I thoroughly enjoy cleaning every inch of my house, even as a child I used to run around following my mum while she hoovered (to the point where she bought me a toy version).

Now, I would say it’s turned into a hobby and I am here for it (no grime or mould covered surface is a chore for me).

I find it therapeutic and it genuinely makes me feel on top of the world when I can sit down at night and admire everything sparkling clean around me.

Unlike most, my social media apps are constantly inundated with cleaning hacks, from viral floor brushes to oddly shaped dust busters (no Beyoncé posts on my ‘for you’ pages).

@renovation_44 Does your washing machine smell? Use this quick hack - Toss lemon halves into your empty washer and run the washer on speed wash with very hot water. After the cycle is finished, you have a fresh smelling washer - and for very little cost. 🍋 #laundryhacks #cleaninghacksthatwork #cleaninghacks #laundrytips #cleaning #cleanwithme ♬ original sound - Renovation_44

Many get sucked into adverts for clothes and new in food products, but show me some kind of a magic cloth and I will order 10.

But my obsession with being in the know with the latest trending cleaning tips and tricks has certainly paid off this time.

I currently live in a rented property and when I moved into my first post-uni house, I was grateful for the already installed washing machine.

But over time, I’ve discovered it’s not the best working appliance and trying to keep one of the world’s worst smells at bay has become tiring.

The Northern Echo: Can a lemon and bit of toothpaste really transform your washing machine?Can a lemon and bit of toothpaste really transform your washing machine? (Image: Newsquest)

I’ve tried all sorts of products at various prices to target different parts and while some might get rid of it after a few washes, it always comes back.

However, enough was enough and I refused to put up with a smell I can only describe as a rotting-something blasting me in the face every time I opened the washing machine door.

So I turned to trusty TikTok, to see what the millions of Stacey Solomon and Mrs Hinch fans recommended.

How do I get rid of a bad smell in my washing machine?

The Northern Echo: This is the cheapest method I've found to get rid of a bad washing machine smellThis is the cheapest method I've found to get rid of a bad washing machine smell (Image: Newsquest)

I came across a video showing someone cleaning their washing machine drum with a lemon and toothpaste – that’s it.

It seemed so ridiculous I thought part of the video was missing, but I soon realised it really was that simple.

Knowing I had these everyday items in my house and it wasn’t going to require any effort, I decided to give it a go, even if I did feel very silly.

I chopped a lemon in half (Suntrail Farms pack of four lemons costs 65p or 16p each at Tesco) and squirted a swirl of toothpaste on each lemon (I will disclose I didn’t use my usual expensive toothpaste for this).

The Northern Echo: I didn't even find mashed up lemon inside my washing machineI didn't even find mashed up lemon inside my washing machine (Image: Newsquest)

Then I chucked it into the washing machine and put it on a quick wash.

I watched the water arrive inside as the lemons bashed about and the toothpaste foamed up.

When the cycle ended, I opened the door and the smell was literally, like a breath of fresh air.

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The citrus and mint smell combined was heavenly – but will it stay?

Well, it’s been a few days now and I have done three washes and the ghastly smell is yet to come back.

Although the fresh scent has gone, it has banished the rotting odour I had become so used to inside my washing machine and it feels terribly satisfying.