How to Get a Mildew Smell Out of the Dryer

Written by mary ylisela Google
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How to Get a Mildew Smell Out of the Dryer
Constant exposure to moisture can cause mildew smell in your dryer. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

When a musty smell is present in your dryer, it is usually a sign that you have mildew somewhere in your dryer. This may come as a result of forgetting wet clothing in the dryer with the door closed or from repeated exposure to mildewy fabric, such as smelly towels. Regardless of the reason, it's important to remove the smell so neither it or the mildew transfers to your clean laundry. Regular cleaning and care with simple products from home can keep your dryer smelling clean.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Rubber gloves
  • 1/2 cup bleach
  • Bucket
  • Clean cloths
  • Spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Old towels

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  1. 1

    Wear rubber gloves to keep your skin from getting dried out by the bleach solution you make for cleaning the mildew smell out of the dryer. Mix 1/2 cup bleach with 1 gallon warm water in a bucket and swish around to blend the two ingredients.

  2. 2

    Wipe down the inside of your dryer with a clean cloth and the bleach solution. Clean the inside of the dryer door, as well, then leave the door open so the inside can air-dry.

    How to Get a Mildew Smell Out of the Dryer
    Bleach is an effective mildew killer and odour remover. (bucket image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from
  3. 3

    Pour undiluted white vinegar into a spray bottle. Lay a few old towels flat on a work surface. Spray the towels with the vinegar so they are wet but not dripping.

  4. 4

    Place the vinegar-sprayed towels into your dryer and dry them. As the towels tumble around in the dryer the vinegar kills any remaining mildew and rids your dryer of the mildew smell.

    How to Get a Mildew Smell Out of the Dryer
    Vinegar freshens the inside of your dryer. (laundry dial image by Sirena Designs from
  5. 5

    Remove the dried towels and leave your dryer door propped open to air it out.

Tips and warnings

  • Leave your dryer door open after use so moisture and heat isn't trapped inside.
  • Clean the lint trap regularly so it's not holding humidity in the dryer.
  • Check your dryer vent periodically to ensure it's open and free of clogs that prevent the release of heat and moisture.

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