Why Does My Tumble Dryer Smell & How to Fix It

If your tumble dryer is starting to smell a bit musty, don’t worry – you are not alone. This is a common problem with these appliances, and there are a few things that you can do to remedy the situation. In this post, we will discuss why tumble dryers smell and what you can do to get rid of the odour.

Why Does My Tumble Dryer Smell

What Is A Tumble Dryer?

A tumble dryer is a household appliance that is used to remove moisture from clothing and other textiles. A clothes dryer works by circulating hot air around the items being dried, which evaporates the water from the fabric. Do not confuse a tumble dryer with a washing machine. Washing machines spin clothes around in order to remove dirt and water, whereas tumble dryers simply circulate hot air to remove moisture.

Tumble dryers are typically more energy-efficient than clotheslines or drying racks, and they can be a convenient way to get laundry done quickly. However, tumble dryers can also cause shrinkage and fabric damage, so it is important to read the care labels on clothing before using a tumble dryer. When used properly, a tumble dryer can be a helpful tool for keeping your wardrobe fresh and clean.

Why Does My Tumble Dryer Smell?

Over time, your tumble dryer can start to develop a musty smell. This is usually caused by a build-up of lint and dust in the machine. When the lint traps are not cleaned out after each use, the lint can get trapped in the vents and ducts, causing a bad smell.

There are other reasons why the dryer can develop a foul smell and we are going to educate you on all of them. Some of the causes of bad smells in tumble dryers are:

Dirty lint filter

Every time you use your tumble dryer, lint and other debris gather in the filter. If the filter isn’t cleaned out regularly, it can cause your dryer to smell musty. The build-up of lint can also impede airflow, making your dryer less efficient and causing it to overheat.

To keep your dryer smelling fresh and running smoothly, be sure to clean the lint filter after every load and drying cycle. You may also want to vacuum around the dryer vent to remove any lint that has accumulated there. Removing as much lint as possible between washes is one good practice and will help any bad smells you may have.

Failure to clean the appliance regularly

Tumble dryers are a great appliance to have in the home. They save time and energy by quickly drying clothes. However, if they are not cleaned regularly, they can develop a musty smell.

The reason for this is that lint and other textile fibres build up in the filter, ducts and drum of the dryer, creating an ideal environment for mould and mildew to grow.

In addition, clothing that is not completely dry when put in the dryer can also contribute to the problem. To keep your tumble dryer smelling fresh and clean, be sure to clean the lint screen after each use, empty the water drawer regularly and give the appliance a deep cleanse with white vinegar or baking soda every few months. With a little effort, you can keep your tumble dryer smelling like new.

A build-up of detergent residue

A build-up of detergent residue in your tumble dryer can cause it to start smelling. The detergent leaves behind a film on the walls of the dryer that can become stale and smelly over time. This film can also attract lint and other debris, which can further contribute to the problem.

To avoid this, always clean out your dryer after each use. Wipe down the walls with a damp cloth, and vacuum out the lint trap. In addition, consider using a natural laundry detergent that will not leave behind as much residue. By taking these steps, you can help keep your dryer smelling fresh and clean.

Wet or damp clothing in the drum

When you put wet or damp clothing into the drum, it can cause your tumble dryer to smell. This is because the moisture from the wet clothes will start to form mould and mildew. The mould and mildew will then start to grow on the heating element, causing a bad or burning smell.

If you don’t clean the heating element, the mould and mildew will continue to grow and the smell will get worse. You can clean the heating element by taking it out of the dryer and scrubbing it with a brush. You should also make sure that you regularly clean the lint trap and the inside of the dryer to prevent the growth of mould and mildew.

Airing the dryer after each drying cycle can also be helpful here. All you need to do is leave the door open when done so the door seal and the rest of the inside can dry. This should take long and will help with any unpleasant odours.

Mould growth inside the appliance

Mould can grow inside your tumble dryer for a number of reasons. One of the most common causes is wet clothes being left in the appliance for too long. When clothes are damp, they provide the perfect environment for mould spores to thrive.

Another potential cause is a blocked air vent. If air can’t circulate properly, damp clothes can start to mildew. Finally, using the dryer on a lower heat setting than recommended can also cause mould growth. This is because the appliance takes longer to dry clothes, giving mould spores more time to multiply.

If you notice a musty smell coming from your dryer, it’s important to clean it as soon as possible to prevent further growth. Start by removing any wet or damp clothing. Then, clean all interior surfaces with a solution of vinegar and water. Run the empty dryer on a hot cycle to help remove any lingering mould spores.

By following these simple steps, you can keep your appliance mould-free and smelling fresh.

How To Fix A Smelly Tumble Dryer

  • Make sure that you are regularly cleaning the lint filter. This will help to prevent a build-up of dirt and dust.
  • Give your tumble dryer a deep clean on a monthly basis. You can do this by using a specialised cleaning product or by making your own solution with vinegar and water.
  • If you notice that your clothing is coming out of the dryer smelling musty, make sure to wash it again with a mild detergent.
  • Make sure that you are not overloading your tumble dryer. This can cause wet or damp clothing to become trapped in the drum, which can lead to mould growth.
  • If you notice any mould growth in your tumble dryer, make sure to clean it immediately with a bleach solution.

Why Are My Clothes Not Smelling Fresh After Tumble Drying

Tumble dryers are a convenient way to get your clothes dry quickly, but sometimes they can leave your clothes smelling less than fresh. If you end up with smelly clothing after using the dryer, check the lint filter, exhaust vent, and heating element as explained above to see if any of them need to be cleaned.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this post has helped to answer the question: “Why does my tumble dryer smell?”. If you still have a smelly dryer after following the tips in this post, then we recommend that you contact a professional for further assistance, particularly if you have a new tumble dryer.