Dryers make our lives easier, for we all love them simply because they efficiently dry out the laundry. Nonetheless, with time comes unwanted odors in dryers, which may be transferred to your clean garments. Do not get nervous when you realize that some smells come from the dryer. It can be solved, and your dryer will smell fresh again. This complete guide will, therefore, discuss the possible reasons behind dryer odor and offer a practical way to eliminate those nasty smells.


Table of Contents:

  1. Causes of Dryer Odors.
    a. Lint Buildup
    b. Mold and Mildew Growth
    iii. Sodium Lauryl sulfate (Leftover residue from fabric softeners and detergents).
  2. Preparing for the Cleaning Process
    a. Safety First: Unplug Your Dryer
    b. Gather Necessary Supplies
  3. Wash the cloth dryer lint filter.
  4. Cleaning the Dryer Drum
    a. Removing Loose Debris
  5. Deep vinegar-based cleaning using baking soda.
    a. Cleaning the Exterior
  6. Dealing with Mold and Mildew
    a. Cleaning the Ventilation Ducts
    Mold and mildew in the drum could be removed by dissolving them in water.
    c. Preventing Future Mold Growth
  7. Preventative Maintenance
    (a) Clearing the lint trap after every load.
    i) Inspect and clean ventilation ducts regularly.
    d. Leave the Dryer door open when not using it.
  8. Naturally, keeping your dryer smelling fresh.
    a. Scented Dryer Balls
    b. Homemade Dryer Sheets
    c. Essential Oil Sachets
  9. Conclusion
  10. FAQ’s

1.The causes of dryer odors

However, before we delve into the solutions, let’s first figure out what can cause the unwelcoming odor in our dryers. The most common causes of these odors include:

a. Lint Buildup:

The fluffy material that collects in your lint trap every time you run the dryer is called lint. Nonetheless, not all of this lint may go into the trap but inside your dryer, giving place to odors growth.

b. Mold and Mildew Growth:

Dryers create favorable conditions for mold growth and mildew due to moisturizing agents and high temperatures. These organisms, if not controlled, can cause a musty smell.

c. Leftover Residue from Fabric Softeners and Detergents:

Certain chemical substances within a few fabric softeners or detergents may remain dryer after it. These accumulated residues can, over time, emit unwanted odors.

2.Preparing for the Cleaning Process

Knowing the dryer smells’ probable sources, you are ready for the cleaning exercise. Always prioritize safety when dealing with appliances such as dryers. Here’s what you need to do:

a. Safety First: Unplug Your Dryer

Since you are about to clean your dryer, pulling the plug off the socket before doing anything is advisable. Remember that this step is crucial to avoid an accident that may occur during your stay inside the machine while performing various works.

b. Gather Necessary Supplies

To effectively clean your dryer, you’ll need a few supplies:

  • Screwdriver
  • Hose vacuum cleaner.
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Microfiber cloth or sponge
  • Bucket of water
  • With a pleasant scent (essential oil) is optional.

3.Wash the cloth dryer lint filter

Commence by removing the lint trap in your dryer. Ensure you are using a soft brush or a hoover to clean is lint-covered. Cleaning out a lint trap improves overall airflow and prevents any further odors.

4.Cleaning the Dryer Drum

You are now supposed to go and clean inside your dryer drum. Follow these steps:

a. Removing Loose Debris

Use the hose attachment with a soft bristle brush on your vacuum cleaner to pick up any lint or dust inside the drum. Therefore, it should be more careful by inspecting in a precise manner the region around the object that could contain a large quantity of garbage.

5.Deep vinegar-based cleaning using baking soda

One of the household items you can use as a natural cleaner is vinegar or baking soda, which will assist in getting rid of your dry smells. Here’s how to use them:

i. Mix one part of white vinegar and another part of water in the spray bottle.

ii. Widen the vinegar solution and spray it generously inside the dryer drum.

iii. Pour a cup of baking soda into the drum.

iv. Let the vinegar and soda bake for ten to fifteen minutes. It would help if you scrubbed off any remaining stubborn stains and residue using the microfiber cloth or sponge at this point.

However, after the elapsed time, clean the inner portions of the tub using a wet cloth to wipe off the residues caused by vinegar and the baking powder. Do this repeatedly until you achieve a clean drum with zero residual odors.

a. Cleaning the Exterior

Also, don’t overlook cleaning the exterior of your dryer. Use a damp cloth to clean off the control panel, the door, and all the other surfaces—splash drops of your preferred essential oil on the fabric, which will smell great.

6.Dealing with Mold and Mildew

The odor may be caused by mold and mildew that must be removed with prevention measures.

a. Cleaning the Ventilation Ducts

Dryer ducts are notorious for growing mold and mildew. To address this issue:

(i) Unplug the vent hose from the back of the machine.

ii. Look for any signs of molds in the vent and hose openings; if you see them, clear them completely using vinegar water.

iii. Clean the ventilation duct with a long, flexible brush or vent cleaning kit. Ensure that you don’t leave any lint and debris on it.

iv. Connect back the vent hose with it in place.

b. Eradication of mold and mildew from the drum.

