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Removing Odors From a Clothes Dryer

Someone threw varnish filled cloths into our dryer. Now our clothes come out smelling strongly of chemicals. How do we clean this out?

By cherylbonc from Chicago


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May 11, 20100 found this helpful

Soak a wash cloth or rag in white vinegar and toss it in the dryer over night. You can even turn it onto air dry and let it run a cycle. This should get rid of the smell :)

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February 12, 20121 found this helpful

I've been reading every question and answer possible for finding a cure to the dryer smell problem, but haven't seen anything as far as to why my dryer smells like my teenage boy! I do laundry constantly. I have an HE topload that stops when you open it, and matching gas dryer. I leave the washer open when not in use, and clean out the vent after every use. (I remind myself every time about dryer fires; that does it.) What's weird, is that the smell isn't all the time, and clothes don't smell bad (or they would be back in the washer)?


I've had to clean the dryer out a few times, thanks to same teenage son's brilliance of not taking the crap out of the pockets before I find the gum all over his clothes and my dryer! By the way, 6 hours of peanut butter and a butter knife on the clothes has worked, although it wasn't pretty when he got home from school. But I still have a few things that it didn't work on if anybody has any other ideas, other than my policy of never washing our clothes together! So, regarding that God awful smell that's gaggable when opening the dryer, anybody else experience this?

By Michelle V


February 13, 20120 found this helpful

My drier was giving off a horrible odor off and on for a year.

For the longest time I thought it was my washing machine. It always started on the second load which meant my drier was on the first load. I assumed it was my washing machine because it smelled fishy, like insulation when it gets wet. I have smelled wet insulation and it's horrible.


I tried those machine cleaners by Tide, left the door open so it could dry. Anyway, one day the breaker started throwing and the drier wouldn't run.

Long story short, it was never the washer, it was the drier the whole time and it was because the plug was arcing in the outlet and slowly burning up the wires and the wire coating. That's what I had been smelling all those months. When it finally burned through, it started throwing the breaker. ( Thank goodness for breakers)

I know your drier is gas but it still needs electricity to run. You may want to pull it out and check the wiring if you haven't already. My drier plug and wall outlet were all melted and warped. I don't know how it made it as long as it did. I also ended up needing a small wire in the drier it's self replaced. Total cost about 50.00.


The reason I added all that about the washing machine is because if anyone else reads this and is having an odor problem thinking it's coming from the washer like I did. Hope you get it resolved soon. Nothing worse then smelly laundry room when every thing in there should smell fresh and clean.

Come to think of it, it wouldn't hurt to have the wiring checked on your washing machine too. It never smelled like wires burning the whole time. Other wise we would have caught it right away.

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May 9, 20100 found this helpful

I got a dryer from a relative after moving into a house. After opening the dryer it smelled of wet dog. I let it air out and cleaned the inside, but after using it, all the clothes in it smell of wet dog.


How can I get this smell out of my dryer?

Ben from Reading, PA


Removing Odors From a Clothes Dryer

I have had good success with Febreze on newspapers. Works great in shoes and boots, might work for your dryer. I spray Febreze on newspapers, crumple them and stuff into shoes. Leave overnight or longer if you can. You may have to repeat this several times, but it should work after 5 or 6 tries. (06/12/2006)

By Donna

Removing Odors From a Clothes Dryer

Start with making sure the vent is clean of any lint. It will also help to wash it in soap and hot water. Next, check the vent hose. You should do this anyway, if it's full of lint it could cause a fire.
We purchased a house with the dryer included. My husband took an air compressor and sprayed air behind the dryer to get all the "ick" out.



Removing Odors From a Clothes Dryer

The odor in my dryer turned out to be caused by the vent hose being almost full of nasty, wet lint. I replaced the entire vent hose, and the odor went away almost immediately. (03/24/2008)

By Mike H

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