Eliminating bad smells from your dryer: 5 Steps to get it fresh again.

Written by David Lewis
6 Min read
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What causes burning smells in dryers?

Dryers are designed to stop bad smells from forming, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. If you’re experiencing a burning smell emanating from your appliance, there could be a few potential causes. The best way to narrow down the potential culprit is to pay attention to the type of smell and when it occurs. Read on to find out more about the possible sources of burning smells in dryers, and how to deal with them.

Mold growth in the dryer

Mold growth can cause musty odors and can even discolor clothes. This is often caused by contamination from the washer, and requires a deep clean to get rid of. Using white vinegar to clean your dryer helps to both remove the mold and deodorize the area. Be sure to thoroughly inspect your machine to make sure there are no lingering patches of mold left behind.

Condensation dryers and stagnant water

Condensation dryers are typically not vented, which means that the water extracted from the clothes has to be emptied out. If this is not done regularly, or if there is a blockage of some kind, the stagnant water can start to create unpleasant smells. Check the back to see if the water needs to be emptied. Doing so should help to freshen things up.

Lint blockage in the heating element

If you’ve recently purchased a new dryer, there’s a chance that the burning smell is not actually burning at all. It’s possible that bits of lint have reached the heating element, causing an acrid smell similar to burning. If this is the case, the easiest way to fix the problem is to check the lint filter – is there an excess buildup of debris? Are any blockages present that could restrict airflow?

Putrid smells and animal corpses

A putrid smell coming from the dryer is a fairly strong indicator that something is amiss. Unfortunately, it’s usually due to an animal corpse becoming stuck in the vent system and needing to be professionally removed. In order to avoid this happening in the future, it’s important to keep the outside vent opening clear, and to take preventative measures such as placing wire mesh over the openings.

clothes dryer emitting bad smells

How can I get rid of the musty smell in my dryer?

Using white vinegar to clean your machine helps to both remove the mold and deodorize the area. Be sure to thoroughly inspect your machine to make sure there are no lingering patches of mold left behind.

Is it possible to remove mold from a dryer?

Yes, using white vinegar to clean your dryer helps to both remove the mold and deodorize the area. Be sure to thoroughly inspect your machine to make sure there are no lingering patches of mold left behind.

How do I check if my dryer has a blockage in the lint filter?

The easiest way to check for a lint filter blockage is to inspect the lint filter – is there an excess buildup of debris? Are any blockages present that could restrict airflow?

Could a burning smell in my new dryer be caused by lint?

Yes, it’s possible that bits of lint have reached the heating element, causing an acrid smell similar to burning. If this is the case, the easiest way to fix the problem is to check the lint filter – is there an excess buildup of debris? Are any blockages present that could restrict airflow?

What could be causing a putrid smell in my dryer?

A putrid smell coming from the dryer is usually due to an animal corpse becoming stuck in the vent system and needing to be professionally removed. In order to avoid this happening in the future, it’s important to keep the outside vent opening clear, and to take preventative measures such as placing wire mesh over the openings.

Are condensation dryers prone to bad smells?

Yes, condensation dryers that are not vented may need to be emptied of water that has been extracted from the clothes. Stagnant water can create bad smells in the dryer.

How can I prevent animals from entering my dryer vent?

In order to avoid animals entering your vent, it’s important to keep the outside vent opening clear, and to take preventative measures such as placing wire mesh over the openings.

Expert Tip:

To ensure your dryer is running at its peak performance, make sure to regularly clean the lint trap and the interior of your drum. This helps to prevent blockages in the lint filter and also helps to reduce the prospect of having an animal corpse become stuck in the vent system. Keeping your dryer clean has numerous benefits, so it’s worth making it a part of your regular maintenance routine.

What causes squeaks and rattles in a dryer?

Squeaks and rattles in a dryer are usually caused by loose parts or other issues that require attention. If you notice these sounds occurring, it’s important to investigate the potential causes before attempting any repairs. It could be a build-up of lint or debris causing an obstruction, or just a loose bolt causing friction. Be sure to inspect your dryer regularly, using the manufacturer’s guidelines, to ensure it is running as efficiently as possible.

Pretreating clothes

The best way to keep your dryer running smoothly and to prevent bad odors is to pretreat clothes before placing them in the machine. Use a good quality detergent and consider using fabric softener to make sure that dirt, grime and body oils are thoroughly removed from the clothes. This means less chance of bad smells developing.

How to reduce the energy consumption

Dryers take up a lot of energy in order to run, so there are a few things you can do to reduce the amount of power you’re using. Cleaning the lint filter after every load will help to improve airflow, allowing for better heat exchange and reducing the overall power consumed. Additionally, you should use the lowest heat setting possible – this will help to reduce energy consumption while still ensuring your clothes come out dry.

Preventing static cling

Static cling is a common problem that many users have to deal with. Fortunately, it’s easy to prevent static cling from forming in the first place. The simplest way to do this is to add a few tennis balls to your loads. This adds extra weight to the fabric, which helps to reduce the amount of friction between the fibers and the inside of the machine.

Signs that you need to replace your dryer

There are certain telltale signs that you need to replace your dryer. If it’s more than 10 years old, or if it’s taking longer than usual to dry clothes, it’s worth considering an upgrade. If you’re continuously having to get it repaired, then this could also be a sign that a new machine is needed. Replacement parts can often be expensive, further adding to the cost of the repair.

Frequent maintenance and regular cleaning

Regular maintenance is key to ensure that your dryer runs efficiently and safely. This includes checking the lint filter after each use and giving the whole machine a deep clean at least once a year. It’s also important to make sure that the machine is properly vented, if necessary, and to look out for any signs of excessive wear & tear or malfunctions.

Built-in temperature control for sensitive fabric

Most dryers come with adjustable temperature settings, so you can opt for a cooler setting if you’re drying delicate items such as wool or cashmere. Additionally, some machines offer ‘low-heat’ or ‘cool-air’ settings for those items that are more sensitive. This helps to keep your clothes looking new and fresh for longer.

Stacking washers and dryers

Stacking washers and dryers can help to save space in small apartments and other living areas. In order to stack the machines, you need to purchase a specific stacking kit and mount it above the washer, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure that the machines are properly secured and level, as an unbalanced appliance can be dangerous.

Protective gloves when cleaning the drum

When cleaning the drum, it’s important to wear protective gloves to guard against cuts and scrapes. This is especially important when you’re dealing with an older model that might have sharp edges. If you opt for a chemical cleaner, also be sure to wear a mask, as the fumes can be hazardous.

Bad smells can be caused by mold growth, stagnant water, lint blockage in the heating element, animal corpses caught in vents or detergent residues. To prevent these common issues and ensure a long-life, it’s important to clean your appliance regularly, pretreat clothes before use, check the lint filter after each use and protect the outside vent opening with wire mesh. Additionally, you should make sure to use the lowest heat setting possible and consider purchasing a stacking kit for small living areas.

Appliances made simple. 

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