Removing Laundry Dryer Odors

Grumpy’s Tips To Remove Laundry Dryer Odors

I hate that my dryer can build up an unpleasant odor like the washer machine. It feels counterintuitive that equipment designed to clean can smell worse than what it is cleaning. The good news is deodorizing a dryer is easier than a washer machine. Here are my tips to eliminate the odor.


Old Grumpy’s Quick Solution

  1. Do not leave wet clothes in the dryer
  2. Clean your dryer’s lint screen and vacuum the vent
  3. Soak rags in vinegar and run a cycle
  4. Use baking soda to clean the door gasket


Locate The Source

The first thing you need to do is locate the source of the odor. The most common dryer odors are caused by the vents, your water supply, or something lodged inside. The most common sense way to prevent odors is to not leave wet clothes in the dryer.

If your load is too large for your dryer it may be taking too long to dry. A musty smell can form when damp clothing is tossed around in the warm air for an extended period of time. A simple fix is to lighten your load.

Check the dryer vent. Make sure you clear the lint from the lint screen after each wash. Check for any lint clumps or other debris that may have become lodged in the lint trap. Lint that is stuck in the vent can hold a musty smell and cause it to stick to your clean laundry. Use a vacuum or a Flexible Dryer Vent Cleaning Brush to clean the lint trap.

Your water supply may be the cause of the odors. Hard water or large traces of sulfur in your water may be the case. Pay attention if you notice a slight scent while your clothes are wet that becomes stronger as the dryer heats up the minerals. A water softener or filtration system may be an easy solution.

Check your dryer door and pay close attention to the rubber gasket. That missing sock you thought the sock fairy stole might have gotten caught behind it. It’s possible the rubber may be the source of the odor. To clean it mix Baking Soda with a little water to make a paste and spread it around the gasket. Leave it for 1 hour and then whip it clean.


Grumpy Says: “The best way to prevent odors is to not leave wet clothes in the dryer”



Deodorizing Tips

As mentioned before, check your dryer’s lint screen and vent. Use a vacuum or Vent Cleaning Brush to remove any debris from the vent. Removing backed up lint will prevent the trap from becoming damp and causing a musty odor.

A persistent odor after cleaning the lint trap is probably due to the scent sticking to the drum. To clean the drum start by soaking a few rags in Distilled White Vinegar. Scrub the door and gasket with a rag and throw the rags in the dryer. Run a drying cycle to allow the vinegar to absorb the odor. Don’t worry if you are not a fan of the vinegar scent, it goes away after it drys.

If you still have an odor it may be time to bring out the bleach. Chlorine bleach will kill bacteria and mold in the machine that could be causing the odors. Mix a cup of bleach with a gallon of water. Soak a rag into the solution and wipe the inside of the dryer. Leave the door open for 30 minutes to air dry. Afterward, rinse a new rag with plain water and wipe the interior. Air dry again and make sure not to use it until it is completely dry to prevent discoloration.


Grumpy Says: “ For persistent odors soak rags in distilled white vinegar and run a cycle ”