How to get rid of dryer odors (2023)

What's that smell coming out of your dryer? Normally your dryer smells very pleasant after use. However, lately you've been smelling strange odors that are making your dryer and clothes stink after each use. What is that weird smell coming out of your dryer and how do you remove a terrible smell from a dryer? Read on to discover the ideal dryer odor eliminator for you.

What Causes Bad Odors in a Dryer?

If your dryer doesn't smell like laundry, there can be several reasons. Let's look at some of the main reasons for bad smells in your dryer.

Put soiled clothes in the washing machine

Shouldn't all the clothes you put in the dryer be clean? All the same, if youOnlywashed, they should be, right? However, the problem can be how you store clothes before washing. If you walk into your laundry room and catch a whiff of soiled socks and gym clothes, chances are you're not allowing the soiled clothes to air dry before putting them in the washer and then the dryer.

In addition, you may need to use the right detergent designed for clothes that trap a lot of bacteria, such as: B. Training equipment. If you continue to notice strange odors after washing your workout clothes, it's a good idea to wash them separately with an anti-odor detergent such as:Active Wear Detergent & Soak.

Too much fluff

Although your dryer may have a label advising you to remove accumulated lint after each drying cycle, it's sometimes easy to forget to do so. The accumulation of lint on the lint filter can cause the terrible smell.

(Video) Why Does My Dryer Smell? How to Clean a Dryer

Lint is a combination of soap, clean fibers and dirt that collects on clothes, leaving them unclean. If the lint filter is full every time you dry, it will block the airflow and cause mold to grow. That unusual smell developing could be what you're smelling from your dryer.

Leave wet clothes in the dryer

Another reason for a weird smell coming from your dryer? The laundry is not completely dry and has been in the dryer for days. Of course, there is nothing wrong with putting your clothes in the dryer from time to time - as long as they are not damp. However, if several days after using the dryer you remember that your clothes are still in the dryer but not completely dried, it is quite possible that this is leaving a stench in your clothes and your dryer.

Make sure your clothes are completely dried on each drying cycle to minimize mold and mildew growth. Also, do not leave your wet garments in the washing machine for more than 12 hours before drying them as this can also trigger mold growth.

Your washing machine may be dirty

Over time, the lines to your washing machine can become clogged with dirt, mold, and other debris that can smell bad. As a result, the water going into your washing machine may not be as fresh as it should be. Additionally, other odors can be trapped in your washing machine due to soiled items you've washed in the past, soap scum, and other types of buildup. To prevent these odors from being transferred to your dryer, it's a good idea to knowHow to clean your washing machine.

Dead animals can be caught

If you've made sure you're using the right amount of detergent and there's no lint in the filter, but you still smell a bit foul, it might not be your dryer itself. Instead, a critter might have found its way into the lines, to make a home and died in the process. Now an odor will flow through the pipes into your dryer, so your machine and clothes will stink after drying.

(Video) Dryer Smell Issue

As a result, your odor issues may not even be in your dryer. If you're doing everything you can to avoid problems with odors from your dryer inside the house, check outside to see if that's the source of the stink. Outdoor vents that allow the heat and exhaust air from your dryer to escape can become a haven for mice and other rodents, especially in winter. If, despite cleaning your lint filters and dryer, you continue to notice a foul smell, bring your attention to this area of ​​the house.

To get rid of rodents in your dryer ducts, it's a good idea to remove them or give one a callProfessional air duct cleaning. After you've removed the dead animal and cleaned the vent, it may be a good idea to install oneVentilation cover for the outdoor dryerto prevent living beings from getting back inside.

Your dryer may be experiencing technical problems

Although most odors you will encounter are associated with body odors or mold, there may be times when the dryer itself gives off an odor. This could be the metal or rubber smell that indicates a mechanical problem with the dryer that could eventually cause a fire. If these are the types of odors you smell coming from your dryer, it might be time to call a technician to service your dryer.

If servicing doesn't solve the problem, it may be best to replace your dryer with a new one, e.gEnergy Star Smart White Stackable Electric Dryer with Disinfection Cycle.

How to clean a smelly dryer

The best dryer odor eliminator is cleaning. Once it's sparkling clean, you can incorporate preventive measures. Follow these steps to solve the problem.

(Video) My Clothes Smell Funny After Coming Out of the Dryer : Removing Smells From Clothes

Tools You May Need

Materials you may need

Step One: Get rid of the lint

You have to open all the different dryer compartments. Begin by removing the lint from the front lint filter. You can scrape it off with your hand or use a stiff-bristled hand brush to remove the excess lint.

