whirlpool dryer smells

Why Your Whirlpool Dryer Smells and How to Clean It

Loading clothes into a funky-smelling dryer doesn’t bode well for the freshness of your clothes. When your Whirlpool dryer smells bad though, it’s most likely that you can quickly resolve the problem yourself. Since the source is likely a maintenance issue, save time and money by addressing the odor with these simple DIY tips.

What to Do When Your Whirlpool Dryer Smells

Though fishing out the clothesline is a brave temporary fix if your dryer smells musty, keeping foul odors at bay will keep your unit operating smoothly. Whether the smell is from lint buildup or aftermath from years of damp clothing, routine maintenance is a proven weapon in the fight against dryer stench. We’ll explore ways to battle the smell head-on and prevent future odors from infiltrating your machine with surefire cleaning tips.

Why Your Whirlpool Dryer Smells Bad

A defective dryer part is always a possible culprit for unfavorable smells, but it could also be a maintenance issue. For instance, while a faulty heating element could be why your Whirlpool dryer smells like gas, it could also stem from a dirty filter. Paying attention to certain smells is a crucial first step when warding off bad scents.

  • Dryer smells like burning: A burning smell probably indicates a problem with the internal ventilation system. The issue could lie within accumulated lint blocking adequate air circulation compounded by lint perpetuated from smelly fabrics. Make sure you clean the lint trap after each use and frequently check for kinks in the hose that may be preventing airflow.
  • Dryer smells like something died: Dryer vents ensure attractive housing for small animals with exterior ducts acting as ideal driveways. If your Whirlpool dryer smells like something died in it, there’s a chance that’s exactly what happened.
  • Dryer smells musty: Over time, your dryer gathers moisture and mold from damp clothing lingering in the washer drum. Even once your clothing is completely dry, the smell can remain in the dryer drum.

How to Clean a Whirlpool Dryer

Your pungent Whirlpool dryer odor can result from a slew of factors, most of which are monitored by the operator. Routine care is the keystone for a well-running dryer. Failing to adopt maintenance habits can result in unflattering scents from your unit.

Cleaning Supplies Needed: 

  • Bleach
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Clean rag
  • Towels

Step 1: Clean the lint trap

Take out the lint trap and remove any lint build-up with a clean rag. Remove smaller particles with a vacuum’s narrow hose attachment. To weed out smaller residue, run the trap under running water and clean it with a soft brush before letting it air dry.

whirlpool dryer smells

Step 2: Clean the lint trap housing

Using the vacuum hose attachment, remove any leftover lint in the trap’s housing as well as the floor around the dryer, mainly beneath the vent.

Step 3: Remove lint from dryer

Pull the dryer out from the wall and disconnect the vent. While vacuuming the vent, pay special attention to the opening and flaps on the house’s exterior. Reconnect the interior vent and reposition the dryer.

Step 4: Wipe the dryer’s interior

Stick a clean towel in a solution of 1 gallon of cool water and 1 cup diluted bleach. Feel free to use white vinegar as a substitute. Wipe down the dryer drum with the towel, repeatedly reapplying the bleach solution or vinegar as needed. Wipe the dryer door and seal then leave it open so the interior can air dry.

Step 5: Clean the exterior 

Since lint and dirt can cling to the outside of your unit, go ahead and wipe the exterior with a damp cloth then let dry before restoring your dryer’s power.

Best Ways to Prevent Dryer Odors

At the risk of being redundant, dryer maintenance is paramount to keep your unit in top shape.

Tips to repel bad Whirlpool dryer smells:

  • Clean the lint trap before or after each drying cycle: Remove lint with your hand or a paper towel and periodically give the trap and its housing a good cleaning.
  • Transfer damp clothing quickly: Remove damp clothing from the washer and place into the dryer immediately following the wash cycle’s completion.
  • Sustain clean dryer vents: Pamper your dryer vents with annual cleaning to avoid bad smells from returning for an unwanted encore performance.

If bad smells are still pervading from your dryer or your dryer won’t start, it might be time for an expert diagnosis. For premiere dryer repair service in Southern California, contact the professionals at Oak Valley Appliance.

David lange

David Lange

In 1982 David went to work for his mom as a service technician and has been servicing appliances ever since. He is the owner of Oak Valley Appliance, an appliance repair company in Tehachapi, CA, with local techs also serving Lancaster, Ridgecrest, and surrounding areas.