How To Get Mildew Smell Out Of Dryer: 6 Refreshing Steps

Is your dryer smelling rather musty than fresh? Well, here’s how to get mildew smell out of dryer!

Forgetting to remove wet clothing inside your dryer is just one of the several causes of mildew growth. It would help if you immediately get rid of the musty smell, or else it will transfer to your clean laundry.

how to get mildew smell out of dryer


5 Common Causes Of Mildew

Here are some of the factors that will cause mildew. Take note of everything to prevent this fungus from invading your dryer.


1. Moisture

The most significant factor in mold and mildew growth is moisture. It is why it is essential to regularly clean up your dryer and keep it dry as much as possible.


2. Darkness

Darkness is a friend to mildew. Since the inside of your dryer is usually dark, chances are mildew will start growing, especially if the other factors are present.


3. Low temperatures

Cool temperatures allow mildew to multiply and grow quickly. They also make moisture stay longer and make your dryer more vulnerable to mildew.


4. Evaporation

Water vapors can increase the amount of moisture. It is why it is crucial that you keep your dryer clean and dry so no water droplets will evaporate.


5. Dirt and grease

Mildew cannot grow with moisture alone; it needs food. If your dryer is full of dirt, there is a high possibility of mildew growing since it has something to feed on. 

Mildew is often confused with mold. To help you identify, here is a guide on what color is mold.


Getting Rid Of Mildew Smell In A Dryer

One of the most common and effective ways to remove mildew smell from your dryer is using bleach. Follow the detailed instructions below to do it.


Step #1. Wear protective gear

The most common step to any DIY project is keeping yourself safe. Wear a pair of gloves to help in preventing skin irritation and a mask to avoid inhaling the bleach.


Step #2. Make a bleach solution

In a water bucket, mix ½ cup of bleach with 1 gallon of water. Then, swish around to blend them.


Step #3. Apply the bleach solution 

Soak a dry and clean piece of cloth into the solution and wipe it on your dryer. Clean every part, including the dryer door, and leave it open to let it dry.


Step #4. Spray some white vinegar on old towels

Pour an amount of undiluted white vinegar into a spray bottle. Then, grab some old towels and spray them until they are wet enough but not dripping.


Step #5. Place the towels inside the dryer

Use the dryer on the towels wet with vinegar. As they tumble around inside, the white vinegar will get rid of any remaining mildew, making your dryer free from the musty smell.


Step #6. Let it dry

Once the dryer stops, remove the dried towels and leave the dryer open for at least an hour to allow air to flow into it. Once the musty smell is completely gone, close the dryer door.

Try checking out this article for tips on where to buy CLR mold and mildew remover for more effective cleaning. 


Other common smells in a dryer

Aside from mildew, there are other usual dryer smells.


Burnt rubber

There are two possible reasons behind this smell. It is either you dried a synthetic fabric under high temperature, or there is a wire short.

When drying clothes, make sure to check if they can tolerate high temperatures and reduce the heat to avoid a burnt smell. If it is not the case, inspect the dryer’s power cord for any problem.



A gas smell does not necessarily mean a gas leak. In terms of the dryer, it is possible that the igniter has gone bad, and it should be checked immediately by technicians.


Dead animal

This is something that we hope you will not encounter. However, if you do, open the dryer door and the dryer vents behind the panels.

The frustrating reality of this issue is that the smell will not go off unless you find your dead rodent friend. If you cannot find it, try removing the rear and front panels and inspect the dryer’s interior. 


Preventing dryer smell

Nothing beats regular and thorough cleaning when it comes to preventing smell. Make sure to keep your dyer free from dirt and moisture.

Never leave wet clothes sitting in your dryer. Also, avoid using fabric softener on dryer sheets since they leave a film inside the lint tray, which is challenging to remove.

If in case the smell does not come from the dryer but on the washing machine, run a normal cycle and add ½ cup of baking soda.



A clothing dryer is a significant home investment. It is handy and will last you long, especially if you use and maintain it properly.

Now that you have learned how to get mildew smell out of dryer (along with other smells), you will be sure that it will run properly. It is also a guarantee that your clothes will come out fresh, clean, and odor-free.

Leave a Comment