Next, use a vacuum hose or dryer vent cleaner to suck up the debris in the filter holder and dryer hose. You'll also need to clear the lint from the pipes in the wall that lead outside. You can also hire an air duct cleaning service to handle this part of the maintenance.

Step Two: Clean the dryer drum

Once you've solved your lint problem, turn your attention to the inside of the dryer. Mix a solution of one part vinegar or bleach to two parts water in a bucket or empty spray bottle. Dampen a towel with the solution and wipe the inside of the drum, the door, and the rubber seal.

Leave the door open and let the solution dry completely. Then take a clean towel lightly dampened with water and wipe away any residue of the cleaning solution. Repeat if necessary. After you're done, leave the dryer door open again for about 30 minutes to air dry the interior.

Step three: clean the exterior

While this step isn't necessary to prevent odors, if the outside of your dryer is dusty, it's a good idea to vacuum it and the areas around it. Then repeat Step Two on the exterior surfaces and allow the exterior to air dry.

(Video) Why Do My Clothes Smell Bad Coming Out of the Dryer?

This way you avoid dryer smells

Whatever the cause of the stench, it's smart to make these tips a part of your regular washing routine and you'll have a clean-smelling machine at all times.

Do not overload the machine

While this may seem obvious, this rule of thumb can slip out the door when you're in a hurry and have a lot of laundry to do. Avoid packing too much in a load, especially heavy items like towels, jeans, and blankets.

Even if you have a high-capacity washer and dryer, such as aSamsung 5.2cu. ft. Intelligent high-efficiency top-loading washing machineand theSamsung 7.4cu. ft. Vented Electric Dryer, clothing, and other items may still not come out as clean as needed. Instead, break the load up into a few smaller ones to ensure all items are thoroughly washed and rinsed and given adequate airflow to dry completely.

Clean the lint filter

Start good dryer hygiene by emptying the lint filter after each use. Occasionally use a vacuum hose to remove any excess lint that may have accumulated in the compartment where the lint filter is located. Or you buy oneDryer Vent Cleanerto keep these compartments lint free.

Another important habit to learn?Clean the vacuum dryer channelwhich connects the dryer to the outside exhaust air at least once a year. This can fill up with lint and dirt and contribute to and possibly cause poor airflowhouse fires. Taking the time to remove caked lint from your dryer can not only make your clothes smell better, but also protect your loved ones and valuables.

(Video) Washing Machine - Laundry Room Smell / Odor

Rethink the products you use

Everyone wants their clothes, towels and accessories to smell amazing when they get them out of the dryer. But these great-smelling products can contain residue that can make your dryer smell weird.

To minimize odors from your dryer, try switching to one ofour best detergentsthat leaves no residue on your clothes. If you have a lot of soiled towels to wash with residue from cleaning products or car oils and fluids, it may be advisable to use a specialty detergent such as3D Towel Kleen Concentrated Microfiber Towel Wash. Or, if you prefer a detergent made from plant-based products that are good for the environment, consider using itSeventh generation concentrated detergent.

It can also be a good idea to throw away the dryer sheets or fabric softener to minimize the residue they leave in your dryer. Instead, consider using vinegar or baking soda as an alternative.


How do I get rid of a strong smell in my dryer? ›

Vinegar is a natural and inexpensive way to eliminate odors by removing odor-causing bacteria, rather than just covering up the smell. Simply dip a cloth in a bowl of vinegar and wipe down the inside of the dryer.

Why won't my dryer stop smelling? ›

The most common cause of a burning smell coming from your dryer is when the lint filter gets clogged. This not only causes a burning smell, but it's also extremely dangerous, as it can start a fire. Most manufacturers recommend that you clean the filter out after every use to avoid this from happening.

Why does my dryer still smell? ›

If the inside of your dryer is clean, but it still smells, the problem may be with your dryer vent. Start by unplugging your dryer and disconnecting the vent. Use a lint brush to clean out any lint built up in the vent. You can also use a vacuum to remove any lint that's difficult to reach.

How do you clean the inside of a dryer? ›

If your dryer is electric, rub the drum with a soft cloth dipped in warm water and dish soap. For a gas dryer, wipe down the inside with a liquid, nonflammable household cleaner. Then, for gas or electric, wipe out the drum with a wet sponge or towel and tumble a load of clean clothes or towels to dry the drum.

