Does Your Dryer Smells Like Urine? – 5 Easy Ways To Eliminate

Dryer smells like urine

A few days ago, my neighbor approached me with a perplexing problem. She looked quite flustered and said, “Mr Alvin, my dryer is acting up, and it’s creating quite a stink!”.

I couldn’t help but chuckle at her choice of words, but her concern was quite genuine.

As I stepped into her laundry room, I was hit with a pungent smell.

You need to be there to imagine the unpleasant smell that was created by my neighbours’s dirty dryer.

Actually, the reason why her dryer was smelling like urine was as a result of a dirty lint trap, excessive laundry detergent, pet discharge on clothes and built up detergent residues.

Why Does My Dryer Smell Like Urine?

There are a couple of reasons why your dryer can start to smell unpleasantly – whether it’s new or just a few years old. 

But if you have been using yours for quite a long time, detergent and dirt might have begun to build up on the inside wall of the dryer which as a result leads to the smell.

Below is a detailed explanation on each of the points highlighted above.

#1. Using Too Much Laundry Detergent

If you are the type of person that uses too much detergent for washing, this might adversely affect you while using your dryer. 

On the walls of the plastic tub of the machine is where the detergent remains get caked up as time goes on.

Detergent residues tend to collect over time, start to cake on and smell as you continue using the excessive ammonia-contained detergents.

Note that there are some specific types of detergents that contain a huge amount of ammonia which has an unpleasant smell.

The moment the build up of detergent residues is too much in the fabric fibers, that’s when the dryer urine odor starts emanating.

#2. Pet Discharge On Clothes

Most times, the clothes itself might be the reason why your dryer smells like pee. If you probably have free pets in your home that are allowed to roam about.

It is likely that one of your pets had urinated on your clothes, therefore leading to the smell you’re perceiving.

Irrespective of any specific pet urine, it can have an effect on the way your machine would smell after using it for a dry session.

#3. Dirt Build Up In Lint Trap 

Normally, it’s expected that your dryer’s lint trap gets cleaned after each load but most users don’t do this.

The lint trap is responsible for filtering or simply trapping lint before it gets vented out to the exhaust vent hose during a drying cycle. 

Another reason why your machine could be smelling like pee is due to the odor that is coming from the accumulated lint in the lint trap.

This is what happens when you don’t constantly clean up the lint trap after a drying cycle. 

#4. Clogged Dryer Exhaust Hose

The exhaust vent hose of your is used for transporting moist and lint-filled air out of the appliance easily. 

When the vent hose gets clogged or filled with too much dirt for a long time, it tends to create a horrible odor. 

why does my dryer smell like urine

It’s just one of the main reasons for the machine smelling like pee. What you have to do to fix this will be highlighted below.

#5. Cats Urinates In Your Dryer

Pets like cats that are provided with free movement in your home might locate your dryer and possibly pee in it.

Sometimes you might not notice the urine so fast that you even dry clothes in it only to find out when you begin to perceive the smell.

Too late because the urine might have already gotten dried with your clothes along with the smell coming out of your dryer.

This is just a simple ideology that pets like cats are another reason for this.

Read also: Do Gas Dryers Have Pilot Lights? (Answered!)

How Can I Get Urine Smell Out Of My Dryer?

Now that you are aware of the causes of the smell, you need to be aware of a few easy ways to get rid of it. 

  • Clean the lint trap.
  • Inspect the exhaust hose.
  • Reduce the use of detergents.
  • Thoroughly scrub the inside of the dryer.
  • Keep pets away from your laundry room.

#1. Clean The Lint Trap

Cleaning the lint trap is one of the most effective ways of getting rid of this unpleasant smell.

It should normally be carried out regularly, not until your clothes start to smell before you do the right thing.

In order to clean the lint filter, firstly remove the lint screen with your hands and clean all the dirts or lints.

This can simply be done with a vacuum cleaner. The next step is to soak the lint trap in soapy water and scrub with a brush.

Once this is done, let it dry and insert it back into the dryer. Then your dryer will smell nice again.

#2. Reduce The Use Of Detergents

Detergents are still very important for laundry activities but you need to reduce the amount of detergents you use. 

Especially those that have ammonia in them.

Two dryer close to each other

You can try switching to another similar detergent that probably had a low amount of ammonia. 

All you have to reduce the amount of detergents you use or change the specific brand.

#3. Inspect The Exhaust Hose

As we’ve stated earlier in the article, you should ensure that there are no excessive dirts in the exhaust hose for way too long so as to avoid the dryer smelling like cat urine.

First and foremost, disconnect or unplug the dryer for safety purposes.

Remove the dryer vent hose from the back of the machine and the wall.

A dryer vent cleaning brush would be very useful at this point as you can get one at any store if you don’t have one.

Use the brush to clean the inside of the vent hose or you might want to use a vacuum cleaner to do the trick. 

Basket on top of dryer with hose at the back

Lastly, reattach the exhaust hose, clean the outside vent and you are done with the cleaning.

#4. Thoroughly Scrub The Inside Of The Dryer

Perhaps you noticed your pet urinated inside your dryer, another trick of eliminating the smell is to thoroughly clean the dryer.

Use a rag or towel to firstly wipe out the urine in the dryer in order to avoid staining the interior.

Next, use another towel that is soaked with hydrogen peroxide to clean the inside and allow it to dry. This will eliminate any form of bacteria.

Put a towel into a mixture of water and white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. (Half gallon and a cup of vinegar is enough).

Squeeze the towel out, spread on the area of the urine and dry the towel to remove the odor.

#5. Keep Pets Away From Your Laundry Room

Lastly, you might want to keep your pets away from your laundry room in order to prevent them from urinating on your clothes or inside your dryer.

What If There’s Still Urine Smell On My Clothes?

Since the smell eventually gets transferred onto your clothes also, it’s important that you know how to remove the smell off your clothes. 

With the brief procedures in this section of the article, you should be able to do it.

Let the smelly clothes soak for a while before washing or soaking it in a tub with a mixture of warm water and baking soda.


Without a doubt, you need to ensure that you have carefully followed the guidelines above for a better solution.

There are some other related information you can check out on our website if you are interested in finding more interesting fixes. Thank you.

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