Dryer Smells Like Pee? (How To Fix)

Don’t you just love taking your freshly dried laundry out of the dryer? The clean, crisp scent can instantly boost your mood. So when, for some reason, your clothes come out of the dryer smelling like pee, it can be very disappointing. 

There are a few possible reasons for your dryer to smell like urine. The smell could be due to real pee inside the dryer, or maybe it’s just an accumulation of lint. Other common causes include spilled chemicals and plumbing issues.

In this article, I will walk you through each of the four reasons and provide instructions on how to fix them. So, if your dryer is stinking up your house, read on!

1. There Is Pee Trapped in the Dryer

Anyone who has ever had a pet can attest that the occasional accident is inevitable. Your pet could have peed in the dryer, leaving an unpleasant smell that sticks to your laundry. 

Additionally, sweat, body odor, and perfume can accumulate in the dryer over time and give off a urine-like smell. This is especially true if the clothes come from a person with health conditions and lifestyle issues, such as kidney problems or a high protein diet, resulting in a distinct ammonia smell that resembles urine from their body fluids.

To ensure you address the smell, remove the pee and its lingering smell from the dryer.

How To Fix

You can eliminate that pesky pee smell from your dryer using vinegar and water.

  1. Mix a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and will help to neutralize the odor.
  2. Soak a clean cloth in the vinegar solution and use it to wipe down the inside of your dryer, paying special attention to the lint trap area.
  3. Leave the soaked cloth inside the dryer and run your dryer on a high heat setting for about 30 minutes. This will help to remove any remaining odors.

Alternately, you can also use hydrogen peroxide to remove the urine smell, especially if the stink results from accumulated pee over time.

  1. Mix 8 ounces (236.58 ml) of hydrogen peroxide, two tablespoons of baking soda, and a few drops of dish detergent.
  2. Soak a towel in the solution and use it to wipe down the surface inside the dryer. This will not only remove the odor but also disinfect the area.
  3. Wipe down the seal if you have a front-loading dryer. Doing this regularly will help to keep your dryer smelling fresh.

2. Your Dryer Vent Is Full of Lint

Another common reason a dryer smells like pee is when the vent is full of lint. Lint is made up of tiny pieces of fabric. Over time, it can build up in the vent, creating a foul-smelling situation. 

If the accumulated lint has strong urine or ammonia smell, it should explain why your dryer vent smells like urine or your clothes come out of the dryer smelling like pee.

It’s also one of the common causes for your dryer not to dry clothes properly. Furthermore, a full vent can also be a fire hazard, so it’s important to clean your lint trap and the entire vent system.

How To Fix

To clean your vent system and get rid of the stinky smell, follow these simple steps:

  1. Disconnect your dryer from the power source and remove the exhaust hose from the back of the dryer. 
  2. Use a vacuum with a long attachment to reach deep into the vent and remove any lint or debris that has built up. 
  3. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the entire length of the vent. If your dryer vent smells like pee, you can scrub it with a brush and soapy water to remove any remaining residue. 
  4. Reattach the exhaust hose and plug your dryer back in. 

Removing the lint and cleaning your vent regularly will eliminate the bad odor and help keep your dryer running safely and efficiently.

Here’s a video that shows the step by step instructions on how to clean a dryer vent duct:

3. Sewer Gas Is Released in the Laundry Room

If your dryer has started to produce an unpleasant smell, it could be a sign that there is a plumbing problem. In particular, if the smell is reminiscent of urine, it is likely that sewage is coming into contact with your dryer.

This can happen if the sewer line becomes blocked or damaged, causing sewage to back up into your home. The culprit is usually lint, which gets trapped in the pipe and builds up over time. If left unchecked, a clogged laundry drain can cause water to back up into the washing machine or even overflow onto the floor.

How To Fix

Sewage issues can be serious as they can release toxic gas into your home, so you should contact a plumber immediately to have the problem repaired. In the meantime, you can try to reduce the odor by running your dryer on the air fluff setting for a few minutes. This will help to circulate fresh air through the machine and remove any lingering odors.

In addition, you can also try cleaning the laundry drain pipe using a power auger, a specialized tool designed for clearing clogs. If you don’t have a power auger, you can use a drill with a snake attachment.

Simply insert the snake into the drain and turn on the drill. The snake’s spinning action will help break up the clog and clear the drain. With either method, be sure to work slowly and carefully to avoid damaging the pipe. 

Here’s a video showing how to clean your laundry drain pipe:

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4. Burning Wires Can Smell Like Urine

If your dryer still smells like pee after ruling out other possible causes, burning wires may be the culprit. Wires can become frayed or damaged over time, and when they come into contact with the heating element in the dryer, they can start to burn.

This burning process produces a variety of chemicals, including hydrogen sulfide gas. Hydrogen sulfide gas is also produced when urine decomposes, which is why burning wires in the dryer can smell like pee.

How To Fix

Electrical wiring issues can be quite dangerous. Trying to repair the problem yourself could result in serious injury, so it’s best to hire someone from a repair company.

They’ll be able to quickly fix the problem and ensure that your dryer is safe to use again. In the meantime, make sure to keep your dryer away from any open flames or heat sources to prevent sparks and further damage to your dryer. 

In most cases, the urine smell in your clothes will dissipate after a few washes. If it does not, you may need to have your dryer serviced or replaced.

Summary

Urine smells in the dryer can be due to a few different things. There could be urine residue in the dryer, lint build-up in the vent, or a plumbing or wiring issue. The smell of pee is the last thing you want coming out of your dryer. So, it is best to investigate and resolve the issue as soon as possible.

While some problems can be resolved with some do-it-yourself knowledge, there are cases when you would need to call a professional. A qualified technician can quickly diagnose the issue to ensure your dryer smells fresh and clean.