Why Does My Electric Dryer Smell Like it Is Burning?

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The best part of doing laundry is pulling warm, fresh-smelling clothes out of the dryer. If your electric dryer smells like it is burning instead of like clean clothes, it requires some maintenance.

Cause

  • If lint builds up inside your dryer, it can cause a burning smell. The lint heats up when the dryer is in use and emits a smell of smoke. If the lint gets hot enough, it can catch fire inside your dryer, damaging the unit and potentially starting a fire in your home.

Solution

  • Clearing out the lint will get rid of the burning smell. Pull out the lint trap and remove the lint in there. You also need to remove the lint inside the dryer. You can carefully use a straightened hanger to pull it free. Home improvement stores sell slender wands designed to pull built-up lint from dryers.

Prevention

  • To prevent lint from building up and causing the burning smell in your electric dryer, always clear the lint trap before and after running a load of laundry. If the smell of burning lingers in your dryer, wash the inside of it with a mixture of one part white vinegar to one part water. Wipe down the interior with plain water.

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References

  • "DIY Guide to Appliances"; Steve Willson; 2008
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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