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Dryer Appliance

The washing’s done and you’re about to toss the damp laundry into the dryer, and that’s when you notice it: an unpleasant smell fills the air as you open the dryer door. What could be causing it, and how can you get things smelling normal again inside? Here are some why’s and how’s when encountering such a situation.

Common Cause of Why Dryer Stinks

  • The most common cause of this dilemma is a blocked dryer vent. The long tube extending from the back of the dryer usually to the outdoors to vent out the heat also often picks up tiny debris, lint, and other particles which over time can build up and even potentially block up the inside of the tube; similarly, there may be something at the end of the tube blocking airflow. Check both these possibilities, as this blockage may be wafting unpleasant smells back into the dryer.
  • If you use a natural gas dryer, the smell may be coming from the gas itself. Normally you shouldn’t smell this, so if this is the case it could indicate a potential leak. If it’s not something that you can readily close up, you may consider using a specialist since loose natural gas can pose a hazard to your home and yourself.
  • Certain synthetic fibers can’t tolerate higher heat levels, and if you’re noticing this smell after drying particular items on high heat, you may have found your culprit. Check your labels to make sure if some clothing has specific drying requirements.
  • Damp clothing left too long in the dryer before actually drying them can begin to develop a mildew smell. Make sure to use the dryer immediately after placing clothing inside of it to prevent this from happening, and leave the door open to air things out when not in use.