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A burning smell in a hair dryer

Updated November 21, 2016

Just out of the shower, smelling fresh and clean, you reach for your hair dryer so you can get ready for work. A few moments after you turn it on, there it is: a smell like burning hair. This stinky problem is fixable.

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Your hair dryer has an area for air intake that can become clogged with human hair and lint. Once this debris is sucked inside the hair dryer and heats up, it emits a smell like burning hair every time you blow your hair dry.


First, use an old toothbrush to clean the air intake of the hair dryer, scraping away any hair or lint you find. Next, open the hair dryer by removing the screws that hold the body together. Brush away any hair that has lodged inside the hairdryer and pull out any that is wound around the heater coil. After, screw the hair dryer back together again.


Periodically cleaning your hair dryer will prevent the burning smell hair dryer from returning. Keeping the interior of your hair dryer clean will also help extend its life and keep it running powerfully and smoothly, according to "Speed Cleaning" by Jeff Campbell.

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