5 things people with nice-smelling laundry rooms never do

Our experts share the most common mistakes avoided by people with fresh-smelling laundry rooms

three image split hero of laundry rooms
(Image credit: Davenport / Future PLC / Neptune)

Giving your laundry room some attention in terms of organizing and cleaning is a great way to improve your living space. While these rooms rarely get as much consideration as main living spaces, such as the kitchen, living room, and bedrooms, they are a place where dust and humidity can come together to create some major messes if we aren't diligent.

Laundry rooms play host to a wide variety of items that can cause odors, from damp clothing and linen to stained towels. The washing machines and dryers themselves can also contribute to the release of bad odors if not kept clean.

In the world of laundry, a little care goes a long way. Regular cleaning rituals elevate the space beyond a mere chore hub and keep a laundry room organized effectively. There are many things we do to keep our laundry rooms smelling fresh and a few things to avoid.

5 things people with nice-smelling laundry rooms never do 

Laundry rooms are an essential space for doing laundry and storing clothes and linens. Below are common pitfalls you should avoid to keep your laundry room smelling nice. 

A modern Davonport laundry room with dark blue cabinetry, sleek white floors, floating shelves, and a door to the right

(Image credit: Davonport)

1. Overuse detergent

More isn't always better, especially when it comes to detergent. Using more might seem like an extra defense against dirt, but in reality, it can leave behind a soapy residue on your clothes and in your washing machine, contributing to musty odors. 

The same can be said with fabric softener – avoid using excessive amounts of fabric softener to prevent overwhelming smells. Those with aromatic laundry rooms understand the importance of moderation. They use just enough fabric softener to provide a subtle, pleasing fragrance that enhances the freshness of the laundry without overwhelming the senses. This approach creates a more inviting and calming atmosphere, as opposed to an environment dominated by a strong and artificial scent.

Even though people with nice-smelling laundry rooms do not overuse detergent, that does not mean they do not use high-quality products. Quality biodegradable detergent from Amazon is their secret weapon for a laundry room that smells as fresh as a summer breeze.

2. Put off cleaning their appliances

Laundry room storage ideas featuring wall mounted shelving and wicker baskets in an all white scheme.

(Image credit: Paul Raeside/Future)

Maintaining your washing machine and dryer is another thing that shouldn't be overlooked. Regular cleaning of these hardworking appliances ensures they perform optimally, contributing to a consistently fresh and welcoming laundry room ambiance.

One common mistake that people with nice-smelling laundry rooms never make is to forget about the link trap. Neglecting the lint trap allows dust to settle in and around your laundry room. ‘Disregarding the lint trap may seem minor, but its impact on your laundry room's atmosphere is significant,’ says cleaning specialist Janille Mangat

‘Consistently cleaning the lint trap not only prevents musty odors but also guarantees the efficient drying of your clothes, maintaining a clean and functional laundry space.’

By removing lint from dryer vents, cleaning lint traps, and running washing machine cleaning cycles, you're not just taking care of these key appliances but also maintaining an environment of cleanliness and pleasant scents.

Janille Mangat

Janille Mangat has been working as a cleaning specialist at VMAP services for more than 2 years and has extensive experience with residential and cleaning services. 

3. Leave laundry sitting

People with fresh-smelling laundry rooms don’t let clean laundry sit in the machines for too long. ‘Damp clothes can quickly turn into a breeding ground for mildew,’ says Shayne Jeramos, cleaning specialist at Bright Cleaners. ‘Promptly transferring clothes to the dryer or hanging them up prevents mildew smells.’

If you are doing a lot of laundry in one go you can increase your drying capacity with the TRAGLO Heated Drying Rack from Amazon. This electric drying rack is lightweight and allows you to dry clothes inside when the weather is too wet or if you have items that are too delicate for the dryer.

Shayne Jeramos
Shayne Jeramos

Shayne Jeramos has been a cleaning specialist at Bright Cleaners for over 2 years and has extensive experience with residential and cleaning services. 

4. Overload the washing machine

washing machine with cabinets and sink

(Image credit: Future PLC)

According to Angela Rubin, owner of Hellamaid, overloading the washing machine is a common mistake that compromises the effectiveness of the cleaning process. 

When too many clothes are crammed into the machine, water and detergent struggle to reach all surfaces, leading to inadequate cleaning. This not only affects the cleanliness of the laundry but can also contribute to lingering odors. 

People with fresh-smelling laundry rooms prioritize smaller loads, allowing for better water circulation and detergent distribution. This approach ensures that each garment receives the attention it needs, resulting in a more thorough clean, and a lasting, pleasant scent.

Angela Rubin
Angela Rubin

Hellamaid is an award-winning cleaning company in Canada that's been featured on multiple global media brands. 

5. Neglect regular cleaning and organization

yellow and green laundry room with tongue and groove

(Image credit: Original BTC)

Cleaning expert Prerna Jain suggests that the organization and cleanliness of the laundry space play a crucial role in maintaining a consistently pleasant scent. Accumulated clutter can trap moisture, leading to musty odors.

People with delightful-smelling laundry rooms prioritize regular decluttering and organization. This includes keeping laundry products neatly stored, ensuring proper ventilation, and cleaning the washing machine and surrounding areas.

A well-maintained laundry environment allows the chosen fragrances to flourish, contributing to a consistently fresh-smelling space that enhances the overall laundry experience.

Prerna Jain
Prerna Jain

Prerna Jain is the founder of Ministry Of Cleaning, a top-rated cleaning service with years of industry experience. 


How often should you clean the lint trap on your dryer?

Ideally, you should clean the lint filter between every batch of clothes you place in the dryer. If you get into the habit of removing lint on every batch, you can reduce the amount of lint and dust that builds up in the dryer and causes a musty smell.

By following these expert tips, you can maintain a nice-smelling laundry room that enhances the overall freshness of your home. Regular cleaning, proper storage, and good laundry practices are key to achieving a pleasant scent in this important area of your house. 

Seraphina Di Mizzurati
Contributing Editor

Seraphina is a contributing editor at Homes & Gardens, writing Solved features on organizing and storage. She loves to decorate and also grow her own produce from her home in London. Her previous experience includes working at Women's Health and Fabulous Magazine.