Mould thrives and grows wherever it can find conditions that are nice and damp and warm, and that includes your clothes dryer, something that explains why, after a while even a new clothes dryer can start to smell a little mouldy, even though you know that you have been extra diligent about removing clothes as soon as possible.
Often there is mould present but the mould is not growing in the dryer itself, but in the lint trap or vent hose, so it’s important to inspect every part of your dryer to isolate the source. Mold not only smells nasty but also it can exacerbate allergies and, in the case of a dryer, mould spores can easily be circulated into the air, allowing them to go off ‘in search’ of even more nice warm and wet spots, exacerbating, or even causing, a mould issue elsewhere in the house.
So what should you do if you do start to suspect that mould may have taken hold somewhere in the vicinity of your clothes dryer? Here is a simple, DIY way to help remedy the issue and troubleshoot any larger issues.
Things You Will Need
Clean cloths or paper towels
Liquid bleach or vinegar
Begin by making an inspection of the area around your clothes dryer. Unplug the dryer and pull it out from the wall – get some help here, dryers are heavy things – so that you can look behind and underneath it.
If you see any dark, moldy patches on the walls this is possibly where the job should stop right away. Mouldy walls are a bigger issue than a mouldy dryer and while this may very well be where the bad smells were coming from using that bleach to simply start wiping wall mould away is not a good solution. The cause of the mould needs to be diagnosed before the dryer is replaced. It may be caused by inadequate ventilation or there may be a moisture problem in and/or around the wall and any wall mould needs to be properly addressed, and never ignored.
If the walls are dry and clean you can move onto another favourite hang out spot for mould; the dryer vent. Trapped lint can quickly become damp and a breeding ground for mould. To remove any trapped lint use your vacuum’s upholstery hose to vacuum out the vent hose.
Next, clean out your dryer’s lint trap. Remove the mesh screen and wash it thoroughly in hot water and either bleach or vinegar and set it aside to dry. In the meantime, clean the area around the vent trap in the dryer as well.
To create an effective but harmless cleaning solution, combine one cup of bleach or white vinegar with one gallon of clean water. water. Scrub out the inside of the dryer, paying special attention to any rubber gaskets or small crevices where a trapped piece of cloth or lint could hide. Do not wipe down the surface of the dryer when you’re done cleaning it; let it air-dry with the door open.
Finally if the smell was originally rather pungent, mix together one cup of water and one cup of baking soda. Using a clean towel lightly ‘coat’ the inside of the dryer drum with the solution and then run the dryer on its lowest setting for five – ten minutes. This should remove the mould smell, as well as the bleach or vinegar smell and any dried bleach on the dryer’s surface.