Keep Your Laundry Room Smelling Fresh With These Cleaners and Gadgets

Prevent mold build-up in your washing machine and eliminate any lurking laundry room odors with these top-rated products.

Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money off these affiliate links. Learn more.
January 15, 2021

If your laundry room doesn’t smell as clean as your clean laundry, it might be time for a room refresh. Like a bathroom, the laundry room produces excess moisture, which can lead to that undesirable, overwhelming scent of wet dog meets sweaty gym clothes. Not to worry, we’ve rounded up our favorite solutions for each smelly culprit in the laundry room, best practices and nifty products (some under $5) to ensure your laundry room stays fresh and odor-free. Take a look at our top picks below and get your laundry room back on track.

$89.99 $61
32% Off!

Before you toss your washer or dryer, take a closer look at your dirty clothes hamper. It’s one of the worst odor culprits, especially if you have a cotton or natural straw hamper. Though they may be cute, these hampers absorb water, dirt and oils from dirty clothes. Instead, opt for a stainless steel hamper. This stainless steel hamper from Wayfair has holes for extra ventilation and the fabric insert is machine washable.

The Best Laundry Baskets That Are Stylish and Functional

Stay on top of the endless task of laundry with hampers and baskets that add function and style to your home.

$11.15 (Pack of 6)

Even if you try to keep on top of the hamper situation, it’s no match for gym clothes, sports equipment or the worst: forgotten wet swimsuits left to sour at the bottom of the pile. These little baking soda balls from Arm & Hammer are excellent at preventing smells and moisture. Toss one in the bottom of your hamper and toss another in your gym bag to help curb smells. You can also place them in sneakers and cleats.

$11.99 (Pack of 6)

When was the last time you washed your washing machine? Even a machine built for cleaning has to be cleaned occasionally. There are so many home remedies for cleaning a stinky washer drum, but most new washers or smart washers come with a wash cycle. And if your washer doesn’t have a wash cycle, Affresh has handy cleaning tablets to get the job done and give your washer a deep clean.

$4.63 (Pack of 24)

The drum isn’t always the problem; your washer smell could be coming from the washer door. Front load washers are notorious for trapping water in the rubber seal. Cleaning the rubber folds can be tricky, as you don’t want to stretch the seal with a brush or sponge. Instead, try these wipes from Affresh. It’s the same cleaning power as the tablets, but in handy wipes for those tiny nooks and crannies inside a washer door.

The Home Depot

If a dehumidifier is out of the budget, there’s always baking soda. Yep, that little box in your fridge can help reduce moisture and odors in the laundry room, too. If your space isn’t well ventilated or if the hook-up is in an unfinished basement, try this refillable moisture absorber from Arm & Hammer.

27 Best Problem-Solving Products Under $25

These smart buys solve life's little, annoying problems in a snap. Plus, they're all under $25.

Best Buy

The only way to completely eliminate laundry room odors is to eliminate excess moisture. If your laundry hook-up is in a bathroom, you can use the bathroom fan, but if your laundry room is in a mudroom or basement without a fan, you need a dehumidifier — especially if you live in a region with high humidity. Dehumidifiers can get pricey, but Honeywell has a top-rated model that is perfect for small rooms. And don’t let its compact size fool you. This unit can remove 30 pints of moisture from the air in 24 hours.

$23.90 $20
Grove Collaborative
16% Off!

Once you know you’ve eliminated problem odors and humidity, you can use a linen spray or essential oils to keep your laundry room smelling fresh. We love this essential oil and spray bottle set from Grove Collaborative.

Grove Collaborative

As for your actual laundry smelling fresh, there are a lot of scent boosters on the market, but some can leave a weird residue on clothes like a dryer sheet. Mrs. Meyer’s Laundry Scent Booster is a more natural alternative and the scent options are a lot better. We’re a big fan of basil across all Mrs. Meyer’s products, but you can order several different scents at Grove Collaborative.

$34 $27
20% Off

If you have sensitive skin and scent boosters or dryer sheets irritate you, another option is using essential oils with dryer balls. Love It or List It, Too host Jillian Harris is obsessed with Saje essential oils and she even designed one of their diffusers. The Canadian brand has a cute little dryer ball set with its own essential oil blend “bliss.” I have this scent myself as a rollerball. It’s a little bit citrusy and a little bit sweet.

The Easiest Eco-Friendly, Under-$20 Swap I’ve Made in My Home

It's time to ditch dryer sheets. Reusable wool dryer balls help rid your laundry of synthetic ingredients and dry your clothes faster.

Next Up

This $4 Soap Is the Only Stain Eliminator You'll Ever Need

Zote soap has a cult following for its magical stain-fighting abilities, as well as an infinite and bizarre list of other uses that fans swear by — from mosquito repellant to catfish bait.

7 Best Portable Washing Machines of 2024 for Every Budget

These tiny appliances take a load off without taking up much space.

10 Best Laundry Detergents in 2023, Reviewed by HGTV Editors

Shop our go-to laundry detergents that work hard and smell great.

How to Clean Your Cellphone

Remove bacteria from your phone with these simple steps.

12 Best Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergents

Skip the harsh chemicals and go straight to these extra-gentle, all-natural formulas.

14 Best Laundry Room Ideas and Essentials

Go ahead and add these products to the laundry list of things you never knew you needed.

The Best Clothes Drying Racks

Not all our clothes and linens are made for the dryer. Keep your favorite pieces looking brand new with the right drying rack for your space.

8 Best Clothing Steamers of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

Quickly and efficiently get rid of pesky wrinkles in your clothes — without lugging out the ironing board — with one of these editor-tested and -approved steamers. Plus, learn about the many health benefits of using a clothing steamer on items throughout your home.

9 Best Clothing Irons of 2023

Pressed to find a new iron? Check out our favorite top-rated clothing irons for home and away.

25 Brands You Didn’t Know You Can Shop on Amazon

Take advantage of fast, free shipping — and returns — while still buying our favorite bedding and linens, appliances, kitchenware and more.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.


Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.