Why Does My Laundry Room Smell Like Rotten Eggs? [4 Solutions]

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Young woman pinching her nose with text overlay stating "Why does my laundry room smell like rotten eggs and what can I do about it"?
The smell of rotten eggs is a sign that there are high levels of hydrogen sulfide in your home.

This can be caused by many different things, but it’s important to take care of this problem as soon as possible because the odor becomes stronger and more difficult to remove over time.

This post will discuss what causes this smell, how it manifests itself in different ways, and how it can be treated at home with natural remedies.

Why Does My Laundry Room Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

The rotten egg smell is caused by the production of hydrogen sulfide gas.

This is a naturally occurring chemical that’s produced by certain types of bacteria, some insects, and even some plants as they break down organic matter.

The smell itself can be very strong in high concentrations but it isn’t usually harmful unless you are very sensitive to the chemicals released by this compound.

The danger comes when the gas is allowed to build up.

Hydrogen sulfide can be fatal in high concentrations and it’s known for its ability to kill people quickly, especially those who are exposed at night while they sleep.

The smell of hydrogen sulfide matches the odor profile of rotten eggs perfectly because it contains sulfur atoms which create this distinct scent when the chemical comes in contact with other elements in the environment.

Where Does Hydrogen Sulfide Come From?

There are many common sources of hydrogen sulfide gas in your home that create this problem, and knowing what causes it will help you treat the issue quickly and effectively.

The most common source is anaerobic bacteria, which thrive when they’re deprived of oxygen.

This usually happens in drains and pipes because these areas are moist, warm, and dark. It can also happen in your washer basin as well as on the floor if there is leakage from the drain.

You should check all of these areas for signs that there is a problem with your plumbing or the washer itself. You will also need to be aware that hydrogen sulfide can enter through any cracks in your walls and floors as well.

When this happens, it usually means something is wrong with the sewer line outside of your home, which allows the gas to seep through the soil and into your laundry room.

Here is a quick list of causes of this problem. Identify the most likely cause so you can get started with getting rid of the smell right away:

  • Sewer line blockage
  • Leaky pipes under the floor or in walls
  • A washing machine that isn’t vented correctly
  • Septic tank problems outside of your home  
  • Mold and mildew buildup in the washing machine

Read on to learn how to treat this problem at home or make a decision to contact a plumber if the project is larger than you had anticipated.

How Do I Get the Smell Out of My Laundry Room?

There are several ways that you can get rid of the rotten egg smell in your washer, which will also help prevent it from coming back.  

Before we discuss these methods though, you should keep in mind that hydrogen sulfide gas is dangerous in high concentrations.

Treat this problem carefully and always wear protective equipment when working with harsh chemicals or any type of mold removal.

Here are some things you can do to treat the source of the smell:

Hand Scrub All Surfaces of Your Washing Machine:

The first step is to scrub all of the surfaces inside your washing machine with a commercial deodorizer or bleach.

You can use gloves and protective eyewear if you like, but this isn’t usually necessary if you’re very careful and don’t stay in the laundry room for too long.

Make sure to get all of the hard-to-reach areas where extra mold, mildew, and bacteria may be lurking. Washing the floors as well and under the washing machine if possible will help reduce the odor as well.

Remove Any Scum Build Up with Vinegar

While cleaners and bleach are great for disinfecting, vinegar is best for removing buildup. If you get rid of scum in your washer, bacteria won’t have a place to grow and your machine will be easier to clean in the future.

Pour one cup of distilled white vinegar into the washer and run it for a full cycle.

This will kill mold spores and bacteria so you can prevent them from making your laundry room smell like rotten eggs again in the future.

You can also remove the rotten egg smell from clothing in the washer as long as you dilute it with one cup of water first.

Clean and De-clog Your Drain Line

Blockages happen because of the buildup of soap scum, dirt, and lint.

An important part of getting rid of this issue is cleaning out any blockage that may be preventing water from draining properly.

This can help reduce the amount of bacteria that is present in your home and allow you to continue using your washer without any problems.

In order to unclog your washer, you’ll need to first remove the waterline. Next, use a wire hanger or an auger tool (if you have one) to unblock your drain and sewer lines.

If this doesn’t work for some reason, try using boiling hot water instead of cold so that it will melt any blockages in the pipe.

You should follow up by cleaning out your drain line by pouring a bleach solution down the waterline to keep things sanitary moving forward.

If blockages are still causing problems after you’ve done this, then it may be time to call a plumber.

Check Out Your Pipes and Drains

Let’s talk about checking the drains in your home for any issues that may be allowing hydrogen sulfide gas into your laundry room.

Test each of these items by pouring a small amount of water down the pipes and seeing what happens.

If the water drains slowly or doesn’t drain at all, this is a sign that you may have a blockage.

You may also notice a leak or crack in your pipe, which can allow gas to leak into your home. You can go ahead and repair these problems if you know how to, or hire a plumber to do it for you.

Final Thoughts

Although it’s unpleasant when your laundry room smells like rotten eggs, it’s not uncommon. Luckily, it is pretty easy to solve the problem and prevent it from happening in the future.

Make sure to be safe when working with harsh chemicals and do not go into the laundry room for several hours after using bleach or any other type of cleaner if you can avoid it. Keep children and pets out of the area.

If, at any point in this process, your laundry room smells like rotten eggs again, try repeating these steps before checking out anything else. The problem may just be that there is still something stuck or dirty that needs attention!


About Emma

Hey there! I'm Emma. When I'm not wrangling kids I like to walk aimlessly around hardware stores and watch HGTV for hours on end.