Front Load Dryer Smells Like Mildew

The most common reason why a front load dryer smells like mildew is due to moisture buildup within the machine. To tackle this issue, thoroughly clean the dryer drum, vents, and lint trap with a mixture of vinegar and water.

When it comes to dealing with a smelly front load dryer, it can be a frustrating and unpleasant experience for any homeowner. One of the most common culprits behind the mildew smell is moisture, which can accumulate within the dryer’s drum, vents, and lint trap over time.

As a result, the moist environment can foster the growth of mold and mildew and create an unpleasant odor. We discuss the most effective ways to tackle the mildew smell and prevent it from recurring. Read on to learn more.

Front Load Dryer Smells Like Mildew


Causes Of Mildew Smell

If you have noticed a musty odor emanating from your front load dryer, then it’s probable that mildew is growing somewhere in the machine. The scent of mildew is unpleasant, and it can even make your clothes smell terrible. Understanding what causes the mildew smell in front load dryers is essential to prevent the issue from occurring in the future.

Wet Clothes Left Inside

Leaving wet clothes inside the front load dryer for a long period is one of the primary causes of the mildew smell. Over time, mold and mildew can form inside the machine, leading to mildew smells. To prevent this, always remove the clothes from the dryer as soon as possible after the cycle ends. Don’t forget to leave the door of the dryer open for some time to allow air to circulate and to ensure that all moisture has completely evaporated.

Dirty Lint Filter

If you’re not cleaning the lint filter after every use, you’re putting your dryer at risk of developing a mildew smell. Lint filters work to regulate the airflow inside the dryer that helps to dry clothes efficiently. When the filter is clogged, the air cannot circulate, leading to dampness inside the dryer. The humidity can cause the formation of mold and mildew that creates the musty smell. Ensure that you clean the lint filter after every use to prevent the buildup of lint, which can lead to airflow restrictions and unpleasant smells inside your dryer.

Blocked Ventilation

A blocked dryer ventilation system is a common cause of the mildew smell. The vent helps to remove moisture and any contaminants inside the dryer. When the dryer vent is restricted or blocked, it hinders the proper airflow that can lead to the accumulation of humidity inside the dryer. The moisture will cause mold and mildew to grow, creating an unpleasant smell. To avoid this issue, clean the dryer vent regularly and ensure that there are no obstructions of types like lint, bird nests, or other debris.

Dampness In The Drum

If you don’t remove clothes promptly after the dryer cycle, it can cause condensation inside the drum. The moisture in the drum can also be due to the accumulation of moisture, especially if you have to keep washing oversized items that take a long time to air dry. This dampness can cause mold and mildew growth, leading to a foul smell. Always remove clothes promptly or use the dryer’s extra spin cycle to remove as much water as possible if you need to leave them in the machine for long periods.

Front Load Dryer Smells Like Mildew


Prevention Methods

Eliminate the musty smell from your front load dryer with these prevention methods: leave the door open after each cycle to allow airflow, wipe down the inside with a damp cloth regularly, use mildew-resistant detergent and vinegar, and clean the lint trap and machine’s vent regularly.

By taking these steps, your dryer can perform efficiently and effectively without producing unwanted odors.

Prevention Methods Front load dryers are a lifesaver but can sometimes develop a mildew smell that can be challenging to remove. Damp clothes and improper ventilation are the most common culprits behind this issue. However, several methods can help prevent the smell from developing in the first place. Dry Clothes Completely One surefire way to prevent a mildew smell in your dryer is to ensure that your clothes are entirely dry before placing them in the machine. Moisture is the ideal breeding ground for mold and mildew, and damp clothes can lead to an unpleasant smell. Always dry clothes completely to avoid this issue. Clean Lint Filter Regularly The lint filter is a prime spot for mold and mildew growth due to the accumulation of lint, dust, and moisture. To prevent a musty smell, we recommend cleaning the lint filter after every use. Regular cleaning will ensure that your dryer runs efficiently and reduce the likelihood of mold growth. Ensure Proper Ventilation Proper ventilation is crucial for reducing moisture in the air. If your dryer is not correctly vented, it can cause a buildup of humid air, which can lead to mold growth. Regular inspection of dryer vents can help prevent mold growth, keeping your dryer clean and safe to use. Leave Door Open After Use Another method to prevent a mildew smell in your dryer is to leave the door open once the cycle completes. Leaving the door open can help air circulate, preventing moisture buildup. This will also help prevent mold and mildew growth. Incorporating these methods into your routine can prevent your front load dryer from developing a mildew smell. With proper care and maintenance, you can keep your dryer running efficiently and odor-free!

