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How to Fix a Smelly Dryer

smelly dryer

The whole purpose of a washer and dryer is to keep your clothes clean and fresh-smelling. So the last thing you expect from your washer and dryer is a musty smell. However, this is not an uncommon problem. Although rather frustrating, we’ve found that smelly dryers are common due to a lack of basic upkeep that we often forget to do. Here are some simple steps you can take to fix the problem.

WARNING: If your dryer has a burning smell, you need to contact us right away! Stop using the dryer until we determine the source of the issue. This could be a serious problem and could potentially lead to a house fire.

1. Keep Laundry Moving

Don’t leave clothes in the washer for too long. When fabric stays wet for too long, mildew will grow. All fabrics stink when mildew develops, resulting in a bad smell that will transfer to the dryer when you dry your clothes.


2. Clean Dryer Drum

Dip a cloth in a bowl of vinegar and wipe down the inside of the dryer. Leave the dryer door open to allow it dry completely.


3. Clean Lint Trap

If you are not leaving wet clothes in the washer for too long, the most likely culprit for a smelly dryer is lint build up either in the dryer or the vent hose. The lint in your lint trap is not just fibers that came from your clean clothes. It also has soap and dirt trapped from the wash cycle.

• Make sure you are cleaning your lint trap after every use.
• Pull the screen from the dryer, remove visible lint and then wash the trap in warm, soapy water. Shake off excess water after rinsing the trap and allow to completely dry before putting it back into the dryer.
• Use a hose attachment and vacuum the hole for the lint trap.


4. Clean Vent Hose

The flexible silver tube that comes out of the back of your dryer is the vent hose. First, turn off the power to the dryer at the breaker box. Disconnect the vent hose from both the dryer and the wall. Check inside for lint and debris. Use a hose attachment and vacuum out the vent hose. Go outside and find the outside vent, where warm air exhausts from the dryer. Of course, there should be nothing blocking the vent outside. If it is safely accessible, use the vacuum to clean the vent. Make sure to lift any flaps if there are any and clean under and in between. If the smell coming from your dryer smells more like something rotting, you may want to consider contacting a pest control company. An animal may have crawled into the exhaust vent and died.
wash repair

Need Professional Help?

If you decide it’s time to call the professionals, please contact us! We can get your dryer back up and running again 7 days a week – even on holidays. With on-site monthly training, Home-Tech’s NATE certified technicians are always up to date on the latest appliance repairs. They are highly trained in their field and can repair ANY brand.

If you feel as though you’re constantly having issues with an appliance, you may want to look into purchasing a Home-Tech Service Agreement. This home warranty program allows you to budget for costly, yet common appliance repairs.

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