less smelly than liquid for me, it doesn't make a residue.

Check where your washer's waste pipe (flexible hose) meets the plastic waste pipe under the sink. It should join from above, rather than reach up to the join from below, this stops any manky water from the sink from doing dishes flowing straight down into your washer and sitting in it. Hope that makes sense.

valiumredhead Tue 21-May-13 20:52:57

It's also the softer that makes it honk. Powder is better all round for keeping it all fresh!

valiumredhead Tue 21-May-13 20:53:16


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