Thread Number: 95214  /  Tag: Vintage Dryers
What's making my dryer smells like charcoal lighter fluid
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Post# 1198549   2/4/2024 at 12:43 by 2011hoovermatic (owosso michigan)        

Hi I thought I'd better see what's going on with my dryer as whenever I used it the last couple times I smell a charcoal lighter fluid smell.
I hope nothing serious is going on with it.

Post# 1198554 , Reply# 1   2/4/2024 at 14:03 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
What is the brand model and age of your dryer?

combo52's profile picture
Also, is it gas or electric?

If it happens to be a gas dryer, and youíve done any painting or cleaning in your house clothing that is dried in the dryer when thereís a background odor in the house will have a very strange smell charcoal, lighter fluid is a good description in fact, even electric dryers, will leave a smell in your clothing if thereís any different background odor in the house.

If itís an electric dryer, thereís no cause of concern. If itís a gas dryer and you havenít used any cleaners or paint or anything in the house and it continues for multiple loads over a few weeks. You might have the dryer checked by a service technician.

John .

Post# 1198556 , Reply# 2   2/4/2024 at 14:11 by 2011hoovermatic (owosso michigan)        

It's electric
Here's a picture of the model number.

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Post# 1198558 , Reply# 3   2/4/2024 at 14:25 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Now, following up on John's suggestions, check the area near the dryer for a leaking container of solvent or similar cleaner, then check the house for the same. Check the washer for any sign of a petroleum contamination such as odor. Do you have LP gas service? Check any gas appliance for leaks.

Post# 1198560 , Reply# 4   2/4/2024 at 14:35 by 2011hoovermatic (owosso michigan)        

Thanks everyone.

Post# 1198594 , Reply# 5   2/5/2024 at 06:50 by turquoisedude (.)        

turquoisedude's profile picture

For what it's worth, I had a similar situation with my 1957 GE electric dryer - clothes had a smell vaguely like burnt gasoline.  In my case, it was the centrifugal heater switch in the main motor that was burning and the smoke was being drawn into the clothes drum.    I'd suggest pulling the dryer and inspecting all connections for anything that looks like it may be overheating - discoloured or bubbled insulation at a connector for example. 

Post# 1198599 , Reply# 6   2/5/2024 at 12:23 by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

maytag85's profile picture
The only time I had a dryer produce a burning smell is when the wire between the high limit thermostat and heating element on the Maytag DE306 was on the fritz, immediately turned it off and cut power as soon as I caught it. Still have this dryer, but has since been customized.

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