Removing Odors from a Clothes Dryer?

My new dryer came with a box of scented dryer sheets inside. I have allergies. It has contaminated the whole dryer and my first load has caused me serious problems.


How do I remove this odor from my machine?


October 6, 20191 found this helpful

I would wipe it out with vinegar. It should neutralize the odor.

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October 6, 20190 found this helpful

Building on what Judy posted, I might even try soaking a clean rag towel in vinegar and "drying it" on low. Good luck! (And you might think about complaining to the never know, it might get you a gift certificate or coupon or something to compensate for your inconvenience and health threat.)

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October 6, 20190 found this helpful

Wash or wet something down with vinegar water and dry for at least 15 minutes.

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October 7, 20190 found this helpful

It appears your allergies are very sensitive to this fragrance and since you have used the dryer you may have to go a little further than a wipe down.

If you can unplug the dryer you can spray the inside of the drum with a spray bottle filled with white vinegar - leave door open and let it dry overnight - wipe down with another cloth with vinegar dipped and squeegeed out just to be sure.

If you cannot unplug your dryer then wipe your drum with white vinegar cloth or lemon juice and water (fresh or bottled concentrate) (maybe half and half solution).
Be sure to wipe the gasket also.

Remove your lint trap and wash it with white vinegar and wipe around the opening as this will help remove the odor when the dryer is running.

I would also add 1-2 cups of white vinegar to every rinse load of clothes for several wash loads (or forever).

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October 7, 20190 found this helpful

Yikes!! That is scary. Allergies are so worrisome!

Before you touch the new dryer, I suggest calling the company ASAP. My fear is you are going to use internet advice to clean it and may do damage then void the warranty. Company's are ruthless these days, so safety first here. If you did something and did damage, you could be out of luck here and have no warranty.

Tell them what happened, explain your reaction, if you have photos, include them (if doing this by email).

As them what they will do to make it right and what they recommend so you don't invalidate the warranty to fix this problem. I am of the mind they should get you a new, untainted dryer....but that is just me.

I would not do anything before talking to the company. They should also be aware NOT to put stuff in the dryer when shipping to new owners and if they want to include promo items, send them in a separate bag.

Post back with an update!

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October 7, 20190 found this helpful

I can understand what Pghgirl is saying but I do not believe cleaning with vinegar would be detrimental to a warranty.
Certainly, it is good advice to call the dealer where purchased but I can tell you for sure, they will not have a dryer that does not have the package inside as the manufacturer will most likely have a contract/deal with the dryer sheet company that states "every dryer will be equipped with our package" when leaving the plant.

But - the company could possibly have a service man clean a dryer before it is used and make an exchange but I do not believe that will be covered in any warranty so it would just be a courtesy to the customer should they do this..
It may be possible the store would think the customer had looked inside the dryer before purchase and IF the dryer sheet package was inside, the customer should have said something at that time.
I believe if she did see the package, she probably had no idea it would cause this much trouble for her.
Since it is new; and if the company will not exchange it, then it seems possible she can remove the fragrance but I feel sure it will take several cleanings.

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October 8, 20190 found this helpful

I want to thank everyone for their assistance. I put a vinegar wet wash cloth in the dryer and it worked. The dryer I got the installer handed me the dryer sheets. The store sample didn't have dryer sheets in it. My machine was fresh out of the box. It has been 13 years since my last appliance purchase and even though I went through a different store that time I believe I had the same issue. I don't think the company is listening. All is well with my machine. Vinegar is the best. Again Thank you All!

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October 9, 20190 found this helpful

complaining isn't going to help. I tried 13 years ago and they are still doing the same thing. For those of you worried about the warranty Vinegar would never do any kind of damage to the machine. I often add vinegar to my laundry to remove odors. It is the oldest form of freshener. It is the oil in the fabric sheets that would damage the machine. Scents are oil based for those who don't know. By not running the dryer with that scented sheet helped, it was just the same as walking through the cleaner isle in the store, which I can't do, I order my unscented products so I don't have bleed over from other products. I didn't know if there was a new and different way to accomplish what I needed. So now my dryer is scent free - no it doesn't smell of vinegar.

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5 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

July 16, 2018

My partner left a lighter in his pocket and after washing his clothes I put them in the dryer and now every time I use the dryer the clothes come out smelling of lighter fluid and it's disgusting. What can I do to get rid of the smell? I have cleaned the lint area and pulled the back off it and cleaned that out. I've given up using it due to the smell and now I am hanging the clothes out on a clothes hanger inside, but with a four year old and a 7 month old I really need my dryer and it's also winter here atm.

I am trying to avoid buying a new dryer. Does anyone have any ideas on what I can do to get rid of the smell?


July 16, 20180 found this helpful

You can try a product called Nok-Out. You can get it on amazon.

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July 16, 20180 found this helpful

Depending on how bad it is you may want to take a clean cotton rag and put a tablespoon of Dawn dish soap on the rag, squish it around, and wipe down the inside of the machine. The plain simple Dawn works best and leaves the least residue. Then take a damp rag and wipe out the soap residue. Leave the door open over night. It may take a few treatments. This usually breakes down the greasy lighter residue and removes the smell.

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July 24, 20180 found this helpful

well that sounds a bit dangerous as dryers, under bad circumstances, are notorious for randomly starting house fires, and a lighter is in essence an accelerant, so add the dryer heat and guess what happens?

I'm pretty scaredy cat about thigns like that so i owuld just list it on craigslist and get a new (used) one. YOu put the ad with the caveat re the lighter and be willing to let it go for cheap

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How do you remove smoke odor from the dryer?


October 30, 20170 found this helpful

Nok-out removes all odors. You can buy it at Amazon

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January 5, 20180 found this helpful

What stores can you buy Nok-Out

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October 28, 2015

How can I get an odor out of the clothes dryer?


October 30, 20150 found this helpful

First check the filter and the air exit to make sure it is clear and clean.Wipe interior well with disinfecting cleaning wipes.Use a damp wash cloth (hot water) sprayed with a little disinfectant and absorbed for a minute. Run in dryer a few minutes. Hope that helps some.

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May 9, 2010

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


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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September 5, 2004

I don't know how it happened but my drying machine just started smelling like dry cooking oil. When I smelled my clothes it made me want to throw up!

Does anyone know how to remove this terrible smell? Thanks in advance.


By Pattie (Guest Post)
September 6, 20040 found this helpful

I don't know if this will solve your problem but it's worth a try. My dryer smelled as if I had burned cheese inside. My husband took off the back of the dryer and discovered lint that the moisture of the dryer had caused to cake along the inside. This is a real fire hazard as well as a smelly problem! Hope this helps solve your problem.

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