The gunk hiding in a secret part of your washing machine - and it’s not the filter

An Aussie mum has stunned Facebook users after sharing photos of the dirt hiding in a secret part of your top-loader washing machine.

Posting on a popular Facebook page, mum Michelle said she made the gruesome discovery while looking for the source of an “awful mould smell” in her laundry.

Despite cleaning the second-hand washing machine, Michelle said it was only when she pulled out the agitator and the drum of the appliance that she found the hidden dirt that had been causing the “swamp like” stench.

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The agitator is the spindle the runs in the centre of a top-loading washing machine’s wash drum, and can be removed in many makes and models for cleaning and repairs.

But while Michelle said she’s pulled apart and cleaned many washing machines before, she’s “never seen anything” the gunk she found in this appliance.

As a result, she’s now warning others to check their own machines to avoid nasty build-ups.

“Check and clean your washing machine agitator!” Michelle wrote on the Mums Who Clean page.

“I had the most awful mould smell in my laundry. I scrubbed the dryer, put in new damp rid canisters, left the back door open to air it all out, did a bowl clean of the washing machine, scrubbed the floors and it still smelled!

“I found the one hell of a dirty culprit! We bought a second hand washing machine as ours blew up. Pulled the agitator out, and holy mother of god - never seen anything like it.

“I didn’t stop there. Pulled the inner drum out and it literally smelt like swamp mud (Shrek would have even vomited!)

The gunk hiding in a secret part of your washing machine - and it’s not the filter

“The drum got hit with the pressure washer as it was well beyond a hand wash, and I scrubbed the the beejeezus out of everything else with hot water and vinegar.

“I replaced the agitator with our old one as it was beyond my patience (thank God I kept it!). It’s now on a bowl clean with a couple of dishwasher tablets.

“Never have I seen a washing machine sooo gross in my life (I often pull mine all apart for a good clean). Looking forward to getting a new one very soon.”

Hundreds of Facebook users were blown away by the post, with many saying they had no idea that the agitator could be removed and cleaned.

“I didn’t even know you could take out the inner drum. You have blown my mind,” said one.

Added another: “Damn! I know what I’m going to do today. I never knew you could do that!”

Said a third: “Oh my goodness, never knew this came off!”

But others said they had cleaned their machine’s agitator in the past, saying they learned how to pull them out of their washing machines on YouTube.

“Yes I have done this on a few machines now, taken the whole bowl out,” said one.

“It’s amazing (and disgusting) how filthy the outside of the bowl can get! And no wonder the clothes end up coming out dirty instead of clean!”

Added another: “Mine broke a few years back and was gross when I pulled it out.

“Fisher & Paykel recommended a ‘hot’ and ‘high level’ was once a month and they say it will keep it clean and new forever. They also say you can add cleaning products or disinfectant to this cycle.”

Said one more: “It’s really easy [to remove an agitator] - check it out, You tube is your best friend.”

Editor’s note: Please consult with a professional before undertaking tasks with appliances around your home.