Thread Number: 75884  /  Tag: Modern Dryers
Blomberg Dryer Smell
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Post# 997290   6/16/2018 at 00:35 by avatar (Seattle)        

We've been using a Blomberg heat pump condensing dryer (WM98400SX) for about two years, and the drum and condenser area have recently started to smell musty and gross. I've cleaned the lint trap, washed the cartridge holding the secondary filter (as well as the whole area), changed the secondary filter, and vacuumed the fins. If I leave everything open to dry, the smell dissipates, but it's back when I use the dryer.

Given the warm temps and lingering moisture, it seems like a perfect environment for mold, but I don't see an easy way to get in and clean things better. Does anyone have experience or recommendations?


Post# 997304 , Reply# 1   6/16/2018 at 05:27 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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That model number appears to be a washing machine.

Post# 997306 , Reply# 2   6/16/2018 at 05:38 by logixx (Germany)        

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It's one of these:

Post# 997319 , Reply# 3   6/16/2018 at 08:59 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Smelly Heat Pump Dryer

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Condensing dryers are more sealed and can develop and hold odors, it is not a bad idea to leave the door open and even remove the condenser when the the dryer is not going to be used for a few days.


Another possibility is you may not be doing a good job washing the clothing that is being put in the dryer, if the clothing is going into the dryer full of bacteria the dryer will also have odors.


Try taking a few clean damp towels, socks and underwear and put them in sealed plastic bags and put in a dark closet. Check the items in a few days to a week later and see if they are starting to develop a sour smell, if so you need to  wash your clothing more thoroughly which generally involves hotter water, more and better detergent and regular use of LCB for towels, sheets, underwear and socks.


As a repair tech we see some really gross dryers that are actually dirty and stinky, you can also tell by the lint in the lint filter if the clothing is being washed properly.


John L.

Post# 997325 , Reply# 4   6/16/2018 at 09:52 by henene4 (Germany)        

Yeah, heat pump dryers run relativley cool. That can cause musty smells on improperly washed and dried laundry.

Post# 997335 , Reply# 5   6/16/2018 at 11:11 by Brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        

Do you use fabric softener?

Last year I got a second hand Miele washer and regular condenser dryer. The previous owners were heavy fabric softener user, plus I assume a lover of cool washes. The washer was full of rainbow colored mold. The condenser in the dryer was covered in a black slime and the sump for the condensate was also black and slimey. I had to pull the dryer apart to get rid of the slime.

Even now, nearly 12 months on I’ll still get a whiff of her fabric softener when I take a load out.

I compare that to my 13yo condenser dryer that has rarely ever seen clothes with fabric softener and it’s airways other than being a bit linty in places has no mold and no slime.

If you’re using a lot of fabric softener, I’d cut back and also raise the temp of your washes to remove any residual.

I don’t have any before pics of the dryer, but this is indicative of what the washer was like

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Post# 997338 , Reply# 6   6/16/2018 at 11:21 by ozzie908 (Lincoln UK)        
Heat pump dryer

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Having had a heat pump dryer for the last 4-5 years used all year round and 6-8 cycles a week I have yet to find any black mould or any lingering odour I do regularly vacuum the entire fluff areas at least those I can get at and I seem to gather white fluff or pale grey in the corners and cranny's I do tend to leave it open when not in use as its in the downstairs shower room and out the way. I have no solution to the odour yours is producing but would suggest you try airing it out and removing the filters so you can dry the condenser or as much as you can reach.
Good luck and let us know what you find :)

Post# 997402 , Reply# 7   6/17/2018 at 07:02 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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The heatpump machine might need the manufacturer's technicians to professionally attend to it.

Perhaps the condenser fins need flushed out, in the same way that car air-conditioning condensers can develop mouldy smells if detritus (vegetation, insects, road dust, exhaust soot, etc) builds up?

In the case of the dryer, it might be a mixture of excessive fabric conditioner, rubbish detergents, quick washes and cold water. Also, if any garments had a previous encounter with mould and mildew, the fungi could transfer and make a nice nest in the machine (think of what happens to a refrigerator if you empty it, switch it off and store it with the door closed... moulds can and do make a B-line for it).

Post# 997405 , Reply# 8   6/17/2018 at 07:54 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Putting anything damp, moist or whatever into a sealed plastic bag, then into a closed confined space is going to promote growth of mold.

Just because laundry is "clean" does not mean it is sterile, nor are hands that touch it or inside of bag. As such the textiles are bound to be contaminated by various bacteria, molds and so forth; whatever is living in the home and has alighted onto the wash after it was completed.

