Why Does My Dryer Smell? 5 Surprising Reasons!

The most common question among dryer users is, why does my dryer smell? Did an unpleasant smell hit you as soon as you opened your dryer? Unfortunately, you are not alone in this problem.  This unpleasant smell from your dryer can easily get transferred to your freshly washed laundry. Often bad-smelling laundry is blamed on the washer but, your dryer can be the culprit. 

Having a dryer saves your time and space. It is quite beneficial for people living in small apartments and has little to no area for air drying.

why does my dryer smell

Additionally, air drying the laundry is an option but, it takes a lot more time and is quite a hassle. Plus, you can dry huge bulky items effortlessly, such as comforts and blankets. The dryer smell can vary and indict different issues. Well, you don’t need to worry. In this article, we will explain the reason for your why does the dryer smell and the tricks and tips to prevent unpleasant odor.  


Why Does Your Dryer Smell?

Any noxious odor emanating from the dryer is unpleasant and irritating. It is necessary to understand the cause of the smell from the dryer. The smell can spread from the dryer into your laundry room.  


Cause #1. Lint buildup 

It is the most common type of smell found in the dryer. This moldy smell indicates the growth of fungus or mold in the dryer. This growth of microorganisms like fungi happens due to the lack of ventilation and improper cleaning. The moldy smell pinpoints the vent problem in your dryer. The vent is either blocked or jammed. The function of the dryer vent is to expel the humidity or moisture along with warm air from the dryer.

Assuming that the vent fails to do its job, moisture will trap inside the dryer result in fungi or mold. To get rid of this smell, you will have to check the vent connection and its condition. If the dryer vent is not cleaned in a long time, remove the vent from the dryer and look for an obstruction. The dryer vent commonly has lint accumulation, providing mold production. You may also want to read about how to tell if your dryer vent is clogged.


Cause #2. Burning lint, and faulty thermostat, and the motor 

The burning odor from the dryer is very hazardous. If you smell the burning from the dryer, you will have to get it fixed immediately. Usually, a burning smell indicates a faulty thermostat and motor. To prevent fire first, you will have to switch off the dryer and empty the drum. Next, plug off the appliance and unscrew the top and the front panel of your dryer. Once the inside of the dryer is exposed now, you can look for the cause. There can be lint built up; you will have to clean the lint from the dryer drum, vent, and motor.

You can use the vacuum to clean the lint from the appliance. However, be careful while using it on a thermostat or motor. If you lack a vacuum, use a stiff brush or dry towel to clean it. If there is still a burning smell from the dryer, examine the thermostat. The faulty thermostat cannot control the dryer temperature. Therefore, the dryer reaches a very high temperature and gets heated up. 

You will require an ohmmeter to test the thermostat of the dryer. The thermostat is available at any hardware store. Connect the ohmmeter to the dryer thermostat to check whether it is working or is damaged. If the ohmmeter shows resistance higher or lower than one, you will have to replace it. If the thermostat is working accordingly, it rules out dryer motor failure. For this, you will require professional help. Call the service center or local plumber to help you with motor repairing or replacement. Another indication of the faulty motor is the high noise of the dryer while working. It may be helpful to read about the reasons why your dryer make a noise when tumbling.


Cause #3. Damp clothes 

If you leave damp clothes in the dryer for a long time, they start to smell. Especially in summers with high temperatures, you can’t leave clothes in the dryer for even a few hours. These damp clothes can make your dryer smell like sweats. The moisture in clothes can produce bacteria which makes them smelly. To prevent this always, make sure that you dry freshly washed clothes as soon as possible and remove them from the dryer immediately. 


Cause #4. Gas leak 

If your dryer and laundry room smell like gas, this can be due to gas leaks, ventilation failure, or a damaged and dirty filter. If you smell the gas in your dryer, plug off the unit and immediately turn off your house gas supply. Then check the filter and vent of your dryer. If, required seek professional help. It’s best to also know why does my dryer smell like gas.


Cause #5. Dead animal 

Occasionally pest finds its way into the dryer through the vent. Unfortunately, these animals often die inside the dryer panel or the vent and make your dryer stink. To get rid of this smell, you will have to remove the dead animal from the dryer and clean it. 


It’s A Wrap!

At this point, you must have the answer to why does my dryer smell. After resolving the cause of the smell, you should clean the dryer. To clean the dryer, use white vinegar. The vinegar will clean the dryer and get rid of its smell. However, proper maintenance of the dryer is necessary. It is essential to deep clean the dryer once in a few months. You may also be interested to know about the best compact washer and dryer.

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