Smoky odors emanating from the dryer are warning signs that trouble is brewing. A burning smell should prompt a homeowner to stop the dryer and investigate. When smoke odors permeate the air, it is important to immediately repair the cause and remove the unpleasant smells.
What causes smoke odors in the dryer?
Substantial lint buildup inside the lint tray is a major cause of smoky odors in the dryer. Lint trays should be emptied after each drying cycle. If the tray fills with lint, it is not only a fire hazard, but the dryer will take significantly longer to dry clothing.
A vent hose may be blocked, which is a second cause of fire smells coming from the dryer. Homeowners are advised to check the hose for lint buildup. The hose may also develop kinks. These kinks interrupt the free flow of air and can block the connection.
A worn belt is a third potential cause of smoke smells in the dryer. The dryer belt is similar to a vacuum belt, which can become worn over time. Smoke odors are likely when the rubber piles up or breaks. In cases of belt breakage or damage, replace it.
A fourth cause of smoky dryer odors is a failed or burnt-out motor. Replacement of the worn motor will fix the issue. Finally, clothing caught between the outside drum and dryer wall can become singed and produce smoke smells. Prevent the problem by piling less clothing inside the dryer.
What are the steps to eliminate smoky odors?
When a dryer releases smoke odors, it is critical to immediately stop the dryer. The unusual smells can be indications that the appliance parts have malfunctioned, or an interior component is broken. Materials caught in the fans, belt, or vent system are also likely to produce smoke smells.
When detecting smoke odors released by the dryer, do not allow the dryer to complete its cycle. Stop the appliance directly from the dryer controls. Or, unplug the dryer from the outlet. Unplugging the dryer will prevent the unit from continuing to rotate.
Allow the dryer to cool down. Once the appliance parts are cool, it is safe to inspect the unit. Check the lint tray for buildup. Examine the hoses for kinks. Look at the belt to see if it has snapped. A service technician can fix issues and eliminate smoke odors.
What are effective ways to clean and deodorize the dryer?
When handling the lint trap, remove all visible lint. Suction out the rest of the lint with a vacuum hose attachment. Fully clean the trap by running it under water and scrubbing with a soft brush. Dry the vent prior to reinserting it.
The dryer’s lint trap cavity should also be cleaned of any remaining lint, dirt, or debris. A vacuum’s hose attachment can perform this task efficiently. The hose will suck out the embedded dirt and debris more quickly and effectively than a cloth or brush.
While running the vacuum hose attachment, use it to clean the dryer vent. Lint is often trapped within the recesses of the vent, necessitating regular cleanings. Also clean the spaces underneath and around the dryer. Dirt can sneak into small crevices surrounding the dryer.
Similarly, use the vacuum to suction out dirt and debris from the exterior vent, which is located outside. Dirt commonly settles in the vent. If the flaps fail to freely move, an obstruction (caused by dirt) could be present. Clean the outside vents to remove the dirt causing the blockage.
Smoke smells originating from inside the dryer may also be eliminated with household vinegar. As a natural cleaner and effective deodorizer, vinegar may be safely used inside and outside of the appliance. Vinegar lacks harmful chemicals, which can react to dryer heat and leave the unit smelling terrible.
Distilled white vinegar is recommended for cleaning the dryer. Dip a soft cloth into the vinegar and wipe the interior of the appliance. Be sure to wipe down the door, the entire insides of the dryer and the space under the rubber gasket (located in the door seal).
Dealing with Fire Damage
Excessive lint buildup is a major cause of smoke odors in the dryer. Lint buildup can cause heating elements to reach extremely high temperatures, which result in noxious burning smells. Any smoke smells should be addressed quickly, especially since dryer fires can result.
Thousands of home fires each year are caused by issues with the dryer. While homeowners can initiate a DIY inspection to determine the exact cause of dryer smoke odors, it is critical to follow up with a professional to ensure the appliance is safe to use.
Smoke odors originating with the dryer point to larger issues, which can inadvertently lead to a house fire. The US Fire Administration reports that 2900 dryer fires occur each year and result in $35 million in property losses. When your home is affected by fire, call ServiceMaster
Fire Damage Restoration
As a reputable fire damage restoration company, we are positioned to restore your home or business when fire has destroyed any part of the property. Prompt attention to a fire damaged structure is essential to prevent the ruin from continuing to spread.
ServiceMaster experts arrive right away and stabilize the fire damaged building. Upon an initial assessment, we create a restoration plan and begin work. Our IICRC-certified technicians utilize proven cleaning products and advanced techniques to restore damaged areas.
Our comprehensive fire damage repair services include water damage restoration. Water damage can result when fire officials extinguish the fire using water hoses. Technicians treat, clean, repair and restore your property so that you can return to everyday life quickly.
When your home or business has been affected by fire and smoke, consult the pros at ServiceMaster Restoration of Tri-Cities. We offer emergency restoration services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to customers in and near Grand Island, Omaha, Bellevue and Lincoln, Nebraska, and its surrounding communities.