Have said this before; as part of microbiology class was sent out to swab and culture various objects. Trust me, if you could *see* what was growing on supposedly clean things, you'd never feel safe in your own skin again. *LOL*

Post# 997406 , Reply# 9   6/17/2018 at 07:59 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Think other poster is onto something. Since these heat pump dryers have more in common with air conditioners than normal vented dryers, yours could be suffering from what often happens to the former. A build up of stagnant moisture or water somewhere that is allowing growth of mold/fungi.

We have our AC cleaned each year before it is laid up for winter. That has made a world of difference, no more "mold" smell when the thing comes on which happened often with previous unit.

I'd reach out to Blomberg to see if there is a way a customer can do some sort of deep "cleaning" or whatever to get at source of odor.

In meanwhile suggestions about leaving door open might be way to go. Mold need warmth and damp to grow. We know what happens to washing machines that are left shut up with moisture inside.

Post# 997413 , Reply# 10   6/17/2018 at 10:13 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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The most likely culprit in my opinion, would be the condenser unit which would be a fixed item i.e. non-removable.

I used to get a similar mouldy/musty smell coming from the car's air-conditioning unit when not used for umpteen months - Scottish hot weather is few and far between!

I managed to reduce this odour quite substantially, by washing the pleated glass-fibre cartridge cabin air filter in a solution of soap powder and hot water, repeating and rinsing, then left to dry for a day or two.

The car then had a refreshing fragrance of soap powder! The filter caught most of the dust, pollen, leaves and beasties, but I imagine that the condenser fins were susceptible to mould, as there was apparently, a condensate drain tube somewhere under the unit.

Post# 997422 , Reply# 11   6/17/2018 at 10:47 by ozzie908 (Lincoln UK)        
@ RollsRapide

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Your spot on about condensate tubes under the car engine I have witnessed our car "weeing" when the engine has been turned off. I am going to try your method of improving the air intake filter I will try and locate ours and give it a wash not so much for smell as I tend to use aircon all year round but to remove the dreaded pollen thats in it as we have discovered its not easy to see where you are going while your eyes are streaming from pollen !!

Post# 997424 , Reply# 12   6/17/2018 at 10:52 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
I have witnessed our car "weeing"

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Happens all the time here in NYC. More so now as humid and hot summer weather arrives.

The other large worry is rats getting under the bonnet by crawling up from below. But we're not on that right now.

Post# 997432 , Reply# 13   6/17/2018 at 11:30 by logixx (Germany)        

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Condenser dryers are always wet inside as water and lint collects in the sump - much like in a washer or dishwasher. I have yet to open any condenser dryer and not find more or less water in there.

Bosch/Siemens added cleaning/soaking cycles to their newer HP dryers and sell a cleaning fluid to be used during the Machine Care cycle. There's even a manual on pressure washing an AEG dryer online to get the gunk out.

Post# 997470 , Reply# 14   6/17/2018 at 18:09 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
"pressure washing..."

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That crossed my mind, but I thought it might be frowned upon by manufacturers, and the machine might become electrically unsafe, etc.

For every technological advancement, there always seems to be some kind of disadvantage.

Post# 997472 , Reply# 15   6/17/2018 at 18:13 by logixx (Germany)        

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Post# 997475 , Reply# 16   6/17/2018 at 18:20 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Much depends on what type of cabin pollen filter you have. If it is a decent quality filter, it might indeed be washable with care.

On the other hand it could be a glorified paper-type material. In this case, it might make more sense just to buy a new one.

Post# 997477 , Reply# 17   6/17/2018 at 18:31 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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As a matter of interest, do you know which heatpump dryer brand is the most reliable? Or are they all pretty much, 'much of a muchness'?

Post# 997480 , Reply# 18   6/17/2018 at 19:00 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
May still have it bookmarked.

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But came upon a blog from a person in Germany who showed how he "deep cleaned" his Lavatherm condenser dryer. This was several years ago just after getting ours and was doing research.

For anyone who has owned an AEG OKO-Lavatherm dryer it should come as no surprise the interior can become quite full of lint. There is only the one filter screen (in door) which tends not to be most effective. Miele and others have two screens (one in door, and another below opening where air goes down from drum to condenser area.

