When you open your dryer door, your nose expects to be met with a clean and pleasant smell. However, this isn’t always the smell that greets you. But now your dryer smells bad, and you don’t know why it is happening. There is a very bad smell like some rotten food or dirty socks, making the dryer almost unusable.
Don’t worry as this a common issue and there is a solution for it. It is very easy to do, and you don’t need a professional to solve it. Only in rare cases, you may have to take the help of an expert.
What Causes Bad Smell in Dryer? The unpleasant smell from the dryer is usually caused by lint accumulated in the lint trap. The dirty lint smells very bad. However, once it is taken out, the dryer will start smelling pleasant again.
Why Does My Dryer Smell Bad
The wet clothes may cause the dryer’s bad smell in the dryer that has been left for too long, or the accumulated lint can cause this smell.
If you are searching for a solution to this unpleasant problem, continue reading to learn more about what causes your dryer to smell, troubleshoot, and remove bad smells so that after every wash, your clothes smell fresh as a rose.
Luckily, there are actions you may take to remove unpleasant odors from the dryer. The very first step is to locate the source of the bad smell. In most of cases, these are the main reasons:
- There is some bad odor stuff in the clothes which enter into the dryer.
- Some small animals (squirrels, rats, etc.) or materials are stuck inside the exhaust vent. It happens when animals crawl into the dryer ducts.
- The accumulation of lint in the ventilation ducts for years prevents the air from circulating properly during the drying process, creating the perfect conditions for mold growth or mildew.
Dryer Smells Musty
Is your dryer smells musty? Now, you will ask me what a musty smell is. Well, it is a smell of unwashed clothes.
The leading cause of it is lint from the laundry dried earlier or a day before. So we always recommend maintaining your dryer properly. You only need to remove the fuzzy residue from the lint trap. This simple process will prevent the musty smell.
Also, sometimes there is a chance that a material buildup inside the dryer can cause clogging in the exhaust system. In this case, you may have to do more steps.
Clean the Lint Trap.
We suggest you clean the lint trap and remove all particles from it.
- Pull the lint screen from the dryer.
- Remove any lint that you can see.
- Now, wash the lint filter with warm and soapy water.
- Ensure that the lint is thoroughly clean.
- Carefully tap the trap and remove any extra water.
- Before keeping the lint filter back, please ensure that it is completely dry.
Remove Lint from Inside of the Dryer.
You also need to remove any lint that is inside the dryer.
- Take a vacuum cleaner.
- Use the hose attachment of the vacuum and clean the lint screen.
Clean the Vent Hose.
You can find the vent hose at the back of the dryer. Ensure that there is no clogging and clean the vent hose.
- Switch Off the dryer.
- Disconnect the vent hose from the dryer and the wall (both sides).
- Inspect the hose for any clogging or lint particles.
- You can use a vacuum and use the hose as an attachment. It will help in cleaning the vent hose efficiently.
If you observe that there is too much lint buildup inside the hose, we suggest replacing it.
Inspect the External Dryer Vent.
The external dryer vent is from where the hot air from the dryer goes out. You need to ensure that no object is blocking it. Also, ensure that the flaps of the vent can move freely.
Take a flashlight and carefully inspect the inside of the duct. Try to clean any lint that is inside the vent with the help of a brush. Please note that if you observe a very heavy buildup of lint, then you may require professional help in cleaning ut. It will help in answering your question of Why my dryer smells.
Dryer Smells Like Something is Burning
If your dryer smells like something is burning, we recommend you stop the dryer and look for the possible cause.
It is important to note that more than 1000 house fires in the US are malfunctioning in the dryer. You should seriously take even a small, burning smell.
First, check if your clothes are burnt. If it is not burning, then you need to check other parts of the dryer.
Check the lint screen
We Recommend to clean your lint screen every day or whenever you are using the dryer. But it is important to note that the screen may not capture all the lint, and some of them will be stuck inside the lint screen.
Inspect the cavity of the lint filter. If you find deposits, clean the inside of the filter with the hose attachment of your vacuum.
If you notice that there is more build up and the vacuum cannot clean it, you may have to clean the internal parts of the dryer. It will require some technical skills and hence we suggest you hire a professional to do this job.
Check Vent Connections
We suggest you use items which are good conduction such as metal in the dryer system. If you use plastic or any other soft material, they may not handle excess heat.
If you see any non-metal parts, then replace them.
Check the Dryer Vent Hose.
Scrutinize the Dryer vent and see if there are any bends in the hose. If the hose is folded or compressed, then it will hinder the airflow.
Also, check if there is lint buildup in the hose, then you will need to replace the hose.
Check the Electrical Connection.
Many times there can be an electrical shortcut that causes the burning dryer smell. Check if you see any burnt or blackened marks on the wires or the electrical outlet.
If you confirm an electrical short, please take the professional’s help as doing yourself can be very dangerous.
Dryer Smells Foul
If your dryer smells foul, then some small animal may have accidentally entered into the dryer mainly through the external duct. Since the dryer provides warm temperatures, so many animals take shelter inside it. If you have dryer heating issues, then check our article here.
Not only the foul smell makes the dryer unusable but also can be a signal of fire hazard. So, you must inspect the dryer as soon as possible.
Check the External Vent.
Take a flashlight and use it to inspect the vent. It can often be difficult to see inside the duct, and hence we recommend taking the help of a professional to do it.
Inspect the internal parts of the dryer.
For inspecting internal parts, you need to remove the external shell. Please carefully read the instruction provided in the manual on how to do it.
If you see any fur or droppings indicating to any animal, you must remove the animal before you start the dryer.
If you are not good with equipment, we always suggest you help a professional solve the “Why my dryer smells” Issue.
Hi there! I’m Sam Hendricks, and I’m a repair technician and expert. I created this website to help people like you save money and time by fixing your own appliances.
Over the years, I’ve seen people spend a lot of money on unnecessary repairs or replacements. That’s why I decided to share my expertise and create easy-to-follow guides for fixing appliances on your own.