Reasons & how to fix? – HomeApricot (2023)

Every day we use technology to make our lives easier and take care of all household chores that would otherwise waste hours. Therefore, it is crucial for us to maintain our household appliances well.

The dryer is a device that can ruin our clothes if the dryer smells bad. One such device is the dryer and to learn how to use it properly, follow us!

Why does my dryer smell like dog?

Your dryer can end up smelling like a dog if it has long damp washes, detergent or fabric softener residue, and general dryer soiling. Poor airflow can also prevent the smell from escaping. Because the odor is due to bacteria and mold/mildew buildup, they can be easily removed.

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Reasons & how to fix? – HomeApricot (1)

There are several reasons why your dryer could be giving off a wet dog odor, these odors are due to bacteria, mold and mildew - therefore the following are the most likely causes of this microbial growth:

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Leaving damp laundry in the dryer for too long:

If you leave your damp clothes in the dryer after washing and leave them there for a few hours, they will develop a damp smell in the dryer.

When the damp clothes stay inside the dryer, they allow and create conditions for the growth of bacteria that create the bad odor.

The high humidity from damp clothes and the heat inside the dryer create the perfect environment for mold and bacteria to grow. If you leave your damp clothes for 8 hours, mold and bacteria will begin to develop and at that point your dryer will start to smell.

Leaving dirty laundry in the dryer:

Dirty clothes already have enough ingredients for mold and bacterial activity, but leaving dirty and sweaty clothes in the dryer can result in a musty smell.

Because in order to remove dirt and sweat, it is necessary to wash them to remove them and prevent further growth of bacteria. If you don't want to wash them right away, don't throw them in the dryer because your dryer will end up smelling like dog.

Leftover fabric softener left in the dryer:

It is common to use fabric softener on your clothes to wash them effectively and make your clothes softer.

While the oils in fabric softeners are good at softening your clothes, they instead act as a means to absorb a lot more dirt, debris, and bacteria — effectively making your clothes even dirtier.

These oils along with the trapped deposits create the perfect conditions for mold, mildew growth, and bacteria to thrive on them to release a damp, dog-like smell.

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Detergent deposits on clothing:

Detergent residue can remain on your clothes after washing and must be rinsed vigorously to remove the detergent from the fabric.

But if it's not done well, the detergent residue can build up and trap dirt that can get into clothes thrown in the dryer and make them dirty. If the clothes pick up dirt from the detergent build-ups along with their existing dirt, they will end up forming a bad odor.

Dirty Dryer:

Aside from dirty clothes, fabric softener, and laundry detergent, the most common reason for smelly dryers could be the dryer itself. If you haven't cleaned your dryer in a while, chances are it's gotten dirty and probably has mold that's causing the dog-like smell.

Tips to get rid of the dog smell and deodorize the dryer:

There are several things you can do with both your clothes and the dryer to get rid of dog smell:

Wash the clothes with hot water:

Warm temperatures are great for microbes to grow, but when it gets hot enough, they can't survive.

If you wash your clothes with hot water, any bacteria or mold in the fabric will be destroyed and washed away along with the water and won't survive to form the bad odor.

However, be sure to read the labels on your clothing as not all clothing can take the heat.

Use a better detergent:

Not all detergents work the same - some are better, some worse, and that's why you need to find a detergent that works best for your clothes and dryer.

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Also, get detergent with a washing temperature that matches the washing temperature of your washing machine so that the detergent residue does not stick to the fabric.

Try to get cleaners that work at a lower temperature as this makes it easier to wash away the dirt without much effort.

Clean your dryer regularly:

Maintaining the hygiene and cleanliness of your dryer is important to ensure that dirt from the dryer does not stick to your clothes and mold or bacteria cannot grow on your dryer.

To clean your dryer, you need to pour two cups of vinegar into the detergent drawer and run a cycle for as long as possible. When finished, use a sponge to clean the interior and finally run another cycle to remove the traces of vinegar from inside the drum.

When the cleaning process is complete, leave the dryer door open to allow air to flow into the washing machine as bacteria cannot grow when the air is cool.

Wash wet and sweaty clothes immediately:

When you come back from the gym or a hot day outside, chances are your clothes have accumulated a lot of sweat and dirt — which are great ingredients for bacterial growth.

To prevent them from smelling bad, wash them immediately or store them separately and do not put them in the dryer.

How often should you clean your dryer vent and lint filter?

To keep your clothes in top condition and to ensure good hygiene, it is recommended that you pay attention to your dryer cleaning routine.If you have just a few family members, it's a good idea to check your dryer's exhaust vents and lint filters once a year.

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But if your house has many members and children who get their clothes dirty easily, it is recommended that you clean the vents and siphons frequently - as soon as 6 months in between.

Aside from the usual cleaning schedule, there are a few signs that will tell you whether or not your dryer exhaust and lint traps need cleaning.

One of the few symptoms is that the clothes take much longer to dry than usual because the dryer has to get much hotter to dry the clothes properly. Because of this, you will find that your dryer has gotten abnormally hot when you start a second cycle.

The dryer would feel hot during the drying cycle - often with a hint of a burnt and musty smell coming from the dryer.

Tips to prevent the dryer from building up a dog smell:

Here are some tips you can follow to prevent your dryer from smelling like dogs:

Watch out for the lint trap:

Make sure that your lint filter is clean after use so that no fibers get stuck in the lint filter. You can use a vacuum pump with a hose to clean the lint filter and effectively remove any remaining odors.

After vacuuming the trap, wash it with warm water and you can also use a fine brush to remove trapped lint.

Keep the vent hose well-maintained:

In addition to the cleanliness of the fluff filter, it is also important to ensure that the ventilation hose is cleaned well both inside and outside. Lint collects on the dryer vent hose and when it builds up, it restricts airflow and creates conditions for mold to grow.

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It is also important to check the hose for cracks, otherwise contaminants can enter the hose through these cracks and cause a clog.

Ensure the cleanliness of the dryer:

Keeping a dryer clean is an essential part of ensuring that no lint or detergent residue is left inside the dryer, which can otherwise lead to mold growth. Clean your dryer at least once a year, or every 6 months for a large family.

Final Thoughts

Leaving damp laundry in the dryer for a long time, detergent or fabric softener residue and the dryer itself can be dirty in general. The smell can also remain inside due to poor airflow. Since bacteria and mold are the cause of the stench, they are easy to clean.


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