Post# 997651 , Reply# 19   6/19/2018 at 04:03 by mieleforever (SOUTH AFRICA)        
@Launderess and any other knoledgeable member

Our Miele T8822C is about 8 years old now and gets rather heavy usage, should one try and disassemble the machine to clean it's air ways and fans or should one only clean the condenser unit. The Miels's Condenser unit is removable and I clean it out about every 6 months, but I can see there is a lot of lint in some of the airways of the machine.

I have dabbled in working on washing machines before but have paid a pretty penny for said machine so I don't want to stuff it up, so I guess is it an easy job or should it be leaft to be dealt with by a proffesional technician?

Many thanks in advance.


Post# 997658 , Reply# 20   6/19/2018 at 05:40 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
If it's purely a condenser (not a heatpump machine)

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Then the condenser should be removable, and wash the condenser with a garden hosepipe.

Unplug from the mains electricity before fiddling!

Depending upon the make and model of machine, it might be possible to reach into the bowels of the machine to remove clumps of fluff which made it past the filters, which might then accumulate in the sump lagoon, leading to drain or pump blockages. Frequently though, there is usually a guard or airflow vanes preventing physical access from the condenser cavity.

Lint from the door/porthole filter airways can be vacuumed out. One of these flexible electrostatic 'furry-dusters-on-a-stick' might be useful too, to release stuck on lint.

Post# 997659 , Reply# 21   6/19/2018 at 05:41 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Louis would know more

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But IIRC Miele's design for their condenser dryers is vastly superior to AEG and some others. Very little lint gets past the two filters so there is less to worry about internally.

But for those who like busy work; let the ginger explain. *LOL*

Post# 997661 , Reply# 22   6/19/2018 at 06:00 by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

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"Louis would know more"

Well, I'm not so sure about that. lol

But what I do know is that my Miele T420C, bought new in 1997 didn't need it's condenser cleaned very often. I did it only 5 or 6 times in the 21 years I had it. And it never looked like the condenser in the video. I think the Miele of the 1990's generation were sealed very well. It was in the bathroom, the windows there never fogged up, not even in the midst of a cold winter when the dryer was used several times on one day.

Post# 997671 , Reply# 23   6/19/2018 at 06:52 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Testing Clean Laundry For " Cleanliness "

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Putting clean items dampened in plastic bags is an excellent way to test you laundry for relative cleanliness and to compare how fast a towel sours compared to a brand new towel for example.


Yes you are correct Laundress that laundry is not completely sterile and all damp items will likley eventually mold if left in plastic bags damp long enough, but this is still a very effective test and the results can be very dramatic and vary greatly with different laundry practices.


In a Heat-Pump dryer the biggest problem would be the evaporator, it gets cold and wet and can stay damp, the condenser can also clog with lint etc and the fan and air-ways all may need cleaning.


Even though my brother Jeff and I along with a friend who is a refrigeration engineer invented the basic concept of the home HP dryer over 30 years ago it is a shame that so many homes in Europe are using HP dryers when they have natural gas available in the home. Yes a HP dryer makes great sense if NG is not available, but a vented to the outside of the home gas dryer also helps add necessary ventilation- air-exchange to the home.


This Air-Exchange is especially important when handling, folding, ironing clothing as you are generating lint which is carcinogenic and generally makes a dusty mess in homes. Most European homes do not have the advanced home filtration systems that North American homes have do to their extensive use of hot water heat etc.


John L.

Post# 997677 , Reply# 24   6/19/2018 at 07:31 by henene4 (Germany)        
Natural gas

Gas dryers are inredibly inconvenient here.

1. We rarely have gaslines installed near enough to laundry areas.
2. Most setups have developed for condenser dryers, so about 90% of households have no vent setup.
3. Any gas installation here in Germany is under incredibly tight regulation, thus, pricey.
4. I'd say that not even half of residential housing here is hooked up to gas.
5. A gas dryer needs about 5kWh worth of gas for a full load, that would be 30 cents round about. A HP dryer needs 1.5kWh, that's about 40 cents. So price isn't as huge of a factor as it is going from condenser to heatpump.
6. Venting would vastly increase heating costs for most households during winter.
7. HP dryers are mass produced, while gas dryers by nature would be less produced (simply can't be setup in every case), thus they would always be more expensive to make.

It's funny how often you think to know how we live here and how things work here, combo...

Post# 997686 , Reply# 25   6/19/2018 at 09:04 by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

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Gas appliances are being phased out overhere in the Netherlands. In 2021 gas boilers will be no longer available. Natural gas as an energy is a 20th century source, it's not durable enough. The northern part of the Netherlands has suffered from earthquakes rather badly because of the eploitation of the natural gas fields. Energy in the future will have to be more durable, there will be invested a lot in wind and solar energy. The introduction of gas dryers has failed here, and there is no use of trying it again. Because of said developments, in the future gas will become more expensive and electricity cheaper.

