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smelly dryerThere’s no better feeling than changing into clean clothes, or getting into bed with fresh sheets. On the contrary, there’s no worse feeling than changing into clothes that smell like gasoline, or sheets that smell like mildew. Yuck!

It’s concerning when your clothes smell like anything other than your favorite detergent. Many people immediately blame the washer for stinky clothes, but many smells originate from the dryer. The appliance repair experts at Home-Tech are here to share what may be causing some of the most common, yet worrisome, dryer smells. If you’re interested in more general tips regarding your smelly dryer, check out our blog post, How to Fix a Smelly Dryer.

My Dryer Smells like Burnt Rubber

There are two main causes for this not-so-pleasant scent. One recommendation that often slips one’s mind is to follow the care instructions on clothing labels when washing and drying them. It’s easy to get in the swing of throwing all your clothes in together, assuming that it’ll all be alright. You may not realize that one of the items in the load is made of synthetic fabric and can’t tolerate high temperatures like other fabrics can. Lower the temperature or hang dry according to the care instructions and you should be good to go!

The second, and slightly more complicated, reason your dryer is omitting a burnt rubber smell is due to a possible wire short. You’ll need to inspect the dryer’s power cord for any defects. If a wire is frayed or exposed, it can melt the protective rubber coating that surrounds it. This power cord will need to be replaced with a new one, but be careful! To prevent electrical shock, turn your dryer completely off while doing this.

My Dryer Smells like Mildew

Now this is (unfortunately) a common one. You’ll never get used to getting hit in the face with that moldy, moist smell as soon as you open your dryer door. Luckily, there are simple fixes for this popular problem. More often than not, this smell is due to leaving wet clothes in the dryer for too long before starting it. Our suggestion is to keep the laundry moving! It only takes a second to start the dryer, but it can cause quite the headache to remedy a stinky dryer.


If you haven’t been leaving wet clothes in the dryer for long periods of time, check to make sure you don’t have any built-up lint that has gotten moldy. You can do this by pulling out the lint screen, removing visible lint and wiping the screen with a dry towel to remove small bits of lint. Use your vacuum hose attachment to vacuum the lint trap.

One pro tip if neither of these quick fixes is working is to dampen a few towels with white vinegar and run the dryer with those towels in there. This natural odor reducer is safe and easy. Just be sure to wash the towels right after so they aren’t stuck smelling like vinegar!

My Dryer Smells like Something’s Burning

Any funky smell coming from your dryer is annoying and inconvenient, but this one can also be dangerous. If you find yourself asking if that burning smell is coming from your dryer, the problem needs to be addressed right away. This issue will need to be fixed by a professional, because it can potentially lead to a house fire. In this scenario, you should contact Home-Tech ASAP and stop using the dryer until we determine the source of this hazardous smell.

My Gas Dryer Smells like Gas

dryer runningI understand your panic of thinking this smell is because of a gas leak, and it is possible, but it’s more likely a vent or filter issue. Regardless of the size of the issue, it’s best to call on one of our technicians when you smell smoke or gas coming from an appliance.

If you open your dryer early in the cycle and smell gas or can smell it on your clothes, that’s a sign that your igniter is going bad. This ventilation issue can be caused by a dirty filter or an exhaust system breach. If you ever smell that same kerosene smell while your dryer isn’t running, the gas valve may not be shutting off. In this case, turn off the gas to your home and call the appropriate services immediately.

My Dryer Smells like a Dead Animal

I hope none of you ever have to experience this smell. But if you’ve found yourself in this weird and unsettling position, we’re here to help. While you will (hopefully) never open up your dryer door to find a dead rodent inside, you may encounter one in the dryer vent or behind the dryer panels.

The reality of this issue is that the smell won’t go away until the furry friend is found. Our suggestion is to clean the entire vent system, starting with the hose at the back of the dryer and ending with the outside vent. If you still can’t find the animal, disconnect the dryer from power and remove the front and rear panels. Locate the critter by inspecting the interior of the dryer.

home-tech vanWhatever stench you may smell, Home-Tech is here to 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 ongoing on-site training, Home-Tech’s technicians are always up to date on the latest appliance repairs. They are highly trained in their field and can repair any non-commercial dryer. If you’re always battling a smelly dryer or faulty appliance, you may benefit from a Silver or Gold Service Agreement!

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