To eliminate mold or mildew inside the dryer drum:

(i) Put one bleach in a spray bottle with ten parts water.

ii. Use bleach to spray the infected parts inside the drum. Ensure you’re wearing gloves and there is good air circulation.

iii. Let the bleach solution remain there for a period ranging between ten and fifteen minutes.

iv. After applying bleach, You must wipe the drum with a damp rag.

iv. To eliminate residual mold spores, go through a 10 – 15-minute dryer cycle at a very high temperature.

c. Preventing Future Mold Growth

To prevent mold and mildew from returning, take these precautions:

i. Ensure the dryer is properly ventilated, and remove anything blocking the vent house.

ii. Open the door of the room every time you use the dryer so that dry air can circulate freely inside it, preventing humid buildup.

iii. The cleaning should also include the inspection of molds and mildew from the surroundings where the rubber gasket or seal surrounds the dryer door.

7.Preventative Maintenance

Your dryer should, however, be cleaned and fresh by this time. Still, you also need to practice preventive measures to ensure that no funny smells are coming from this appliance.

a. Cleaning the lint filter once per was.

Always ensure that you clean the lint trap after every drying cycle. Lint can be prevented by just taking this small amount of steps.

b. Make sure that ventilation ducts are maintained regularly.

Look for lint or debris in these periodically. They should also be cleaned regularly to permit air passage and prevent mold development.

c. Make sure the dryer door remains open when not in use.

Keep your dryer door open for some time to facilitate drying between loads, thus reducing the likelihood of mold developing within the drum and condensation.

8.Naturally, keeping your dryer smelling fresh.

In addition to regular maintenance, you can use natural methods to keep your dryer smelling fresh:

a. Scented Dryer Balls

These scented dryer balls are reusable; thus, they offer another excellent way of adding freshness to your laundry. Incorporate a few drops of essential oil on the dryer balls whenever you use them. They tumble with your clothes and release the sweet smell, leaving your clothing nicely scented.

b. Homemade Dryer Sheets

Small pieces of absorbent washcloths impregnated with essential oils and water form what we call washcloths. Squeeze out the extra moisture and hang them with the rest of the clothes to dry after using. You create homemade dryer sheets that add fragrance to the clothes without any commercial fabric softener.

c. Essential Oil Sachets

Mix a few drops of your preferred essential oil, like lavender, lemon, or eucalyptus, into little bags.⇽ Put them in your dryer in your laundry, and they will make your clothes smell incredible. Close your sachets well and avoid oil touching your clothes.


The smell of cleanliness on your dryer contributes to helping maintain the freshness of the entire laundry. With an understanding of the reasons behind dryer odors and by following our extensive instructions, you will know how to get rid of these odors once and for all while putting you in a position to avoid a recurrence.

Be sure to disconnect your dryer before cleaning, and always adhere to the manufacturers’ recommendations regarding maintaining your dryer. You should regularly keep your laundry and dryer using natural means and end up having a dry smell each time.

FAQ’s about ( Dryer Smelling Fresh )

Q1: What causes a sour smell in my dryer?
A1: Lint buildup, mold, and mildew, as well as residual scents of fabric softener and detergent, give birth to dryer smells that are not so pleasant either.

Q2: How frequently must I clean my dryer to keep odor away?
A2: Ensure that you clean your dryer at least once after every six months. You should clean the lint trap after each load and carry out regularly scheduled maintenance to prevent odors.

Q3: Are there any common cleaners that can be used for a dryer?
A3: Though housecleaners may be used, you need to avoid dangerous chemicals that tend to produce toxic residuals in the long run. This is safer than other natural cleaners like vinegar and baking soda.

Q4: What should I do to avoid mold and mildew on my dryer?
A4: Proper ventilation can help avoid mold and mildew accumulation. Ensure you leave the door open between wash cycles and occasionally clean the lint trap ventilation ducts and the rubber door seal/gasket.

Q5: How do dryer balls with scent work?
A5: Scented dryer balls, reusable Laundry supplements upon which you can drip essential oils. The air-conditioned laundry smells fresh because as they tumble around with your clothes in the dryer, they give off an enjoyable scent, making your laundry smell friendly and freshly perfumed.

Q6: Could I apply commercial fabric softeners or dryer sheets to freshen up my laundry and dryer?
A6: They are commercial products that may only leave residue on your dryer, leading to a dryer odor. People usually prefer natural alternatives to perfume dryer balls and homemade dryer sheets.

Q7: How do I clean my dryer safely?
A7: Always unplug your dryer before you clean it. Always use recommended spare parts and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance. Gloves with bleach or other cleaners should be worn, and adequate ventilation must be ensured.

Q8: What is the proper way of cleaning a lint trap?
A8: Clean the lint trap by removing it from your dryer and blowing it using a soft brush or vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to eliminate lint and other debris. It ensures that good air circulates, thereby eliminating foul odor.

Q9: May I add any fragrance oil on washing?
A9: You can add scents to laundry using essential oils like lavender, lemon, and eucalyptus. Always remember not to add a lot of fat because if it lands on your jacket, it may ruin it.

Q10: How can lint be stopped from leaking from the lint trap?
A10: The best way to minimize lint escaping out of the lint trap is to clean the web after every load and regularly check for lint buildup in the vent hose and ventilation ducts.

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