Is Smelly Laundry The Fault of the Dryer or the Washer?

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When you wash your clothes, it is a reasonable assumption that they will come out smelling better than when they went in. However, if you have finished your laundry and find it to be smelling musty or gross instead of clean and fresh, there is definitely an issue. Yet, you may wonder which of the two appliances your wash just went through is responsible for creating this smelly laundry.

While certainly, laundry can come out of the dryer smelling poorly, it is rarely the fault of the dryer. Most smelly laundry is the fault of the washer except in one select circumstance. If you pull out your laundry from the dryer and it feels still quite hot and smells a bit like burning, then this is definitely a dryer issue. What is happening is that there is likely a lint clog in the system and it is getting dangerously close to starting a dryer fire. Smelly clothes is a rather innocent warning sign, but a serious one.

Except in that aforementioned circumstance, your washer is usually responsible for creating a stink. As a water-using appliance, it is not always so good at drying away the moisture left after a load, especially if you close the door after you are done. What happens is mold and bacteria introduced by the clothing stays and thrives with the moisture. That smelly growth then gets rubbed off on your clothes. This means they not only smell, but they are also still pretty dirty.

Before rewashing a smelly load of laundry, you will want to wipe down both the washer and the dryer with a white vinegar solution. This will help to deodorize, clean, and remove any bacteria from both units. After doing so, your next load of clothing should come out smelling as fresh as a daisy.

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