We interrupt this scintillating mechanical exploration of washing machine mechanics to bring up a very important matter: why your laundry might stink even after a fresh wash. It may be that your washer is dirty.
Regularly clean the top and door of the washer to prevent the buildup of dirt and detergent. When you wash very linty materials, pull lint from the tub after removing the laundry. Built up lint can keep water and detergent from properly circulating and soap deposits themselves may cause laundry to smell bad. To solve this problem, fill the tub with water and add 1/2 cup of baking soda or 3 cups of white vinegar; then run the machine through the complete wash cycle sans laundry [source: DIY Life]. If the deposits are really bad, wash the inside of the tub with a solution of household ammonia and mild detergent. Rinse thoroughly and wipe the tub with liquid bleach. A word of caution: Rinse the tub thoroughly before wiping it out with bleach. The combination of ammonia and bleach forms a potentially dangerous gas called chloramine. This compound can cause health issues ranging from mild skin irritation to digestive and kidney problems [source: CCAC]
Finally, run the machine through a complete wash cycle before you put any more laundry in. Hopefully, you were able to address your issue with these simple steps.
But if your problem persists, don't despair. In the next section, we'll discuss disassembling the washer for more thorough repairs.