When you open your dryer, your nose should be met with a clean, pleasant smell. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, when you least expect it, you open your dryer, take a sniff, and cringe as you realize that something is very wrong! Your dryer is not supposed to smell like dirty socks or like your gym clothes that have been left in the laundry basket for a week. The good news is that this problem is relatively common. Which means that there is also a known solution!
The bad smell coming from your dryer is most likely due to lint that has accumulated in the lint trap. Dirty lint can smell absolutely horrible but, once removed, your dryer will be fresh as a daisy once more. Here’s how to clean that lint trap in just a few minutes:
Turn your dryer off and unplug just to be safe.
Start by removing the lint trap from your dryer. Scrape off as much lint as you can using your hands. Use your vacuum (with the hose attachment) to suck out the rest of that lint. If, for whatever reason, the trap is not perfectly clean, you can then run it under some water and use a soft brush to remove that stubborn dirt. Set the lint trap aside and allow it to dry completely before you put it back in the dryer repair.
Use your vacuum (with the hose attachment) to clean out the hole for your lint trap. Using your vacuum to suck out that dirt is quicker and more effective than using any kind of cloth or brush.
While vacuuming, take the time to clean the entire area around and under your dryer . Clean out the dryer vent too. This is extremely important and should be done regularly since lint loves to hide here. Cleaning around your dryer helps prevent this dirt from sneaking into various small spaces.
Take a moment to go outside and vacuum the exterior of your dryer vent. The flaps in the duct should be able to move freely. If not, check for debris that could be causing an obstruction. It’s not uncommon for debris to become stuck but it is important to take action quickly. This is also a great opportunity to check the ventilation system for any signs of wear and tear. Given the high temperatures, it’s not uncommon for vents to require replacement at some point.
You may have heard that vinegar is a great natural cleaner and deodorizer. It can be used all around the house and you don’t have to worry about harmful fumes like you do with strong chemicals. Take a clean cloth and dip it in some distilled white vinegar. Clean the inside of your dryer with this damp cloth and make sure that you wipe every inch. This includes the door, and the area under the rubber gasket (door seal). If you find that your cloth is not as damp as it should be, apply more vinegar and continue wiping until you have cleaned the entire interior of your dryer . Leave the door open and open a window to allow air venting.
Give the exterior of your dryer a wipe down with a clean, damp rag. Do not use a dripping wet cloth and do not use anything that could cause scratches. Take this opportunity to inspect the exterior of your dryer and make sure that there’s no other damage to any of the other parts.
Remember, prevention is always better than cure. In order to prevent bad smells from returning, it’s important to allow your dryer to air properly on a regular basis. You should never leave damp laundry inside your dryer and you should clean the lint trap before every use. The vent on your dryer should be inspected regularly for dirt, debris or damage. If you ever notice a burning or strange smell, stop your dryer immediately, remove your laundry and call a professional. Keep your dryer unplugged when not in use. Even if it’s turned off, power surges have been known to cause damage even when appliances are not in use.