Dryer Smells Bad: 7 Fast & Easy Ways To Fix The Problem

Do you own a dryer? Have you recently started noticing a nasty smell coming from your dryer? If you have noticed a foul smell from your dryer, you are not alone—Lucky for you, it’s a common problem.

A nasty smell coming from your dryer can be caused by various reasons, from simple problems like the buildup of lint and debris to more severe or complex problems like electrical issues or mechanical failures. Not only is the smell bad, but it can also cause a fire outbreak if the conditions are met.

Fortunately, the bad smells from your dryer can be easily fixed, and several ways exist to resolve this issue. Continue reading to learn about the reasons behind a smelly dryer and seven easy ways to remove bad smells from your dryer.

Why Does Your Dryer Smell Bad?

The foul smell from your dryer can be unpleasant and make your clothes smell bad too. There are several potential causes of a foul smell from your dryer, including:

1. Lint Buildup

One of the most common causes of bad smells in dryers comes from lint buildup. Over time, lint can accumulate in the dryer’s vent system, causing a buildup of bacteria and moisture. The buildup creates a moldy or musty smell released into your laundry.

2. Mold and Mildew

If you fail to properly vent out moisture from your dryer, mold, and mildew can grow inside it because they grow and thrive in moist environments.

The growth of mildew or mold in your dryer can happen when your vent system is clogged with lint or when your wet clothes are not thoroughly dried. Mold and mildew can produce strong, foul odors that can linger on your clean clothes.

3. Pests

Dryers can attract pests like rats, mice, and sometimes even birds. These animals enter the dryer through the vent system and build nests, leaving urine and droppings that can cause a foul smell.

4. Old, Worn-out parts

Maintenance is vital in all electrical appliances. If you fail to maintain your dryer or it has become old, parts within it can wear as you continue to use it.

When components or parts inside your dryer wear out, they can cause the dryer to produce a burning smell while it is running due to a motor, worn-out belt, or heating element.

5. Chemical Residue

If you recently used a cleaning product or fabric softener that contains chemicals, the residue from those products can accumulate inside the dryer and result in the foul smell you have noticed.

This can happen when you accidentally leave items like a pen in your pocket containing chemicals that can be released during drying.

6. Gas Leak

If you own a gas-powered model, the foul smell you have noticed may be due to a gas leak. Gas leaks are dangerous and can cause explosions, so they should be addressed immediately.

If you smell gas close to your dryer, turn off the machine, unplug the power cord from the wall outlet, and call a professional to inspect the dryer.

7. Clogged Dryer Vent

If your dryer vent is clogged, it can prevent moisture from leaving the dryer, which, in turn, can cause a buildup of bacteria and moisture. This can make the dryer release a moldy or musty smell into your laundry.

Additionally, a clogged dryer vent can be a fire hazard and should be addressed immediately.

How to Fix a Dryer that Smells Bad

If you have determined that the source of the foul smell is your dryer, there are several fixes you can try:

1. Clean the Lint Filter

Cleaning the lint filter is one of the most straightforward fixes to carry out independently. To do this, remove the lint filter and clean it properly using hot water and soap. Make sure to remove any trapped debris or visible lint you can find on the filter.

Cleaning your lint filter can help prevent bad smells from building up in your dryer.

2. Clean the Dryer Drum.

Sometimes, the smell you notice coming from the dryer could result from dirt buildup, dust, foreign objects, or other debris in the dryer drum. You can use a specialized cleaning solution designed for cleaning dryers or a mixture of white vinegar and water to clean the dryer drum.

When cleaning, use a soft cloth to wipe down the drum, and be careful, so you don’t scratch it.

3. Clean the Dryer Vent.

A clogged dryer vent can cause bad smells to linger in your dryer. To clean the dryer vent, turn it off and unplug it from the wall outlet to avoid electrical shocks (safety comes first). Next, remove the vent hose from the back of the dryer.

Once it is out of the dryer, use a vacuum cleaner or brush to remove any debris or lint that may have built up inside the vent.

4. Check the Exhaust Vent.

Ensure your dryer’s exhaust vent is properly installed and working correctly. Why is this important? It’s important because a faulty exhaust vent can cause bad smells to accumulate in your dryer. You can inspect the exhaust vent by running the dryer and checking for air leaks.

5. Replace the Vent hose.

Over time, the vent hose that connects your dryer to the outside vent may become damaged or clogged. In this situation, rather than cleaning it, it’s usually best to replace it. Replacing the vent hose will improve the dryer’s efficiency and help prevent bad smells from building up in your dryer.

6. Check the Drum Rollers.

The drum rollers are small wheels that help the dryer drum rotate smoothly. If those wheels become dirty or damaged, they can cause the dryer to develop bad smells.

To fix this problem, you can inspect the drum rollers by removing the dryer’s front panel and checking them for wear or damage. If the rollers are dirty, you can easily and quickly clean them using warm water and soap.

7. Replace the Motor

In rare cases, a foul smell may be caused by a malfunctioning motor. If the motor in your dryer is faulty, it’s best to contact a professional and replace it.

By following the steps outlined in this section, you can kill the bad odor in your dryer and ensure that your dryer runs smoothly.

Remember, maintenance is vital to preventing any issue from developing in the first place—so if you want to avoid problems in the future, ensure regular maintenance.


How do I Stop my Dryer from Smelling musty?

You may take various steps to prevent your dryer from smelling musty. First, you must fish out where the musty, unpleasant odor comes from.

Several issues can cause the musty smell that’s coming from your appliance. Some problems include a clogged dryer vent, a dirty lint filter, or a moisture buildup inside the dryer.

Once you can fish out what’s causing the bad odor, you can begin to remove the musty smell and stop it from reoccurring. This may involve cleaning the dryer, replacing certain parts, or taking other measures to improve ventilation and reduce moisture buildup.

How do I make my Clothes smell good in the Washer and Dryer?

There are several ways to make your clothes in your dryer or washer smell good. Want to make your clothes smell good? Here are some tips you can try:

Use scented laundry detergent: When you use scented laundry detergents for washing your clothes, it leaves a pleasant fragrance on your clothes. You can buy detergents, such as citrus or lavender, with scents or fragrances you love.

Add fabric softener: Fabric softeners make your clothes feel softer and leave a fresh scent. Some fabric softeners even have long-lasting fragrances that can keep your clothes smelling fresh for weeks.

Use dryer sheets: Another great way to add fresh scents to your clothes is by using or adding dryer sheets. To use it, throw one into the drying machine and let it do its magic.

Try essential oils: By adding a few drops of essential oils to your laundry, you’ll be able to create a natural, long-lasting fragrance. Lavender, lemon, and peppermint are popular scents that can leave your clothes smelling fresh and clean.

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