how to clean a smelly dryer

How to Clean a Smelly Dryer: Burning Smells, Mildew, and More

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Pulling out warm clothes from the dryer is one of life’s little pleasures. But when those clothes are accompanied by a not-so-pleasant odor, it can be quite disheartening. If you’ve found yourself wondering how to clean a smelly dryer, you’re not alone and we’ve got the answers!

What Causes Dryer Odor & How to Clean a Smelly Dryer

Before you can properly address the issue, understanding the root causes of those peculiar dryer odors is essential. Let’s dive deeper into the common culprits:

Dryer Smells Like Burning

Often, this alarming scent is a telltale sign of lint accumulation. Lint, if excessively accumulated, not only produces an unpleasant smell but also poses a fire risk.

Unraveling the cause: The dryer’s primary function is to remove moisture from clothes, producing lint in the process. If not regularly cleared, lint can gather in both the lint screen and dryer vents, causing reduced airflow and overheating, hence the burning smell.

Steps to combat it:

  1. Mastering the Lint Screen Clean: Post every drying cycle, remove the lint screen, usually located at the front/top of your dryer. Brush off the lint with your fingers or use a specialized lint brush. This simple step can greatly enhance your dryer’s efficiency.
  2. Thorough Dryer Exhaust Vent Cleanup: First and foremost, unplug your dryer for safety. Detach the exhaust hose, which connects your dryer to the outside vent. Use a vacuum with a hose attachment or a long vent brush to meticulously clean inside, removing all lint and debris. Ensure you reconnect everything securely after.
dryer odor eliminator

Mildew Smell in Dryer

That musty, damp smell is typically an indicator of mildew or mold. This can occur when moisture remains in the dryer, creating a perfect environment for mildew growth.

Decoding the cause: Leftover lint can trap moisture, especially if the dryer isn’t venting outside properly. Additionally, if clothes are left in the dryer for prolonged periods post-cycle, it can create a humid environment conducive to mildew.

Tackling this issue:

  • Regular Lint Filter Checkups: Ensure that the lint filter is cleaned after every cycle, aiding in maintaining good airflow and minimizing trapped moisture.
  • The Magic of White Vinegar: An excellent natural disinfectant, white vinegar can work wonders. Dampen a few towels with white vinegar and run them through a full drying cycle. This will not only eradicate the mildew smell but also act as a preventive measure for future build-ups.
how to clean a dryer that smells

How to Deep Clean a Clothes Dryer

Occasionally, your dryer demands more than just a cursory clean. Let’s explore a step-by-step deep cleaning process:

  1. Safety First: Begin by unplugging your dryer.
  2. Vacuuming Galore: Using a vacuum’s hose attachment, thoroughly clean around the lint trap, inside the lint trap housing, and any crevices.
  3. The Detailed Wipe Down: Prepare a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar. With a soft cloth, wipe down the drum, the door, any gaskets, and all accessible interior parts.
  4. Exhaust Hose Deep Clean: As with the burning smell, revisit the exhaust hose, ensuring it’s free from all lint and obstructions.
  5. Finishing Touches: Once everything feels pristine, reconnect the exhaust hose and power up your dryer.

If these steps seem daunting, remember you can always call upon the expertise of Appliance Repair Specialists. We’re equipped to offer top-tier dryer repair services, ensuring your appliance runs smoothly.

Now that you know how to clean a smelly dryer properly, periodic maintenance is key to keeping odors at bay. By integrating regular lint removal, occasional deep cleaning, and the use of a dryer odor eliminator, you’ll be on the path to an odor-free dryer. And if ever in doubt, recall that the fundamental reason a dryer smells like mildew is trapped moisture. So, focus on fostering impeccable air circulation!

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