Ew, Why Does My Dryer Smell Strange?

With everything our dryers go through, it’s no surprise they sometimes smell a little strange. But why do they sometimes smell like burnt rubber or mildew? And should you be concerned about these odd smells? Here are some of the most common strange dryer smells and what to do about them.

My dryer smells like mildew. If you’ve ever opened the door to your dryer to find a wet, moldy scent wafting out, you aren’t alone. It’s actually pretty common. The culprit is moisture, of course, but there are some things you can do to prevent this mildew smell from occurring. First and foremost, start the dryer as soon as you put wet clothes in. Leaving wet clothes in the dryer for long periods is most often why mildew occurs. If you do already turn the dryer on straight away, the next place to check is your lint screen. There may be moldy lint that’s built up that’s causing the odor. Keeping the lint screen regularly cleaned out will prevent this problem (and the reduce the risk of fire!). And if the smell is lingering, toss towels that have been dampened with white vinegar into the dryer to get rid of it.

My dryer smells like burnt rubber. This is one of the grosser smells that can come from your dryer, and there are two likely reasons for it. The first is that you threw something in the dryer you shouldn’t have, such as an article of clothing made from synthetic fabric, and it’s gone a little (or a lot) melty. Always check labels on clothes to ensure something is dryer-safe! The more dangerous reason is that there’s a short in your dryer’s wires, so check the power cord of your dryer to make sure it’s still good and replace if needed.

My dryer smells like a dead animal. This is definitely an odor you don’t want coming from your dryer, and the culprit is, of course, a dead animal in your dryer vents. If you’re smelling this, it’s time to call in the professionals to remove the animal and sanitize your dryer vents so they are free of bacteria and viruses!

My dryer smells like gas. If you have a gas dryer and you start smelling gas, you definitely want to get this checked as soon as possible. While there is a chance it’s a gas leak, the chances are higher that it’s due to an issue with your dryer vents or filter. Regardless of the cause, turn off the gas to your home and call in the professionals to take a look.

Dryers can be full of strange smells, so if you smell something off ensure your dryer is clean and working properly to get rid of lingering odors.
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