For years, Savage, Minnesota resident Paul Flynn would go into people’s homes as an appliance repairman to eliminate odors from washing machines.
After seeing the problem over and over again, Flynn came up with a way to fix the problem that didn’t require him to take the machine apart by creating a product called SmellyWasher.
Recalling some concoctions he used to clean submarine parts while in the Navy, Flynn mixed ingredients together to eliminate the smell. About four years ago, he and a few others sat around his kitchen table pouring the mixture into plastic baggies and sending it to customers around the world.
Now SmellyWasher has grown so fast it’s the best-selling cleaning product sold worldwide in Ace Hardware stores.
His hometown Newspaper, The Savage Pacer writes:
Washing machines emit foul odors primarily because of poor washing habits, Flynn said.
Mold and mildew build up in the machine from using too much detergent, fabric softener and inappropriate water temperatures.
“It’s all our fault,” he said. “People don’t like to use less detergent. When they notice a smell, their first reaction is to add more detergent or fabric softener. That’s just exacerbating the problem … It’s up to us to change our washing habits. We can’t change the environment: washing machines are damp and dark. The only thing we can change is the food sources for the mold and germs to grow.”
Laundry loads don’t require more than a tablespoon of detergent, Flynn said. Using more is excessive and the residue builds up in the machine. Then when fabric softener is added during the rinse cycle, it also gets trapped and builds up.
Other “common sense” solutions, like using bleach or leaving the door open, also make the problem worse, he said.
“Bleach and vinegar will get some things out, but it will also leave a base for germs to build off of,” he said. “Leaving the door open increases air flow and makes it worse.”
Front-loading washers are even worse, Flynn said in terms of odor, because they have a larger tub, use less water and people use too much detergent.
SmellyWasher is a citrus-based mix of natural ingredients that removes the smell. It’s can also be used as a booster to maintain the cleanliness of the tub. The 24 ingredients are safe and all natural he said.
The idea for creating a mixture to fix the problem came from an experience Flynn had when he was in the Navy for four years. On one particular filed day, he ran short on cleaning supplies. A petty officer took him to the galley and showed him some combinations of regular items “that would do the job in a pinch,” he said.“I’m proud to say it’s an adaptation of that formula,” Flynn said. “I remembered it working well and relied on that when creating SmellyWasher.”