Amanda asked: How do I remove a musty smell from a dryer? My friend is suffering from a smelly dryer. She says she cleans her clothes in her new washer and immediately puts them into the older dryer. After they get through drying, they have a musty/funky smell to them. How would one go about removing smells from the dryer? What would be the cause? Where could you clean?
Musty smells in the dryer can quickly ruin a nice, fresh-smelling clean load of laundry. Try these methods to locate and remove the problem.
Locate the Problem:
- Remove the dryer vent and vacuum out any debris or lint that may have become trapped.
- Check the area where the vent attaches to the dryer as well as the vent that connects to the outdoors.
- Lint that becomes trapped in these vents can stay damp and hold the musty smell. As the dryer is running, the odor is pushed back into the laundry.
- If the load is too large, it may be taking too long to dry. As the laundry sits in the warm air, the damp clothing creates the perfect environment for the musty smell.
- Have your water checked. If your water is hard or has sulfur in it, it can lead to odors on the laundry. While the smells may be mild when wet, some minerals smell much stronger after being heated and “cooked” by the dryer. A water softener or filtration system may help.
- Sniff around the door gasket to see if that might be the source of the odor. It you think it might be, inspect it to see if there is enough area available that a wet sock or other small item might have gotten caught behind it. If so, try shaking the door to see if there is any jostling noise, or try peeling back the rubber to visually inspect the area. If you think the rubber itself might be the source of the odor, mix baking soda and water to make a thick paste about the consistency of toothpaste and spread the paste over the rubber. Leave the paste in place for 30-60 minutes, then wipe it off with a damp cloth and wipe the rubber dry. This paste process can be repeated as many times as needed. If necessary, the rubber can be replaced.
If the Problem Still Remains:
- If you have checked all the areas of the dryer and cannot find the problem, it may be that the problem lies in the washing machine.
- For more information about removing the musty smell from clothing and the washer visit the following pages:
General Odor Removal
If you cannot located the source of the odor and instead would like to try deodorizing the drum area, here’s what to do.
You Will Need:
- Deodorizer (choose one):
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Activated charcoal
- Coffee grounds
Steps to Deodorize the Drum:
- Select a deodorizer from the list above.
- Put the deodorizer on a plate or bowl and set the dish in the drum.
- Carefully close the dryer door, ensuring the dish does not tip.
- Let the dish sit in the dryer overnight, then remove it in the morning.
- Repeat the process as many times as needed for the smell to be removed, using a fresh batch of deodorizer each time.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Vacuums with extender attachments make excellent cleaning tools for cleaning out the vents.
- Long dusting tools can also be helpful.
- Ensure the dryer has been turned off and had a chance to cool down before removing the venting. The heat may leave the metal areas hot, so proceed carefully.