How do you deodorize a dryer with baking soda? ›

Soak a plain white towel or two in cold water and a generous amount of baking soda and run them through your dryer on its lowest setting. This should remove the mold smell, the bleach or vinegar smell and any dried bleach on the dryer's surface.

What can you use to clean the inside of a dryer drum? ›

Clean your dryer drum

For an electric dryer, rub the drum with a soft cloth that has been dipped in a mild hand-wash dish soap diluted in very warm water. For a gas dryer, do the same with a liquid, nonflammable household cleaner.

Can you spray Lysol in dryer? ›

NEVER spray any cleaning solution directly into the dryer as the residue may get into the drum holes and damage the dryer or cause a serious fire hazard!

How do I know if my dryer vent is clogged? ›

The Warning Signs and Dangers of Clogged Dryer Vents
  1. It takes longer than usual to dry your clothes. ...
  2. You notice a burning smell. ...
  3. Your clothes are hot to the touch at the end of a load. ...
  4. You can see lint or debris in the dryer hose or around the outside dryer flap. ...
  5. You haven't cleaned out your vents in over a year.

How do I know if my dryer vent needs cleaning? ›

8 Signs You Need to Clean Your Dryer Vent
  1. Clothes take longer than normal to dry. ...
  2. Clothes are unusually hot to the touch. ...
  3. The room is warmer than normal when the dryer is running. ...
  4. You've noticed burning smells. ...
  5. The lint flap isn't opening. ...
  6. The dryer tells you there's a problem. ...
  7. The dryer stops working.
Apr 5, 2018

How long does it take for baking soda to remove odor? ›

Sprinkle the mixture onto fabric surfaces, including carpeting, and let sit for 30 minutes or overnight. Vacuum up the baking soda mixture, and with it, those bad smells.

How long does baking soda last for absorbing odors? ›

Using Baking Soda Boxes

Store an opened box of baking soda in your refrigerator and freezer to help eliminate odors. Replace at least every three months, although the box may need replacing sooner if it begins to absorb too many odors. Try dating the box to help remember when to replace it.

Does baking soda actually absorb odors? ›

Baking soda, unlike most commercial air fresheners, doesn't mask odors, “it absorbs them," says Mary Marlowe Leverette, a home economist and blogger. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate in a convenient box) neutralizes stubborn acidic odors -- like those from sour milk -- as well as other funky smells lurking in your home.

How long should a new dryer smell? ›

Burning smell

If the dryer's new, it is burning off the oil residue from shipping. Run the dryer empty for about 15 minutes to dissipate the odor.

Why does it smell musty when I use my dryer? ›

If you smell mold or mildew on your clothing, in your dryer, or in your laundry room after running the dryer, it is likely that your dryer vent system is not functioning properly. This type of warning sign typically comes from an obstructed or clogged dryer vent.

How long can you leave clothes in dryer before they smell? ›

Wet clothes should not be left in the washing machine or dryer for more than 8 to 12 hours. After 8 to 12 hours bacteria and mildew will begin to form on the clothing, which results in bad smelling garments.

Can you put something in the dryer to make it smell good? ›

You can add a few drops of essential oil or a spritz of perfume to a sheet of paper towel and throw that into your dryer with the laundry.

Will putting something in the dryer get rid of smell? ›

Reichert says to place your already dry clothing in the dryer and turn the temperature to the hottest setting. They only need to stay in the dryer for 10 to 15 minutes to kill allergens, bacteria and smells.

Can I go to sleep with the dryer on? ›

Don't leave appliances unattended – don't turn the tumble dryer on before you leave the house or go to bed. Tumble dryers contain powerful motors with fast moving parts that can get very hot. Keep your dryer well ventilated, make sure the vent pipe is kink free and not blocked or crushed in any way.

Should you throw out moldy clothes? ›

Should you throw out moldy clothes? As mentioned above, you don't necessarily need to throw out every clothing item affected by mold. However, you need to clean the moldy clothing as quickly and effectively as possible. The longer mold stays on your clothes, the harder it is to remove.

Is it okay to leave towels in the dryer overnight? ›

It is okay to leave clothes in the dryer overnight provided you dry them first. Otherwise, you can get mold if you leave them wet. The next morning, before taking the clothes out of the drier, just give them a few minutes of tumbling to get out some of the wrinkles and make it easier to iron if necessary..


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