What’s that smell? 3 appliances you didn’t even know you needed to clean

HOUSTON – Christmas is over, and the New Year is around the corner. It’s time to get your home ready for a fresh start. Sometimes no matter how much you clean, there are smells you can’t seem to eliminate.

John Lassen, owner of Appliances Made Perfect or AMP Repair, said there are three places most homeowners don't even know they need to clean.

Your washing machine

1) Front loaders:

If you've got a front-loading washing machine, the rubber seal just inside the door needs regular cleaning to prevent mold and mildew growth. If you already have some, Lassen says you can tuck a white vinegar-soaked rag inside the rubber boot. Leave it there between 2 to 4 hours. That softens up the mildew so that you can use a kitchen brush and scrub it away.

When you're not using the washer, leave the door open so it can air out.

Also, when was the last time you checked your washing machine's trap? It's designed to catch coins, hair, bobby pins and other stuff mixed in with your laundry. Lassen says you should clean it about once a month. If you don't know where to find your washing machine's trap, you can Google the make and model of your machine to find it online.

2) Top loading washing machines

These can also get stinky from mold growth in places you can't see.

Here is Lassen's recipe to nix those nasty smells:

Set your washer on the heaviest load cycle on hot. When the tub fills up, pour in 4 cups of bleach and let it run through the full cycle. Rinse and repeat to rinse out any bleach. Repeat the whole thing using 2 cups of vinegar to remove any calcium build-up that you can't see.

3) Dishwasher

This appliance also has a trap that catches bits of food. You should remove it and clean it under hot water, scrubbing it with a toothbrush.

After you clean the filter, you can clean the entire dishwasher with 2 cups of vinegar.

First, run your water until it’s hot from the tap. Set your dishwasher on the hottest setting and press start. Your dishwasher will go through a drain cycle in about 2 minutes. When the wash cycle starts, open the dishwasher and pour in 2 cups of white vinegar. Close the door and press the start button again and let the entire cycle run.