Eliminating Mildew Smell

If your front load dryer smells like mildew, don’t ignore it. The problem can be easily resolved by following some simple steps. Here are some effective ways to eliminate the mildew smell from your front load dryer.

Deep Clean The Dryer

The first step to eliminate mildew smell is to deep clean the dryer. Remove the lint screen and use a vacuum cleaner to clean the lint trap area. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the interior of the dryer drum and door. It’s important to thoroughly clean every nook and cranny of the dryer to avoid mildew buildup.

Sanitize With Vinegar

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and a great way to eliminate mildew smell from your front load dryer. Pour a cup of white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it on the interior of your dryer drum and door. Let it sit for 30 minutes and then wipe it down with a damp cloth. Run the dryer on a high heat setting for 10-15 minutes to dry it thoroughly.

Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is another effective way to eliminate mildew smell from your front load dryer. Mix a cup of baking soda with a few drops of water to make a paste. Apply the paste on a damp cloth and wipe down the interior of the dryer drum and door. Run the dryer on a high heat setting for 10-15 minutes to dry it thoroughly.

Replace Old Components

If you’ve tried all the above methods and your front load dryer still smells like mildew, it may be time to replace some of the components. The lint screen, door gasket, and drum rollers are common culprits for mildew buildup. Contact a professional to replace these components to ensure your dryer is working efficiently and effectively.

Front Load Dryer Smells Like Mildew


Tips To Maintain Freshness

To maintain freshness in your front load dryer and get rid of mildew smell, start by thoroughly cleaning the lint filter and checking for any remaining moisture. Make sure to also clean the drum and gasket with a mixture of vinegar and water, and allow the dryer to completely dry before using it again.

Regular maintenance can prevent mildew buildup in the future.

Front load dryers have revolutionized the laundry industry with their efficiency and effectiveness in drying clothes. However, like all good things, they come with their own set of issues, such as a mildew smell coming from the dryer. Preventing that unpleasant odour is not impossible, though. Here are some tips to maintain freshness for your dryer.

Regular Cleaning Schedule

Keeping the dryer clean is vital to maintain a fresh and healthy environment for your clothes. Include a regular cleaning schedule to prevent the growth of mildew. Diligently clean the lint trap after every load and the dryer wall once a month. Use a dryer cleaning kit to clean the vent duct. Do not forget to clean the door gasket and the interior drum to prevent mildew growth.

Leave Door Open For Ventilation

Leaving the dryer door closed after every load keeps the moisture inside, giving rise to mildew growth and an unpleasant odour. Leave the front panel of the dryer open to ventilate and dry the interior. Additionally, wait for a while after the dryer completes the cycle to prevent any residual moisture buildup.

Use Dryer Sheets Or Wool Balls

Adding dryer sheets to every load of clothes help to reduce static discharge from clothes and create a pleasant smell. Wool balls, on the other hand, act as a natural fibre softener, bouncing around with the clothes to reduce drying time and static, and helps to fluff clothes naturally. Both the dryer sheets or wool balls can keep the mildew smell at bay.

Dry Clothes Immediately

Damp clothes left inside the dryer are a breeding ground for mildew. Dry clothes immediately after removing them from the washing machine. Avoid overloading the dryer as it traps moisture leading to mildew buildup. Splitting the clothes into smaller loads helps to ensure all clothes get dry evenly and prevents the buildup of mildew. Following these tips helps maintain a fresh-smelling and healthy environment for your clothes. Regular cleaning, ventilation, use of dryer sheets or wool balls, and drying clothes immediately will keep the mildew smell at bay and keep your dryer functioning correctly for an extended period.


Dealing with a front load dryer smell like mildew can be frustrating and unpleasant. Taking simple steps like cleaning the machine, using the right washing powder, and being diligent of keeping the door open after a load can prevent the smell from occurring.

If the smell persists or gets worse, it’s recommended to call in a professional to investigate the appliance. Remember, regular maintenance can go a long way in keeping your dryer and your clothes fresh and clean.

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