rotten egg smell in the clothes washer??

I apologize if there’s a website I could have gone to get the help I need- but here I am, at your mercy. For several weeks we’ve noticed a hydrogen sulfide smell in the room where the washing machine is. I dumped a bit of bleach down the pipe where the washer’s effluent goes, but that didn’t have any effect. If I open the top of the washer and take a whiff - whoooee - I can smell it. I worry that the odor is evidence of some bacterial infestation someplace. We use the washer a lot - a LOT. At least once per day. My wife has had an upper respiratory infection for about a month, too. So, now I’m wondering what we’re raising in there and how it’s affecting us. Any plumbular ideas for us? thanks

ah, crud - my title should read “in the clothes washer” doofus

Quick…get someone in to check this…it could be any number of things, NONE OF THEM GOOD…and mold and other toxic crap growing/oozing out is very dangerous and could be life-threatening. Mold is one of the most serious dangers currently affecting homes in the US today! Try a Google check and get ready to be surprised at what you find.
Most likely it will be something that is not dangerous and easily fixed, but it will be worth the $$ to have someone come out and check it.

I’d wonder where the Sulfur for H[sub]2[/sub]S was coming from, devulcanizing rubber ? If it’s bacteria, running the machine through a hot cycle with plenty of bleach should fix it. On the other hand, if one of the numerous gaskets is overheating and releasing H[sub]2[/sub]S-like odors, the smell should be strongest immediateley after you run the machine. On the other hand, that makes 3 :D, you may have a slime/mold infestation around a leaky gasket. The washer at the top of the tub has gone loose on my washer, and it allows water to get down where it’s not supposed to go. There’s nothing much growing there yet, but I plan to replace the gasket before things get out of hand.

Are you washing with hot water? The smell is most likely being caused by your hot water heater. Here’s a home improvment article that explains how. The problem can be solved by having a plumber add chlorine to the hot water tank.

Sorry, forgot to add, that if the problem is a corroded anode, that will have to be replaced. If oyu rplumber is local he/she should know what type is appropriate for your water supply. The smell may be unpleasant, but it is not harmful.

Evil - thanks, but DNA. #1 - there is a building water heater which serves 10 units - no one else has the problem. #2 - we wash and rinse with cold. (Except right now I’m running a load of hot with bleach - re: Squink).

Okay, chances are that the hot air duct (that tube running out the back that shuttles the warm, moist air out of the machine) is clogged with lint that got through the lint trap. It’s retaining moisture and growing bacteria.

You’ll have to pull the dryer away from the wall, disconnect that hose-thing, take a flashlight and peer down it and see if it’s clogged. If so you may be able to clear out the clog by hand or with a wire clothes hanger.

If the problem is in the clothes WASHER, not DRYER, a rotten-egg smell sounds a lot like sewer gas. Check the drain. Is a trap properly installed? Is anything causing back-pressure? If so, no amount of bleach wash will fix it.

Could be a mouse that crawled into the dryer vent hose and died?

Updated thread title.