Post# 997705 , Reply# 26   6/19/2018 at 11:54 by wft2800 (Leatherhead, Surrey)        

I'm already paying MUCH more for natural gas than I am for electricity. I also would never have a gas dryer on safety grounds. Electric dryers are inflammable enough as they are without adding combustion heating into the mix!

Post# 998128 , Reply# 27   6/23/2018 at 08:26 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
"advanced home filtration systems..."

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We use the tried and tested method... of opening the windows!

No need for air-conditioning filtration nonsense either. Regular hoovering keeps dust under control.

Speaking of dust, I remember reading years ago now, that American carpets were rather problematic, in that they were usually synthetic, thus releasing solvents into the air. Furthermore, the plushness of them allowed heavier particulates of dust to accumulate (e.g. heavy metals), which were of carcinogenic nature.

Post# 998135 , Reply# 28   6/23/2018 at 09:59 by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

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I have hot water heating, but also a central ventilation system. Required in all new homes since 2006, but already installed in most homes way before that. I have vents in the livingroom/kitchen with an extra connection for the hood, in the bathroom, the toilet and the laundryroom. It's a three speed system with a very powerful highest speed.

Post# 998219 , Reply# 29   6/24/2018 at 07:37 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
@ Louis:

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Does your ventilation system have any form of heat recovery?

Regarding the obsolescence of gas boilers:
There was something about that in our newspapers too, a couple of years ago.

To my mind, I still think that solar-heated hot water (thermal variant) and a properly insulated system, could store water at quite reasonable temperature, with an efficient gas boiler acting as a booster during winter.

If this solar-heated water could then be fed directly to washing machines and dishwashers, avoiding the need for prolonged heating periods in the machines themselves, thus saving money and resources.

You could have a photovoltaic solar system too, to supply electricity back to the grid, thus covering the cost of pumping fluids around the heat-exchanger pipes.

However, it probably would require appliances to be intelligent hot and cold fill. And you might need a small on-machine storage tank to store the cool water from the 'dead leg', which could then be used for a subsequent rinse.

I dunno why governments are so bloody lily-livered these days, solar water heating should have been mandatory decades ago.

Post# 998221 , Reply# 30   6/24/2018 at 07:58 by henene4 (Germany)        
Hot fill

Hot fills are basicly obsolete as well.

Any modern dishwasher barely fills with 3-4l, a washer with maybe 10-15l for an average main wash.
Between fills there often is 15min or more.
So, with a dishwasher, you often don't get any benefit at all (especially with DW that have a heat recovery system) and with a washer, you might get some warm water, but you waste a lot of heat in form of the hot water in the pipes.

While it is true that the production of electricity is still more impactfull in terms of the enviroment then directly using the the resources, that will change over the next few years.

There are a few verry narrow use cases where hot fills do make sense, and for those machines are still avaible.
But given that the benefits can go negativ quite easily, just going cold fill only makes things much easier.

Solar water heating just isn't verry practical for everybody.
Here in Germany most solar heating systems barely allow for 50C hot water temps in summer, thus booster heating is always required.
Our house back home has enough correctly orianted roof area for 2 collectors, for a (then) 5+ person household and 200 square metere contiously heated area.
With maybe effectivly 100 sunny days and an install that would have to go from the roof the basement (12m, at least), an install like that only becomes viable after decades.

You can't just make the most efficent thing mandatory. That would make the already insane real estate prices go even more extreme.
You have to find a good balance between efficency and economy (2 verry different things, by the way).

A basic ventilation system is about 10k€ for a first install on a new build house and has a predicted lifespan of at least the same as your heating system, often twice that, and saves between 25-50% of heating cost, depending on house.
They are mandatory for all new buildings.

Why all new buildings only?
Adding such a system to an existent, maybe 30-40 year old house, plus sealing the house to the point where the system actually has any effect is about 3 times the install cost.

Post# 998222 , Reply# 31   6/24/2018 at 07:59 by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        
Heat recovery

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No, I don't have what we call a balanced ventilation system here and I'm glad with that. These systems can cause a lot of breathing problems if they are not kept meticulously clean. I bet that would lead to problems with my asthma.

Post# 998226 , Reply# 32   6/24/2018 at 08:08 by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

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Back to the original topic. The OP has posted on the gardenweb too, he seems to come back there more often than here.

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